When it comes to any personal venture – starting a new business, getting into a fitness regimen, going after your first investment property – setting tangible goals for what you want to accomplish is critical. If you don’t define what the finish line is going to be before you get started, you’ll have a tough time measuring the success of the campaign road you head down. But how do you know which path to take, or which destination is reachable?
Individual investors must chart their own course. You must also remember that success is in the eye of the beholder – don’t go thinking that you have to want what others have achieved. Choosing your own goal and your own vision for what success can be is the best way to realize those goals. Just because a successful investor you know owns a convertible Ferrari doesn’t mean you need one too (What if you like BMW’s ?) That kind of pursuit says more about emotions than future wealth – which makes it a very non-sophisticated pursuit.
That said, it often makes sense for investors, new and experienced, to ask tough questions about why some investors are more successful than others. Why are some able to attain their Personal Belize while others struggle? That question is not meant to make investors feel badly. It is meant to reveal where they may need additional assistance to reveal a repetitive flaw in their efforts to pursue long-term wealth. If you are serious about attaining your Personal Belize, you must also be serious about how you will do it.
Many, many real estate investors use real estate as a way to augment their income and net worth, rather than making it the focus of their life, just as others don’t make mutual fund investing their life. The primary duty of the investment is to make your money work much harder than you so that you can achieve what it is you want in life – it is as simple as that. But you must But you must take the time to define what it is you truly want in life—and guard against letting family, friends or the larger society make you think you must want what they have. Define what it is you really, truly and honestly want and then go make it happen. In other words, take responsibility for what I call personal and professional goal setting. Why take the time to visualize the future that would really make you happy—and then doing nothing to achieve it?
Investors who are serious about their Personal Belize need to ask themselves: How will I measure my own progress as a real estate investor? Again, we come back to the question of personal preference – the onus of finding that answer rests squarely on your shoulders. Life is a journey with twists and turns. Your dream or end goal may change over time as you and your life situation, and that’s okay as well. But just like using Google maps, you must start where you are and at least begin heading in the direction you choose.
Just like you, I have had to measure progress against life changes, and among REIN™ members I’ve seen financial and lifestyle paths change for many for a variety of reasons. It’s the kind of shift that can be based on good, bad and even sad news. When my dad became ill, my response to the situation is a clear example. B Because I was able to keep my professional options in step with my personal needs, Connie and I were able to move back to B.C. and manage our portfolio while taking care of mom and dad. Was that a part of my big “life plan” at the moment? Of course not, but because I was already heading in the right financial direction when the detour came I could make the turn and still have enough gas in the tank to continue on a new route while still heading in the same long-term direction. Thanks to real estate investment, I could pursue meaningful personal goals in a new way!
The strategic investor also knows he or she has to recalibrate professional goals with shifts – and impending shifts – in the real estate market, which continually cycles from boom to slump to recovery. The strategic investor who uses market fundamentals to assess the market cycle will find investment opportunities at each phase of that cycle. They will build their portfolio during the recovery phase, capitalize on the boom and adjust in the slump. To do that well, you must be aware of how shifts and impending shifts will impact your ability to achieve your Personal Belize unless investment tactics are adjusted for the change (The investor who buys during a boom will be overleveraged for the slump, for example). The ultimate goals won’t change, just the tactics while shift to adjust to the new phase of the market cycle.
To stay ahead of market shifts, sophisticated investors continually ask themselves questions about how their portfolios are leveraged. And that’s exactly what you want to do to give yourself the best chance for success. Make it your business to know your loan-to-value ratio and how much credit you could access to buy additional properties or take a property or properties out of the rental pool for a short period of time. This is called “stress testing” your portfolio, and it should be an integral part of your approach to goal setting.
It all comes down to profitability, and if give yourself the means and the knowledge to increase profits, you stand to benefit even more in the long run. You want to be looking behind the curtain to make sure you’re making business decisions based on real-world information. Anything less will compromise progress towards the meaningful goals you’ve set out in your Personal Belize.
If you want to set goals and determine the exact path for reaching the success you’ve dreamed about, join me and my team and learn how to reach your own Personal Belize at the ACRE™ Live Program, hitting Calgary on March 9th and 10th and Toronto on April 13th and 14th. Your opportunity to change the destination for your financial future is in your hands, you just need to decide the end point and we’ll help you choose the right path.
Pick up a Copy of my new book titled the Little Book Of Real Estate Investing in Canada and you will read about my mistakes, how I turned adversity into rocket fuel to push me forward and how you can as well. Be the contrarian – Be The Success.
See you soon.