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By Michael Yardney

The 5 Big Investment Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

Why don’t most investors succeed?

O.K. – please let me be a little blunter…why aren’t you already financially independent or further along your journey to financial freedom?

Financial Freedom

Maybe it’s because you’re making some simple but common investing mistakes that are sabotaging your chances of reaching your financial goals.

If you are, it’s possible you’re unintentionally hurting your own financial results.

Just the other day I was shocked when of our property strategists at Metropole told me about a potential new client who had been "advised to buy a “dud” investment property - an off-the-plan apartment in a CBD high-rise tower.

The property promoter had “sold” this apartment to him on the pretext of giving “advice.”

This poor choice literally cost this poor fellow over $150,000 of potentially better investment returns over the last few years, increased his portfolio risk, and almost sent him broke as he had difficulty servicing his loans as well as negative equity in his property which had fallen in value considerably!

And this is not an isolated or rare occurrence.

At Metropole we see this happen all the time, where well-intentioned people just keep making the same investing mistakes that keep them trapped financially.

So let’s look at some of these mistakes and some steps you can take now to avoid making them yourself so that you can increase your returns and reach your financial goals -faster and safer!

Investment Mistake #1: Following the wrong financial plan.

Do you realise that everyone has a wealth plan that they’re following?

And your wealth plan will either lead you to financial freedom or to financial mediocrity (I’m actually being polite – I really mean poverty.)

Now here's the bad news:

For over 96% of Australian adults, their wealth plan is designed to give them financial mediocrity at best and financial failure at worst.

It's true.


I’m sure you realise that a huge percentage of those who reach retirement age wind up dependent on the government, their family, or a job as the main source to fund what should be their "golden years".

Their financial plan is to:

  1. Get a good education so they can land a “secure” job.
  2. Work for 40 years or so, saving as they go.
  3. Buy themselves a house and pay it off.
  4. Invest their leftover money in conventional investments such as shares, superannuation, managed funds or property so they can retire at age 65 or 70.
  5. Then hope that their money doesn't run out while they’re still alive.

Not a very inspiring plan is it?

Especially considering that this plan fails for 9 out of 10 people who end up finding their golden years full of economic uncertainty and stress.

Why then would anyone choose to follow a plan that at best leads to financial sufficiency but not real freedom and also has such an astronomically high failure rate?

Sadly, the average person doesn't know any better.

They simply accept the barrage of financial programming they’ve taken in passively from the world around them.

But it doesn't have to be that way for you.

You can take charge of your own financial life and guarantee your own financial future.

One of the key steps for you is to create your own action plan for how you will reach your financial goals.

By the way…that’s one of the many things we do with the participants at Wealth Retreat which we will be conducting on the Gold Coast on April 27th - May 1st 2024.

Click here to find out more and register your interest you'll get a call from Jo Fitt and she'll give you all the details.

In fact this year for the first time at Wealth Retreat I’m going to distil the unconscious steps that the wealthy take when they manage and grow their net worth into 7 steps.

This seven-step process for managing and growing your wealth highlights the best leverage points and things you immediately need to change to reach your financial objectives.

This is a “wealth map” that you can follow to turn your hard work and business and investment successes into financial freedom and security.

Small Leather Purse Decorated With Map Of Australia

When you follow each of these seven simple steps you will be well on the way to building your wealth the right way and being in total control of your financial destiny.

Remember, it's not enough for you to be a wildly successful entrepreneur, engineer, or builder.

You must also master the wealth skills you need to build your wealth independent of your business or profession.

When you do this you enjoy a level of control over your financial life that allows you the freedom to do what you want, when you want, where you want, and with whom you want. It gives you the financial certainty that your family will be provided for no matter what comes.

It gives you the financial strength to share your wealth, your time, your knowledge, your skills, and your contacts with the world to leave a lasting legacy.

If this in any way interests you, please click here now and read more about Wealth Retreat, which we had to reschedule we’re now holding on to the Gold Coast from April 27th to May 1st, and register your interest to find out more. 

And this year I will take the risk and guarantee your satisfaction with the event - so why not join us?

Investment Mistake #2: Blindly turning your investments over to a "professional" to do your investing for you.

The temptation is great to go to a financial planner and invest in a "diversified portfolio of professionally managed securities" and hope for the best.

As for me, I am not comfortable passively allowing other people, most of who are still financially struggling employees themselves, to be in control of my financial destiny.

To be frank, seeing the results this has achieved for others, that scenario scares me!

I know that because I've invested the time and energy to cultivate my investing skills I can consistently outperform “the market.”

This is exactly the same skill set I've been teaching people just like you to master over the last 16 years so that you can take control of your financial destiny.

When you join us at Wealth Retreat – and that’s coming up in a few months -  that’s what our expert faculty will be teaching you.

This means that you will be the one in control.

It means that you will be the one guaranteeing your financial results and you will be the one who can make sure you reach your financial dreams.

Does this take more effort?

Of course, it does.

But remember that the stakes are incredibly high and the price of not making the investment in yourself could be financially fatal for you and your family.

Plus, the rewards dwarf the investment and are quite literally thousands of times greater than the investment of time and money it will take you to master these skills.

Investment Mistake #3: Focusing on the "investment" and forgetting about you the investor!

The media is going to tell you that the way to protect yourself and be "safe" is to focus on the specific, individual investments that you’re making.

But in my experience mentoring over 2,000 investors over the last decade, I’ve found that risk cannot be isolated from the investor.

In fact, in my mind investment risk has more to do with the investor than it does with the investment.

What's risky for one investor may be a bread-and-butter investment for another investor.

For example, I'm an experienced property developer.

When I find a great development site I can produce returns 2-3 times that of passively investing in real estate. 

But I'm not an expert in investing in shares.

Virtually any investment I make in shares will be quite risky for me.

As Warren Buffet, aptly says: "Risk comes from not knowing what you are doing."


By the way… if you're in business (be it a "bricks and mortar" business, an online business, or professional practice) or you're planning to get into business, we have some very special sessions and extra breakout sessions for you at Wealth Retreat this year with Mark Creedon.

And the rest of our faculty will help take the risk out of your property investments, and your asset protection structures and there will be a session on share trading.

Please click here now and read more about Wealth Retreat, which we had to reschedule and we’re now holding on to the Gold Coast on April 27th to May 1st and register your interest to find out more.

And this year I will take the risk and guarantee your satisfaction with the event - so why not join us?

Investment Mistake #4: Focusing on "saving" versus investing!  

There’s a big, big difference when it comes to saving versus investing.

You just can’t save your way to wealth, but that’s what a lot of Australians try to do.

In fact, most don’t save to invest – they may think they do, but they usually save to consume.

Investment Mistake #5: Falling victim to the prevailing Investment Myths

It disappoints me to see hard-working Aussies underperform financially simply because they follow flawed financial advice and investment myths.

I’ve written whole chapters in my books about these.

One of the common ones is when financial “experts” recommend, “Diversify, diversify, diversify.”

They suggest that you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket, but instead buy a number of shares or units in different managed funds.

Wealth Myths

You may agree and think, “If I put all my money into a bad investment, I could lose everything.”

Yet, the best investors in the world don’t diversify.

Warren Buffet, the world’s richest investor, says, “Diversification is protection against ignorance. It makes little sense for those who know what they are doing.”

Robert Kyosaki asked, “Who’s ignorance are you being protected from? Yours… or your financial advisor's?”

He then goes on to say: “One of the keys to being successful at anything is to know what you are doing. When you know what you are doing, you make more money because you buy only great investments… not a basket of wishful thinking.” 

Almost a century ago when Napoleon Hill wrote Think and Grow Rich he recognised one of the characteristics of successful people was that they specialised.

When you study the way the wealthy have become rich, rather than diversifying, which leads to mediocrity and an average outcome, (because you make money in one investment and lose it in another) successful investors specialise.

They become an expert in their niche and take active control over their investments. 

This is particularly relevant when you’re just beginning to create wealth.

You need to pick a strong, sound investment (and in general I would advocate income-producing residential real estate) and throw your whole energy into studying it, learning about it, and gaining a thorough understanding of how it works.

Don’t dissipate your energy trying to comprehend a number of different asset classes.

When starting out, you need to keep it simple, as there’s a steep learning curve ahead.

As you become a Level 3 and 4 investor you can start to diversify into other areas.

To achieve wealth-producing rates of return you’ll need to become an expert in your niche, and I’m sure you won’t be surprised that I suggest it should be a residential investment property.

But as you build up your property portfolio, then you should diversify.

Considering the cost of investment properties, you can’t diversify when you first start off, but over time you should do so by owning a number of properties, a number of different types of properties, properties in different areas, and properties in different states.

For example, I own residential, commercial, industrial, and showroom properties, as well as apartments, houses, and townhouses and I own properties in a number of different geographic locations.

So while I specialise in property, I’m diversified within that asset class.


My point is that diversification isn't the best way to lower risk, cultivating the skills and advantages you need to make better, smarter investing moves is.

If you don't learn to clear out the pervasive investing myths, you'll run the grave risk of making poor or costly financial mistakes that could literally haunt you for the rest of your life.

That’s why I encourage you to join me for 5 days in a month's time Wealth Retreat where we’ll not only debunk all the myths but teach you the investment strategies of the financially elite.

Please click here now and read more about Wealth Retreat, which we had to reschedule and we’re now holding on the Gold Coast on April 27th to May 1st, and register your interest to find out more. 

And this year I will take the risk and guarantee your satisfaction with the event - so why not join us?

Wealth Mistake #6: Having no clear, written investing criteria to use to evaluate investment opportunities.

"Investment criteria" are the specific guidelines you have for what makes a good investment for you.

This is what lets you sort through various investment opportunities fast to choose the ones that you want to pursue further.

It also sharpens your focus when you are looking for deals and dramatically increases your odds of finding winning deals.

I know that I’ve made more money by saying “no” to perceived opportunities than I’ve made by saying “yes” to opportunities.

So what constitutes a great investment for you?

How do you evaluate its performance?

Relax if you’re not sure

No one is born knowing all this investment stuff.

It’s a learned skill, and one you can master by both modelling other successful investors and following a simple process.

This is exactly what Wealth Retreat will help you do.

You’ll learn not only from the faculty but from the other already successful investors in the room.

About Michael Yardney Michael is the founder 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.

Mistake #7 - fail adding value to investment. You can't become a cook by eating cakes. You won't become an actor by watching TV. You won't learn driving by riding a taxi. You won't learn sales by shopping. You won't get profit unless you add your val ...Read full version

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