6 lessons about investing in property from famous films and politics

Quotes that resonate with every property investor

I find lessons about investing in property in the strangest of places, and it’s amazing how many quotes from films, books, and cartoons resonate with me as a property investor. Even the odd quote from a politician makes sense (no, really, it does!).

Fear of the future often stops a would-be property investor from making that first property investment. Experience helps calm those fears, as does a high level of property investment emotional intelligence. Although the history of property investment returns in the UK suggests that a property investor should buy whenever they can afford to, here are six lessons from the famous, which will help you with your investment choices.

Lesson 1: “It’s the economy, stupid!”

When Bill Clinton coined the phrase “It’s the economy, stupid!” to describe why President Bush should be removed from office in the 1992 U.S. presidential campaign, he could have been talking about why house prices move up and down.

You’ll generally find property prices are lower when and where there is high unemployment and companies are closing down. Some property investors see this as an opportunity, but that’s only true where regeneration has moved to the top of the agenda. This is why buying off-plan property in London works best when the local economy is about to take off.

Lesson 2: “Follow the money.”

Allegedly said by ‘Deep Throat’, the anonymous source who revealed the Watergate scandal that eventually forced President Nixon to resign. “Follow the money” was the advice supposedly given to investigative reporter Bob Woodward, basically telling him that the money trail would lead to the big prize.

This is true when investing in property too. Look for where the money is, and then follow it. The specific money you’re looking for is government, local authority, and developer money. You’re looking for a commitment to regeneration. With this comes jobs and an expanding local economy − and the opportunity for extremely profitable property investment off regeneration.

Lesson 3: “A man’s gotta know his limitations.”

Said by Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry in Magnum Force, this quote aptly describes the need to work out cash flow projections, and to allow for some wiggle room in case things don’t go quite as planned when investing in property.

Every successful property investor I know has a handle on the money side of their property investment. Spend time on this, and work with a investment two-year cash flow, and you’ll be able to ride the waves of the property cycle.

Lesson 4: “Our lives are defined by opportunities, even the ones we miss.”

In The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt) repeated one of my mantras: opportunities appear constantly. If you miss out on one, there will be another around the corner. But you have to commit sometime. Let your life be determined by the investment opportunity you took, not the opportunity you missed.

Lesson 5: “It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices.”

Harry Potter is a superb set of stories and films, and this quote from Dumbledore could have been the mantra of his creator, J. K. Rowling.

She clearly had the ability to imagine new worlds, weird creatures, and colourful characters, and then to put them into the words on a page that draws readers into those worlds. For all this ability, if Rowling hadn’t made the choice to pursue her dream, then the world of tens of millions of children of all ages would have been poorer (and so would she).

Get an investment education to improve your ability to make the right decisions in property investment, and then choose to act upon them.

Lesson 6: “If you don’t know where you want to go, then it doesn’t matter which path you take.”

Even cartoon characters can teach us a thing or two about investing in property. The Cheshire Cat from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland gives us this lesson, telling us to make sure we are certain about our objectives before we decide upon our property investment strategy.

Recapping these property investment lessons

  • Be certain about your investment objectives
  • Get educated about property investment
  • Look for investment opportunities that are accompanied by regeneration and funding commitments
  • Prepare a good financial plan for investing in property
  • Believe in your abilities and take that first step

We love hearing from from you – give us a call on +44 (0)207 923 6100.

Warmest Regards,

Ryan Rahnavard

Ryan Rahnavard
July 25, 2016

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