Knowing next to nothing when she decided to dip her toes into the business of creating wealth through property, Bonnie Cresswell almost fell into the trap of an “expensive education” which would have already made her let go of $10,000 way before she’s set to buy her first investment property.
Some of the ways through which people start educating themselves about property investment are seminars, podcasts, and reading materials. Upon realising that she needed to be able to establish a financially secure future for herself and her family, Bonnie went on to attend a big seminar in order to be oriented on one of the most effective ways to create wealth.
The seminar—held on a Sunday at a “flashy hotel”—was free, so the budding property investor dragged his husband along to register and attend the session with her.
“I thought if we were going to invest in property, it was going to be quite a serious thing, [so I] needed him to come along for the ride,” she said.
The couple eventually met hundreds of people like them who want to start creating wealth through real estate assets. Only a couple of hours in, Bonnie found herself getting excited about the idea of being successful in the field of property investment.
According to her: “I was like, ‘Oh my God. I could do this.’”
“They made it sound like you could quit your job and sit there all day for the first little while doing all this, and then you wouldn't need to do anything, and you'd have all this money coming in,” she added.
It was “the dream”, and it took Bonnie only a little time to be convinced to pay around $10,000 and sign up for education courses. His husband Colin, who does not know any better as he is also new to the venture, was nothing short of encouraging and supportive.
Bonnie shared: “He was like, ‘If you think this is what you want to do … I can actually see you sitting there doing that.’ I'm a technical person. I implement software, and he could see that I was quite interested in the research side of it.”
Luckily, before letting her sign up for the courses, Colin did a bit of Google search and came across testaments from other investors. In general, people are warning budding property investors against spending too much for education courses when they could get the knowledge from other resources for a cheaper price or even absolutely free of charge.
Bonnie and Colin went on to win an iPad and learn a few fundamental knowledge from the seminar. For instance: Property investors don’t necessarily have to find good-looking houses—as long as it works well as an investment and it fits right into your portfolio, then you’ve got the right asset. Apart from the free gadget and some property investment tips, the rest, as they say, is history.
She said: “I didn't sign up and I'm really glad that I didn't. That was so early on. I had not read any of the books. I had not listened to any podcasts.”
“This was literally the first ... exposure that I'd had really other than just thinking, ‘I've got to do something,’ ” the property investor added.
After walking away from the $10,000-education programme, Bonnie decided to find other means of educating herself before ultimately starting her journey towards wealth-creation. She decided to consult the same friend who has already successfully purchased an investment property.
As it turns out, this friend didn’t actually need to go to seminars or sign up for expensive courses.
Bonnie shared: “He said ... ‘Just read some books … Read Margaret Lomas …’ [So] I went and spent … $30 or $20 [for the book] book and read.”
“It was one of her later ones … It's sort of a three-in-one … That was great. That was really good from just a … theoretical point of view,” she added.
She also took time to read works by Jan Somers which, according to Smart Property Investment’s Phil Tarrant, an author you can “never go wrong” with. One of the best lessons she has learned from this simple yet effective route of educating herself: Why buy something that will cost you money when you can buy something that will make you money?
According to Phil, who is an avid investor himself and a big advocate of education, finding the best way to learn about property investment is a matter of establishing how much time and money you are willing to invest. No matter what, you have got to invest in your education—there’s no better way to start a property investment journey.
He explained: “Invest in your education—invest time into it … Invest money into it.”
“You can try and shortcut it and let someone else do the education for you and just download it, or you can choose to educate yourself by podcasts, and books, and all this sort of stuff,” Phil added.
His final advice for budding property investors: “[Property investment] doesn't need to be that hard … [Just don’t] over complicate it and overthink it or get the wrong advice and spend ... money not [so] wisely.”
Tune in to Bonnie Cresswell’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about how she used to believe “debt is bad”, how education and her choices allowed her to become an investor with three investments and a principal place of residence in her early 40’s, and how the restructuring of her finances and cash flow helped with her first investment.