Why invest and why take out an investment loan?
People’s needs for investment are as varied as the investment vehicles themselves. Some want to own their home outright, pay the kids’ university fees, or take world trips; while others want to start their own business or retire on a comfortable income.
The reality for most of us is that we won’t be able to afford these things on our salary alone (unless you’re fortunate enough to be the CEO of a major corporation). The key to successful investment is to leverage, that is, to use an investment loan to improve your capacity and increase your return.
Why invest in property?
Investing in property is the safest way to invest, but we also believe in a diversified portfolio to minimise risk. Similarly, Australians have trusted investment property as their favoured investment vehicle for generations – and with good reason.
We recognise the cycles, the incredible advantage that appropriate leverage (making capital gains from borrowed funds) offers, the benefits of rent return and taxation relief in servicing those borrowings, and the significant growth achievable over time. It is not unusual for ordinary investors to accumulate four or more properties over 10 years – and the financial flexibility and cash flow outcomes can be exceptional, giving you piece of mind.
Property allows you to leverage. With only $20 000 cash invested (plus around $10 000 upfront costs) it is possible to invest in a $200,000 property, making your earning potential greater.
Can you afford to invest in property?
The question should really be, “can you afford NOT to invest”, whether it be in investment property or some other form of investment? While everyone should be investing to give them more options in life, property investment may not be suited to everyone. Most people on a standard wage can service an investment loan. After all, the investment loan interest is first met by any rental income you generate. As a general rule there will only be a small shortfall on the interest on your investment loan. Traditionally the investment loan shortfall, as well as other costs relating to your investment property would be met by your personal income. Many investors however include a capitalising line of credit in their investment loan package so that they can draw on this to meet any shortfall costs as opposed to paying same from their personal income. Instead, they use as much of their personal income as possible, not to pay any shortfall interest on the investment loan but to make additional repayments to their home loan. This way their home loan is paid off much more quickly.
With your investment loan you should also remember that negative gearing does deliver some relief to servicing your investment loan on the way through. While most investors will wait until the end of the financial year to claim their tax deductible shortfall you can in effect claim the investment loan shortfall on a monthly basis. Check out the ATO website on deductibility of interest on investment loans.
What history can tell you about property
History shows us that all property whether it be investment or owner occupied doubles in value every 7 to 12 years. Each property market is cyclic, that is, it goes through times of fast growth followed by little or no growth. When one market, eg Sydney, is in strong growth, other markets, eg Brisbane, will be in a little or no growth phase. The markets are referred to as being counter cyclic – when one is doing well, another is doing not so well.
This means for example that when the Sydney’s growth slows, Melbourne’s picks up followed by Brisbane. This is the reason we emphasise the importance of investment property as a mid to long term investment. The key however is to identify the markets with the highest probability of short to medium growth and lowest probability of downside risk. This enables you to build equity faster and therefore add to your investment property portfolio.
It also means that there are always new opportunities for investment property as there are always markets somewhere which are experiencing their growth phase. Choosing investment properties in growth markets assists in developing well-balanced, diversified portfolios.
Property in the future
In the past all property was good investment property, and a lot of people did very well out of it. While those days are gone, there are still exceptional opportunities for investors who understand the current market influences such how our population is changing, how family size is changing, how types of employment are changing, and how the economy is changing and what influences it.
So why wait? Research property – buy with your head not your heart – be an informed purchaser and most importantly make sure your investment loan is also working for you.