Why this property investor keeps a ‘sleep-at-night money’
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Why this property investor keeps a ‘sleep-at-night money’

By Bianca Dabu
Sleep, money

Victor Kumar and his wife have spent more than a decade building an impressive multi-property portfolio, and one of the most important lessons they have learned through the years is the value of good risk management.

The couple started their journey as migrants with a combined savings worth $4,500—an amount that grew to finance a multimillion-dollar property portfolio with assets spread across the major cities of Australia.

According to them, hard work, perseverance, and education are the simple secrets to their success.

“It all comes back to basic fundamentals. All the seminars, all the books teach the same fundamentals, they’re all just dressed up differently,” Victor said.

Aside from staying close to central business districts, the couple also makes it a point to buy cheap but quality properties to secure their cash flow. Right now, they are able to maintain a loan-to-value ratio of 75 per cent for their whole portfolio—an ideal number for many property investors.

Victor shared: “Some properties are at 90 per cent of purchase value, others are at 60 per cent of purchase value… It’s important to differentiate that the LVR I’m talking about is against market value not necessarily the bank value… The banks will always be more conservative in valuing your property.”

However, like most successful property investors, they know that no matter how much calculations they do for every decision they make there will always be the possibility of things going wrong.

For the worst-case scenario, Victor and his wife have put to practice another fundamental lesson in property investment: Risk management.

The couple has in place both short- and long-term plans and “fixes”, as well as an exit strategy.

“I’ve got my ‘sleep-at-night money'… if the world goes into chaos, I’ve got at least three months of repayment with no rental income coming in across my whole portfolio,” he said.

“Then, I also look at [managing] my biggest expense, which is your interest component. I’m a strong believer of… if your property has done what it needs to do, you fix that mortgage over a long period of time.”

“With a portfolio of this size, I have to be careful that they don’t come on line at the same time, so I don’t get all five-year fixed rates popping up at the same time because I could be coming at a fairly high interest rate climate and that could kill the cash flow,” he explained further.

Victor’s advice for budding property investors: Educate yourselves to avoid making the wrong decisions for your financial future. After all, he believes that there are only three things that could get in the way of someone’s success in the business of creating wealth through property—greed, ego, and plain old stupidity.

He concluded: “Think things through first. Get more focused as to what you’re trying to achieve rather than [thinking] ‘I want to buy 10 properties [or] 50 properties.’ Don’t focus on the number. Focus on the outcome and focus on the end cash flow. Give yourself a timeframe.”

Tune in to Victor Kumar’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show find out how hard work, perseverance, education and a dogged never-give-up attitude set Victor Kumar on a path to success. 

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Why this property investor keeps a ‘sleep-at-night money’
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