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By Michael Yardney
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I would have been a better property investor if I knew these 12 things earlier in life

key takeaways

Key takeaways

Here are the 12 things I wish I had known about when I first started investing:

1. Become the pilot of your life

2. Keep your eye on the prize!

3. Your attitude changes your reality

4. You must give to receive

5. Be Pro-active rather than reactive

6. Make your time count!

7. Mistakes mean growth!

8. Don’t waste your time worrying

9. Don’t compare yourself to others

10. The economy and investment markets move in cycles

11. It's important that investors enjoy the magic of compounding

12. Every year there is an X factor

Recently one of my nephews, who has suddenly taken an interest in the property, asked me:

“You’ve been investing for a long time - If you could go back 40 or 50 years, what would you have liked to know then that would have made you do things differently?”

Now that’s a great question, isn’t it?

It made me realise that I have lived long enough to stop thinking about the past with regret, yet there are lots of things I wish I had known earlier in life.

These would have made me a better and wiser person and a more successful property investor.

So here are the twelve things I wish I had known about “then”:

1. Become the pilot of your life 

Everything changed for me when I learned that my thoughts lead to my feelings, my feelings lead to my actions and my actions lead to my results.

Meditative Young Businessman Is Trying To Find The Best Solution For Business Development. Arrows On The Concrete Wall.

This meant my inner world (my thoughts and feelings) controlled my outer world (my actions and results)

The turning point was when I realised that I was responsible for all the things (both good and bad) that happened to me.

I then became the pilot of my life and not a passenger.

And even if it’s not true, I know I act differently and my results are better because I believe I’m responsible for everything that happens to me.

2. Keep your eye on the prize!

When I was young no one taught me about the Reticular Activating System, that part of your brain that only lets you see in your surroundings what you focus your thoughts on.

Goals

It pretty much always helps you to find what you are looking for.

Setting goals and regularly reviewing them is one way to keep your focus on what’s important and to help you take action that will move you closer to where you want to go.

3. Your attitude changes your reality 

It’s the old “is the glass half full or half empty” story.

When things happen in life that we don’t like, we can either choose to see them as a problem or as a solution waiting to be discovered.

It took me quite a while to discover that if you change your attitude, you actually change your reality.

When you have a positive attitude instead of a negative one, you start to see things and viewpoints that were invisible to you before.

 4. You must give to receive

As children, we are told that joy is in giving rather than receiving.

But as we become adults, for many life becomes about what we can get out of someone or something.

However, if you want to increase the value you receive (be it money, love, kindness, or opportunities) you have to increase the value you give.

Because over time what you get is in proportion to what you give.

While it would be nice to get something for nothing, that seldom happens.

5. Be Pro-active rather than reactive 

There seem to be 3 types of people:

  • Those who make things happen
  • Those who watch what happens, and…
  • Those that sit and wonder “what just happened?”

Be in the first group and always be on the lookout for opportunities.

6. Make your time count!

How often have you heard someone say: “time flies”?

Indeed it does, so use it wisely!

Just as you are careful about how and where you invest your money, you should also be careful as to how you invest your time.

The Pareto Principle says that 80 per cent of the value we receive comes from just 20 per cent of what we do with our time.

So what things do you spend your time doing that take a lot of energy yet deliver few results?

7. Mistakes mean growth!

Sometimes negative experiences, mistakes, and failures can be even better than success because they teach you something new that another win could never teach you.

However, we are often so driven to get things right that we fail to see the value in the things we get wrong.

Instead, we spend our time wishing we had done it differently.

Growth

Or not doing anything at all because they fear of making mistakes paralyzes us.

If you get it wrong, learn from your mistake and make it count by doing it differently next time.

One “failure” can – with time – help you create many successes.

8. Don’t waste your time worrying

Most things you fear will happen, never do.

They are just monsters in your mind.

And if they do happen then they will most likely not be as bad as you expected.

3 Prayers For When You Cant Stop Worrying Anxiety Stress American Bible Society Blog

So now when confronted with a challenge I put things into perspective by asking myself:

  • What’s the worst that can happen?
  • What’s the best possible outcome? And…
  • What is the most likely thing that’s going to happen

This means you shouldn’t take things too seriously because that seems like a big problem today, you may not even remember in five years.

So lighten up a bit.

Time spent worrying is time that could be spent identifying opportunities and taking action.

9. Don’t compare yourself to others

When you compare yourself to others you let the outside world control how you feel about yourself.

Instead strive to become the best you can be and look at how far you have come, what you have accomplished, and how you have grown.

And here are 3 property related concepts I wish I realised earlier in my investment career:

10. The economy and investment markets move in cycles

That's mainly because most of us get swept up in the optimism or pessimism of others.

Of course, no two cycles are ever the same, but investors need to know that each downturn paved the way for the next boom just as each boom sets the scene for the next slump.

And yes, we are coming up for a period of property market correction, but we're not going to have a property market crash.

Economy

And successful investors aren't concerned by this.

They recognise that market downturns are a “fee of admission” rather than a fine for getting it wrong.

The short-term fall in the value of their properties is the cost of being in the market. It is the cost of long-term success.

11. It's important that investors enjoy the magic of compounding

Wealth is created by building a substantial asset base.

You do this by holding good investments for a reasonably long time, reinvesting the income you’re receiving, and allowing your capital gains to build up.

And finally…

12. Every year there is an X factor 

An unforeseen event or situation that blows all our carefully laid forecasts away.

That’s why it’s critical to have a contingency financial buffer.

In conclusion, we live in the best country in the world and at the best time in history.

Appreciate what you have and enjoy the journey of life because an attitude of gratitude is a simple way to make yourself and those around you feel happy.

About Michael Yardney Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media.
22 comments

Thanks Michael for this publication. The twelve points are invaluable for a long term investment learning. They’re also the wisdom in life after all. Wise investing.

1 reply

Hello, Michael. As usual, thanks for the motivational post! I really enjoy your uplifting and informative articles.

1 reply

Hi Michael, Always look forward to your articles. Learn something new every time. Regards, Sri

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