A property investor's evolution: Take a peek at 20 years' worth of learning

Troy Phillips has spent years of his life as an investor and a mortgage broker. After more than two decades in the field of property investment, he has witnessed an evolution of many kinds—in the markets, in his clients and fellow investors, as well as in himself.

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Twenty years ago, at 28 or so, Troy had two kids and was just starting his investment journey rather conservatively.

"I was eating the paint off the walls. Probably the best property advice I got and I didn't take was—I was looking around to move, I wanted to move. I started with a one-bedroom unit, we moved into a townhouse as the kids got older, then I bought a house. I didn't do my research, [and] never lost money on them, because I never sold them in the early days," he shared with Smart Property Investment.

"I got told that 'Gear up and for your own home, [because] you never pay capital gains'. Take 20-25 per cent more than you think you can pay, because you won't regret it one day, because [there are] the in-costs and the ex-costs. I didn't take that advice, I was probably conservative."

"But you got to remember, the average cost of a home in those days was probably 4 or 5 times the annual household income. I think it's 12 times now. So, I'm thinking at 12 times the annual income, that's probably not great advice," Troy said.


"I'm thinking with property investors, the trade is—like any investment, there's a trade, there's a day you start and a day you stop anything—if it's to get into a new home, I buy an investment property, I buy two in areas outside where I want to be."

While seeing many new young and determined Australians in the property market could be truly inspiring, he reminds all budding investors to be careful about setting their goals.

Troy encourages them to make sure that they have a "holistic view" of the market and of themselves as investors in order to succeed. According to him, there are so many things to take into account in terms of property investment that it's quite easy to feel lost and overwhelmed if you haven't got your priorities set straight.

"I think young Australians these days [think] being in the property market's a great thing, and it's great that they've got the discipline to do it. But I also think that they've got to look at what they want out of their life," he said.

"I just think you've got to take a holistic view of yourself, what you want to get out of it, [as well as] where people are gonna be living in 15 and 20 years, what's gonna be important to them. We're gonna be living more upwardly. We're not gonna be living with big backyards."

Aside from looking at areas where there are schools, hospitals, and transport, the mortgage broker also suggests understanding the population and their needs as much as one understands his own goals as a property investor.

Troy said: "If you want to go out, you've got to look at these areas like the Wollongongs, the Alburys - these areas where they've got hospitals, they've got schools, they['ve] got Universities. I don't think you'll go wrong. Then you've got to look at transport, you got to look at domestic airports, you got to look at what's happening there."

"I mean, the state government is threatening to do something about housing affordability. I don't think they can," he added.

"I think the only thing that ever affects housing affordability is a massive correction, but that affects a whole lot of other people on the market, so everybody is in the same boat. There are just things you've got to take into consideration... Be very careful about the debt you carry."

Both Troy and Smart Property Investment's Phil Tarrant reiterates the importance of education, as well as having a good and reliable financial team to take with you on your investment journey.

Phil concluded: "Making sure that you build your own capabilities so you can go and make decisions you need to make is key."

Tune in to Troy Phillips and Tony Caine's episode in The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about the benefits of working with financial mentors, as well as the ways in which investors can channel their sales profits and leverage their debt.


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