How to invest like the pros

I was having my hair cut the other day when Joseph my barber said, “Michael – I’m going to get into property investing and I’m going to make a fortune because I’ve learned how to invest like the pros!”

Each time I visit Joseph the conversation seems to revolve around property, but when I heard him say he learned how the pros do it I was concerned.

I know Joseph has been reading every property book he could get his hands on, attended a few seminars and watched all the free DVD’s the property marketers are sending out.

I also know that while Joseph enjoys his job, he’s sick of the rat race and trading his time for dollars. He is looking for a level of financial freedom and told me he feels he missed out on the last property boom and wants to make up for lost time.

He wants to get rich quick.

In the past when we’ve discussed property, Joseph was scared to take on more debt and get into the market. Instead he paid down the mortgage on his home.

Now while he has the “security” of minimal debt on his home, he feels he has to catch up with many of his friends who took the plunge into property a few years ago and now own one or two investment properties and are slowly working their way out of the rat race.

When our property markets turned the corner in the middle of last year I recommended Joseph use the equity in his home to get into property investment, but at the time all the property pessimists in the media held him back.

But now armed with all his newfound knowledge, he was feeling confident enough to finally take the plunge into property.

So when Joseph told me he knows how to invest like the pros, I had to ask –  “OK – how are you going to do it?”

“Easy” he said. “I’ve been to a seminar and signed up for a course.”

Then he pulled out the advertisement in the magazine that attracted his attention.

It promised the ability to control millions of dollars worth of property with none of your own money and bypassing the banks. It also explained how the course presenter had made millions of dollars in seven days.

At that point I felt sorry for Joseph and for the thousands of novice (and some experienced) property investors who will be taken by the new breed of property spruikers who are once again out in force.

Sure the promises sound enticing…

The opportunity of getting a life-altering fortune overnight by barely tapping the easy button as you breeze by en-route to your deck chair on the beach.

But why seven days?

Why not seven hours? Or seven minutes?

Of course I am being sarcastic! You can’t become wealthy in seven days. You probably couldn’t even read the course material in seven days.

Just look at some of the ads: “We’ll teach you how to buy a property to renovate and sell for a profit – a great replacement for your job.” Yet they don’t explain how after paying tax and GST on the sale and stamp duty on your next property you are likely to be left with very little, if any profit.

Then there’s a course that teaches you how to buy properties with options. Nothing or very little down today and own a property in 5 years time.

The problem is; this nonsense that you should expect childishly simple, microwave instant solutions to complex opportunities and when you don’t find them in one place, you rush off after the next pretender peddling it, is what stops the average Australian ever becoming wealthy through property investment.

The idea of instant, simple and easy has risen from being laughed at and ridiculed, to being the expectation and entitlement of a new generation of investors.

Here is what the real pros know…

You can’t create wealth though property overnight, but you can certainly become very rich in the medium to long term by knuckling down and seriously applying yourself in a dedicated, disciplined, persistent way.

You get there by following a proven system and by having a safe property and finance strategy.apartment house

You then implement this by buying the right property, in the right location, at the right price and holding it for the long term.

Not by adding hot water to a packet of magic beans and counting to seven.

Yes you can and should accelerate the process by learning the strategies of value adding through renovations and development, but you can’t skip the fundamental process.

While property spruikers went quiet during the real estate downturn, unfortunately the new property cycle is bringing out a fresh group of “property pretenders”.

There are now property “experts” out there selling advice and courses despite never having built their own property portfolios.

This makes it timely to remind readers that seminars promising easy wealth through property have all too often led to financial ruin.

It’s just the cycle repeating itself.

I remember when I first conducted property education seminars about 13 years ago I had to compete with the unrealistic promises of Henry Kaye who casued 13,000 consumers to lose around $60 million after attending his seminars.

To be clear and reconcile my position…

I have been conducting educational seminars for around 13years, but I don’t have any properties for sale at the back of the room and I’m not paid to make a particular property developer’s project look favourable.

houseAnd I don’t, and never have, promised instant riches.

Sure I “sell” the services of the team of property professionals at Metropole but they are independent and unbiased and that’s an important differentiating factor.

If you are going to listen to someone’s advice make sure it is unbiased and not self-serving.

Be even more cautious if people are willing to offer advice for free and if it sounds to good to be true it most likely is.

Making things worse today is the Internet and the mindset it has produced, which puts born-yesterday pretenders and academic theorists on even footing with long established experts who have painstakingly amassed their knowledge and have proven it over time in the real world.

Some are just in too much of a hurry

What has happened is that in their haste to hitch on to this new property boom, many beginning investors have chosen to devalue “credibility” in favour of “believability.”

Let me explain the difference….

Credibility requires education, experience, track record and proof of value – all things produced by an investment in time.

On the other hand, believability requires only the ability to create belief – and that’s so much easier to do today with a fancy website and a glossy brochure.

All this sounds to good to be true doesn’t it?

Of course it does!

So what can Joseph and other property investors learn from what happened in previous property cycles? Or will they be doomed to repeat it?

My suggestion is to educate yourself and become financially fluent, but be careful who you learn from.House

As I’ve already explained; find a credible source, not someone with incredible promises.

This will allow you to be in control of your own financial destiny.

Of course this doesn’t mean you should do it on your own.

To become a successful investor you will need to surround yourself with a team of independent and unbiased professionals – a team of people who are known, proven and trusted.

Then go ahead and take advantage of the new property cycle, because the future is bright for those who invest sensibly in property.

What are you going to do about this?

If you want to take advantage of the opportunities our growing property markets will offer you now is a good time to consider your options.

property investment adviceIf you’re looking for independent advice, no one can help you quite like the independent property investment strategists at Metropole.

Remember the multi award winning team of property investment strategists at Metropole have no properties to sell, so their advice is unbiased.

Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned property investor, we would love to help you formulate an investment strategy or do a review of your existing portfolio, and help you take your property investment to the next level. Please click here to organise a time for a chat. Or call us on 1300 20 30 30.

When you attend our offices in Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane you will receive a free copy of my latest 2 x DVD program Building Wealth through Property Investment in the new Economy valued at $49.

Just click on this link to find out more and reserve your place.

Also published on Medium.

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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who create wealth for their clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit

'How to invest like the pros' have 11 comments

  1. November 22, 2013 @ 6:24 am Gail H

    Thanks for the lesson in reality Michael
    I know it has taken me over 20 years to build avery substantial property portfolio, plus lots of hard work, saving, discipline and a few failures along the way.
    Yet many young people seem jealous of this and want similar results overnight. They’ll learn the hard way that if it sounds too good to be true it is!


    • November 22, 2013 @ 7:13 am Michael Yardney

      Thanks for the comment – Warren Buffet said it well: Wealth is the transfer of money form the impatient to the patient


  2. November 22, 2013 @ 10:09 am Andrew

    I enjoy reading your blogs, but I find it interesting that on the side of this page is an add for a company that regularly spruiks “pay off your home in five years”, “retire with a passive income of $100,000.00 per year”. Now maybe it’s just Google throwing these pages up, maybe not.


    • November 22, 2013 @ 10:27 am Michael Yardney

      Thanks for the kind words Andrew
      You are right Google spits out the ads not me – they provide a little “pocket money” for us as maintaining this blog is an expensive excercise


  3. November 22, 2013 @ 10:34 am Gregory James

    Thanks, Michael, I believe that reality articles like these can only enhance your personal reputation in comparison with the fly-by-nighters. Although I cannot claim to be a property success story yet, I am steadily and slowly developing my own educartion, which did include consideration back in 2007 of a few of the strategies suggested by the spruikers. At the risk of sounding conceited, their methods and materials were quickly relegated into the ‘too good to be true’ basket, even by me back then, and I wrote them all off as a joke. Around this time I also came across yourself and Margaret Lomas, who instantly oozed experience and credibility … as well as independence. I don’t think it is too hard to discover good advice and to weed out the bad – you just need to be a bit sensible and resist those urges of expectation and entitlement that you mentioned. The sensible young ones will be ok; the senseless ones will be their prey and end up poor and unhappy…


    • November 22, 2013 @ 11:02 am Michael Yardney

      Thanks for the kind words Greg
      I also speak from experience having been sucked in to a get rich quick scheme when I was young. Yes it sounded to good to be true then, but I was in a hurry to get rich. That lesson cost me $5,000 in the late 70’s – that would have been the deposit for another property. It wasn’t enough money to break me, but it was a very expensive lesson (boy did it bruise my ego) and I sure learned a lot


  4. November 22, 2013 @ 10:48 am Thisbe

    Your article of the sad story of ”How to invest like a pro”‘ is true.
    Beginners are stormed with strange ideas in those free property seminars.

    I have a question and hope you can help.
    Since the Melb property price has risen so much, would you please share your view for
    people has limited capital, want to invest in good capital growth area
    for the long haul for properties like house, villa, townhouse
    (not high rise or medium intensive built units).
    Thank you so much.
    Wishing you success.


    • November 22, 2013 @ 11:05 am Michael Yardney

      You’re right the Melbourne market has moved on, but overall values are just back to where they were in late 2010.
      I agree buying an established apartment in the inner or middle ring suburbs is the way to go for beginning investors and there are still some good buys in selected Melbourne inner northern and western suburbs where the price point is considerably less than in the eastern and bayside suburbs.

      And you can make it even easier on your budget if you buy a 1 bedroom apartment – they make great investments, just make sure the size is a minimum of of living space


  5. November 22, 2013 @ 11:16 am Kelvin Ong

    Hi Michael, thank you for your article. However, I noticed that your blog is mainly for Australian. Do you have any articles for foreigner who would like to invest in Melbourne but do not reside in Australia?


  6. November 22, 2013 @ 12:00 pm Pece Klasevski

    Hi Michael

    Long time reader, first time commenter.

    Thanks for writing this article. It has re-inforced my beliefs and goals in regards to Property Investment. Having started in 2008 at age 23 and now having a sizeable portfolio, it’s articles like this that help re-inforce the investment goals I have set myself.


  7. January 14, 2014 @ 6:10 am Caleb

    There are definitely good opportunities in real estate investment.


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