4 Stories, 1 Goal – How Did You Start Your Investment Journey?
As part of the wider 4 Stories, 1 Goal series, we’re taking a look at some of the key questions that our guests answered on investing for later life. 4 Stories, 1 Goal is a free series designed to get people thinking about their financial future – with insights from property investors and industry experts. You can get your free 4 Stories, 1 Goal series here.
The start of any investment journey is largely determined by your current status – Have you invested before? Are you looking to diversify? What goals are you aiming to achieve?
All investment journeys are individual and while there are certain strategies that should ideally be followed, many investors will approach the concept of investing in different ways.
We asked each of our guests on how they started personally investing or when people tend to start in their experience.
For Laura, as an independent financial advisor, there isn’t a standard time people decide to start investing:
“There doesn’t tend to be a typical stage that people come to me during the investment journey. I wish it was always at the start because then it’s much easier to plan when you have all the options available to you. It often tends to be in the middle, when people have got halfway through the investment journey and then realise they don’t have the expertise to take it to the next stage. So if anyone’s looking at starting an investment journey, I’d say please talk to someone at the start.
“The starting point during an investment journey is ‘where are you now?’ Before I can tell someone what the optimum investment is, we need to take a look what they’ve currently got and make sure that investment fits into their circumstances now and then what their objectives are in five or ten years time. The starting point is ‘what do you have now’, the second point is ‘where do you want to get to’ and then my job is to bring the two together with a recommendation.”
As an investor herself, Maria walks us through what made her start investing:
“I suppose like many people it’s quite easy to get drawn into these lovely looking brochures and you get excited about something, almost where you could see yourself living. It’s hard because you need to remove yourself from the situation and look at the facts, so do your research on where there’s a need for something like this so where there might be an undersupply of property, where there hasn’t been a lot of recent residential development, think of the kind of tenant that you’re trying to attract.
“That was the first route I took, so if I’m going to try and buy something that will attract a professional (tenant), look at job opportunities, lack of property in the area, anything that’s going to entice a young professional to either relocate or want to live by where they work. Look beyond the pretty pictures of the brochure, because ultimately you’re investing with someone. If you’re buying off-plan, it’s not the case you’re buying something that will go through in the next few months. You could have bought in the very initial stages, as soon as they’ve got planning, so it’s thinking of it as a longer-term play as well.”
Finally, while Raj is a property professional, he’s also an investor. He started because of the experiences he’d had in the industry:
“When I started investing in property, it was from seeing my family doing the same. Then working in the industry myself, helping clients make money, it felt natural to me to think ‘I’ve helped that person grow their property portfolio by X amount’, I could do similar to what they’ve done and I’ve advised them to do.”
As with any investment, it’s vital to do the necessary research and speak to experts as early as possible. This will help mitigate issues further down the line and give you a clear strategy with end goals to follow.
You can learn more about securing your financial future in our new series, ‘4 Stories, 1 Goal.’ You can download the entire series for free here.
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