Expert In Focus - Andrew Woodward
ndrew Woodward began his property investment journey over 20-years ago in a bid to set himself up financially and have greater choice and power over his own destiny.
As life would have it, along the way he ran into a couple of hurdles, but by adopting an open mind and being receptive to a variety of investment opportunities he was able to diversify and continue moving forward.
One of the most powerful lessons he learned was just how important the value of time is, regardless of the asset class you’re investing in. It has been said that compounding is the eighth wonder of the world and this is exactly what Andrew found as he progressed over the years.
Ultimately it was persistence, the right mindset and time that helped Andrew get to where he is today and there is plenty to learn from his story of perseverance.
API: You started attending wealth creation courses back in 1996. What was it that drew you toward investing in the first place?
AW: I started investing when I realised that just having a paid job, wasn't necessarily going to get me where I wanted to be and that was financially secure or at least in a position to have more choices. Having choices is something I come back to all the time. Really investing was all about just creating choice and having more power over my own destiny.
API: What does wealth creation mean to you and how does it give you choices?
AW: Increasing the number of assets that generate cashflow obviously helps to fund living expenses. I bring wealth creation and financial freedom into the same conversation and creating wealth to generate financial freedom, which is the choice component. If the cashflow from my assets is funding my lifestyle, I have that financial freedom to choose what I do and when I do it.
API: In your early days when you first started out, did have any major hiccups along the way?
AW: I guess my first real hurdle came back in the 90s. There were lots of property investing seminars happening and lots of gurus out there teaching how it was really easy to get into property, claiming that you could basically be a millionaire by tomorrow. I consider myself sensible enough to have seen through all of that, but I certainly left those seminars thinking that I could do magical things. I guess my first real hurdle was that I was hoping to invest quickly and then I ran out of borrowing capacity almost as quickly. So that was a bit of a brick wall that I wasn't expecting to run into as soon as I did, and it slowed me down initially. It was one of those deflating moments when you’re first told that you're not going to be able to make that next investment because you don't have the capacity.
API: After reaching your borrowing limit, what helped you to continue to invest?
AW: So after that initial period, I realised that I had to look into other avenues. That’s when I became a bit more of a stock investor, with the money I had available. The main realisation came after a period of time when my property investments had grown. They had created some equity that enabled me to continue on my merry way. The key realisation was that the power of what we were doing was time. That's the most important element of your investing strategy – time. Now I also teach about the power of compounding. So not only was compounding working for me, but I had to allow the time for that to happen.
API: So while you were waiting for your equity to grow, you were able to diversify into stocks and continue to invest?
AW: Yeah. So I didn't necessarily have to stop investing. I just had to look at other opportunities.
API: Would you agree that having an open mind and being receptive to different types of investment opportunities was the key to your success?
AW: Oh, definitely. I think if you look at human nature, we tend to allow pebbles to become boulders and that was a real pebble moment. Rather than say there’s a large boulder in the way, this was just a pebble. Rather than letting it stop me, I was able to find other ways to keep going, even if it meant at a slower rate, I was still moving forward.
ndrew always wanted to do more than simply get himself established financially. He wanted to help other people do the same. Almost two decades on, he is now in a position to do exactly that and has set up The Investor’s Way, a program that teaches people how to take control of their money so they can establish a safe and secure financial future.
API: Can you tell me a little bit about why you decided to launch The Investor’s Way?
AW: It goes back to one of those investing seminars back in the 90s. I was asked to complete an exercise about my dreams and goals and write them down on a little piece of paper. And on that piece of paper, I wrote that I wanted to make investing my career. At first, I wanted to do it for myself and then I wanted it to be able to show others how to do it. I kept that piece of paper, which was something they told us to do at the seminar and to come back and refer to it. I didn't refer to it until I moved house, some many years later and found it. And it wasn't until about 2017 when I finally decided it was probably time to do something about it. So I started writing a blog and it went from there.
API: Can you share with us your vision behind The Investor’s Way?
AW: At a high level, my ultimate vision is to help or teach a million people how to take control of their money and establish the strategies and structures to secure a safe financial future. I believe that I don't necessarily have to teach a million people directly. If a general house has two to four people - if I can teach one, then they can go and share it with two or three more people in their household. By teaching a few, we get access to a few more, and so I have this goal that by using the power of leverage or compounding knowledge we can reach a million people. There is a percentage of the population that are only one paycheck away from severe financial stress. So really my main goal is to empower these people to break away from that situation. And if as a result, we can help people create much larger wealth then that's even better.
API: Wow 1 million people, that’s an impressive goal to have and using the concept of compounding knowledge makes it much more achievable. What type of investors do your programs work best for?
AW: Our courses teach real beginners through to intermediate and even some that I would classify as advanced investors. We have two entry-level courses for people. One is a short, five-module course where we teach people to take control of their money and set up structures that will help alleviate some money stress. In the second course, we go into my strategies and selection criteria behind property investing, and stock investing to show how this can be used to make decisions on what to invest in. It’s like investing, 201, where we go a little bit deeper than just the basics and for those people that are a little bit more advanced.
API: What are some of the major problems and stresses your clients are generally experiencing when they come to you?
AW: So the biggest ones are too much debt, not enough money to get into investing, the belief that they don't have enough money to get into investing or the belief that they need a large sum to get started. And then the big one, which is that they don't have time.
API: What are some of the key characteristics that can help an investor on the path to financial freedom?
AW: I believe that it all starts with mindset. Certainly, in the investing bootcamp, which is the investment course, we spend an entire module on mindset, because I think that's the foundation. You can have the best investment strategy in the world, but if you have mindset issues, you'll find a way to not make money using that strategy. If I was to narrow it down to one main characteristic, it's a persistence of action. Nothing happens if you don’t take action. As I said earlier, if you let little pebbles in the road get in your way, then you're not going to get the results that you were looking for.
Andrew Woodward is a mindshift.money accredited money coach based in Sydney who teaches people to take control of their money and invest for their future, simply and efficiently. Sign up for his free weekly money tips at theinvestorsway.com.au