Investment tip: ‘Stay in the game’

Many property investors credit their success to their decision to use the Buy-and-Hold strategy, including one of Australia’s most prominent real estate identities Charles Tarbey, whose most important advice to his clients throughout his decades-long career remains to be “time in the market, not timing the market.”

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His journey from holding one property to eventually building a diverse multi-property portfolio has taken years to fulfill, and while not every investment properties he purchased have been great, he learned that staying in the market long enough can almost always result in good returns.

“I’ve learned to be there when the boom happens… A lot of people… look at the future and they get a bit scared and they pull out and they walk away too early,” he said.

“My big thing is you’ve just got to be there. Stay there… If you have to get a second job or a third job or if you have to change your lifestyle, you do that. You got in there for a reason, you just need to be there when the cycle changes.”

Identifying a good investment property, for Charles, is all about buying within one’s means in “strong capital cities” where growth cycle is consistent, based on historical data. Charles once purchased an 18-hole championship golf course at Kangaroo Valley because he saw the opportunity to establish his “accommodation portfolio” by building little villas around the golf course.


According to him, it took roughly 17 years before the property—with all its potential—to actually start showing the returns that he expected from it.

He shared: “It’s cost me a lot of money. It’s not the sort of investment you go into thinking ‘I’m going to make a fortune out of it…’ It’s a long-term process… I’ve just got to hang in there. You got to have some way of hanging on if you want to make something happen.”

Meanwhile, Charles’ daughter recently bought an apartment that was valued at $440,000 ten years ago. When she settled on it around six months ago, it was bought for a total of $840,000—a sign that the market is moving the way it’s supposed to do.

“That’s not even double and real estate is supposed to double every seven to ten years. We’re in the right place where we should be right now and I think we should have steady growth from here on in,” the real estate mogul said.

Smart Property Investment’s Phil Tarrant agreed that, for the most part, getting in the market and staying in it to experience different ebbs and flows is the best way to go about one’s property investment journey.

“It’s time in the market, not timing the market. Do what you can to stay in it. Keep it simple, don’t overcomplicate your property investment by buying ten off-the-plan apartments in wherever it is. Just [stick] to stuff you can afford to hold and have a bit of fun with it as well,” Phil concluded.

Tune in to Charles Tarbey’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about what concerns him most about investors in today's market, how investors can make sure they're "there when the boom happens," and why some investors have missed out on massive capital gains. 


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