Archive for September, 2008
I’ve talked about this before but I find i keep coming back to the “bigger” principles over and over again because we all forget them so quickly.
This week I have had about 5 people in Australia speak to me about my blogs. And I have had a surprisingly high number of emails about them as well from people as far flung as England, South Africa and New Zealand.
The content of the conversations and emails has been scarily similar. Basically people have said:
“Don’t you dare stop doing your blogs, they are often the only positive thing I receive in a whole day”.
Well firstly let me assure you that short of illness or death I have no plans to stop blogging and writing OK?.
But the proliferation of these comments leads me to ask you the above question again:
“What fills you up?”
We all need input that boosts our endorphin levels, these are the chemicals that make us feel good. Whether it is a spiritual discipline or music or gazing at water, we need to know what it is that fills us up and make sure we enjoy it regularly.
My wife and I are both wired for water so we sit by the sea and pray or just watch the world go by. This simple act empowers and inspires me and literally makes my day.
You will have things that do it for you, we all do. If you can’t think what they are then think back as far as your memory works for and look for the events or situations that made you feel good. It might be baking, riding a horse, painting a picture or discovering that the dogs weren’t the boys and the cats the girls.
Give yourself some time and your triggers will surface. Realise that they are critical to have in your life, don’t ignore or abandon them.
Stay Safe ~ Dean Letfus @ www.massiveaction.co.nz
It is certainly a tumultuous time out there in the finance industry. Everyday seems to be bringing tighter lending criteria and more and more people finding it difficult to borrow money when they never had an issue before.
Whilst there is no doubt that the money go round is only firing on a couple of cylinders I think we need to remember a few things as well.
1. Lo-doc and no-doc loans only came to New Zealand around 2001. We have been successfully investing in New Zealand for nearly a hundred years without them.
2. Because they so easily solved the finance problems there has been no need for any more sophisticated products and solutions. They will now start to appear as investors find new ways to keep investing.
3. There is no shortage of money in the world. It is unfairly distributed, but there is lots of it. Much of the current meltdown is actually paper money, artificial money created on a computer. However there are people and nations groaning under the weight of real money. Areas like the UAE actually can’t spend it fast enough.
For example I we are launching a new finance product at our Up Strategies event for people with lots of equity and decent income who can borrow money at 4% up to 80% LVR!!
It’s not for everyone but will make a lot of people smile, maybe you, and suddenly give you the ability to not just keep investing but grow a seriously cash flow positive portfolio.
When the world changes human nature doesn’t mean that we all lie down and die.
People like me just start looking for better solutions .
you may feel a bit hamstrung for a few months until the dust settles but that is a great time to get educated, check your goals and rules and generally get ready to go again.
Stay Safe ~ Dean Letfus.
Tony and Maree. They were clients/friends of mine in New Zealand and while ago they took the plunge and moved to the Gold Coast.
I mention them for 2 reasons. Firstly they epitomise the right sort of attitude I discussed this morning and secondly I met them this morning so they are fresh in my mind.
They were excited to show me their new home on the Coast. They have been house hunting for some time and they are so well trained they were waiting for a “real deal” before buying.
The details are none of yours or my business but suffice to say they are moving into an amazing apartment with views to die for and they bought at a 56% discount off the original sale price!!
The agent who showed us through said “Some investors buy well, but you guys stole this place”
Now what is so inspiring about these guys for me is they are really living out of the mindset I discussed earlier today to “be content where you are”.
They both had to get jobs in OZ to make it easier for them to get finance to get going with their investing. They both felt initially like they were going backwards. They were full time investors in New Zealand and now suddenly they are working for wages again. But they know it is a stepping stone to greater things so they are enjoying where they are anyway. And the fruit of that is in gaining several hundred thousand dollars worth of equity in their first purchase. (Once the market comes right and they can get a real valuation I think even they will be amazed just how much money they have made in one transaction).
If they had been coming home from work and complaining to each other about how terrible it was they had to work and being negative about the shift do you think they would have invested the energy required to find a deal like they have?? Of course not.
But they put the effort in and got the result because they chose to stay positive, enjoy the journey and not push themselves to a point where they become miserable in the present chasing a future they may never attain.
I spent all today looking at property on the Coast and found some “quite good” deals as I would expect when I am going in cold as it were. But all I could think about was how amazing Tony and Maree’s deal was and trying to decide if I was going to put in the same amount of effort to get a similar result myself.
So congratulations again guys, you are an inspiration to me and now to a multitude of blog readers all over the world!!
Stay Safe ~ Dean Letfus.
Make sense?? I hope so, this is critical stuff.
Being in OZ, (home tomorrow), it is difficult to not see rugby, league or AFL daily.
So I ended up watching the Warriors Manly game last night. It was a poignant reminder of mind over matter when it comes to sport.
The Warriors had proved in the previous 2 weeks that they could beat anybody, in the same way the Storm performed without their captain on Friday night.
So you only had to look at their faces from the beginning of the match to see they would get murdered. Having not been in their dressing room I don’t know why their heads were in a bad space but it is likely to be one of 2 things:
1. They were afraid of Manly. This puts you on a hiding to nothing before you take the field, or:
2. They didn’t want it badly enough. I suspect this is the case. They may have ben so excited to have gotten this far when they expected to be gone last week that they simply were happy with where they were at. And there’s nothing wrong with that in itself, however aiming to come in towards the top is quite different to aiming to win .
Your life will be exactly the same. Many dreams you have will die because teh action required to achieve them is too scary AND many others will never be achieved because you are quite happy where you are.
Hey and before you beat yourself up realise that IS OK. You don’t have to be the next world beater if you don’t want to be. You want and need to be fulfilled and happy, not a world leader.
As I have worked on the Gold Coast this last week I have missed my wife terribly and felt almost assaulted by the ridiculous levels of wealth here and the extravagance that goes with it. I’ve been driven in a brand new Ferrari by a famous sportswoman. I’ve had dinner in a 30 million dollar house on the water. I’ve sat and discussed business with people worth squillions of dollars etc.
And you know it leaves me empty. I do it because I have a business to run and I believe God has called me to this for a season. But next month when I go to Fiji and sit with my friends who earn $50 a week and listen to the dogs fighting in the street and sit and share my heart and life with those who really love Raewyn and I. As we pray about what to do next in Fiji and how to serve them better and how to glorify God in that place……
Now that’s success FOR ME, thats really living, FOR ME.
Know what you want, what is really important
and have it!!
Never feel guilty because you didn’t win, unless you really really wanted it.
Love where you are today, if that is where you want to be.
The Warriors could be devastated over last night or celebrate the success of getting where they did. One will produce enormous pleasure the former immense pain, from the SAME event. The only difference will be between their ears.
Stay Safe ~ Dean Letfus.
The following is a true story:
Nick was from Yugoslavia. He came to Australia and started working in the mines. On a trip to the Gold Coast he visited the Currumbin valley and was struck by the beauty of the area and the similarity to his homeland.
On the trip he found a lifestyle block for sale that looked right up the valley to the mountains.
It was a stretch financially but he bought the land and returned to the mines.
He worked literally every day without 1 day off for 5 years in the mines and finally had saved enough money to build on his land and semi retire.
He had kept himself going for 5 years by having a picture of his land and view above his bed and he couldn’t wait to see it in the flesh again.
He arrived on the Coast on Christmas day and drove up to his valley and up onto his land to enjoy his “homecoming”.
As he drove up onto his land he saw something he couldn’t believe. There was a house built on HIS land, and people appeared to be living in it!!!!!
He marched up to the front door disturbing kids opening presents etc. and demanded to know what the hell they were doing on his land and where did this ^#*(@%#* house come from.
Bill and Jenny loved the Currumbin area and when a lifestyle block was advertised they rushed to view it. The agent met them on site and showed them the building site etc. with fabulous views to the mountains. They fell in love and bought it.
Their solicitor completed the paperwork, the bank gave them a construction loan and over time they built their dream home and moved in.
One Christmas morning there was a very loud knock at the door and they were confronted not by the grandparents but a rabid foreigner screaming at them for being on his land??
Mr Smith decided to sell his lifestyle block and rung a local agent to list it. He described the property and the agent drove up to have a look. Finding the described block of land he duly listed the property. He probably did a title search to check the lot and DP number but never bothered to get a copy of the local plan and check the physical boundaries.
Bill and Jenny’s lawyer advised them in a standard letter to ensure they had the property surveyed and offered to arrange this for them. Bill and Jenny, like many of us would, ignored this request from their solicitor.
Bill and Jenny’s bank assumed that as they were good upstanding clients with a good solicitor that everything was in order and compliant, so lent them the money to settle the land and build their home.
So what happened?? What went wrong?? And how did it end??
The agent had put a sign up on the land he had been asked to sell. Only problem was he actually put a sign up on Nicks land instead of the block he had been engaged to sell.
Because Nick was in the mines for 5 years and never visited the land he never saw the incorrect sign. Had the agent looked at a plan he would have seen and corrected his mistake.
The bank assumed the property had been surveyed when it hadn’t so they lent money to Bill and Jenny to settle the land, which was actually next door to where they thought they were buying and then lent them money to build a house on someone else’s land. Their only security was the land that Bill and Jenny didn’t know they owned and a house worth nothing because it was built illegally on someone else’s land.
Can you imagine the bank manager on being advised of this?? ” We lent you a million dollars and you built your house where?”
But wait, there’s more.
Nick goes to his solicitor and instructs him to sort this out and get these trespassers and their ugly house off his dream home site.
Are you ready??
His solicitor sadly has to inform him of an obscure but binding piece of Queensland legislation that says in plain English terms:
“Should someone inadvertently construct an improvement on someone else’s land and it is entirely accidental and unplanned then….
The land must be sold to the people who have done the improvements at fair market value.”
So Bill and Jenny now own Nicks land…. and Nick??
After informing his solicitor that the law is stupid he instructed him to fight the case.
After the lawyer lost the case, as he knew he would because the law is so clear, Nick told him he was stupid and got another lawyer.
After that lawyer lost the appeal in the high court Nick decided that Australia was pretty stupid and is now living in Yugoslavia again.
All this occurred because 1 agent couldn’t be bothered to take 5 minutes to look at a map
Stay Safe ~ Dean Letfus
saying “Be nice to me, I have lost my mind”.
I have had a few emails from people, several of whom I know quite well, congratulating me on becoming a real estate agent.
Have you lost your minds?? Can you honestly imagine me being, or wanting to be a real estate agent??
I love to inspire and educate people, I love to work with those I love in Fiji, I love chocolate!!
I do not relish the thought of working very very hard in an industry where everything is your fault and your top income potential is around 250K. Hello, does this sound like me
So just for clarification I am doing my real estate agents course in Oz so that I can learn more about the laws and rules here, not to mention meeting some great professionals.
I am more and more convinced that OZ should be a part of every kiwi’s portfolio so if I want to give you all the best advice I need to be an expert in this country as well as New Zealand. I can achieve that rapidly by doing lots of investing here and being able to operate on the agents side as well gives me a wonderful education on property law, legal stuff etc.
You see I can take you to a dozen areas here that have achieved over 100% capital growth in the last 5 years. I can show you multiple areas that have the highest probability of doubling in the next 4 to 5 years. The opportunities with high probability of growth and low risk, combined with the same yields as NZ are everywhere.
So thank you all for your kind words, slightly misplaced, and be assured I remain the Massive Action man, I’m just now operating and learning about 2 countries instead of 1.
Me, an agent, now that’s funny!! Wait till I tell Raewyn.
Stay Safe ~ Dean
I was talking to a financier friend last night and inevitably the name Jim Raptis came up. HE is a major developer on the gold coast and his company is in financial trouble exacerbated by the current financial drama world wide.
My friend, who has worked with developers for many years, said basically all developers went broke at least once because they continually “bet the farm” on their next development.
They would take all the profit from a project and invest it all in the next one using the same leverage.
Make 200K, use that as a deposit on a 2 million dollar project.
Make 1 million on that and put that into a ten million dollar project.
Make 5 million on that and buy a 50 million dollar project etc.
Can you spot the fatal mistake with this system?
Well I think there are 2. Firstly and most seriously they are staying 90% geared. As the projects get bigger they are still only allowing themselves a 10% buffer for error. As the projects get bigger there are more and more opportunities for things to go wrong and eventually a big enough project can sink them.
The second thing they are doing wrong is not taking a % of their profits and safely investing it, either in keeping their own stock OR investing it somewhere else.
So “nearly all” developers go bust because of this, so I’m told.
How could it be fixed?? Well that’s why I mention all this because it could be fixed so easily.
All they need to basically remove this risk completely is……….
If they said that 25% of every projects profits was to be invested outside of property development that would solve it.
If they said that 5% of everything they built they would sell to a family trust and keep that would solve it.
If they said that from
0 to 2 million max gearing 90%
2 to 10 million max gearing 80%
10 to 100 million max gearing 75%
that would solve it.
The power of rules never ceases to amaze me!!
There is a company here on the Coast called Meriton and the owner of that company went bust many years ago and decided that he would never ever be beholden to a bank again. So he set some rules for himself. Today he is worth billions, is the largest developer of apartments in Australia and is so profitable that he builds entire high rises with hundreds of apartments and keeps them as rentals. Imagine being able to build a 300 or 500 million dollar building and keeping it, (with say 300 units returning $500 a week each!!). The power of investing rules
So how are you going sticking to your rules so that you can….
Stay Safe ~ (Dean Letfus @ www.MassiveAction.co.nz)