Investment tip: Never follow the crowd

By Bianca Dabu

In seven years, engineer-turned- investor Scott O’Neill built a 28-strong property portfolio worth more than $11 million across Australia with an income of $300,000 per year. One of the secrets to his success is to never follow the crowd.

In the same manner that he did not follow in the footsteps of his fellow engineers who ‘look tired and treated work as their life,’ he also tries his best to craft his own path to success as a property investor.

Scott began his journey at a time that most people consider as one of the worst times in the recent history of Australian property markets, but that did not deter him from making his first purchase—a decision that jump-started his journey and ultimately helped him achieve his long-term financial goals.

“Back in 2010, when I bought my first property, it was actually the worst time in recent history in terms of market sentiment. It [the year 2010] dropped the Sydney market, and it actually didn't really pick up until 2012—the market was very soft and everybody was saying ‘Don't buy, don't buy. It's going to drop 30-40 per cent on the spot,’” he shared.

“I was terrified [because] it was my first time, but I just basically found a property that gave me a good enough cash flow so I wasn't relying solely on growth. It allowed me to get one of the best buys of my life because there was no one else buying at the time so there were many good deals around.”

Instead of listening to doom-and-gloom headlines, hotspot predictions from the media or the opinions of your mates in a backyard party, Scott encourages his fellow property investors to “buy based on the numbers”. According to him, one should learn to write the numbers down and analyze them regularly to get a better result out of their investments.

Smart Property Investment’s Phil Tarrant agrees that property investment should be treated like any other business venture—ran by common sense and critical thinking and devoid of any emotions. His advice to property investors is to know the numbers that matter.

“You don't buy a property [based] on emotion—you've got to buy [based] on the numbers. Does it make commercial sense to buy a particular property? How does it fit within your portfolio? What is the long term play for that particular property and how is it going to enhance your long term strategy in terms of investing in property?” Phil said.

“[Scott] probably rattles off every single property [he has] ever purchased, its address… what [he] paid for it... its evaluation today, and probably what the yield is, right? [Because knowing] your numbers is key.”

Tune in to Scott O’Neill’s bonus episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about his journey towards building an impressive 28-property portfolio, which secures him an income of $300,000 each year.


Be the first to hear the latest property investment insights
Investment tip: Never follow the crowd
SPI logo