“When the market goes against you, it can be very painful…”
“I think a lot of people know about the mistakes I made in property investment. Frankly speaking, if you want to be a property investor, you will make mistakes along the way. You just have to learn and don’t repeat the mistakes. The mistake I remember the most is the first mistake I made when I bought my first property in Singapore. It was way back in 1993 or 1994. At that time, the Singapore property market was going up and I had 4 -5 years of work experience.
My friend gave me this advice – “Buy the biggest property you can’t afford”. I asked him why should I buy a property I can’t afford. He said today you may not be able to afford it, but in a few years your income goes up, you’ll be able to afford it. and at that time the Singapore property market was going up. So when you buy a $200,000 property, and if it goes up by 10%, you make $20,000. But if you buy a $400,000 property, and it goes up by 10%, you make $40,000. So that was his logic and I bought into it.
So my first property was something I couldn’t afford. When the market turned sideways and started coming down, that property became a big liability. In hindsight, I shouldn’t have listened to my friend and bought something I couldn’t afford yet. That was my first mistake in property investment and I doubt I’ll ever forget it.
If you asked me 10 years ago, the whole idea was to borrow, borrow, borrow and buy, buy, buy. After I turned 50 years old, the lesson is not to have too many. Because when the market goes against you, it can be very painful and you realise that you are working hard and taking the risks, and those making the money are the agents, developers and banks, and so forth. Now my goal is to reduce my leverage on the bank and do something more manageable.”
– Mr Doshi – KL, Malaysia
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