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That property investment entails a variety of risks is no new information for anyone, but while prospective investors may sit on their hands for a while before starting their journey, Jim Hall believes that there are a few secrets to avoid lying awake at night and worrying about one's property portfolio.
Over the years, Jim has gone from having no concrete plans and goals for investment to being a more sophisticated property investor who is on the way to achieving his long-term goals of financial freedom and stability for himself and his family.
According to him, as in the case of almost everyone who has found success in the field, he just kept in mind that property investment is a business that should not involve any kind of emotion whatsoever.
"I hear [a lot of people] say, 'If you're going to be a property investor, you’ve got to treat it like a business.' Yes, you do. I haven't seen a number of the properties that I own. I based my decisions purely on maths, purely on [a] research of the area," he told Smart Property Investment.
"For me... cash flow is quite important. I'm not one for negative gearing it to particular amounts. I want to live a nice comfortable lifestyle, not scratch around because I’ve spent too much [on] my investment properties."
He has also made sure to build a reliable financial team who could him navigate his way through the ever-changing landscape of property investment.
"I get most people to do things for me, knowing where my limitations are... Then, I just keep account of all the records. As I say, probably once a month, I make sure that everything is updated. I've got a number of spreadsheets that I use to do that," he said.
His diligence has made it possible for him to be confident in his every purchase and avoid lying in bed, worrying about his property portfolio and making sure he can pay his mortgage. The only secret that Jim has been putting in use since the beginning of his journey is to keep things "low risk".
"I'm not a big gambler. I got a couple of kids at home. I can’t keep stressing. I don't like risks, basically. My strategy was to go down in what I see is a slightly safer route of having slightly lower-priced properties," Jim explained.
"I've gone pretty low risk, spreading my portfolio. There's nothing in my portfolio that's really out of the normal — pretty standard stuff.
"I've gone for areas where I know there's high demand for rent and capital growth has been good as well. A few properties in Sydney over the last few years, which of course, would be very good. A few in Brisbane as well which are picking up nicely as well. They're all pretty safe and they're all reasonably cash neutral at the end of the day by the time the tax comes through."
While he is not at all against making risky decisions when it comes to property investment, he encourages property investors to stay in their "comfort zones" as much as they could.
"I would say invest in what you're comfortable with. If you're not comfortable taking on massive debt, don't buy a property where it means you’ve got massive debt. Buy something you're comfortable with. At the end of the day, you’ve got to sleep at night," he advised.
Tune in to Jim Hall's episode in The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about how he successfully built a portfolio on the fly, what he's learned along the way, and the lessons he is still learning up to this day.