4 Stories, 1 Goal – Introducing Andy: Seasoned Investor
As part of our wider 4 Stories, 1 Goal series, we’re introducing some of the key guests helping us get people thinking about investing for later life. 4 Stories, 1 Goal is a free series designed to encourage people to consider their financial future and investment goals – with insights from property investors and industry experts. You can get your free 4 Stories, 1 Goal series here.
At the heart of 4 Stories, 1 Goal is the people. Each of our guests represents a different aspect of the investment journey, from industry experts that work alongside investors to property investors themselves.
We asked each guest to give us their story – from the first investment to the present day and beyond. We asked them why they started, obstacles they had to overcome and how they measure success. All investors are different and our guests are no exception – everyone considers an investment for different reasons and while investment goals can be similar, strategies that work for one won’t always work for the other.
Introducing Andy Foote
As a seasoned investor, Andy has developed a diverse portfolio of investments that he has been cultivating since the age of 18. With an initial investment in property, Andy has since diversified to include other investment assets as well as developing several businesses across multiple sectors including motor finance, recruitment, charity and residential property. Property is Andy’s main focus and he actively enjoys the investment journey.
This made him an ideal candidate to share his experiences and investment goals, from the perspective of someone who has created a successful portfolio and continues to invest today. What follows are his answers to some of the key questions that make up ‘4 Stories, 1 Goal.’
What was the catalyst that made you think about your financial future?
“What made me think about my financial future? Actually, I was about 17 years old and I was in a lecture on a business course, the lecturer came in and said put down your pens and he waved a £10,000 check at us. He said ‘I’ve just come from the bank to pick this up, I’ve been saving for 10 years (in a PEP/ISA account) and it’s the most important lesson I can teach you all today.’
“For an hour we spoke about how he’d been saving £25 a month and he’d only put in something like £3,000 into this ten-year investment and he’d picked up a check for £10,000. We’re talking 1984 or something so it was a lot of money and this guy was probably earning about £8,000 a year and so, it gave me the idea of creating wealth by saving.”
What advice would you give to investors?
“If I could give advice to people setting out, or halfway through their journey, it would be two things. One, would the old adage location, location, location. If you’re investing in property, you’ve got to look at the location and you’ve got to make sure that there’s going to be sustainable interest in renting that property for the foreseeable future. If you get that bit right, it’ll always be rented and always work, it’ll always go up in value.
“The second thing is the leveraging. The money lending. If you can get leverage, if you can get access to funds, a credit line or mortgages, it makes it so much easier and for a small amount of money i.e 20/30%, you can leverage up and get four or five times what you could have with your cash and that’s how over a period of 10 or 20 years you can make some real money.”
What investment goals did you set?
“Well, I think it comes with age. When I was in my early twenties, I knew I wanted to start investing and I bought a property. The reason I bought a property was that my friend bought one and we all talked about it and it sounded like a good idea. But the driver was to create wealth. In your 20s you want to create wealth, you have ambitions and aspirations of making money and getting on the ladder. So the driver, why did I buy this house, was because I wanted to make money. I didn’t actually know what for at that point but I just wanted to do it and then through that you learn what’s good. The first property I bought was a fantastic success and so then, I bought as many as I could.
“When you then get older and come into your 30s, you then start thinking about getting serious, maybe your married or thinking of starting a family so your drivers change of why you want to make money and how you’re going to invest. Then again, when you get older, in your 40s or 50s, you go through a different change. Now you’re thinking about passive income. Before you just wanted to create wealth and have a nice house and provide for your family but later on you’re starting to think, when am I going to finish work? What am I going to do when I retire and what does that look like? How can I get passive income where I don’t have to go to work or rely on a pension but this money is going to come to me every month, sustainably for life? So your thought process changes about how and why you want to invest.
“I think the goalposts change for most people as you go along. As I say, when you’re in your 20s you want to earn money, you’ve got dreams and ambitions. You might want a posh car or a big house and then when you settle down you want to protect your family and have a good life for your family and then as you get older, you start thinking about retirement. I think everyone is the same, you go through these stages where different priorities come into play.”