6 Steps To Achieving Financial Freedom
Financial independence is essentially maintaining a certain lifestyle through passive income derived from your assets. Sounds good, doesn't it?
When on the lookout for investment opportunities, you most likely would have come across the term “financial freedom”.
Sounds good, doesn’t it?
For most Australian’s, this is the goal when it comes to putting their money to work.
To be “financially free” might be the end goal but how do you know when you have achieved it?
Financial independence is essentially maintaining a certain lifestyle through passive income derived from your assets.
This means the figure would be different for everyone.
Do you want to have an overseas holiday every year?
Do you want to be able to travel the world year-round?
Would you rather spend your time doing something you are passionate about, or working by choice, not necessity?
This is entirely achievable, Real estate is one of the best mechanisms that can help you build wealth and create cash flow to support any lifestyle you desire.
You don’t need to be an expert.
You don’t need to have millions stashed away to get started.
You just need to follow a simple blueprint, a path to create momentum and secure your future.
Step 1. Goal setting and mindset
Before you even take a look at investments in your area or attend a property seminar, you need to understand your position. Your situation will be unique to you and will serve as your starting point.
Be honest about where you are, whether you are wealthy or on a low income, as this is where you will take your first step.
From here you can start setting goals. Look at where you want to be in 5 years, 10 years or even 20 years. Start with the end in mind and work backward, charting the path you will take to get there.
Don’t be afraid to think big.
Be specific. If you want to travel, define how often, when and where. Put a figure on it so you have a number in mind.
Step 2. Do your homework
Speculation is for gamblers.
Building wealth and investing is the complete opposite of going to the casino.
You want to know your odds and eliminate as much risk as possible.
You won’t be able to reduce your risk down to zero since there are always circumstances outside your control but you can make informed decisions.
When investing in real estate, you want to start with the fundamentals.
Is it the right time to buy?
Take a look at how the national economy is performing.
How are the state governments spending their budgets?
Is the state growing in terms of GDP, jobs and migration?
What is the current trend in the property cycle? Are values increasing, stagnating or falling?
This will start to give you a good understanding of the big picture and whether it is the best time and place to invest.
From there, take a look at the micro level. This comes down to individual regions, suburbs, streets and even the property you have your eye on.
What are the local demographics?
How is the local economy performing?
What is the local real estate market like? Are properties sitting vacant, what percentage are clearing at auction, are properties being discounted due to high supply and low demand?
Step 3. Invest in high growth areas
With some research under your belt, you should have a list of suburbs that have high growth potential. This is essential for building your wealth as you can experience the magic of compound growth.
This is the key to long term wealth creation.
By leveraging your initial deposit with real estate, you can control an asset of much higher value. What this means is that you can experience magnified compounding growth, multiplying your rate of return.
Step 4. Invest in positive cashflow properties
Focus on positively geared properties, that is those that earn more in rental income than the cost to maintain the property and service the debt. By doing this you can create an additional passive income stream.
There are many advantages to this.
Your portfolio will not only pay for itself but it will also provide you with a safety net if the unpredictable occurs.
Look for high yielding properties.
These are properties that have a positive net yield meaning all costs are considered.
To find the yield, take the weekly rental income and multiply it by 52 weeks. Divide the yearly rental income with the purchase price of the property and you have your gross yield. To find the net yield, you need to take out all other expenses such as mortgage repayments, management fees, maintenance and all other costs.
Step 5. Always have multiple exit strategies
Preparing for the worst means you will always have a plan when circumstances change. If the economy tanks or government policy is adjusted, your portfolio will be affected. You don’t have to lose out if you ensure your investments have multiple exit strategies.
You can do this by selecting investments that have value add potential. This could be a simple renovation, a subdivision, granny flat or even converting the property into a boarding house.
These strategies add a layer of protection in case things go wrong and will help you navigate risk in any scenario- as well as providing a powerful “on demand” wealth tool.
Step 6. Build a team
The best way to ensure you achieve your long term wealth goals is to build a team of professionals that can help get you there.
This team should include finance, legal, and of course, a buyers agent. Having the right team will allow you to avoid risk, continue to invest, and continue to grow your wealth, long term.