Why are you here?

Hi people,

I just had a thought.

People have arrived at real estate in general, and at this forum in particular, for a wide variety of reasons.

I thought it may be of interest to some- and of use to others- to know how we came about to be interested in real estate investing.

Starting for myself.

I'm way down in the ranks of experience.

Five years ago, I had a notice in the letterbox about DHA. I went along, got sold (on negative gearing and relaible rent), and bought a property.

I had no intentions to buy any more.

Until I went to a Peter Spann seminar.

I did not go along his party line. But I learnt heaps.

I bought a property in Brisbane (for all the wrong reasons) very shortly after.

But I also learnt about Jan Somers from the recommended reading list- and found this forum doing a search on the net for Peter Spann.

I had a king hit for $50K tax shortly afterwards Ian agricultural "tax effective" scheme). One I'd gotten into as a result of advice from a financial advisor.

It took me a while to get over that. But recent booms have enabled me to double my portfolio. A dual occupancy in Canberra, and a block of 8 1BR in Queanbeyan (near Canberra). both about 8.5% return- with some potential.

My intention now is tho develop one of the properties a bit more, and to get some neg- geared growth properties im the longer term.

And as a result of this forum, I'm learning, and growing.

Hence the reason for this (already too long) post.

How did you get into property? How did you get into this forum? and how are you doing?
HI Geoff

Good idea. I am here to learn from those people who are doing what I would like to do. This helps me to know more which I can use to be a better investor. Having more knowledge also allows me to pass on what little I know to other people and help them on this journey as well.

I am comfortable with where we're at although we're on a journey to buy more IP's as we find them where we want and at a price that we're comfortable with.

Have fun

Geoff, great topic.

When I was a kid I used to go through the newspaper and cut out plans of "my dream home"!!

I was always determined to have a good comfortable life.

My dad had always had an interest in property, and had bought and developed a few.

I had a major wake up call when I was bumming around on the dole so I went and got a job and fluked a job in the real estate industry, and when I was 18, I told my dad that I wanted to buy a property, so he went a found one and we went halvies. I didn't have a cent to my name (i was earning a pittance and paying rent blah blah blah).

It was the worst and best mistake of my life!!!

I knew absolutely NOTHING, and followed my dad's advice. He cross-colaterised everything in order to get 100% finance on a P & I loan for 25 years. It was considered a good investment as it rented very well, and had development potential, which was the end goal. But it was set up totally wrong, and the more I woke up and spoke up the more we argued!

At the time it killed me - but it was a fabulous learning curve for me - now I know what NOT to do! Thanks Dad.

Ended up selling the place to my dad for a small profit when I went into business for myself. He still has it and is planning on developing it now. Mind you, I sold at the very wrong time, as about 6 months later the value doubled!!!!

I found out about this forum through MichaelG, and was very impressed by the amount of information exchanged. I've always enjoyed helping people, and hopefully people get something out of any experiences I may have had. I get a tremendous amount of information from this forum - so thank you everyone.

How am I doing now? I didn't do anything with my property goals whilst I was running The REntal Specialists, but they were always planted firmly in the back of my mind. The thought of being 65 and not having a pension or any reasonable income scared the life out of me!

I'm terribly impatient and things just can't happen fast enough, but I'm doing OK. We're building 19 units at the moment, and just bought a site for another 20. Of the 19 we're building now, we're keeping 4 which will all be debt free (and I'm really excited because one of them is a commercial unit and I just stitched up a lease deal with a national tenant for 15 years), so pretty good for 2 years work in my mind. And of the 20 we're putting together now, we'll keep another 4, which will be finished in about 2 and half years from now.

My end goal?? Obviously to be financially independant, but I really want to set up an education centre for "lost" teenagers who want to do something with their life but can't get it together, kids from "disadvantaged" backgrounds, kids who've been homeless, from addicted or abuse parents, kids like that.

And I want it to be a hands on centre where they will learn everything about property, building and development which will involve theory and getting out there and learning trades and things like that. In my mind, they'll start with a raw site or house in need of renovation and they will get in there and learn by doing, and at the end of the day they will see the results of their labour and hopefully become inspired to get out there and determine their own future instead of letting someone else determine it for them.
Hi Geoff,

Well, I make no secret of the fact that the Stock Market is the great love of my life! So why is property so important to me??

Essentially, I use property to 'house' cash that is not held in shares. (And where else can one get a better return on cash, then when it is offset against a mortgage repayment?!!)

So, in this way I have controlled the movement of dollars between share trades and property to the portfolios ultimate benefit.

Over the past 5 years or so, I have ventured more and more towards property because of the safe and high levels of leverage that lending institutions allow. I have noticed both personally and amongst my clients, that the value of each dollar can be enhanced by controlling the cashflow through BOTH investment mediums.

Currently we all are using the wonderfully high market reflected values in our properties, as a funding device (by way of draw-downs) to enter a very cheap equity market.


I first became interested in property when I was a teenager (I'm now 49) because I came from a very poor background and wanted to be rich.
Initially I thought I wanted to be an estate agent, as in the 60's they drove big flashy American imported cars.
Then I realised that the agents were not that rich after all - it was all show. It was the property owners that they were working for that were rich. (Nothing has changed over the last 30 years!)
So I decided I wanted to become a wealthy property owner and not have to struggle financially like my parents.
In those days there was very little property information around -only a few Australian books by Fred Johnson so I bought some American books and tapes.
Over the years I have bought many properties and set up my company Metropole Properties in 1977.
17 years ago we became involved in property development and are now Melbourne's largest property development managers, being involved in 36 projects around Melbourne.
I find reading the forum interesting and relaxing and I find the enthusiasm of may of the new investors invigorating.
I enjoy contributing when I have time, because I have learned heaps over the years and I've made more than my share of mistakes.
I enjoy contributing to the knowledge of the many new investors through our newsletter.
And I am still learning and recognise the importnace of having an open mind, because even though I have been involved in over $80 million worth of property transactions I still learn things from the many wonderful contributors to this forum.
The message is that all of the readers of this forum can amasss the same assets as I have (because very few of you would come from as poor a background as I did) Set your goals, learn what you can, buy a property and be patient - let the magic of compounding make you wealthy
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My family had a history of mis-management of money and I was exposed to a wide variety of bad debt. From this I had a mindset to only pay for things in cash. Problem was at that stage I was still a great consumer (just little bad debt).

Knowing that we needed to do something, I urged my parents when I was about 18 to stop renting in a housing commission and buy a house. Because of our financial issues, HomeFund seemed a great way to go.

Well with three incomes (I had a pretty good income when I left school) we managed to tread water in the HundFund common pool, and hang on to that house. The house was purchase near Penrith for $110k (about $60k for land - 600m2).

For the next ten years, we eliminated the bad debt and refinanced out of HomeFund, that house is now worth about $250k (time does heal many wounds).

But of course I didnt really have a clue about leverage. In '93 after two 2nd hard cars I bought a nice shiny Pulsar SSS for $30k (live and learn). I still have that car, 2 engines later and over 310k on the clock.

It wasn't until the end of '97 that my life changed. A group of us from work went down south to snow ski and each night after a hard day skiing, I'll sit in the corner and read books (very social I know).

One of my friends, noticed this and when we got back she lent me her book, Rich Dad - Poor Dad. She said if I like reading so much, read this.

Well the light didn't just come on, I think I got nuked!

That new years I made some resolutions;

- buy a house
- start a business
- enrol in option trading course
- and learn as much as I could

In March of '98 I bought my first IP for $167k, (now valued for $260k). I used the criterial the Investment Club had when they first started to select my property (in complex no more than 20 units, +7% gross rental return).

In April I went to David Novak's Option trading course and won the prize for the highest paper profit during the class. But options were not for me.

I also tried to start an ISP, but due to conflicts in interest that didnt happen.

I bought another place in '99. But sold that the next year because I was looking to get another deal that didnt happen.

Over the years I've read many books, and listened to many tapes. I've listened to advisors, and even tried an agricultural scheme (as advised). I've tried MLMs, but found that wasnt for me.

Now days, I wrap, I'm comfortable with the concept and with promoting it. And its something I enjoy that makes me money :)

At the moment, Yuchun and I are developing a software package for those who deal with Vendor Finance (be it wraps, lease options, etc) and that will boost our cash-flow too (as well as help many manage their finance businesses).

From there, we'll look at some non-property ventures using the profits we make, with the profits from those being filtered through wraps.

Things I've learnt have been;

- not everything you hear is true.
- pretty much anything will work, but will only work if the individual has the appropriate associated risk and comfort level.
- it make take many, many interviews to find the right advisors.
- follow up referals, you make strike goal "hey, call this guy, he knows what he's talking about".
- Having a big curiosity helps "I wonder what this is about?..."
- Read a wide variety of materials. The human mind can make the strangest connections, the more material it has to work with, the greater variety of connections it can play with.
- don't try and do everything yourself. Even it you learnt everything thing, its hard to be objective and see things from other angles (things which may have been overlooked).

A piece of many pies is far better than a pie never baked (think about that one - it has something to do with being a control freak and greedy :p)

I hope this sad little tale cheers up someone :)

Michael G
I bought my 1st IP about 2 months ago. Initially, I was wanting to buy 3 years ago, but was advised by my father that property was too expensive and that I should wait for prices to fall. Ha, yeah right. I did listen though because he has been an investor himself for over 20 years and has accumulated 9 IP's. To cut a long story short, I've now paid an extra $100-120K extra for my first IP. :confused:

Anyway, my father was my inspiration, but somehow feel as if I have left my run a little late. I'm 29 and only have 1 IP, owe $270K on a $340K home, prices have surged through the roof, returns are dismal and just feel as if I have missed the boat.:(

I know I have plenty of time to work with, but only if I had bought 3 years ago. Anyway, live and learn.
Peter D
I wish Ihad your problem (29). I am 56 and bought my first inv.property 3 years ago. I now have several more but would dearly like to have a few more years on my side.Good Luck. Elwyn D
Why are we here

G'day Elwyn G.
Your problems are simular to mine.
I'm 57 years and have three investment units in Sydney, plus my house.
A taxi plate and car. I have drivers during the week and I drive
on the weekend.
But things aren't happening fast enough for me!
My super (gov't) has crashed, lost $6,000. Managed funds down
$9,000 in one year.
Shares are holding up very well.
I'm now looking at franchizing, where i'll over see everything and
doing a little of everything here and there. Mainly employing
staff for the day to day running of the business.
Still doing the figures on this one.
Bruce G.(Sydney)

My interest in property began about nearly two years ago. Had just hooked up with my wonderfully fabulous girlfriend and she talked about wanting to be wealthy. I'd never really thought about it, I figured I would retire early, but (at the time) thought I would be happy with enough to live on (still do, but why not have your cake and eat it too!).
So, while my girlfriend was holidaying overseas in Japan and Brazil for three months (some people have all the luck) I started checking out investment books. I knew real estate was the thing for me, it was in my blood. My grandfather (deceased) and my father owned IP's, so I knoew it was the thing for me.
Anyway, read a lot of Kiyosaki and got onto Burley. By this stage, I had seen Somersoft forum, but didn't think much of it and promptly forgot about it.
So anyway, I went to Burley's two day deal and ended up getting onto his forum. From there I got in contact with a (now) friend Tony Camera who mentioned this forum to me. So, I thought I'd give it another look and well, here I am.
So, at that stage, I was seriously looking at wraps, but gradually I lost interest in those, mainly due to a really bad deal that I was offered in some lease options where the guy was looking for a money partner. I showed the deals to a friend who had been doing wraps and he proceeded to rip the deals apart, saying that there were too many holes in it (from my side) to be worthwhile. So I sorta let the whole wraps/lease options thing go.
Started to think about positive cash flow property at that stage as buy and hold, maybe even some renos. This was the end of last year/early this year.
However, in April I struck gold. Went to a seminar by an excellent person by the name of Steve Navra, and completely turned my investing strategy upside down and haven't looked back since. Steve has opened up a whole new way of thinking for me, I am now super keen on getting into many other investments other than property.
If things go to plan, in about five years, we (partner and I) should be in our own place, fully paid off and looking at purchasing some properties, as well as having amassed a decent share portfolio. All thanks to Steve. He has given us something to aim for that we didn't believe possible just six months ago. So, thanks Steve, you're a champ!

'no hat, some cattle'
I guess I don't have much of a story to tell yet as far as IP goes, but in the spirits of this investing "community" I'll contribute anyways.

I'm 34 presently - my wife is 29.

I bought my first block of land at 21 because I intended to build on it for it to become my home. That was before I met my [now] wife. The block was in Cranbourne, next to a Petrol Station, Cranbourne was where I grew up so it seemed (at the time) a logical place to buy. Back then, property investment (eg. a rental property) was virtually absent from my mind, even though I knew of it "in principle".

Buying land was easy because it wasn't expensive (about $55K for 1/2 acre in 1988) even though interest rates were at 15% or so. I think interest rates went up 2-3% before settlement. Even at 17/18% it didn't hurt me because the loan was so small.

Fast-forward to now, I haven't really gotten ahead despite my wife and I having a combined gross income over $100K per annum. We are very much stay-at-home people content with each other's company yet it bothers me as I get older I feel like I am neglecting our financial future.

It's only in the past few years I realise we've spent *too much* on new cars and other possessions. We have maybe $200-250K in equity in our house but it never seems like we got oodles of spare cash.

Have read Rich Dad Poor Dad and the Jan Somer's book. Also started reading some of the Anita Bell books but found them a bit preachey and boastful a lot of the time.

My parents were both working class, although Mum stopped work when I was very young and because of illness.

One of my frustrations is that I did not have parents who knew anything but the "go to work, get paid" mentality like 90+% of the population I guess. Rich Dad Poor Dad opened my eyes to that, and we now have a 14 month old daughter and I don't want her to fall into that same trap.

In a sense I want to do something for myself as much as for her, so when she gets old enough she can see her dad is "walking the walk" and not just "talking the talk".

As much of our pay as possible goes towards paying off our mortgage, which at $130K is small comparatively speaking. I'm torn between whether I should be paying off our house loan as soon as possible (that's the "default" strategy I'm working on at present), or buying an investment property. At our present rate our house will be paid off in < 5 years.

Paying off the house is important for me because I've just changed jobs after going through the stress of possibly being retrenched from my previous employeer whom I was with for 7 years. When you are employed with someone for that long, you enter a comfort zone where the weekly paypacket is almost taken for granted, and when you realise you might lose that, and all that it provides, it really instills worry in you.

(Anyone have any advice - pay off house or buy IP?)

Brisbane looks like a good market but I'm in Melbourne. Everything in Melbourne is horrendously priced.

(Can someone tell me how couples my age can regularly purchase $500,$600,$700,$800K properties as you so often see on the TV).

I am a little averse to debt, but not really risk averse. A stupid example of my thinking (that I need to overcome) is I'd happily spend $50K on a car if I know I can service the loan, because I know I can sell it relatively easily (perhaps at a slight loss) if push-comes-to-shove. Even though it's a depreciating asset.

Just can't push myself over the edge buying an IP, even though our financial position is OK presently. Will I get tenants? Am I getting the property at a good price. What if I lose my job? What if. What if. What if.

There are so many ways of making money in IP. I'm handy with my hands, so renos would be "fun" for me, but I think about the time it takes to do the reno, no tenant, no income etc. So many options and limited time to research them is another reason why I haven't done anything.

My best friend from high school attended the HK course and got super-enthusiastic and bought quite a few expensive (400K+) apartments etc, many off the plan etc. It's too early to know if he'll sink or swim, some of the earlier ones are now coming up to settlement. I know he wants to fast-track his success, but he also knows his family residence is completely at risk if he has some failures (I think he had contracts valued at $6 million dollars signed).

I'd like to do that in principle but our home has taken so much hard work to get to where we are paying it off I'm scared to lose it.

That's why I visit this forum. To learn. To learn. To learn. And hopefully to get the guts to go out and do it for real.
G'day Kevmeister,

I have this almost compulsive urge to say "Snap" after reading your story. I also grew up in a family that did not have that "investing" knowledge. And, yeah, I believe 90%+ of families just "don't know" this stuff (do they teach it in schools yet?).

My wife and I bought our first rental when I was 42. Held it for 18 months, while interest rates hit 17%+ in 1988/89 - then sold it for a small profit. Had a couple of half-hearted attempts at "doing it again" over the next 5 years or so, but nothing ever stuck - probably because 1. I was earning a good wage, 2. we hadn't happened across anyone else who was "doing this" and 3. I hadn't started reading any good books.

A year or two after I hit 50, and reality (about impending retirement, etc) was starting to beat itself against my thick skull, my wife heard of an author who had a book called "If you want to be rich and happy, don't go to school" - and he was in Oz promoting his new book "Rich Dad, Poor Dad". And I bought the book - and devoured it !!! I also received a "package" from the company I'd worked for (for 22 years) and went out contracting. Found Jan's books, as well as Bruce Davis (also Australian - in Sydney), and set myself some financial goals for the first time in my life. At the same time, I invested my cash and time in buying more good books, doing RE-style seminars, etc.

I deliberately held off "investing" for almost a year, then bought two IP's. Number 3 followed one year later. Then a few learning experiences (all IP stuff) that soaked up time, but added no value. Ready to go again - #4 should be ours before the end of the year (and No, I haven't found it yet ...)

Meanwhile I've met up with a bunch of terrific people with similar aims - the value in this is incalculable. In some ways, it brings its own problems (I need to re-read "Richest Man in Babylon" where it talks of "opportunity lost because of lack of decision"... :( ) I hear all of the great stories, and find it difficult to focus on MY next deal after hearing what others are doing. I want to do what they do, but what I really should be doing is "just doing it" for myself. It's a helluva lesson. Nike says it best - "Just Do It".

My current goal is to own another IP before 31 Dec. The last 12 months have been a boost - with Brissie "on fire" - so my IP's are growing very well (it's been a long time between drinks ...).

But, back to you, Kevmeister - you say you've accumulated $200k of equity at age 34 - from where I sit, that is not to be sneezed at. But, of course, having hit that age more than 20 years ago (and, at the time, earning maybe $200 per week) maybe I'm seeing things from an "oldies" perspective. I don't think I had even 10% of that amount back then....

Still, Kev, this amount can multiply several times over before you are even 50 - take the time to re-read some of those good books (especially Jan's words re "car vs IP" - that should help to put things in perspective for you). Congratulations, too, for deciding to take the lead - I'm sure your daughter will appreciate it in years to come.

Jan's latest book has a 10 - 15 year blueprint that will give you a good base for your Investing - it's a "get rich slowly" formula, but 15 years flies by quick enough. Good luck to your friend (the HK advocate) - I hope it stays fine for him - too risky for this little black duck!!!

Thanks for posting - and its good to hear one so young saying the things that I should have learned so many years earlier than I did. Come on in - the water's fine !!!

Well, I'm not there yet but lots of friends are starting to turn 40 gulp.
Anyway, my parents split when I was 12ish, and they were both classic baby boomers (although a few years too old to officially be classified as baby boomers) - when they had money, they spent it.
My grandfather, though, had run a very successful plumbing business, and when he sold that up he lived on the proceeds which he invested, in very safe stuff like term deposits.
When I was a teenager he sat me down and talked to me about all that, and showed me a couple of term deposits he had in my name, and after a while he handed them over to me so that I could control them. I loved it! When I moved out of home and had a job, I always kept them and added to them regularly.
Then I got married, and cashed the lot in to buy land to build on. We bought at Pearcedale, a small town just outside Melbourne, and so could buy cheaply. We built a house, paid it off in 2 years, then saved for a while so that we could travel around the world for a year. Wonderful experience, even though it cost us about half a house ;)
Got back, started working again, thinking about kids, that sort of stuff. It was a few years later that I first started finding out about investing type stuff. At that stage we'd bought our dream block of land in the hills for a steal, and were rapidly paying it off. I started doing some tiny dabbles in shares, learning and learning and learning.
First child in 97, started building our dream home as an owner builder, what an experience!
2 years later we moved in, realised we had lots of equity, and I started looking at IPs. Hubby freaked!
Finally convinced him to buy one off the plan in Melbourne at the end of 99, then bought one in Brisbane mid 2000. They both ended up settling around the same time.
Hubby double freaked!!
I then started looking at share options, and had another bub. Started trading on a small scale and did all right overall, but month to month very volatile, and a bit scary. Somewhere around there hubby done got religion - well, he went to an Anthony Robbins preview night and listened to a couple of speakers talking on finances, and suddenly realised that all the things I was doing were great, and showed that I was thinking in the 5%. Instant conversion at long last!!!
Continued with options and learning about property, then hit the kinder year with my son and realised that I was making mistakes because I just wasn't able to be around at the right times. That's when I first started looking at wraps, which I've just started at - wrapped my first house last Friday! woohoo!!
Anyway, as to why I'm here, well, because I love to learn, and I'm always interested in hearing new ideas. Plus sometimes I know I can make a contribution too and help someone else in return. So it's a win win situation!
This wasn't meant to be such a huge dissertation on where I've come from, but sometimes I think we all want instant success and results, and although things are happening for me now, I've been learning for nearly 20 years (oh my god, I am getting older!!). It's been a slow, gradual process, and it's interesting how you find things around about the time you're ready to learn about them.

I'm 32 years old and have realised after many changes in "career" that I REALLY HATE working! Property is the fastest way I can see to become financially independant and eventually FILTHY RICH! I have baught my first home, and an investment unit a month later. In a few months I will buy another unit and rent out my home as well making a total of 3 properties from which to build. I have read many books on many different types of investing and feel the most comfortable with property at this stage, rather than shares which are too volatile in the building wealth stage.

A friend told me how he has baught many properties in "welfare" suburbs very cheaply and with great returns so I have adopted this strategy for myself - my first home was purchased in Logan for $83000 and is now valued (2 months later) at $110000 with no improvements. Hopefully my arsey good luck will continue but the feeling from being proactive in building wealth and becoming financially independant and retiring at the age of 40 is worth more than money.

Like many on this forum I am a baby boomer thinking of the future ie retirement and what type of income I will have to support my wife and I.
Bought into a bays side suburb in Western Melbourne in the early 1980's for our residential home. Had a block of land near Geelong in the 1970's-1980's that did nothing and kept me away from considering investment property. The land was suggested by my parents who knew nought about investing- They retired 10 years ago after a life time of working with a little cash, a pitiful super package, $12k after 30 years and the family home. I want to learn from their mistakes.

Had managed funds investments in the 1980's but they did little and even less when the crash of 1987 came along. Ouch, my investments went down a lot and had never recovered.

Wife and I considered an cheap investment property in an outer western suburbs of Melbourne some 5 years ago.
and then another property 2 years ago in the same street. They have both done quite well in the time we have owned them as well as returning gross rental of 6-8%. The effects of the boom has now hit the area which has a lot of catching up to do, The reason we targeted the area . But I need more so that in 10 years I can truely retire before 60 with a reasonable income from the properties and superannuation. Currently on 3-4 months redundancy holidays which has been so satisfying but limits our chances of buying more properties.

Must say our residential home has increased 10 fold in 20 years and have 100% equity in the old house.

My teenage kids are now aware of our investments and I only hope that I can pass down tips to them so that they can learn about wealth creation at an early age.

Wealth creation, tax etc is not taught at schools and should be part of schooling.
This thing about 90% of people settling in to the "work for money" thing also applies to me and through a bit of investigation have realised some financial patterns going back before my grandparents that I have followed.

Even from a young age, I loved money!! Our family moved around Australia in a caravan following my Dad'd work (gas pipeline construction) until we settled in Perth in 1983 so that my sister and I would have a stable home life while going to high school. Dad continued going away for work, sometimes upto 4 months at a time and returning for 3 weeks..played hell on my dear Mum but that is another story..they are still together thank God!

After leaving high school and working in Perth (for FAI of all companies..when Larry was still at the helm) for about a year, I caught a bus to Brisbane and then out to Roma to start work on a pipeline with my Dad. 10 months later, I returned home with $25k in the bank. Buying a house was the last thing I wanted to do @ 19 years of age and 6 months later the nightclub and car dealership owners were richer by $25k...

A few years passed and I got further and further into bad debt with no assets until pnumonia hit me one winter's night while living with a couple of mates that went away for the weekend but had not paid the power bill with the money I had passed them to pay my share.

That night was pretty much a turning point for me as I decided to take responsibilities for my own actions and my own debts (approx 12k). 12 months later, the bad debt was gone. 12 months after that, I had saved enough for a deposit on my first prop.

A few years down the track, I have sold that original prop and bought 2 others close to the city...the first one being renovated before moving into it, the second one about a month away from being finished.

My wife and I are looking for a house to be our home for the rest of our lives. After that is bedded down, I guess my game plan will be to continue to search for units/flats/townhouses close to the cbd that has a rent that covers loans taken out to fund the purchase and to continue contributing and borrowing to invest in managed funds.

Thanks, Glenn

That was an interesting post - my Mike came out from UK for a six week's stint in Bass Strait, 22 years ago.

He, too, worked on the Moomba to Brisbane pipeline at the time of the Roma floods. I was office manager for NDIS at the time, and I know ('cos I paid them) how much the blokes out on the gas lines were earning.

97 equivalent ordinary hours per week, plus site allowances.

Very big money for some very young fellas.

However, I have to admit we've still got most of it. We've both got short arms and long pockets and although I had to work very hard over a long period of time to overcome Mike's fear of squatters, and although he resolutely refuses to buy anthing else, since I bought my magic house seeking torch he at least is not (vehemently) opposed to me buying things.


Hi Kristine,

Yes, I made a big mistake with the money earnt from the first pipeline...the opportunity cost is pretty huge. After getting my s*** together, I went away on 2 more contracts, Karratha - Kalgoorlie and Sale - Sydney with around 90% of my earnings going to property and managed funds.

That sort of lifestyle is such a trap as you get to see so many beautiful parts of Australia, meet lots of great people, get fed, clothed and paid to go home for a week every month and not have to worry about day to day expenses as your cash flow is so strong. So many of the guys are in there 40's and 50's, still doing the same heavy labour jobs that they have been doing for 20 years as they have not managed to use their cash to buy any assets that will take away the need to earn a living. They have no problem buying a HSV Commodore, Harley or boat but buying 1 property every year is too much for them.

But here is a good story for you...on my last job, I met a guy who was 25 years old. He started working for a large construction company when he left school in Darwin at 16. His Dad gave some strong guidance with his finances straight away and by 20 he owned his first house outright, by 22 the second and when I met him was purchasing his first commmercail property and had more than my net worth in the share market. This guy still had a life, enjoyed getting out for a beer, went on a couple of holidays overseas each year, went fishing all over Australia on his leave breaks instead of hitting the bars/clubs and always had a smile on his face.

Meeting this guy reinforced something that had been growing in my mind for a little while. With the cost (during and after) and time involved in getting a university education, a person could be well on their way to financial freedom by the time they would have finished uni...IF that money is put to use.

I'm here because it's really hit me in the last few years that doing what you're told, getting a good tertiary education and doing well academically doesn't necessarily reap the rewards your parents tell you it will. Both my wife and I studied engineering, with the wife in particular doing very well. But then we both ended up "working for the man" in fairly average paying jobs despite all of our hard study efforts.

I'm 29 now and the wife is 27. I've managed to work my way into the $60k+ salary bracket, and the wife has spent the past 3 years in a 4 year medical course since she got jack of being an engineer. Before she went back to uni though, we saved enough for a home deposit and bought our first home last year (a flat in sydney's inner west).

Our aim now is for her to graduate and to one day start her own business, whether it be as a medical practitioner or maybe some other business (more entrpreneurial). We also want to use the equity in our home to create as much wealth as possible, probably in shares (which are a good buy now) first and then another property in 2 years or so. We'll probably also upgrade from our flat into a house in about 6 years.

We've been to interview a couple of financial advisers so far to see if they can help us. But all of them just seem interested in selling you insurance and getting you to buy into managed funds so they can get a trailing commission. And they just have this irritating attitude that you need to be wealthy first before you're worth their time, rather then them actually helping you to invest to become wealthy. None of them would sit down with us and actually help us come up with a wealth buidling strategy that encompasses things like loan structure, asset protection etc. SO I finally thought I better get cracking and learn as much as possible so we could make decisions on our own. And that's why I love surfing this forum. I guess I learn more at the moment from the forum rather than contributing to it in a teachign sense, but hopefully one day it'll be the other way around.

That's my story in a nutshell. Thanks to everyone in forum land who's helped me out so far.