I had a very interesting conversation with Tiramisus Queen today. As mentioned before, she came to white land for a good 30 years. She now owns a nice little chain of stores and lives in a huge bungalow. She just bought 4 houses priced around $400k each last year, with down payments ranging from 20% to 35%. Her instalments are less than $1k monthly each but rented at $2.5k or more, giving her a net cashflow position of $1-$1.5k each each month all the time. Now she is intending to let go if needed at $500k or more to the right buyers. She already had the buyers. She said that with these positive cashflows, she can steam-roll for more.
A recent discussion with a blood relation yielded that she might go on doubling up, which will increase the risk much more.
The return-on-investment (income over capital) is $2.5k x 12 / $400k = 7.5% or 13.3 years to recover the full capital. Hehehe ... even my worst performing properties took only 8 years or less or 12.5% or more. The only difference I don't gear, hence, I have less flexibility in property types. Because I am so cheapo, my investments normally double in less than a year.
She was sad that at my age, I am still working on my primary businesses. Each of my businesses are uncertain and takes at least 10 years or more to fruit. It is too slow. She suggested instead why don't I be like her and join her to invest in properties in white land. She said it is easy and she trusts me. I smiled.
I am very happy for her.
Hehehe ... She didn't realise that for the better of 30 years she had slogged hard and quiet. She cried every single phone call she made to China. Now I felt that she needed to show to the world that she has indeed arrived. Well ... she did arrive. I am very happy for her.
My Comments (This is not meant to degrade her investment returns, but rather to debate the other side of the same coin):
- Gearing: This is one very important lesson. In a booming market, all is well. But, once it fails, say 1986, 1997 or 2008, all must die. The rental will disappear. The fire sale by bank is 20% of its original value. Why I know, you asked? Well ... I was at the receiving end in a not-too-long-ago past.
- Margin: Every time one trades, there are commissions and legal fees payable. That's why although I did made quite a killing in the stock-and-shares booming market, I lost much more on the way down (The house (brokerage) always wins).
- Buying New: Almost all honkies, fuckies, mudlanders or chinamen love to buy new properties. The margin of error is very low indeed as compared to buying oldies. Only buying oldies can give a capital-return of 5 years or less.
- Bank Loan: Banks are never our friend. They are vicious. As long as there are economic growth, notice they make record profits. How can a bank always make record profits from loans alone. These record profits must come from the loan repayments. Who? Us !!! How can we give record profits to the banks? If we give record profits to the banks, we must not be making record profits ourselves. It just can't. Some may argue unless we make record profits ourselves, else we can't give record profits to the banks. True. If we too make record profits, it must therefore comes from the tenants. If the tenants give us record profits, then they must not be making record profits themselves. What if the tenants make record profits too in order to give us, the landlords, record profits. It must then come from consumers. Somewhere somehow would not be making record profits in order that the others may make record profits. This is definitely not sustainable. Sad.
- Boom-and-bang: Every boom must end with a bang and vice-versa.
How about deploying a middle-of-the-road strategy? By gearing at 50% (i.e., loan from bank at 50% loan quantum)? No way, the recession bites normally at below 50%, the banks would force-sale at 20% of the original value. There is no escape. Better don't try.