Our Portfolio

BLOG: Why the royal commission could put power back in the hands of property investors

By Phillip Tarrant

We're still in the middle of the royal commission where a spotlight is being placed on the behaviours of the banks and whether they're acting appropriately or not. This royal commission might just give it the shake-up it needs to put power back in the hands of property investors.

There should be and there will be hopefully a mindset shift back to how banking used to be, and banking used to be about the customer. And I think it's lost its way over the last couple of decades where banking and bankers are all about the profit and value back to shareholders, that is, dividends. And I think that attitude may have compromised some actions and behaviours of the banks in a very negative way.

Making sure that we're looked after, as well as the shareholders of the banks, and let's all remember we've got superannuation. we want healthy and profitable banks, so can we have our cake and eat it? Can we get banking back to how it used to be back in the 80s? You know, back then, it was more about helping the consumer out, wasn't it?

It is getting harder for investors, and it's probably going to stay hard for quite some time. In many ways a lot of the regulation put in by the regulators, and I think in the outcome of the royal commission, there will be some new benchmarks, some legislation, some regulation put in place to better map and monitor the actions in the activities of the banks.

In many ways, it's good for investors because it's probably putting a fat end to, say, serviceability that they should have anyway that often is overlooked because people are just chasing the next dollar. That’s good in some ways, but it has got to come down to the serviceability of the consumer and making sure you’re not getting rorted. One of the biggest things the royal commission is that people are actually getting outright rorted, and that's not cool.

So, why I want to write about the royal commission, and the lending environment is that a lot of that will shape the decisions that investors make, and then when we look at our portfolio, obviously a lot of conversations we have is trying to crystal ball what's going to happen to the market.

If you're shifting from interest only to principal and interest there's a lot of macro and micro economic factors involved in that, plus your own circumstances. If you're looking to shift from variable rate to fixed rate, again, there's a lot of reasons why. There's a lot of different moving parts, which might shape your decision: your portfolio, where is it at, expiry of interest rates, what's going on in the economy, et cetera, et cetera. So, so much there. Often, you've just got to go, “this feels like the right thing to do”.

The big burning question: Are rates going to go up or are rates going to go down? And for the sake of listeners, there's to sort of rates, right. There is the cash rate, which is the benchmark used to determine by the RBA, and that gets assessed the first Tuesday of every single month. And that's a really indicator of what's going on the economy, et cetera, et cetera. We've got no control over that.

And the bank interest rate. So, the bank interest rate is very different than the cash rate, and there is often a lot of disparity between the two. Banks will argue that their rate fluctuations all comes down to the cost of capital.

In relation to our portfolio, we have ... they're all variable rates. We don't have any fixed at the moment on our portfolio. I think there's about 19 loans across a portfolio. And just give you some idea are the lowest is 4.79 per cent through to our highest of 5.86 per cent. So, clearly a percentage difference from our bottom to our top rate. So, there's a fair bit of margin there, disparity between the two bottom and high.

The opportunity for us is to have a look at how we can get those higher interest rates down. And you can do that by either renegotiating the rate directly to the banks, and they are probably just going to say no.

We can shift from an interest only variable rate to a fixed rate, and we can therefore get some savings there on interest rate. Or we can shift to a principal and interest rate, fixed or variable, and even get better savings there as well, but we don't want to start paying down the principal on these loans right now. Potential for us in the future to do so. So the conversations we're having is around shifting to fixed rate, two- or three-year fixed rate.

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podcast

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Promoted by Blue Ink Finance.

Budgeting tips when your Personal Debt is High.

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Credit card debts and personal loans are the greatest obstacle between everyday people and their potential to live in financial freedom.

Of course, I understand that sometimes getting a small personal loan is absolutely necessary. Unexpected costs like medical expenses can make personal loans the only option.

However, the majority of us have debt simply because we spend more than we earn.

In either case, your number one priority is unlocking those chains of debt that are holding you back.

I’m going to give you some tips for budgeting with hefty personal debt, but first I want to talk about the impact those loans are having on your life.

How much is your debt really costing you?

Over the years that you’re paying off your loans at the minimum repayment, the interest on those items will end up costing you multiple times more than the original borrowed amount - and those endless due dates will haunt you. There’s no freedom in that!

Let me give you an example. You’ll be shocked, I guarantee it!

Let’s say you have around $4,000 of credit card debt, charged at 19.99% p.a. If you paid only the minimum monthly amount, it would take 37 years to pay off the total debt.

How much will that $4,000 debt cost you? $19,200. Depressing, isn’t it?

You might feel like you need a full-blown money explosion to get out of debt, but don’t despair just yet.

What you need to do is arm yourself with a strategic budget, and I’ve got some tips to help you.

Budgeting while you have hefty personal debt is tough, but possible – and it’s essential for eliminating that debt forever. Let’s have a quick look at how you can start to tackle that mountain of borrowed money.

It’s time to take charge and break some chains!

There’s a method for reducing debt that has an excellent success rate, if you’re committed:

  1. Make a realistic budget (and stick to it)
  2. Reduce your expenses and/or increase your income until you are in the black
  3. Save an emergency fund first
  4. Pay off your personal loans and credit cards, starting with the either the smallest debt first or the debt with the highest interest rate
  5. Revise your budget as you go along.

Why an emergency fund is paramount to success

You’ll see I’ve put saving an emergency fund before paying off your loans. Even a small amount initially, like $500, is enough to stop the cycle of borrowing to pay bills, then paying out even more in interest each month, which leaves less in the bank to pay the next bill.

Once you have a buffer saved, then you can start aiming some serious firepower on your debt, and that’s when it gets exciting!

Think back to my credit card example. If you upped the payments each month from $84 per month to $212, you would have the card paid off in two years and save $14,285 in interest. That’s worth a little bit of effort, wouldn’t you agree?

Tips for a budget that works

You may need to cut back drastically on your expenses to clear your debt, but here’s some other ways to make the most of your budget:

  • Find micro-ways to reduce your expenses every day. Make work lunches at home, cancel a pay TV subscription, find a better phone deal, or pass on your afternoon chocolate bar from the vending machine. Instead of spending $40 on a takeaway dinner, have a bowl of cereal!

  • Find a friend who will keep you accountable. Having someone else who shuns a pricey outing to the day spa for a walk along the beach instead will make you feel better about saying ‘no’ to expensive events that will blow the budget.

  • Refinance your home loan to release some funds. If you have a mortgage, talk to us at Blue Ink Finance about the possibility of refinancing your home loan to allow you to release some equity to help clear your high interest, personal debt. It’s not always the best strategy, but it’s worth investigating, especially if you can consolidate it into a home loan that has a significantly lower interest rate.

  • If your income increases, leverage it! The only place that extra money should go is into paying off more debt. Enough said!

  • Refine and polish your budget as your circumstances change. Your budget shouldn’t stay the same. As you find more ways to decrease your expenditure and become adept at sticking to your financial plan, fine-tune your budget to reflect your savvy saving. Any spare change goes directly onto your debt.

  • Automate payments of bills, so you don’t spend the money first. This saves you from late fees if you forget, too.

The reality is that you won’t have a profitable budget until you get rid of that high-interest debt. The beauty of a budget is that it can get you there! Knock the debt, stay away from borrowing except for assets like property, and you’ll have a well-oiled financial plan that kicks goals instead of paying lenders!

At Blue Ink Finance, we have a team of expert brokers as well as a panel of industry experts that understand all the nuances of positioning your personal finances to kick real goals with Property Assets and can support you in achieving your goals.

Give the team at Blue Ink Finance a call on 1300 888 796 or click here to request your Complimentary Finance Review with one of our experienced Finance Coaches now.

And see how having a panel of industry experts on your side, can fast track your property goals.

About The Author

David Wegener
Chief Executive Officer
Blue Ink Finance

Who I am, and why I want to help you succeed.

As an award-winning Mortgage Broker with nearly 20 years’ experience in the finance industry, I’ve seen it all.

I’ve gone through constant industry changes and yet I still successfully help my customers borrow the money they need to get ahead.

As a Finance Coach, my goal is to help you understand your financial potential so that you can borrow with confidence.

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Leveraging your Blue Ink Finance Broker for more than just a loan.
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With the softening market impacting property values in many parts of Australia, Sally Dale, Opteon state director for NSW, ACT and Qld joins us to discuss the importance of valuations in the current property market

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Joining host Phil Tarrant, Sally will draw on her 25 years of experience in valuation and discuss the processes involved in arriving at a value for a particular property. She will also share how that process differs between commercial and residential properties and the difficulties which regional property valuations can present.

Sally will unpack the importance and cost of regular valuations on your properties, discuss whether presentation and owner input can sway a valuation and share what you should look for when seeking a reputable property valuer.

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: 

Sydney
Brisbane
Adelaide

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A softening market can be a difficult time for a property investor with finance approval tightening and property capital growth slowing, and while many real estate agents are also feeling the squeeze McGrath Brighton Le Sands' Bill Tsounias claims it is simply the market returning to normal.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Bill joins host Phil Tarrant to share his thoughts on the current Sydney property market, and to share the shifts that he has seen in house and unit sale prices following their worst quarter in the past decade.

Bill will unpack why properties are spending longer on market, share what he believes property investors are doing wrong when trying to sell their properties and share the secrets to getting the best out of a real estate agent and an auction in the current softening market.

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:

Why I still buy in Sydney
Property market update: Sydney, July 2018
Sydney rental market slowing, latest research finds

AREAS MENTIONED:

Revesby
South Hurstville
Sans Souci
Strathfield

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Top 100 ranked agent Bill Tsounias shares the secrets to getting the best deal in a softening market

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