Getting Back To The Basics

Generally, when we refer to investing, we see this as putting time or effort into something that will provide a long-term benefit, such as an education or developing skills in some way.  

When we talk about financially it’s more often with the view of investing money and often comes with the expectation of generating an income or profit with a long-term benefit.

The long-term benefits of investing are often with the goal of achieving the lifestyle you want to live. As advisers, it’s our hope that for most investors, growing their investments and savings isn’t about getting rich quick but about creating financial security and freedom to choose the life they want to lead – to put them in control.

With all the turmoil and uncertainty, we’ve experienced in the world in 2020 we thought it may be a great time to revisit the basics on different types of investments.

Share markets are moving constantly, there is much in the media around property prices dropping and cash rates are certainly not attractive in the long term. But all investments can have their place on your long- term wealth plans. 


One of the most well-known types of investments are shares. Put simply, when you buy a share you are acquiring a small piece of ownership in a company.

You may have also heard shares referred to as stocks, and although they are often used interchangeably, there is a small difference.

When a company sells a portion of its ownership, it does so by issuing stock. The stock in a company is then divided into shares.

As you own part of the company, you are also entitled to part of the earnings of that company.

Profitable companies may therefore pay dividends, which is a way of distributing the earnings of the company to its shareholders.

In Australia companies pay a large proportion of their earnings out in dividends compared to many other countries in the world.

You can purchase shares through a share market, which is essentially one big auction house, where buyers and sellers list their respective buying and selling price, and when agreed upon pass on ownership of shares.

In Australia the main exchange is the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

Just to confuse you, the share market can be referred to as both the stock market and stock exchange, but this is just finance people enjoying having different names for the same thing.

Stock Market


Put simply, a bond is a loan.

When a company or government needs funds, they may issue bonds to borrow money.

When you buy a corporate bond, you are lending money to that company for a set amount of time in return for regular interest payments. As well as the interest payments, your initial investment will be repaid to you on a pre-determined date, known as the maturity date.

Think of it like taking out a loan from the bank, except the roles are flipped, with you paying the principal upfront and then receiving the interest payments.

Bonds, like cash, are considered a more defensive investment since they provide you with a predictable income.

Because there is more risk involved, bonds typically pay a higher interest rate than cash investments like term deposits. For example, if the company or government that issues the bond runs out of money and defaults on the loan, it’s possible you won’t get back the full amount you invested.

Lending money to governments is safer than lending money to a company, and as such government bonds generally pay lower interest than corporate bonds.

Some bonds can be traded on the share market, and there are even ETFs that track bond markets.



ETF stands for an Exchange Traded Fund.

An ETF is essentially just a basket of different shares that are pooled together into a single financial product that can be traded on the share market.

ETFs often track an underlying well-known index. An index is a hypothetical portfolio of shares that tracks a segment of the financial market.

The S&P/ASX 200, for example, tracks the performance of the 200 biggest company stocks in Australia.

So, an ETF that tracks the ASX 200 index will comprise the shares from those 200 companies and change in value in line with the index.

One of the main advantages of ETFs is that for a low cost they give you exposure to many different companies, diversifying your investment.

ETFs aren’t limited to tracking just the share market, and are available for many different types of assets, such as bonds, cash and commodities.

Exchange Traded Fund


Investing in real estate has a unique position in the investment field.

Unlike the above investments, property is a physical, tangible object that you can see and touch.

Demand and supply for property is the main driver of real estate prices. There are many factors which influence the demand for property, but location is the main one. The main factor that affects the supply of property is unemployment.

Property investing is well understood by many. In Australia and many parts of the world there is a belief that property prices always rise. However, this may not be true and because there is no exchange where properties trade daily, their price is less transparent.

The downfall of property is the high entry and exit costs and having to pay interest if you need a loan to acquire the property.

The other downfall is the cost of maintaining the property. These costs create the possibility to lose money if your interest payments and maintenance costs are less than the income you earn from the rent and capital appreciation of the property. Property is also a highly illiquid asset, which means it’s difficult to convert the assets you own into cash.

Property Market


Cash is what you keep in your bank account.

It represents the low risk, low reward option of the investment world.

In Australia, many cash deposits are guaranteed by the government, so they are very low risk.

When we talk about cash as investments, we focus on high interest savings accounts and term deposits. Term deposits are bank accounts where you cannot touch your cash for a specified number of months and usually receive a higher rate of interest.

The advantage of keeping money in cash is that it provides certainty (as long as the Australia government can pay) that you will get your money back when you need it, however this comes at the cost of low returns, which can be very low.

Currently we are living in a record low interest rate environment, with most of the interest earned from cash investments being wiped out by the increasing cost of living.


Where To From Here?

If you’re uncertain about where any of these investments fit within a well-diversified portfolio or you simply want to review your current holding we invite you to meet with our financial planning team to make sure that in looking at your assets the following are considered.

  1. Your tolerance to risk
  2. Your time frame for investing
  3. Your goals when investing
  4. Any income required from your investment
  5. Any tax issues

Quick tips for working out a property’s market value

When you are searching for the perfect property, it can be challenging to work out exactly how much you should be paying. Rather than relying completely on the word of others, you can develop your own strategy for valuing a property, so you have a better independent idea of how much it is really worth.

1. Make a comparison search

Property sales are in the public domain, so you can research your chosen area and make a list of five comparable properties that have sold within the last six months. To ensure the properties are comparable, make sure they are within a kilometre of your target property, and that they have similar features, such as the same number of bedrooms, bathrooms and car spaces, and a similar land size. Also make a note if any property has additional features such as a pool, or whether it is more conveniently located in relation to amenities such as schools and transport. Do not include properties that have not yet sold, as the advertised price is not a true indication of how it will sell.

2. Rank your list

Once you have a short list of comparable properties including the one you are planning to sell or buy, rank each property in order from “Most Desirable” to “Least Desirable.” Try to be objective in this exercise, looking at the land size and location, rather than whether you prefer one garden to another. Proximity to schools is a plus if you are valuing a three or four bedroom home, but less of a concern for a one or two bedroom home. Buyers tend to be drawn to properties with newly renovated kitchens and bathrooms, so keep this in mind when ranking your properties. Your ranking from most to least desirable might not tally with the ranking from most to least expensive – this will give you an idea of what features are important to people buying into the area.

3. Adjust for market movements

Now you have placed your target property within a list of five comparable properties so you can see where it stands in the price range between the most expensive and least expensive properties. However, the market may have shifted within the last six months from hot to cold or back again, since the first property was sold, so you will need to adjust for current market conditions. Once you have adjusted, you should have a clear idea of how much your target property is currently worth, based on its place in your ranking list.

4. Check your figures

You can back up your research by checking the median house price for the suburb in question. The Domain real estate website will also show the discounting percentage for a specific area, which is the average discount below the agreed listing price. For example if a house listed at $1 million sold for $900,000, then the discounting percentage is 10%.

Contact us today if you need assistance assessing the value of a particular property.

+61 2 6162 4546

Should you sell or buy first?

You’re ready to sell your old house and purchase a new home – but the big question is:

Do you sell first or buy first?

Whichever one you tick off first, you face the risk of some kind of limbo. The state of the market and your own financial situation can help determine the right procedure for your circumstances.

Pros and cons of buying first

Buying your next property before you sell your previous home gives you the luxury of choosing the property that suits you best and moving house comfortably within your own timeframe. If you purchase early enough, you can move your furniture into the new home, leaving the property on the market uncluttered and available for potential buyers to view. However, this strategy only works if you are in a strong financial position and can afford to hold out for the assets from your previous home. It’s also beneficial if the market indicates that your home will sell quickly. Alternately, you might find it financially beneficial to rent out the original property, making some income from the old home while you settle into your new home. If the first property takes a long time to sell, you could find yourself juggling two mortgages. Bridging finance can help smooth the way if your previous home takes longer to sell than expected. Another financial hazard is if your first home sells for considerably less than expected.

Pros and cons of selling first

Selling your home before purchasing another property is definitely the most financially prudent strategy. Your funds are available and you know your exact budget for the next property purchase. The stress of selling first lies in the pressure of finding a suitable property to purchase before you lose access to your previous home. House-hunting while your property is on the market can be discouraging because you may see the perfect property sell before you have the funds to make an offer. Once you have sold, the pressure of a short settlement period can result in a hasty ill-considered purchase.

Renting in between

One option to ease the stress is to rent for the period in between putting your house on the market and purchasing your new home. This gives you at least six months flexibility to sell your home and then search for the perfect property without any anxiety about potentially finding yourself homeless. In order to figure out whether this is the right option for your situation, you need to include the cost of rent for at least six months into your calculations. Even if you do purchase immediately after your sale, you will be required to continue paying rent for the duration of the lease.

Seek expert advice

An expert such as a mortgage broker can help you make an informed decision by giving you some insight into the current market. You can base your decision on whether your home is projected to sell quickly or slowly, along with your options for purchasing a suitable new property within the desired time frame.

Contact us today to get the best customized procedure for yourself.

+61 2 6162 4546

🚫 Top Property Investment Mistakes 🚫

1. Emotional investment

When you are choosing an investment property, there is no such thing as “love at first sight.” If you make an emotional investment before you have done your research into the location and the rental potential, you are at risk of making an extremely expensive mistake. Investors who let emotion rule their decision-making are far more likely to over-capitalise from the beginning, making it even more challenging to ensure your long term investment will be profitable. Your investment purchase decision should be based on thorough research into the long term profitability of the location and the specific property.

2. Lack of planning

Any long term investment strategy requires specific goals and a realistic strategy in order to be successful. Without a clear plan, you will not have any sense of direction, and this could leave you struggling to maintain your financial commitments and missing profitable opportunities.

3. Get rich quick attitude

If you are looking for a quick turn-around or a fast profit, the real estate is not the investment strategy for you. Shares and other asset classes can have an unpredictable value, property is a long term investment. Real estate is a long term investment because it takes time for a property to increase in value and there are numerous additional costs involved in buying and selling a property. The value of property lies in its long term security and lack of volatility.

4. Poor cashflow management

Your property may not generate enough income to cover the cost of maintenance, rates, taxes and management fees, particularly in the beginning so you will need a comprehensive budgeting plan and a long term strategy to ensure you always have the cash flow to maintain the property. When you are planning to purchase an investment property, a good rule of thumb is to budget an additional 10% of the property’s value to cover costs until the property becomes more self-sufficient.

5. Misinterpreting the market

Many inexperienced property investors fail to ask the most essential question of all – is this property an appealing rental prospect? Do some research into the local area and find out what types of properties are in demand for tenants, and what types of tenants you will attract. Check out the property at different times of the day to see if there are any glaring issues that may drive tenants to leave as soon as their lease expires – noisy neighbours, heavy traffic, or just an inconvenient commute to the local shops could make it difficult to rent out the property in the long term. You should also calculate the average rent in the area to see how it will cover your costs.

6. Lack of delegation

You might think a DIY approach to property management will save you money, but remember your time is valuable as well. Consider all the jobs a property manager handles – finding new tenants, conducting regular inspections, collecting rent, and managing any emergency maintenance issues. A property manager also deals with any legal issues relating to the rental property and will represent you at a tribunal if necessary. This person is an invaluable asset, and gives you the opportunity to expand your property investment portfolio with more properties, knowing you can delegate all property management issues to a full time expert.

Talk to us today to make sure you invest in a smart and safe way.

+61 2 6162 4546

Why do banks and agents value your home differently?

  • Have you ever wondered why your lender will give you one value for a house while the real estate agent has said something completely different?
  • How do you know the real value of a property when everyone is giving different quotes?

The difference in the two valuations is due to the lender and the agent assessing different aspects of the property’s value – the lender is looking at how much to comfortably lend you in relation to the cost of the property, while the agent is looking for a sale price.

  • Bank Valuations vs Market Valuation

The property’s market value is the estimated amount for which the property should fetch on the date of valuation, assuming a buyer and seller were to enter willingly into a sales transaction. The bank valuation is the amount that the lender is prepared to lend against the property.

  • How is the bank valuation made?

The bank or lender appoints a valuer to independently verify the value of the property. As the property is the asset providing security for the loan, the bank valuation generally tends to be more subjective and conservative, to protect the lender financially in case you cannot pay your mortgage and the property must be sold to cover your debt.

While the bank valuation is based on extensive research into comparable properties, it will be lowered when the buyer is borrowing more – this is a way for the bank to balance its risk. The bank’s valuer can potentially be held liable if the bank suffers financial loss, so they prefer to make a safer more conservative estimate. The valuer can also advise the bank to refuse the finance application if they believe the buyer has paid too much for the property.

  • Not happy with the bank valuation?

If you are dissatisfied with the bank valuation of your chosen property, you have two options – request a reassessment of the valuation; or cancel your finance application and start again with another lender. The bank will only do a reassessment if you can provide evidence that comparable properties reflect a higher value than their valuation.

You should also check that the market valuation reflects the true market price of a comparable property, as you may find that the seller has overpriced the property. You can hire an independent valuation company to make a market valuation of the property.

  • How is the market appraisal made?

The market opinion is assessed by a real estate agent, and establishes the asking price for the home. The agent has a different agenda than the bank’s representative – they want to value the property to achieve the highest possible price in the sale. However, they do need to work realistically within the parameters of recent sales and real estate activity in the area. The vendor can receive valuations from several agents when deciding which agent to appoint to sell the property.

Whether you are buying or selling, contact us today if you want independent advice about your property.

Top Ten Tips For First Home Buyers

Image may contain: text that says 'TOP TEN TIPS FOR FIRST HOME BUYERS'

It is a long journey from saving up the first deposit to actually owning your own home, but it is certainly a rewarding one! Your first property is an important financial and emotional investment into your future, so you want to make the most of every opportunity to make your dream home a reality.

1. Start budgeting like a home owner

The journey starts with saving for your deposit. This takes a great deal of discipline, especially in the beginning when the dream of owning a home seems so far away. Once you own your home, you won’t have so much disposable income, so start limiting your disposable income now, and put this money aside to build your deposit. And when you establish a realistic and practical budget, you will have a better idea of what you can afford once you take on a mortgage.

2. Save the biggest deposit possible

The larger your deposit, the more equity you will have in your property right from the beginning. This also means you are paying less interest. Place your growing savings into a fixed term deposit or a high interest savings account so you can grow your deposit through accumulated interest. A larger deposit will also have the bonus of making lenders look more favourably on your loan application. When they see that you are disciplined and committed to owning a home, they will know you are a good risk.

3. Minimize your debt

Accumulating debt through credit cards can undermine all your efforts to save up for a deposit. When you are ready to apply for a home loan, the lender will be examining your credit history, so if you do have ongoing debt, stay on schedule with payments so your credit rating is not adversely affected. Cut down on the credit card use, and pay off your car and any personal loans so you can concentrate on saving for your first deposit.

4. Remember to calculate the costs of purchase

Once you feel you have saved a sufficient deposit to buy the property you want, don’t forget to double check your figures to make sure you can also afford all the related purchasing costs. Many first home buyers disregard or under-estimate expenses such as inspection reports, stamp duty, Lenders Mortgage Insurance (LMI) and legal costs. When you fail to account for these expenses, you run the risk of reducing your deposit when you are ready to buy.

5. Stay within your means

House hunting can be an extremely emotive business and it is easy to get carried away about a dream property and forget that you can’t actually afford it. You need to maintain strict self-discipline so you don’t become tempted to purchase a property that is priced beyond your means.

6. Apply for the First Home Owners Grant early

The First Home Owners Grant is a government initiative designed to assist Australians in purchasing their first home. This grant can save you thousands in fees and duties. The conditions and benefits vary from state to state so visit the First Home Owner Grant website to learn how this can help you.

7. Research incentives and concessions

Each Australian state and territory also offer their own incentives and grants to first home buyers, including stamp duty concessions. So it pays to do your research on what financial assistance you are eligible to receive where you live.

8. Choose a property that suits your needs

Stay objective when you are looking at houses, and write up a list covering all the essential requirements of your ideal property. The list will generally centre on property size, location and price, although you may have other key requirements that need to be included on the list. You can also include a list of “wants” but these should be negotiable.

9. Don’t forget the property inspection

Once you have found your dream property, don’t assume that everything is as perfect as it seems on the surface. Arrange for an independent property inspection, so you know exactly what you are buying. Potential problems could include faulty plumbing, structural faults or electrical faults. After the inspection, you might find grounds to renegotiate the asking price, or you may decide the property needs too much maintenance to be suitable.

10. Get independent legal advice

Seek legal advice before you sign the contract, so your lawyer or conveyancer can check that there are no issues such as covenants or easements hanging over the property. Contact us today if you need help or advice before purchasing your first home.


We are a multi-faceted business with trained experts in many fields.We give professional, qualified service so you can have peace of mind.

You can come to us with your property investment, tax, mortgage and superannuation needs confidently, knowing that you’ll be dealing with fully qualified professionals. In a sometimes unregulated, sometimes unprofessional arena, you can rest assured that Wholistic Financial Solutions is always professional, qualified and licensed. We’ll give you the experienced and expert advice you’ve been looking for. You’ll find people with solid, stable reputations eager to pass on their hard-earned knowledge to you.

Estate Planning & Wills

Wholistic Financial Solutions is now able to offer full Estate Planning Services including Estate Planning, Tax Advice for Estates, Will drafting, setting up and running Testamentary Trusts and Death Benefit planning advice.

 In our opinion, a Will is best drafted with Taxation Planning in mind.  Thus it makes sense for you to see us to discuss your Estate needs.

It is my firm opinion that anyone who has children (at whatever ages) should ensure that their will contains a Testamentary Trust.  Establishing testamentary trusts in your Will provides your beneficiaries with a large degree of flexibility in dealing with their inheritance.

Further, in many cases these trusts will provide significant protection for a family’s wealth.

The benefits of Testementary Trusts are explained in more detail on our Fact Sheet below.

However in summary;

*        They provide major tax advantages which can be used to grow the family wealth by taxing all income at adult rates even if distributed to minor beneficiaries

*        They provide Capital Gains tax concessions allowing assets to be transferred to the trust without CGT

*        They provide major Asset protection benefits

I believe the tax concessions alone are enough to make Testamentary Trust an invaluable strategy however the Asset Protection benefits can be even more attractive.  Let’s face it, and to be blunt – you don’t know when you are going to die!  How would you feel if everything you have ever worked for passes not to your children but to a greedy recently ex-partner or creditors if your child is in financial difficulty.  Testamentary Trusts protect against this by retaining your hard worked money in a Trust that can’t be touched by anyone else other than whom you so wish.

The price of a will with a Testamentary Trust is $1,100*.  A small price to pay for peace of mind and for major tax benefits for your family for generations to come.

To get us started on arranging your will – please complete the following form


and return it to

Alternatively you might like to arrange a time to discuss this further and if so please email

*        This price is for a relatively straight forward will with TT.  Any change to this price will be notified before proceeding.

 The wills are drafted by a professional legal team. 

FACTS SHEET FOR YOUR INFORMATION (Catherine to provide the most update to date information)

Why use Testamentary Trusts
Fact Sheet – Family Trusts

Fact Sheet – SMSF’s
Fact Sheet – Vulnerable Beneficiaries


For further information about our fees and charges for estate planning and wills services, click the link below.


For further information about our estate planning and wills services, complete the form below and a team member will be in touch.

5 things you can do to improve your super balance

A smart superannuation strategy can increase your retirement finances
by tens, even hundreds, of thousands of dollars. No matter what your age or gender, you need to make your super work for you – and work hard!

For example, did you know – you can get a low-income superannuation boost?
Or that you can claim an offset on superannuation contributions you make for a non-working or low-income partner? Or that if you don’t choose what type of fund your superannuation is invested in your money may not be working hard for you?

Fortunately, some expert advice today could ensure a comfortable tomorrow. 

Here are some ways our expertise can help you to boost your balance to shore up your financial future.

Find lost super This is better than buying a lottery ticket. Depending on how many employers you have had in the past, you could have money in a variety of old superannuation accounts that you can claim. According to the Australian Tax Office, there is nearly $18 billion in lost and unclaimed super. That’s a lot of hard-earned dollars. Call the office and we can help you find all your superannuation, check your balance and discuss your options. Consolidate your funds Having superannuation in more than one account erodes your profits through multiple fees. Every superannuation fund is required to provide an example of total fees and costs in their Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). Make sure you’re not playing it too safe If you’re risk averse about investing you may think you’re saving money. However, ultimately, being invested in a low risk fund can cost you a substantial amount of money because of the lower returns. You also need to be aware that if you are invested in a lifecycle option (that automatically increases the relative weight of defensive assets such as cash, versus growth assets such as shares as members Disclaimer: This article provides general information only and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. We recommend that you consider whether it is appropriate for your circumstances. Your full financial situation will need to be reviewed prior to acceptance of any offer or product. It does not constitute legal, tax or financial advice and you should always seek professional advice in relation to your individual circumstances. © 2020 age), your investment risk is automatically reduced with age. According to the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees, lifecycle strategies now hold 40% of MySuper’s total $756 billion asset. Research1 shows that single diversified products outperformed lifecycle products over three years for all ages. However, this is not to be taken lightly and you should always speak to us before taking any action. Boost your balance by salary sacrificing If your marginal tax rate is more than 15%, there are some smart tax reasons to sacrifice some of your salary to your super fund. You can also claim an 18% tax offset on superannuation contributions up to $3,000 that you make on behalf of your non-working or low income-earning spouse. We can help you create a strategy that could put more money in your pocket. Remember, please do not act without proper advice. Receive additional super from the government If you earn $37,000 or less annually, and you or your employer make superannuation contributions, you may be eligible for a tax refund on those contributions or a low-income super tax offset where money is automatically deposited in your super account after you lodge your tax return. Your super is a vital part of your financial plan. Don’t let it become a set-and-forget afterthought… talk to us to ensure you are maximising your super. We have the skills and knowledge to work with you to strategise the best solution for your personal situation. Sources 1. Superannuation Performance, March 2019, Rainmaker Group

Wealth Creation & Protection

One of the biggest issues many people face is the creation of wealth but many people fail to consider the flip side – the protection of wealth. Both issues are as critical as each other. You don’t want to work hard at a job or in a business, to accumulate wealth, only to lose it because you failed to protect it. Wealth protection can be simnple such as insurance or advanced such as complex business structuring. If you need any assistance on welath creation or protection feel free to send me a comment or question.

Property Investment Articles

“Here Are The 7 Ways We Can Help You To Reach Your Financial Goals Sooner”

1) We Can Help You Chose The Right  Investment Strategy

We’ll Do It All For You

It’s difficult to choose from the many options available today to property and superannuation investors. We suffer from information overload. With so many decisions to make, it can be hard to make the right choice for you and your family’s future. So how can you minimize the decision-making headaches?
There’s only one way to save yourself the worry of time and money wasting. Let us do it all for you.

We’ll narrow your options with our expert knowledge and experience and pull together unique and innovative strategies tailored specifically for you. You’ll find no-one else in Canberra with the vast range of qualifications and expertise that we have at our fingertips.

You’ll enjoy a service that will:

  • Identify your motivation
  • Identify your goals
  • Identify the best strategy to help you achieve these goals
  • Take into account tax implications
  • Provide a simple step-by-step plan
  • Then keep you motivated and accountable to your goals and plan

Talk with us at Wholistic Financial Solutions and we’ll define your ‘What’, ‘How’, and ‘Why’ for you. We’ll ensure that your goals are clarified and fully understood. After all, this is a lifetime alliance and we want to get it right – right from the start!

2) We Can Help You Get The Finance Needed For Your InvestmentFinding the right finance plan/option for your property investment can be a daunting task. So many organizations offer so many products that making the right choice can be like fighting your way out of a tangled maze. You need to find a loan that will give you the best return on your investment, a loan that will not need to be restructured in the future. And you need to save time and money. What to do?
Relax. Our experts at Wholistic Financial Solutions will:

  • Find the right loan for you – simply and easily
  • Set up the right loan structure
  • Plan the right tax strategy for you
  • Tailor the right product to fit your strategy
  • Fill out bank loan applications
  • Guide you through the processes after application
  • Help you the transaction all the way to the settlement of property

We’re not just mortgage brokers. We can bring your tax and financial plans together. And it will all be explained in plain English so you will be completely informed along the way. With our state-of -the-art software, you’ll enjoy the best service available.
You’ll know you’ve made the right choice.

3) We Can Provide Your With The Right Tax Advice

You want to be sure you’re minimizing your tax legally and maximizing your tax deductions. Every person is entitled to pay as little tax as possible and we can promise you you’ll never pay an unnecessary extra dollar of tax.

You’ll get tax advice specific to property investing; the right advice. Our tax professionals will guide you through the solutions to your tax needs. You’ll get:

  • Professional advice from CPA, Master Degree qualified accountants
  • Latest tax law information in our regular newsletters, webinars and seminars
  • An analysis of your tax situation and recommendation as to the most tax effective way to structure the property purchase
  • Recommendations of ways to maximize tax deductions
  • A full, plain English, explanation of the findings of our recommendations
  • Help to implement the right tax strategy

With Wholistic Financial Solution’s expert advice, you’ll get answers to any questions you may have. Remember, it’s essential that you have the correct tax strategy in place before you proceed any further. The wrong decision at the crucial purchasing period could cost you very dearly down the track.

4) We Can Help You Find The Right Property So You Can Receive The Highest Return On Your Investment

How many of us can afford the hours it takes to research all the property information available on the current market? Again, there are too many choices to make, too many properties to inspect and too many kilometers to travel. With our busy lifestyles today, not many of us have the time to travel personally to look at investment properties. And it’s next to impossible to fit in with inspection times available, especially if you’ve had to travel interstate. And you certainly won’t want to make a return trip.

So let us source the right property for you, quickly and easily. With our expertise and industry experience we can:

  • Search through property lists to find the property exactly right for you
  • Determine the right strategy and finance plan for you and locate the property that will fit these strategies
  • Undertake “Hot Spot Research” and help you choose locations that may maximise your capital growth
  • Present these choice locations to you
  • Arrange the purchasing process
  • Look after all your management and tax needs
  • Take care of all your post-purchase needs

Imagine how easy it will be to have all this done for you, by people who understand the importance of making the right choice. Don’t ‘run yourself ragged’ by trying to do it all yourself! And remember – we walk our talk.  We will only be recommending areas that we are investing in.

5) We Can Help You With The Right Property Management – No Tenant Headaches

Managing your own investment property can be a real headache. It’s certainly not a job for the faint-hearted, with debt collection, tribunal hearings and possible confrontations with belligerent tenants being just a part of it. For a start, you need to choose the best tenant from several or many applicants; you’ll need to fill out all the paperwork and be prepared to lose money when tenants default on rent payments or the property is left vacant for any length of time.
It’s an endless round of thankless responsibilities. Then there’s maintenance and the repairs to any damage that may have been caused by unsuitable tenants. Of course, this is a worst case scenario.

But wouldn’t it be better to have confidence in the property management skills of trained professionals, people who have been in the industry for many years? With Wholistic Financial Solutions, you can safely leave all of those problems to us.
Here are just a few of the benefits you’ll enjoy with our OzInvest Properties property management:

  • You’ll have a sourcing and managing service that will find you the right tenant – easily and quickly.
  • We can guarantee your rent for 10 years – if we can’t find a tenant, we’ll pay your rent for you!*
  • You’ll get your rent paid on time, every time, for 10 years, guaranteed**.
    (*only applies to properties purchased through our affiliate OzInvest)

So why struggle with the worries of managing your investment property yourself? It’s so easy to hand it over to people like OzInvest who know and understand the business, leaving you to enjoy the freedom that investment confidence can give you.

6) We Can Provide The Right Coaching Needed To Keep Your Goals On Track

You may have some very clear goals that you have set yourself. And most of the time you might be confident of achieving them. But sometimes obstacles can appear, holding you back, blocking the path and causing enormous frustration. When you’re in the middle of a situation, it can be hard to see the way out; it’s hard to ‘see the wood for the trees’.

You’ll need advice. Sound, expert advice. Perhaps you may need to stop your spending; perhaps you need to aim a little higher. You may need to take more risks or perhaps you need to be a little more conservative. It’s good to have advice but how do you implement it? What should your approach be to enable you to achieve these goals? Where do you start?

Right here. This is where we can help you with the right coaching and mentoring.
We take a ‘Wholistic’ approach to reaching those goals you have set yourself. We can offer you:

  • Life coaching
  • Goal analysis
  • Money psychology analysis
  • Identification of the obstacles holding you back
  • Solutions to those problems
  • Help to design a bridge that will take you over those obstacles
  • Motivation to achieve your goals
  • Hold you accountable to achieving your goals

So don’t allow obstacles to block the way to your achieving what you desire. Let Wholistic Financial Solutions help you to identify them and overcome them. With our assistance, you’ll find reaching your goals a whole lot easier!

7) We Can Provide Your With Right Information About Property & Investment

You may be like many property investors who find that once they have purchased property, they are on their own. Family and friends don’t always have an understanding and may not share your property investment dreams. They might even think you’re crazy and exclaim ‘you’re doing what???’Now that you have invested in property; you need ongoing support to keep you informed, motivated and encouraged. You’ll never feel alone with Investor Property and Finance because we’ll make sure you’re brought up-to-date with all the latest information with:

  • FREE monthly educational webinars.
  • FREE regular property investment educational seminars
  • FREE monthly newsletter with updates on tax information, loan product specials, investment opportunities and motivational issues.
  • FREE invitations to affiliated property investment and motivational seminars.

You can invest in confidence, knowing that we’ll support you all the way, from start to finish. With our varied professionals, we have the right person on hand at all times to suit your need, whatever it is. You’ll have all the strategies, advice, management, coaching and information you’ll ever need to make your property investment a success!

Is it worth setting up an SMSF?

People have been asking whether it is worth setting up an SMSF. Any questions you have I would be glad to answer them.

Renting the Family Home

A lot of people have been asking me about the tax implications of renting the family home out. If you have any questions please post them here.

Property Investment Articles

Dear Investor,

Would you like to invest in property but are unsure of the right strategy for your needs? Are you confused by the overwhelming amount of investment information, financial products and advice available?  Do you worry that the wrong advice could seriously affect your property investing success?

If you have answered “yes” to any of these questions then you need to read this FREE report –“How to Build a Property Portfolio the Right Way –

 Right from the Start”

Free Download at 

This FREE report will reveal to you the 7 basic elements you need to have in place to ensure your success in property investment. You’ll find out how to avoid the simple but crucial mistake many property investors make, one that could end up costing you thousands of dollars. You’ll discover the best ways to maximise your tax deductions (the ATO will wish you didn’t know this), the best methods to finance your investment and the most effective strategy for your unique situation.

If you want to learn the secrets that the most successful investors know and try to keep to themselves then report each chapter of this report.

Yours Sincerely, Catherine Smith

Free Download at 

“Discover how to build a property portfolio the right way, right from the start”

“This FREE report will reveal the 7 elements to building a successful property portfolio so that you can reach your financial goals sooner”

“Stop Wondering what is the Right Investment Strategy for You and Discover How to Build a Property Portfolio the Right Way – Right from the Start”

Free Download at 

“This FREE report will reveal the 7 elements to building a successful property portfolio so that you can reach your financial goals sooner”

“This report will reveal the 7 Elements to Building a Property Portfolio so that You can Reach Your Financial Goals Sooner”
Free Download at 

Property Investment Articles

Once you have decided the Right strategy, organized the Right finance and sought the Right tax advice you then need to source the Right Property.

This can be an extraordinarily time-consuming, complex and confusing process. You can do it yourself if you have ample, and I mean ample spare time to spend hours upon hours every night and weekend researching and ensuring that you are completing your due diligence. You will need to research:

·       the best states to invest in all across Australia

·       the best suburbs within those states

·       the best streets in those areas

·       the demographics (in relation to those in the area – their age, sex, marital status, average income, family size and whether they are renters or owners – both now and predicted)

·       the capital growth of the area – both now and predicted

·       the average rent of the area – both now and predicted·       the infrastructure of the area – both now and predicted

·       the government zonings of the area (now and planned changes)

·       the government’s plans for development of roads, hospitals, schools, shopping centers, etc

·       the government’s planned changes or improvements to surrounding roads, highways and suburbs

·       plus many, many more factors

Once you have researched all of the above and you are sure that you have located the right area of Australia to invest in, you will then need to contact all the local real estate agents, set aside a few weeks of your time, try to arrange all of these agents to show you the stock they have on hand at that time and hope you can find a property that meets your criteria during this time, otherwise you will need to re-book the trip and go again when new stock reaches the market…

…oryou can simply use a property buyer’s agent service or a property aggregator…

What is a buyer’s agent or property aggregate? 

You need impartial, independent and reliable advice in order to be successful at property investment and that’s precisely what buyers’ agents and property aggregators are in the business of providing.

‘Buyer’s agents work for the buyer NOT the seller’.

Imagine that instead of having to contact heaps of different real estate agents and developers and then having to sift through all of the competing and contradictory information they give you, imagine if you could contact just one agent and they would do all the running around for you.  They would contact many different vendors, real estate agents, developers, etc and, after determining what your needs and wants are, they will then present a summary of the best options available on the market at the moment that suit YOUR NEEDS. 

That’s what Buyer’s agents or Property Aggregators’ do. They work for you.

They provide market analysis and identification of growth areas in the capital city markets. They identify, source and negotiate specific investment properties in keeping with market conditions and the client’s requirements. Clients are provided with recommendations in a written report covering:

·       indicative investment cash flows

·       detailed market demographics and commentary

·       specific property recommendations

·       property plans, ,photos, specifications etc

·       full financial spreadsheets

·       assisting clients with the inspection and purchase of appropriate investment properties

·       negotiation of purchase price

·       coordination of the purchase process and ongoing client support

What to look for in a buyers agent

Independence is the number one factor. Ask them if they:
·       Sell more than one product from more than one developer

·       Have access to all of the fast-growing states of Australia.·       Are knowledgeable about investment strategies.

·       Are experienced in property investment. Do they walk their talk? Ask them, “How many properties do you own?” Don’t be afraid to interrogate them. It’s your money they will be spending so you need to ensure you are 100% comfortable with their knowledge and experience.

·       Have access to every other specialty field necessary to help you complete the transaction, that is: 

1.     property strategists

2.     a finance team

3.     tax advisors

4.     property managers

5.     life coaches

“A really good buyer’s agent is knowledgeable about most mainstream investment strategies. They have an understanding of what the client’s needs are on a more personal level with regard to their goals, strategies and fears. They have the ability to ‘hear’ the client’s views and to take them and turn them into fully-realized achievements.”

Why use a buyer’s agent?

In a nutshell, because they save you the time you would otherwise spend researching. They save you the cost of the trips (all of which are non-tax deductible as you haven’t selected a property yet). AND THEY ALLOW YOU TO SLEEP AT NIGHT because you have done your due diligence by focusing on selecting the right buyer’s agent, trusting them to select the right property.

Buyer’s agents are experienced professionals who buy properties on behalf of clients on a daily basis. They have extensive contacts and have many buying strategies at their disposal. In other words;

They take a client’s request and apply their experienced strategies to deliver the best result for that client. You wouldn’t ask a boxer to do brain surgery…why not use an expert property sleuth to find the right investment for you?’

Why use a Mortgage Broker

“How to be confident that you have found the right loan and structure so that you can meet long-term financial goals and avoid serious costs – potentially saving 1000’s of dollars in long-term exit fees and interest rates”

“Finding the right loan to meet your needs can be a very daunting task. With so many lenders to choose from and so many products within each lender, it is almost impossible for the average person or investor to sort between the products (including all the fine print). It is important that you are sure the finance you are choosing is the best one for your circumstances.’

We like to use the example of buying a car.

If you walk into a Ford car yard and describe all of the features you want in a car and the salesperson thinks to themselves, “Gee, the latest Holden Statesmen would be the best,”– will he tell you that? No! He will convince you that the latest Ford something-or-other meets your needs.It’s the same with the banks. If you walk into a bank, any bank, you will only be sold that bank’s products.

We would recommend that everyone who wants to take out a mortgage should use the valuable services of a mortgage broker. Whether you are buying your first home or investment property or whether you are building a huge investment portfolio you should consult a mortgage broker. The advantages of using a broker are twofold. Firstly, it is free – the bank pays the broker the commission – and secondly, the broker is aligned to scores of banks and will find the best for you. It is in the broker’s interest to find the best product because they want your continued business.

Brokers have access to over 30 banks and lending institutions, including all of the majors (CBA, St George, NAB, Westpac, etc) and many popular smaller and non-bank lenders (ING, Bankwest, Rams, Suncorp, etc). Mortgage brokers will help you find your way through the complex maze of product choices and help you decide the best one for you. Everyone’s situation is different and different products suit different circumstances.

Mortgage brokers also assist you with all of the paperwork, submit the loan, handle all the bank’s annoying questions, co-ordinate the process with your solicitor and real estate agent and basically take all the stress and pressure from you. They’ll ‘hold your hand’ the whole way through and deal with any complications that may arise.

Mortgage Brokers: pros –

·       May save you time in shopping for loans.

·       May save money if fully independent.

·      Usually free.

·      Sometimes, given the broker-lender relationship, a bank will accept a loan application that they would otherwise have rejected.

Mortgage Brokers: cons –

·       You may pay more for your loan than necessary if the broker is not independent.

·      They may charge excessive fees or undisclosed commissions.

·       You may be persuaded to borrow more than you need, as this will boost their commission.

The cons can be easily overcome by using a broker aligned with Wholistic Financial Solutions as we ensure our brokers do are fully accredited, trained and ethically in all regards.

So, once you have chosen a product how can you be sure the ‘structure’ is right?

“It is very important to get the ‘right finance’ right from the start but it is also just as important to get the ‘structure’ right. It can be very costly, frustrating and time-consuming to act hastily and rush the finance part of the property transaction and not get it right. Realizing your mistake later can cost you tens of thousands of dollars in break fees, discharge fees, re-valuation fees, applications fees, fees, fees, and more fees.”

For example, we are seeing countless clients who locked in at 8.5% for five years. They are now paying far more for their mortgage and are coming to us for advice about breaking out of the loan. We had one quote from a bank of break fees in the order of $66,000. The client is simply locked in and has no way out other than the pay these exorbitant fees.

Other clients we have seen have taken out what they thought was a very simple and easy to understand loan. However, when they have come to us to buy their next investment property, we’ve had to inform them that to restructure this loan they’d be payingdeferred establishment fees in the order of $16,000. And not only that, they would have to refinance their whole portfolio because their bank had

‘cross-collateralized’ all of their properties across all of their loans. A very simple mistake that could be avoided with the right advice.

Another common example is the client who has taken a loan to buy their home with the intention of eventually upgrading to a bigger home. They did what they thought was the right thing and paid as much as they could off the loan. Then when they came to us for advice about buying their dream home and using the existing home as an investment property, we had to give them the unpleasant advice that they would now be fully taxed on all their rental income andtheir large loan for their home would be non-tax deductible. Another simple mistake that could have been avoided.

So, as we explained above, it is very important to use the services of a mortgage broker. However, you need to be careful about choosing the Right Mortgage Broker. The average mortgage broker is ‘transactional’ – they just get the best deal for you for that transaction. They do not normally consider your long-term strategy and whether the loan they are signing you up for will be the right loan for you 12-months down the track when you buy your next property. We have seen so many clients who were signed up for the wrong loan and are now paying the price.

To determine whether your mortgage broker is the right one for you ask the right questions.

Questions to ask your mortgage broker:

·       How much does the service cost and when do I have to pay?

·       Do you belong to an industry association such as the MIIA/MFAA and if so, does that association have a dispute resolution policy? (Ask to

see it in writing. Disgruntled borrowers can also contact the Mortgage Industry Ombudsman on 1800 138 422.)

·       How do you identify the best solution? Is it simply commission-based or do you use a software package? (Their criteria for selection should be logical and transparent.)

·       How many lenders (and which lenders) do you represent? (Make sure the broker deals with a spread of lender types i.e. banks, mortgage managers and others.)

·       How do you get paid? (Ask them to disclose all commissions and payments.)

·       Can you provide comparisons of any loans recommended, including upfront and ongoing fees?

·       Can you clarify the actual cost of the loan, including and excluding interest, fees and ongoing costs?

·       Do you comply with the Privacy Act?

·       Do you have professional indemnity insurance?

·       How long have you been in the industry and can I read your testimonials from previous clients?

American Property Purchase

The Australian dollar has gone over $1 US again today.

I am not providing financial advice or any form of recommendation but personally I believe that the $ is unlikely to go much higher and Christmas can have a very strange effect on currencies.  Anyone serious about purchasing property in the US, or even just wanting to possibly make a few bucks on currency exchange could place $A into $US. 

How…..Today I found out how easy it is.

I went to HSBC and opened an Australian Account and a US $ Account.  It took half an hour.  Now I can transfer all my $A that I have spare into the HSBC $A account and then transfer them over the internet into the $US account.  Best of all it is quick, simple and free.

HSBC has just opened an office in Ainsle Avenue, Canberra City (near the fountain) and the staff are very helpful.

Buying property in an SMSF

Tax and Property Development

Hi all, Wholistic Financial Solutions are Tax Accountants and Property Advisors who specialise in advising clients about the most tax effective way to undertake property development and property investing. Click here to ask any questions.

Property Investment Articles

This article describes the seventh strategy of nine property investment strategies.

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Strategy 7 – Refresh your portfolio

Sometimes it is necessary to ‘go back to the drawing board’. You may have a portfolio that is not quite right. You may have had good intentions, theories, dreams or hunches when you bought particular properties but looking back you realize you made a mistake. But that’s OK. As they say, “There is no such thing as failure unless you fail to get back up again.” The successful man is one who fails four times but gets back up five times.

There are times when the best thing to do is sell – count your losses and move on.

Other times you may need to sell because you did not seek the right advice in the first place and you have the wrong loan in place or have bought in the wrong name.

 “A common example we see regularly is the client who has bought a home and done ‘what their parents always told them’ and focused on paying down the mortgage. Now they want to upgrade and rent this property out. Bad news- the reduced loan amount means the property is positive geared and they will be taxed on the excess of rent over interest.  Worse still, they will have to take out a large loan to buy their ‘home’ and this will be a non-tax deductible debt.

Another common example is the couple who has brought an investment property in joint names. A few years later the wife leaves work to raise a family and half of the negative gearing benefit is lost.”

 There are some very innovative strategies that can assist in these situations but sssssh…! These are a secret only to be shared amongst the elite investors (or clients of

Download the full report at

Property Investment Articles

This article describes the second strategy of nine property investment strategies.

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Strategy 2 – Buy, renovate and sell or hold


 Can maximize potential gain by improving areas of the property that are unsightly such as an un-landscaped front yard, a messy entrance way, a run-down bathroom or kitchen.
Good strategy for those with the time and skills (i.e. tradesmen or women) that can complete the renovation themselves.
Exceptionally good strategy for those that have the lifestyle suitable to living in the property for a year or more, whilst they renovate it, and then sell it capital gains free as it was their principal place of residence. (Beware – you do need to be careful with this strategy as the tax office has regulations against it – seek professional advice.)


The main disadvantage of this strategy is the chance of getting it wrong and making a loss.  “Adding value by adding    improvements needs to be carefully planned and executed. Not everything adds value. It is easy to over-capitalize and not get your money back. What you do need to be is ‘market appropriate’.”

Transaction costs are another major disadvantage of this strategy. In a market moving quickly upwards, good profits can be made but in a slower moving market you need to make serious gains on your improvements just to cover the transaction costs (see above re costs).

Beware the tax man – as above.Do this strategy too often and you will not only lose your capital gains exemption but also could be viewed by the taxman as a property developer and lose the capital gains 50% exemption as well. A bad outcome – so seek professional advice.

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Property Investment Articles

This article describes the third strategy of nine property investment strategies.

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Strategy 3 – Buy, subdivide and sell or hold


Fantastic opportunity for those not faint-at-heart.
Serious profits can be made by buying land capable of subdivision and doing what the previous owner was obviously too scared to do.


You need a large amount of capital (i.e. cash) behind you as, particularly in the current environment, the banks are simply not willing to lend serious money to even the most experienced property developer. If you are a novice your
chances of getting finance are seriously slim. It still can be done but you will need to put in a large portion of the funds for the development yourself. There are ways around this, such as: vendor finance, joint venture partners, and obtaining pre-sales. Above all else – seek professional advice.

In this instance, the tax man will definitely see you as a property developer rather than an investor. This means you will be subject to income tax and GST as opposed to the far more lenient capital gains regime.

You will also need to become involved with local councils and their development approval processes, surveyors, architects, etc. You will need to make this almost a full-time job.

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Property Investment Articles

This article describes the SIXTH ELEMENT of the SEVEN  elements to building a successful property portfolio so that you can reach your financial goals sooner”

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6. The Right Coach – “Discover why most property investors fail – and what to do about it”The Right Coach

“Discover why most property investors fail – and what to do about it”

This is very simple.

Most ‘wanna-be’ property investors fail because they fail to ‘act’. They really, really want to do something but they just don’t know where to begin. They start researching and get even more overwhelmed – there is so much out there! Many people then suffer from ‘paralysis of analyses’.

They get so caught up trying to pin-point the best time to buy, the best location to buy in, and the best type of property to buy. In the end they simply DON’T buy.

Many people want to research and research until they are absolutely, 100%, without-any-doubt sure that they are entirely correct and certain of their decision. If they wait till then they will simply never buy. As an experienced property investor I know you can never be 100% sure you have got it right. Even the most experienced investors get the ‘D-Day’ (exchange and settlement day) jitters. It is human nature to have fear and doubts.

Other people want to do it but just can’t work out how to put aside that extra $2 a day. And I am serious, that’s all it costs at the moment to buy a property (depending on your tax bracket and the type of property you buy).

Others are just not sure whether they should invest first or buy their ‘white picket-fenced’ house for the Golden Retriever and the kids and invest later. Others simply think, “I can’t do it. It would be too hard for me.”

So what’s the answer?

Get a coach!“What?” you say, “What’s therapy have to do with investing?” Well, a lot actually.

What is a coach?

A coach can help you determine things like: What is your definition of success?

1.      Are you there yet?

2.      What do you really want to achieve in life?

 A coach can give you the support and encouragement you need to achieve your goals. They are someone who is on your side, objective and ready to assist with any blocks or challenges you may face along the way. A coach will provide guidance and help inspire you to design your financial and life journey. They will celebrate the good times with you and provide encouragement during the challenges. They can teach you to how to examine your financial beliefs and values, trust your instincts and build your excitement to be the best that you know you can be.

A coach will help you:

•   find out where you are at right now

•   look at alternative options should anything not be working for you

•  put into place the new actions to help you reach your desired destination

At Wholistic Financial Solutions all our sales agents are trained as property ‘coaches’ not just sales agents.  They will not ‘shove property down your throat’.  They will simply work with you, your goals and dreams, and hold your hand along the investment journey.

Download the full report at 

Property Investment Articles

This article describes the THIRD ELEMENT of the SEVEN  elements to building a successful property portfolio so that you can reach your financial goals sooner”

Download the full report at 

3. The Right Tax Advice  – “How to build your property portfolio using the tax man’s money”

The Right Tax Advice

“How to build your property portfolio using the tax man’s money”

 “It is crucial to get the tax strategy right from the beginning. The wrong choices during the crucial purchase period can result in losing tens of $1000’s in tax benefits forgone. It is also very costly to change the structure further downthe track.”
We will review individual personal situations, tax brackets of major stakeholders, future tax brackets, and many other issues so we can find way to legally maximize tax deductions such as depreciation and minimize income and capital gains taxes.

Issues that you need to consider before you invest in property are:

a)     What structure to use to maximize tax benefits – individual, company, trust, self-managed superannuation fund?

b)    What the income tax, negative gearing, capital gains tax and land tax issues related to each structure are – choosing the wrong structure can seriously increase your tax liabilities.

c)     Whose name to buy in to maximize tax benefits – most people think that they should buy in the higher income earner’s name and this may be correct but can exacerbate capital gains tax and land tax.

d)    Tax deductibility of pre-purchase and ongoing costs – can you claim the travel expenses to travel around the world (or Australia) looking for property? Perhaps.

e)    How to maximize tax deductions – how are you going to record all your expenses? Should you get a depreciation report? What about travel expenses for interstate properties? Can you renovate before a tenant moves in and claim these expenses?

f)      Structuring finance so as to maximize tax benefits – this is a very important step that many people get wrong.

g)    Is there any way of legally extracting the equity from your home and using it to buy your next home in a tax-effective manner? Perhaps.

At Wholistic Financial Solutions we are able to assess each and every clients individual circumstances and provide expert taxation advice as to the best was to structure your portfolio to minimize tax.

Download the full report at 

Property Investment Articles

This article describes the fourth strategy of nine property investment strategies.

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Strategy 4 – Buy and sell


 A simpler version of the buy, renovate and sell example above only that you don’t have to renovate. You simply buy, hold and sell for profit. This can be a great strategy in a fast upwardly moving market.


 Once again, transaction costs make this a very difficult strategy to profit from. You need your property to increase around $40,000 in value before you will even break even. This is on average one year’s capital gain. In my personal opinion, this is a strategy best avoided unless you know something about the future direction of a market that no-one else knows (sort of like ‘insider trading’ in the property market).

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Property Investment Articles

This article describes the fifth strategy of nine property investment strategies.

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Strategy 5 – Buy and build and sell or hold


This strategy is similar to the ‘buy and subdivide and sell’ strategy and once again not for the faint-hearted. On the upside, once again there is profit to be made, particularly for those able to be involved in the building process themselves.


As above for subdivision –tax consequences will be adverse and you will have to become involved not only with councils, surveyors and the like but also with builders, trades-people, suppliers, etc. It could almost be a full-time job, so unless you’re like me and enjoy that sort of thing, I would recommend you stay away from this strategy until you are more experienced.

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Property Investment Articles

This article describes the sixth strategy of nine property investment strategies.

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Strategy 6 – Buy and flip

This can mean different things to different people but what it usually means is to buy ‘off the plan’ and sell before settlement. Some investors use this strategy to buy a few properties and then sell most of them before settlement. They then apply the profits to reduce the debt on the properties they retain. A fantastic strategy for the experienced investor and it works well in an upward-moving market. However, it can be fraught with danger if the market falls during the construction period and you don’t have the spare resources (cash or equity) to cover the shortfall. It can be a bit like the stock market ‘margin calls’ that are rapidly bringing the share market to a grinding halt.

If you intend to buy and flip it is important to get professional advice to ensure that you can cope with a possible decline in value.  If your financial position is such that you could survive such then the buy and flip strategy can bring some fantastic possibilities.

If you proceed down the buy and flip path (after seeking professional advice) – look for developments with the following criteria:

•       Look for brand new developments

•       Developments that have the longest possible timeframe to completion

•       Projects with Progress payment plan that does not require the bulk of the payment till near the end of construction

•       Be first in – often the best gains are to be made early when the developer needs to sell quickly to meet the banks‘pre-sales’ requirements.  If you wait till the end – you are only choosing from stock no-one else wanted to buy, and /or the price may have already risen substantially as the developer is no longer in need of a quick sale.

•       Of the other hand, sometimes the final lots are discounted as the developer needs to move them quickly so as to move on to his next project.

•       Just get advice from a food quality buyer’s agent who knows about the development.

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Property Investment Articles

This article describes the eight strategy of nine property investment strategies.

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Strategy 8 – House and land packages

Delayed settlement gives you time to get your finances in order and even buy more property than you could afford to in your current situation.
Stamp duty savings as you pay stamp duty on the land component only.In a moving market, an investor can make a gain on the investment simply by holding it in the period between agreeing to purchase and when construction is complete.
Some investors use this opportunity to buy several ‘off the plan’ developments with a view to selling off some before settlement to pay for the remainder.

Units are subject to the possibility of oversupply in the period between agreeing to purchase and when construction is completed. (avoid this con by sticking to house and land packages, townhouses or unit developments with lower number of units)
You have no control over another 10 apartments blocks going up around yours.
Can become a nightmare if the developer goes into administration before the project is complete.  (avoid this con by ensuring the developer is fully insured).
Low valuations of the final development may lead to additional funds being necessary to complete.  (Avoid this con by obtaining professional advice as to your financial position if this occurred)

“The good news is that a lot of the cons can be extinguished by undertaking the due diligence and research. You need to ensure that the developer has a sound track record of choosing houses in the right location, choosing builders that have stable and profitable track records, and choosing house and land packages instead of units. Land is much more governed by the rules of demand and supply because it is scarce. The closer to a CBD the scarcer it is.”
You also need a really good mortgage broker. House and land contracts and the process itself is fraught with complications and technicalities. You need a broker who is experienced in financing for such developments. See later – how to select a mortgage broker.
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Property Investment Articles

This article describes the ninth strategy of nine property investment strategies.

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Strategy 9 – Guaranteed Leasebacks


A genuine guaranteed leaseback is a rare thing. If you can find one it can be an outstanding way of ensuring your ‘sleep-at-night’ factor. The biggest fears in property investing are; “What if I can’t find a tenant?” and “What if my tenant doesn’t pay their rent?”

A genuine guaranteed leaseback can take both of these fears away as the guarantor pays you your rent regardless of whether the property is tenanted or whether the tenant is paying the rent.

You can therefore rest easy knowing that your rent will be coming in to cover your mortgage, each and every month.


Well… don’t get me started on this one or I will go on for pages! In a nutshell:

There have been many fly-by-night companies predominantly based in Queensland who flew around the country hosting free property information sessions and drawing innocent investors in through mass telemarketing and promises of free holidays for their attendance. Then the holiday turned out to be a property tour, free of course, as long as they viewed the properties whilst they were there. The organizers then convinced the innocent investors to purchase the properties through ‘rental guarantees’ that sounded too good to be true.

And yes, they were too good to be true.

In some cases, the company went into liquidation straight after completing the final sales. Of course, this meant that the guarantee wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. Alternatively, the cost of the guarantee to the company was simply embedded in an inflated price for the property. At the expiration of the guarantee the investor found that they

could not rent their property for anywhere near as much as was predicted. Further, there was never any real tenant in their property. The company had simply used the inflated profits to pay the rent to the investor for the promised period.

Worse still, there were now hundreds of vacant properties in the area all on the market for rent at the same time. And to add insult to injury, investors who couldn’t afford to keep the property now that the rent was substantially less than predicted, tried to sell their property only to find that it was worth considerably less than what they had paid in the first place.


Once again, do your due diligence:

•       Ensure the properties are not over-inflated to compensate for the rental guarantee.  For example, are you able to buy the property on the open market, or from the developer for the same price without the rental guarantee?
•       Ask the guarantor, “What’s the catch?” There must be something in it for the guarantor or they wouldn’t do it. Ask them, “How do you make your money?”

•       Check or  and ensure the predicted rental is in line with the current market rental.

•       Check that the company offering the guarantee has been in business for a considerable length of time.

•       Check the company has a sound reputation. ‘Google’ the company name and you will reveal any ‘dirt’ or dissatisfied customers.

•       Ensure the rental management fee is in line with industry norms – around 7–8% depending on the state.

•       Ensure you can withdraw from the leaseback any time you want to in case your circumstances change and you want to sell the property or move into it.

•       Most of all Get professional advice

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Property Investment Articles

This article describes the FIFTH ELEMENT of the SEVEN  elements to building a successful property portfolio so that you can reach your financial goals sooner”

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5. The Right Management – “How to have a remote control property portfolio which means no rental headaches for the  lifetime of the ownership of the property”

The Right Management

 “How to have a remote control property portfolio which means no rental headaches, ever, guaranteed”

What if I were to suggest that you don’t have to worry about late rents? Or no rents? That’s right – we can find you properties with guaranteed rent for 10 years without excessive management fees and restrictive clauses locking you in for the whole period. But oops…! This is a secret I shouldn’t be revealing! 

Why Use a Property Manager?

“It’s crucial that your investment property is well-managed and that you choose a good property manager. Effective property management is the key to protecting your asset. Remember, it’s not just a property, it’s a significant investment and you want it well looked after. You want its value to remain high and you want the best rental return on your investment.”

Some landlords try to manage their investment property themselves. Sometimes this works OK. However, there can be many pitfalls. We have found from our experience that a good property manager is worth their weight in gold in looking after our investment and saving us hassle.

A good property manager will excel in the following:

Marketing– Marketing your investment properly to get the maximum exposure to the right kinds of tenants. Effective marketing is a key factor in ensuring your property is not left vacant.

Legal requirements– Being fully aware of all legal requirements and ensuring that all requirements of government legislation relevant to your investment property are complied with – advising you on your rights and obligations.

Your rent– Consistently monitoring market trends for rental returns and ensuring your investment is getting the highest possible rental return – regular rental reviews – ensuring tenants pay the rent on time.

Tenant selection– Ensuring the best quality tenant for your investment property – following strict and professional guidelines intenant selection, including checking references, employment stability and proof that the tenant is capable of paying the rent and a proven quality in their previous rental history.
Agreement preparation– Arranging the preparation and signing of the residential tenancy agreement and lodging the rental bond.

Tenant management– Ensuring the tenant is well educated in the terms of the residential tenancy agreement and that the terms of the tenancy agreement are complied with– Building a good relationship with the tenant – a happy tenant is a tenant who stays and who will contact their property manager immediately with any issues.– Acting as a negotiator in any disputes between tenant and landlord. A good property manager can ensure that most disputes between landlords and tenants are solved before they escalate.

Rent collection– Providing a good range of options for tenants to pay their rent – requiring tenants to pay rent in advance – dailymonitoring of incoming rentals – having zero tolerance for any rental delays.

Looking after your investment– Knowing your property, inside out – conducting regular inspections of your property (as per the legislation) and forwarding you a written report on its condition and any maintenance that may be needed.– Conducting regular external surveillance of the property to assess the external appearance and to ensure its being well-maintained.– Giving you feedback to help you budget for larger items of expenditure that may be required – providing an after-hours contact for emergencies.

Communicating– Communicating well with you on your investment.

Saving you hassle– No need for you to interact with your tenant at all – paying bills for you – invoicing tenants for user-pays water costs – monitoring and handling any maintenance required, obtaining quotes, dealing with trades people, ensuring the job is well done – providing statements for your tax return.

And if you decide to refresh your investment portfolio– Liaising with your tenant and your real estate agent to make the sales process easier, smoother and faster – or liaising with your mortgage broker regarding access for valuation purposes, all making things easier for you to refresh your portfolio.

The Right Management solution is one of the most important strings to your investment bow. The management of your property ensures that your investment is being looked after in all aspects. The property manager makes sure that your interests are looked after priority number one! Diligent property management will ensure that your investment property is always tenanted with only top quality tenants.  

The point is that the Right Management is the tool that allows you to have a safe worry-free investment solution that is truly ‘Set and Forget’.

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