Investing With A Conscience Spurs Success
For some investors it’s not enough to build their own wealth - they’re seeking to directly uplift other’s wellbeing and financial security at the same time. Such is the case for Arjun Paliwal, an investor in his mid 20s aiming for huge impact with his anticipated long-term property returns. Setting himself the target of owning a $100m real estate portfolio by the age of 50, Arjun has big plans for the calculated $1m passive income per month and other investments would provide. Until then he’s got some way to go, but with nearly 10 properties in his portfolio Arjun is methodically working towards reaching his ultimate aim.
Starting out investing simply with the hope of owning his home debt-free, Arjun recalibrated his goals with each hint of success until he landed on his “big hairy audacious goal”. Born in New Zealand to parents of Indian heritage, Arjun now lives in Australia with aims to distribute his eventual surplus investment returns into each of these countries, with drought, healthcare, financial education and homelessness on his radar.
“There’s just so many things that come to mind and at the moment my money can only go so far,” he says.
At home in the world of high finance, Arjun comes from a banking background where he’s seen all kinds of deals eventuate so it’s no surprise he’s shooting for the stars. It was while working in the sector that he made a conscious decision to see the “story behind the story” to understand what compelled people to seek finance and the success that step could bring.
“That was what really ignited me to get into property,” he says.
The smooth process of buying his first home - a base for Arjun, his wife and his parents - was the launch-pad to get into investing, when the relatively painless introduction to a mortgage sparked him to purchase again. Describing himself as a good saver, Arjun wanted to jump into investing straight away but he soon hit a wall familiar to many.
“There were so many things to do, you could invest anywhere,” he says. “I didn’t know where to start.”
Time poor, Arjun made the move to engage a professional buyers agent to assist with property selection.
“Even though I worked in banking I realised I needed help,” he says. “What we do know is our niche of how to help people with lending.”
By letting go and handing over the reins to somebody else, it shortened what could have been a long drawn-out process had Arjun taken the Do-It-Yourself route. Soon handed mortgage documents followed by a contract of sale for his first investment property, he saw an immediate benefit for his annual income. In that moment, Arjun could see the cumulative effects over time a portfolio would bring, launching all the possibilities that long-term “big hairy audacious goal” may bring.
“I’d created my own $6-7k pay increase, the result of signing two papers,” he says.
Working from a buy and hold strategy, Arjun now owns nine properties - eight residential, one commercial - and is soon to sign a deal on his 10 th. With his portfolio spread across Australia’s eastern states and Tasmania, he prefers residential for its opportunities for growth based on comparable sales and commercial for its more stable tenancy, higher passive income prospects and long-term leases.
Further citing the more favourable lending conditions for commercial property, Arjun says the best investment decision he ever made was to go down that path. He firmly believes everyone needs a bit of both in their own too, as a great way to fast-track a portfolio.
Where things have gone wrong along the way is just as easy to point out, with Arjun unequivocal that purchasing a townhouse as part of a complex was his worst ever investment decision. Lulled into feeling it was a good safe buy where everything is managed for you, he instead felt stuck without control over anything. He decided the only way he’d ever invest in a townhouse complex again was to buy one outright - a move he recently made in Tasmania.
For new investors, Arjun wouldn’t hesitate to recommend getting professional help just as he did to kickstart his own property journey. It’s essential, according to Arjun, to seek out tax professionals, buyers agents and property managers to maximise your efforts, rather than trying to do it all by yourself.
“The majority of homeowners and investors haven’t had a lot of practice with real estate and most only own two which doesn’t make you a professional,” he says.
“Having that practise is costly if you get it wrong.”