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10-year retirement program

Get to know this investor’s 10-year retirement program

By Bianca Dabu

Momentum Media’s Alex Whitlock, at age 50, has laid out a plan to capitalise on his passion for property investment and ultimately achieve a comfortable retirement — but how does he intend to make this “10-year program” work?

Mr Whitlock started investing in property during his late 20s, making mistakes and learning from them along the way.

One of the lessons he had to learn the hard way is the value of understanding cash flow.

“I did without. My family had to do without,” according to him.

“Cash flow… [is] critical, because when you’re chasing capital growth but youre hemorrhaging on a monthly basis, thats a bad thing.

“You got to look to make a better future for yourself, but theres also the matter of living now and going through pain and strife... and getting lost in debt is not a positive way to go through life,” the investor added.

He refrained from investing for a while until he went on to establish a business with Smart Property Investment’s Phil Tarrant, inspired by their shared passion for property as an asset class.

Together, they have successfully built a significant portfolio through the years, guided by the expertise of professionals who “help temper our decisions, and guide our decisions, and steer our hands”, Mr Whitlock said.

Now that he’s nearing retirement, the investor decided to build a personal portfolio that will support him and his family in the future.

A 10-year program

Mr Whitlock’s personal investment journey restarted when he sold his property in Pymble to buy a principal place of residence. The Pymble property, which he bought in 2012 for $1 million, sold for about $1.75 million, while the place of residence — a 1,500-square-metre 1970s four-bedroom house — cost him around $2.6 million.

Mr Whitlock said: “Nothing fancy, but it’s on a nice big block of land in an area that is starting to get carved up. I think I can live there comfortably for quite some time... then there may be scope to develop it further on down the line.”

Using a part of his savings, he continues to build a “side investment portfolio” to pay down the loan on his principal place of residence and ultimately prepare for his retirement. With the help of property professionals, he crafted a 10-year program that involves “no surprises”. According to him, he wanted to know exactly where and what to buy.

Following the purchase of his place of residence, Mr Whitlock and his team went up to Queensland in November 2016 and bought an investment property in Mango Hill. Months later, in February, he explored Kallangur and bought his next investment there — keeping in mind his long-term goal.

The investor explained: “Obviously, thats a suburb that has potential with some of the infrastructure thats taking place there. Youre probably looking at a three- to five-year cycle there, but Ive got a goal of a 10-year view.

“Im not looking to make money in two years, three years, or even in four or five years. This is really about a 10-year view, so on that basis, that represents a good investment prospect for that time frame.”

Mr Whitlock also invested in BrightonBrighton, SA Brighton, VIC Brighton, TAS Brighton, QLD, near the growing Hobart market, nearly a year ago — a decision that has already reaped an impressive rental yield and a solid capital growth for him over a short period.

At only around a year old, his portfolio is now valued at $1.1 million and is currently yielding $100,000 in equity annually.

The strategy in detail

According to accountant Michael Johnson, aside from engaging trusted professionals, Mr Whitlock is able to have a smooth-sailing investment journey simply because he’s letting the market do its work. By maintaining a relatively conservative approach and sticking to his long-term goal, the investor is able to continue growing his portfolio regardless of market movements.

Mr Johnson explained: “What it does is it exposes your capital base to the market if you like. You let the market do its work… then [you leverage on] these properties.

“Were going to do a small refinance on them in order to get a little bit equity out so we can fund a deposit… [then purchase] another property — weve now increased our asset base to another maybe $300,000 to $400,000, depending on the purchase price of the property.

“The market may experience growth rate [of around] 5 per cent, lets say. It just really gives you more area to move as well.”

According to Mr Whitlock, it’s basically a cycle of generating a base of equity then putting it back into his portfolio by buying more properties. Once his personal portfolio has reached the $2 million mark in terms of value, he believes that it’s a good enough legacy to leave his family, on top of the $7 million portfolio he has built with Mr Tarrant.

At the end of the day, he said, the goal of his 10-year program is to ensure that his family will never have to feel the noose tightened around their necks again.

The investor highlighted: “Im quite conservative and I dont like the idea of being excessively in debt. In those early days, life [was] very tough for me and for my family, and its burned me… and it has made me not want to get myself [into the same situation].”

“Im very conscious not to get myself ever into a higher leverage position. I figure, I can build this little supplementary portfolio and let this grow and germinate, and then I can put that into my principal place of residence and retire happy,” Mr Whitlock concluded. 

 

Tune in to Alex Whitlock and Michael Johnson’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about the most important investment lessons that Mr Whitlock learned in the span of two decades.

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Will Magee has had ambitions to enter into the Australian property market for quite some time, but it has been more than just finances holding him back.  Having been granted permanent residency just two weeks ago, Will is wasting no time and is now in the process of signing papers and finding his first investment property.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Will joins host Phil Tarrant to share why he is purchasing his first property in partnership with his brother, discuss the complications that can arise from such a strategy, and unpack the ongoing plan for building a joint property portfolio with his brother.

Will will also share how they approached saving for their first property, why he is taking out the mortgage in his name exclusively, and share their savings plan for the year ahead.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

From property in Australia to a ski lodge in Japan
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Should a real estate title be in one person’s name only?

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Median house prices in regional Victoria outperformed that of Melbourne in the June quarter, the latest REIV figures reveal. 

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Median house prices in the regions rose 4.0 per cent to $419,500 but in Melbourne they dipped by 0.6 of a percentage point to $840,000.

The result in Melbourne was due to a 0.8 of a percentage point fall in prices achieved at auction; this was despite a lift of 2.3 per cent in private sales.

Inner Melbourne suffered due to auction prices, where median prices fell by 4.9 per cent to $1,459,000 but it was middle Melbourne that was hardest hit, with a 5.4 per cent drop to $974,500.

Outer Melbourne had a good quarter with the median rising by 0.5 of a percentage point to $681,000.

Apartment prices in regional Victoria grew by 3.7 per cent to $304,500 while the metro media was up by 0.5 of a percentage point to $604,000.

REIV President Richard Simpson said that despite fewer sales, many sectors of the market were performing well.

“2017 was a bumper year and while the trendline has flattened, despite the fall in median house prices in the June quarter, median prices are still up this calendar year for both houses and units, in Melbourne and in the regions,” Mr Simpson said. 

In particular there was been strong growth in regional centres which is probably due to the first-home buyers’ concessions said Mr Simpsons.

“The first-home buyers’ concession has been a boon for regional areas. A new entrant to the property market buying a house at the regional median will pay no stamp duty, while a first home buyer of an apartment in Melbourne at the median price would pay stamp duty of nearly $25,000,” he said.

Mr Simpson said that more prospective buyers are looking towards regional Victoria which is also having an effect in Melbourne.

“Melbourne’s outer perimeter continues to grow. Small increases in the June quarter mean that the median prices for both houses and units have risen over 10.5 per cent from a year ago.

Mr Simpson said moving forward that vendors need more realistic expectations as the highs of 2017 are now over.

“Negative chatter about the future of the sector coupled with stronger lending controls by financial institutions has created some uncertainty and vendors need to be realistic with their price expectations,” Mr Simpson said.

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Regional Victoria showing up Melbourne in price performance, new data finds
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  string(381) "

If Mark Hodge’s face looks familiar to you it could be because of his time working as a professional entertainer which saw him working with the Australian ballet, appearing on multiple seasons of Dancing with the Stars and touring in musical theatre for 17 years. What you may not know is that Mark is also heavily involved in the short-term property rental marketspace.

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Mark joins host Phil Tarrant to discuss his transition from entertainer to investor, a journey pushed forward by dance related injuries and even a hit and run which saw him needing to find alternate methods to bring in an income. Mark shares how bad long-term tenants and a gang member guided him to the short-term rental market, and how this pushed him into helping others to realise the same benefits.

Mark will also address the common concerns, discuss what his company Maisonnets specialise in and unpack how they are making the process of filling short term rentals easier for investors.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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AREAS MENTIONED:

Melbourne
Sydney
Rushcutters Bay
Maroubra
Potts Point

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From pirouettes to property investment

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