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3 Ways to Create a Military-Grade Investment Portfolio

Signs of speculative investment activity in the market are increasing, with strong property price growth causing some buyers to potentially make bad financial decisions, according to a national buyers’ agency. Australian Bureau of Statistics Lending Indicators show that the value of investor lending has surged by almost 70 per cent over the six months to May – double the rate of owner occupier credit growth – which is likely drawing the attention of both the Reserve Bank and APRA. Atlas Property Group Director Lachlan Vidler (pictured) said while the percentage of total mortgage lending to property investors still remains well below the 10-year average, the rapid increase may be a signal that some buyers are making bad financial decisions and speculating on future price growth. “The strong property price growth over the past year has already started to reduce, but some people may be buying thinking that the ‘good times’ will last forever,” he said. “Unfortunately, they may find themselves buying at the peak of the market, or investing in an inferior dwelling or location, which can have serious long-term financial ramifications.” A former naval officer and co-author of A Military Guide To Property Investing, Mr Vidler said speculation never had a place in strategic property investment, but was especially dangerous at present given the highly unusual market conditions over the past year. “Very few market commentators this time last year predicted how robustly property markets would rebound, yet the signs were always there that we were about to experience a once-in-a-lifetime market boom with cheap credit, low supply levels, as well as multibillion-dollars being spent on stimulus measures,” he said.

“Property buyers who recognised this early, and had the courage to act, have risen the wave of impressive price growth over the past year the most.”

Mr Vidler said strategic property investment was very similar to military principles because both required discipline, dedication, and courageto be successful.

“Property investment requires incredible discipline over a long period because, for most people, investing begins decades before they will be able to realise the benefits of their investments. Similarly, discipline lies at the core of all military activities and missions,” he said.

“Although the barrier to enter in the property market is substantially higher than other asset classes, such as shares, we advocate for all investors to take a leap of courage and decisive action to incorporate property in their personal portfolio, because of the leverage, reliability, and stability it provides investors for their money.”

Mr Vidler said the most successful property investors also remained dedicated to their financial goal and their strategy over the long-term – and never suffered from “mission creep” to try to supercharge their returns.

“Savvy investors accept the fact that their portfolio may not generate a profit every single year because this is an unavoidable reality in the cyclic nature of the property cycle,” he said.

“They always remember that the most important days in the market are the day they buy and the day they sell. During the time in between these two days, as long as their suburb incurs more years of growth than decline, their property should be achieving an investment return.”

Unfortunately, some investors may currently be considering ‘mission creep’ due to the robust market conditions over the past year, Mr Vidler said.

“Mission creep is when they abandon their long-term strategy to chase higher rewards that also have substantially higher risks, such as buying in one-industry towns or speculating on continued price growth by purchasing in off-the-plan high- rise developments,” he said.


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