Is having a colleague throw something at my head, with a question, advice? “Hey, wanna read this?”
That’s sort of advice, isn’t it?
Anyway, that something was a book, which sat untouched beside my bed for months. Eventually, on a day off, I read it.
It was about property investment. It explained, simply, how wealth was created through real estate – quality assets, plus debt, plus time.
As a Gen Xer, I have plenty of time. I could get some debt. I just had to work out what a quality property was. I became obsessed. I devoured everything I could.
Using rules I’d filtered and refined from reading – and discarding some “information” as conflicted rubbish – I bought my first investment property within a few months.
The rules I chalked up then are the same ones we use today.
However, most importantly, I gained a thirst for knowledge on the links between risk, reward and gearing. (Which could also be applied to shares.) It led me to write Debt Man Walking.
Property is a gearing strategy. It inevitably involves massive borrowings – 80 per cent of the property’s value, often more.
It’s not for everyone. Many people consider the debt that goes with property investment, start to sweat, and realise it’s not for them. Completely fine. You have to be able to sleep at night.
But to get ahead, you have to accept some investment risks. Xers relative youth gives them the time required to create real wealth, via property and shares.
Even if a book being thrown at my head isn’t advice, it changed my life’s finances.