Defencewealth was established in 2013 with the sole aim of providing ADF personnel with trusted and tailored property investment advice, strategy and general wealth education. Its founder who began investing at the age of nineteen is a serving ADF Pilot with over fifteen years service and is also a Qualified Property Investment Adviser (QPIA) accredited with the Property Investment Professionals of Australia.
Over the last ten years we have personally assisted several colleagues and friends make the leap into direct property investment by providing casual advice and opinion based on both personal and family experience and research. As a result, those that took action have found themselves acquiring high-performing properties both in capital growth and rental yield, but most importantly are positively impacting on their wealth base and financial future whilst serving their nation.
The concept of wealth and its creation is unfortunately foreign to many. This is by virtue of the fact that true financial and wealth education is not taught in our present-day education system. Investment literacy is severely lacking in the greater population. By having a fundamental appreciation of the exact kind of economic and social system we live in today, you will be able to effectively apply the system to both you and your family’s advantage regardless of what economic cycle we are in. This is how the wealthy keep getting wealthier.
Contrary to popular belief wealth is not just about money. Money is merely one part of the wealth creation process. It is an enabler that can be very powerful if understood and used correctly. The transformation of money into wealth can be confusing. Being rich is very different to being wealthy. Real wealth is measured by your growth holdings that will grant you the power of choice should you ever want or need it between now and when MSBS pension becomes accessible. For most of us, pension phase is over 20-30 years away!
Being wealthy though is a position of responsibility. It is a responsibility to yourself, your family, your future generation and to society not to destroy it. It has the powerful ability to protect or help you recover from life’s unknowns and curve-balls. It puts you in a position of power versus a position of need.
Many who find themselves with windfalls either from lotto or gambling winnings, inheritances, retention bonuses or overseas allowances (Timor and MEAO) usually end up doing one of two things. Either spend the majority of it on depreciating consumer products such as new cars, boats, jet-skis and entertainment systems, or they deposit it into a savings account for a lengthy period while deciding on what to do next. It’s important to realise that when it comes to investing, time really is money.
A minority however will actually purchase a home whether it be for themselves or an investment or choose to invest in shares directly or as part of a managed fund. Whilst the intent is admirable, there didn’t appear to be any real strategy or proper understanding behind what they had done; they just knew and felt they needed to do something based on either herd mentality or a fear of missing out. Building wealth is ultimately about self-leadership and commitment by having plans and systems in place that need to be followed and regularly reviewed.
The financial and economic system we live in today is one based on necessary inflation. We need inflation, wages and the costs of living to keep increasing in order to keep our economy growing. It is no secret that the Reserve Bank (RBA) has a targeted inflation band of 2-3% and will adjust monetary policy (the official cash and interest rate) to keep it within this band.
Without inflation, we run the risk of deflation which is far worse than hyperinflation (as currently occurring in Zimbabwe) as it has the real potential to cause social unrest, chaos and upheaval.
If prices are expected to fall then consumers become disinclined to spend, and those with mortgages are also severely punished if the value of properties continue to slide over time. This scenario will severely impact our economy’s stability.
Of course, this is the exact reverse of what we typically experience in times of inflation, where consumers remain inclined to spend (as the cost of goods and services next year will be higher) and owners of real estate are rewarded as rents and property prices increase but the effective value of mortgage debt is inflated away.
Because of this inflationary and credit-based financial system that must continue, the key to building security and wealth is to invest in assets that hedge against inflation. These can range from shares, commodities, precious metals, property or even rare art and collectables.
We fundamentally believe however that residential property (land specifically) is by and large the superior asset class for a number of reasons:
• It is a real and tangible asset – not paper based like shares or stocks;
• It is a necessities commodity – we all need shelter regardless of what the economy is doing;
• It is viewed as a ‘safe’ investment by banks and prudential authorities with loans available for up to 95% of the property’s value;
• Over 60% of the major-bank loan books are secured against property – demonstrates high confidence;
• It is tax advantaged when investing;
• Well located, investment-grade property ensures capital growth and continued high rental yield providing security of income;
• The locational value (derived from scarcity and exclusivity) and land content is what drives capital growth – the key ingredient to sustained wealth.
We live in a cyclic world. Everything runs in cycles and our financial and economic system is no different. By taking the time to understand and appreciate just where we are at the moment in the broader economic and land-rent (property) cycle, coupled with the emerging Asian Century tiger-cub economies right on our doorstep, Australia and its real-estate market has a very, very bright future.
Be careful though, there is a lot of noise out there in the property investment world and only a small percentage of real-estate can be considered true investment-grade. There are numerous spruikers and inexperienced commentators offering ill-advice and misinformation to whoever will listen or pay. Remember, no one is going to look after yourself better than you.
We at Defencewealth believe that you shouldn’t invest just for the sake of it. This can be extremely costly and very dangerous. Instead a person needs to gain a very good understanding of why they are investing, what their objectives and expectations are and what potential risks they face before crafting a suitable strategy and ultimately making life-changing investment decisions. It all boils down to having a macro appreciation of what’s going on around you coupled with a micro analysis of your personal position and goals. Property is a long-term play (minimum ten years), therefore obtaining the right advice from experienced investors and trusted, qualified industry professionals throughout your investing journey is crucial to ensuring success. This is why Defencewealth was created.
The Defencewealth aim is simple – to become a trusted wealth creation partner that educates, assists and ultimately empowers ADF members to:
• Build personal or family wealth through property utilising the power of compound growth;
• Manage it properly;
• Protect and maintain it;
• Grow its base using responsible and sustainable leverage;
• Resist the urge to consume it;
• Hand it on to the next generation or realise the gains at your discretion; and
• Accomplish this without destroying your family or lifestyle in the process!
Getting your property investment strategy right is just one piece of the wealth through property puzzle. Other key areas include ownership and finance structures, tax and gearing efficiency and estate planning – the last thing you want is having assets that you’ve spent your life acquiring being mishandled or going to outsiders. We accomplish all this through our network of investment-savvy industry professionals that subscribe to military values.
Make no mistake that the stability and security of your Defence Force career places you in very good stead compared to the wider population in terms of being able to take advantage of this current era of immense opportunity. We believe that every Defence member and family is capable of building a strong wealth culture that is centred around:
• Putting in place a long-term portfolio of great property investments your family will never have to touch (but can live well off the earnings);
• Tearing down any culture or sense of entitlement and hence possessing a better relationship with money;
• Learning how to respect — and respond accordingly — to the many opportunities and risks each economic and property cycle brings;
• Creating a tax-efficient ‘succession strategy’ for the simple, hassle-free handover of bloodline wealth;
• Receiving some of the best property investment advice and market research, finance guidance and tax-planning advice in the country.
ADF members are a unique breed. We know from experience that the majority are determined, motivated and always willing to go that extra mile without taking unnecessary risk. The core military values of professionalism, integrity, innovation and teamwork are what guide our business and service ethos. Our almost scientific strategies are tried, tested and proven and we know that credibility and reputation are crucial to our success. We are headed by ex-Defence Force members who understand the pressures of Service life and are investors themselves.
Our vision and desire is to give back to the Service by helping committed and determined members on their wealth building and investment journey regardless of what stage they are at. We know that trust is not easy until proven and we know we will have to work hard to gain yours. We are qualified and aspire to be true leaders in this industry as we ultimately believe in seeking the best for those we serve wherever you may be in Australia or overseas.
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