Thursday, May 9, 2013

What Advice Would You Give Yourself 10 Years Ago?

"The time for extracting a lesson from history is ever at
hand for those who are wise." Demosthenes 
Ten years is long enough for any of us to see how an important decision we chose to take at the cross road has led to the point in the road that we are facing now. What significant decisions have you made ten years ago?

Was it the choice of which college or university to attend? Which degree to study? Which employer to work for? Which business to start for yourself? How much you decided to save up in those years? What and how many properties or shares you have bought and invested in? How many holidays you have had? The significant others that you have dated, married, had a child with or separated from?

Do you regret some of the choices that you made ten years ago? Or are you happy with the choices you made all those years ago?

After reading the Somersoft Property forum about what the forum posters wished to tell their younger selves, I thought it would be interesting to post up some of their advices that they wish they could have advised their younger selves. We only get older right? So if what we learn today can mean that we gain knowledge to implement and action for the rest of our lives to make our life easier, wouldn't you want to know?

Here are some of the advice that the forum posters wished they could have given their younger self ten years ago after knowing what they know now, happy reading =). Oh and read with an open mind because the quotes below are from a PROPERTY forum and as such, they are pro-property investors with less inclination towards investing in the stock market compared to members of stock forums:

"buy something, for goodness sake. Get into real estate. Be careful- but not so careful as not to buy...If someone was going to buy another property, I would be suggesting, as Rolf de Roos does, to at least aim to look at 100 properties.I'm not sure about his other figures- but, at least, if you look aim at looking at 100 properties, you'll start to get at some ideas of good vs bad value"

"Get a real education, a financial education. Read as many books on financial topics as you can...Your borrowing capacity is not a problem (if you know the rights things and speak to the right people)"

* "Educate myself on all things financial, Property, Tax, shares etc...Invest as early as possible as time is the essence of good investing...Do not be suckered into public or media hype or fear...Device a plan and stick to it...Keep all things in perspective...By(sic: buy) all the property you can! "now"!!!!!!!!"

* "If I was to give myself advice for 10 years ago it would probably be to put into practice the principles from the book The Richest Man in Babylon."

* "FINANCIALLY – Educate yourself. Don’t follow the crowd. Take a chance now and then. MORALLY – Stubbornly believe in your abilities and be good to those less fortunate.For one thing I would have hugged and kissed my mum a lot more often and not taken her for granted."

* "1. First, last, foremost: Educate yourself financially, friend. Read some good books, it's not really difficult, get to know the basics and understand how this money stuff works!! Learn, learn, learn so you can work smarter, not harder. 2. Spend less. Those doodads add up. Did you know you can afford a property on what you spend on lunches/coffees/etc? 3. Use 1 and 2 to buy effective investments. Buy property now. Don't wait to 'save up the deposit', don't wait 'to pay off your mortgage'. Use the house equity & buy now. Balance negative geared with positive cashflow."

* " I would have got into property and not share traded or bought into managed funds like I did then!! That is for sure!" [Must have been burnt by the stock market]

* "What I would do differently if I could go back would be to purchase a property as close to the beach or city as possible, take interest only loans for 90% of purchase price (and pay the LMI), wait 6 - 12 months to see the effect on my cashflow and use surplus savings from my income to fund the next purchase....quite a conservative strategy but one that would have me sitting on at least 5 properties that as a group would be putting cash in my pocket and worth substantially more than my purchase costs. I would have my current accountant preparing my tax returns and give me advice on how to structure investments."

* "I wish I had read the book E-Myth by Michael Gerber back then. The best book for business owners I have read... I invest in what I know, which is real estate and I always have a plan "B", my what if it doesn't work plan. I have written goals, a business plan and I let those around me know what they are and try to keep them focused on them also. Being part of a great network is a very big help, I now know the advantage of franchises although I had never before been an advocate."

* "*make sure you are armed with information
     *develop your strategy and then make a move
     *don't blindly follow the advise of someone else
     *don't be complacent, know what's going on at all times
     *use the rental income to your advantage
     *do everything possible to avoid selling."

* " 1. Invest whilst you are living at home with your parents. It would seem to be the easiest way to gain a good foothold for achieving financial independence.
2. Buy property that you can rent out, not land. I bought land at the age of 21, with the intent of building my future home on it in X years time. Would have been much smarter to buy a rental property, especially one I could live in later, perhaps.
3. Obtain financial education - not from your parents because more likely than not their "advice" will be ultra-conservative and keep you in the rat race (but you still gotta love your parents).
4. Get into the habit of saving a'la Richest Man in Babylon. Material possessions are not everything.
5. Balance your life and your work, and value your health."

* "Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself...Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young."

* "Keep going with your plan. It works out. Don't get scared as the numbers get bigger."

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