Investing: The Best & Worst Advice

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Have you ever wondered how property investors with a multimillion-dollar portfolio made their way to the top? Or are you confused about what to do next with your portfolio? Your Investment Property grilled the experts and Australia’s leading investors to share their advice and help you prosper in these challenging times.

Property Investing Advice Tyron Hyde

Property investors are overwhelmed with choices and overloaded with information – so if you’re confused, you’re not alone. It’s not uncommon to feel anxious about how you can grow your portfolio and secure your financial position in the current rocky economy, as the decision you make now will have an impact well into the future.

That’s why we turned to the experts for advice – specifically, for the best advice that they’ve ever received as well as the worst advice they ever got. We rounded up Australia’s leading property advisors, industry experts and high-profile investors – and asked them to share the words of wisdom that helped give them the edge.

Their answers are wide and varied, but it seems that one prevailing theme ran through: the right attitude and a positive mindset.

Tyron Hyde, director, Washington Brown Quantity Surveyor

When I was 17 and while working at McDonald’s and doing my HSC, my future brother-in-law – a developer – said two things that changed my life: “You can only ever make real money working for yourself” and “McDonald’s really is a property development company … they just sell hamburgers on the side”.

As I was flipping those burgers, I thought, “there’s got to be more to life”,… and as I tried to work out what he meant by McDonald’s being a property developer, I enrolled in a Bachelor of Construction Economics. The course led me to become a quantity surveyor.

Before this, I never really had an interest in property, so his advice certainly steered my career path because it was during my degree back in 1993 I applied for a cadet role at Washington Brown. Now I own the company.

A few years into my work at Washington Brown, aged 25, I wrote a thesis on property depreciation and thought that this could be a good business opportunity.

This is where part of the advice kicked in. You never make real money working for someone else. So I left Washington Brown and my mentor, who then owned the company, and I started my own quantity surveying firm, Property Depreciation. I did that for about a year and a half, and once my old boss at Washington Brown saw that it was successful, he invited me back as a partner. I haven’t looked back since.

The worst advice I ever received was from a financial planner who led me down the path of investing in shares. I have never lost money in property, but I certainly have with shares.

In hindsight, I should’ve stuck to what I know – property. But the allure of buying shares in a company that you don’t own, then sitting back and letting that money grow, was appealing.

Fast forward to the Global Financial Crisis, and hey presto, it wasn’t so alluring after all! I have always found that letting someone else make money for you ends in tears.

To me, investing in the stock market is the easy option unless you know what you’re doing.

And while letting someone else make you money can work, I would rather back myself, whether that’s investing in my business or trusting my property skills to know if an opportunity is likely to pay off.

So my advice is to invest and nurture what you know best – you.