Bugger The Silver, Go For The Gold

Have you ever wondered what motivates an athlete to devote countless hours of practice, training, pain and sacrifice, often physical as well as financial, to have the opportunity to compete in their chosen sport at the highest level? And what drives them to win?


In 1990, at the Commonwealth Games, Australian Andrew Lloyd found himself running against the current Olympic champion in the 5000m. With a lap to go he was in third place about 50m behind the race leader. At the final straight he somehow found a sprint to go past the 2nd placed American and then was about 15m behind the tiring John Ngugi from Kenya. Lloyd was just about done but victory was close. Something clicked inside Lloyd and instinct took over. He was famously quoted to have been thinking – “bugger the silver, go for gold.” Which he managed to do, defeating the Kenyan by a whisker.

If you are anything like me, you might have approached the current Rio Olympics with a bit of a “take it or leave it” attitude. But as the games have progressed I found myself increasingly drawn in to the excitement of the various competitions and the incredible stories of the athletes and teams.

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Have You Ever Made a Mistake?

If you are anything like most people, it is very likely that you have made mistakes in your life. And that is perfectly fine because there is nobody who is perfect. I think if you aren’t making mistakes you are probably living a very boring life because you aren’t stretching yourself in any way. But it is how you deal with mistakes that you make, that will have a huge bearing on the quality of your life.


How do you handle your mistakes?

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Is Our Political System Broken?

Politics is a subject that may not be interesting to some, but it is important to all. Our elected politicians and their advisers and party administrators, decide on our behalf, how to govern our nation. They make the policies, rules and laws that directly affect our everyday lives and more importantly our futures. That means the ability we may have within the bounds of the law to create and retain a standard of living and wealth for ourselves and our families.


If you want a better life, I submit that you simply must be aware of who proposes to lead our nation and how they propose to do it.

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Brexit – Will Australian Property Be Affected?

When I first head the term “Brexit” casually mentioned, I thought someone was talking about a new breakfast cereal. I didn’t connect that it was a cute term for a “British exit” from the European Union (EU). I didn’t think that Britain would vote to leave the EU, nor it seems did British Prime Minister David Cameron who called the vote seemingly to placate rambunctious members of his back bench. In case you missed it, the result was 52% of the 70% of eligible voters who turned out, voted to leave. And Mr Cameron found himself in an untenable political position, offering his resignation.


Referendums on subjects this huge invariably get voted down – and that’s because most people just can’t deal with change, opting to stay with the status quo. Some good recent examples of that are the Scottish Independence vote, lost 45%/55% and the vote taken in 1999 here in Australia for a Republic, again lost 45%/55%.

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Why Might It Be Time To Try Something Different?

If you have ever spent much time with a baby, you will know that they don’t know much about routine or tradition. Or that you need to do certain things in certain ways at certain times. They know only when they are hungry, tired or wet. Everything else is a complete open slate for them to draw upon each day. It is the way they learn to experience the wonders of our world.


When did we forget to live like that?

If you always do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten. And if what you have always gotten does not equate to what you have always wanted, perhaps it might be time to try something different?

I always thought I was quite open minded and willing to try new things. Yet, I have recently realized that perhaps this is not so and I have been caught up in the routine of life. My routine.

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What Do You Do If You Can’t Get Finance?

It is often said that the most important factor in successful real estate investing is – location, location, location. And in some respects that is correct. Though there are so many other factors that come in to what can affect real estate values – like supply and demand; unemployment; average incomes; proximity to infrastructure like transport, shops, schools, medical facilities; population growth including natural births & immigration. It can be quite a long list of elements to consider.


Most commentators ignore what I now believe to be a critical factor in the pricing and relative value of real estate. The lifeblood of building a property investment portfolio is money. That is – money you borrow to buy houses, apartments, townhouses or other income producing real estate. If there is plenty of money available at cheap prices (low interest rates) people will borrow to buy and drive prices up. If the money supply is tight and fewer people can borrow to buy, the assets prices can no longer be supported.

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It is very clear that the Australian real estate party is over – for now at least. Many investors are wondering where to direct their focus now, since making money in property is no longer about just buying something – anything, and hoping for the best.


Over the past decade you could pretty much just buy in your own backyard and wait, earning capital growth by default and thinking you were a smart investor. It’s going to take a lot more than that in the next decade. And it is likely you won’t be investing just in the city in which you live – there may be better investment opportunities for you elsewhere. It is also inevitable that you will be building a diversified portfolio of short & long term investments, having some oriented at capital growth and others at income. This is the next generation way of investing.

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Is $1 Million Enough To Retire On?

At the age of 19 I decided that I wanted to be rich and that meant being a millionaire. It took nine years to achieve the goals and I only discovered it by accident. I was filling out an application form for a loan and realized that my assets minus my current liabilities equaled just over one million dollars. At that point I thought I had it made. I mean being a millionaire was the peak in wealth wasn’t it? It was what everyone wanted to be?


The very first book I wrote was called “It’s Easy to Be a Property Millionaire” and it sold in the tens of thousands, so I guess a lot of people just like me were out there all striving to become a millionaire. It was presumably because they wanted a better life and that number – a million dollars, seemed to be the magical goal, once reached, would guarantee the life of your dreams.

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Robert Holmes a Court – Australia’s First Billionaire?

I have enjoyed sharing with you an ongoing series about some of the most successful people on the planet, including Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Aristotle Onassis and Andrew Carnegie (look back through my website for these stories). I haven’t yet written about another of my heroes – an Australian – Robert Holmes a Court (though he was born in Johannesburg!)


While it is not certain, there are many who believe that Robert Holmes a Court was Australia’s first billionaire. Holmes a Court rose to national prominence in the heady 1980’s business boom, alongside characters like Kerry Packer and Alan Bond. His journey from South Africa to Perth to build his corporate fortune is one that fascinated me as a teenager.

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Let’s Learn To Love Our Banks

I understand how very easy it is to dislike our banks.


They make multi-billions in profit each year, while increasing the fees that we pay for their services and they seem to keep hiking rates on our loans, even without increases in official interest rates. They are big, fat, easy-to-aim-at targets for derision, skepticism and anyone looking for something to blame. To some people, the banks seem to be much more interested in profits at all costs rather than helping us with our financial needs.

Just imagine for a moment, if you will – what would your life be like if there were no banks?

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