One of the most powerful of human conditions is aspiration. That is, the idea that we can want and can have more in our lives than we do today. I can’t think of anyone I know who does not want something more in their lives, be it health, well-being, fitness, wealth, happiness, time or perhaps something else. There are those of us who know that there is more and a select few of those who know that we can have what we want.
So how do we get what we want?
Some use a shortcut and take what they want (criminals, megalomaniacs etc.) however few of these people get to keep what they want in the long term. Those who want to keep what they create in their lives take a different path – identifying what they want, making a plan, and work their way towards it.
Well it’s almost Christmas again – another year passed. Sometimes I wonder where the time goes.
For many people, at this time of year, they start thinking about life, the universe and everything. I know I spend time reflecting and reviewing on the year past, trying to determine what was fabulous about the year, and what I could have done better. I also turn my mind to the coming 12 months, looking forward, planning and setting goals as to what I want to achieve. I really do want the best life I can have for myself, my family and those around me. To do this I need to take heed of a couple of “secrets” to having a great life. You know as well as I that there are no real “secrets” to life, but for some, these simple “secrets” are not known to them or readily understood. These two simple points hold the key to your great life.
I imagine if you are taking the time to read what I have to share with you, that you want more from life. To have more in our modern first world economy, it really helps to have money.
People who have more money, tend to focus on a few key factors towards generating wealth. They know that making money is not a sometime thing – it’s an every day journey that can take many years. There are few shortcuts, even for those who are lucky enough to win the lottery. Studies show that many of the winners have little or nothing to show after five years of winning their money. That is because they never learned about money and on which key factors to focus upon.
Ever since I was a child I have been interesting in flying, particularly to outer space – hence my decision as a nine year old to become an astronaut. Because of that and shows like Star Trek, I have always been fascinated with our planet, its place in our solar system and our Milky Way’s place in our universe. We really are just a speck of dust in the universal scheme of things. Some think that we are an experiment in some alien’s petri dish. A few believe that a higher power – call it what you will – has a lot to do with us being here on the 3rd planet from the Sun.
So when I read an article recently that clearly explained that our world was going to end, and that it would be because of our own Sun, curiosity took over and naturally I read it. Just in case you are interested in the full article, here is the link.
I continue to be fascinated with people who have achieved success in their lives, reasoning that there are always lessons to learn and inspiration to glean from studying their lives. One such person I have followed with great interest is Mr Frank Lowy.
Ever since the very first publication of the Australian Rich 200 list in 1983, Frank Lowy has appeared among its members. In recent years his net wealth is estimated as in excess of $8 Billion AUD, which is enough to place him 3rd on the list of wealthiest Australians of 2016, behind Harry Triguboff and the Pratt Family.
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.
I’m sure you have been following the economic news and now know that last week the Reserve Bank of Australia lowered official interest rates to a record low of 1.5%. Of course that’s not the rate at which you can borrow, which will be 2-4% higher (the banks margin) or the rate at which the bank will pay you for your savings – currently anywhere from 0% to about 3%, depending on the length of time you loan your money to the bank and how much you loan. Yes, your deposit to the bank is a loan from you to them – your deposit is actually a liability on the bank’s balance sheets and that is because it is your money and at some point you might want it back.
Let’s assume that you are either already an investor or you want to be one, having the lowest interest rates on record is a major benefit. That is simply because the cost of borrowing money is lower than it has ever been. The Government and the Reserve Bank have decided it would be a good thing if you were encouraged to borrow a bit more and then spend that money on whatever it is you want, since that has an economic multiplier as you consume goods. Yes, it is good for our economy if you are spending.
If you are a real estate investor, I am reasonably certain of two things. One, you are doing it to make money. And two, you are doing it because you want to create the best quality of life you can have in the shortest possible timespace.
To do that, you need to follow the money. And that can happen on several levels.
Most people who invest in property, buy their first piece of real estate in their home city. And to follow that, the small percentage of investors who go on to purchase multiple properties, usually also buy in their own backyard. Then they perhaps will renovate or otherwise improve the properties and settle down to wait for capital gain to add to their wealth over time. That is usually a pretty good way to build wealth over a ten to twenty year investment period. The challenge with that passive strategy is that your home city may not be the best place in the country in which to be investing at any given time. Ideally you want to be investing in to a location that is entering its upswing in the cycle, bringing immediate capital growth, which can give you an enormous advantage in building up your capital more quickly than waiting for the cycle to come to your home city.
It seems everyone has a point of view on the property market these days. And it is great that so many individuals, companies (semi-government, government & private), financiers and industry bodies can put out so much information, facts, stats, figures and opinions on the current and future state of our real estate market.
The challenge is much of it is contradictory, inflammatory and in some cases inherently biased.
Being bombarded by all sorts of conflicting information can make it very challenging for investors to sort through what is relevant and then reach a conclusion. I have found that if you have an opinion, you will by default search for and then find information that tends to back up that viewpoint.
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?