How best to invest

Posted 1 Mar '21

by Nick Gentle on
Article appears under: Investment Strategy, About Property Investment,

Happy new year and welcome to 2021. 2020 was surreal and I hope that in 2021 we see the world start to nudge back to a freer way of life.

It is the time of year when many of us think about our goals. I just think it is amazing that New Zealanders are able to do this! If you were in a mid-winter lockdown I can’t imagine how easy it would be to clear your head and engage in big-picture thinking. Most of the world is in some form of virus-related restriction or lockdown and here is little old New Zealand holding music festivals, fireworks shows and beach parties.

Anyway, back to reflecting and setting goals. One of the things I hear asked a lot is this idea or question of “What is best?”:

  • Where is the best location?
  • What is the best kind of property?
  • Where should I invest? Auckland, Hamilton, Hawke’s Bay, or Christchurch?
  • What is the best strategy?
  • What is the fastest way to build up to X?
  • Is new better? Or existing?
  • Townhouse, apartment, flats, freehold, or bare land?

While it is great to think critically about these types of questions, there are two behaviours you may be engaging in.

  1. Loss aversion by avoiding starting until you are sure that your approach is “best”.
  2. Forgetting that everybody has different goals, resources and skills, so what works for somebody might not be the right approach for yourself.

What is “best” is entirely subjective. When you spend too much time going down those rabbit holes it is easy to talk yourself out of investing at all.

If you took a sample of 20 successful property investors and asked them what their strategy was and why it worked for them you will get different answers. They will have invested in different areas, bought different properties, gone at different speeds and each will define success in a different way. Some will have a small portfolio and be focusing on enjoying life, others will still be growing and expanding.

What links most successful investors I know is:

  1. They will be action focused and got on with it;
  2. Some deals will have gone better than others but time in the market will have healed most mistakes;
  3. They will have a team, either from when they started or formed as they progressed;
  4. They are generally optimistic people (pessimists tend to sell up);
  5. They look for opportunities and mitigate risk (weirdly, most people look for risk and mitigate/avoid opportunity);
  6. They usually settle on an approach that works for them and repeat it;
  7. When things change, they adapt.

So how do you decide what to do now? I suggest you start by working out what you want to achieve and give yourself a target date.

Some want to create passive incomes. Others want a buffer for retirement. Still, more investors define success in terms of net worth. It is up to you. Think about the lifestyle you want and plan accordingly.

Next, choose an approach that will move you steadily towards that goal and pull together a team to help you achieve it. Take the time to find people who have done what you want to do and start to look at the how, what, where, how much, and so on that become the tactics and strategy to hit the goal.

In summary, there is no “best”, “safest” or “optimum” way to invest but there are a ton of approaches that will help you achieve the goals you set for yourself. When you are trying to work out “what first” or “what next” try to get clarity on where you want to end up and by when, then spend a bit of time thinking about what your funding resources need to look like to get you there. A bit of planning now may save you from regret in the future.

On March 31 I will be speaking in depth on how to set goals and plan your property strategy accordingly, at our event in Auckland. Details are on our website at

This article was published in the February 2021 issue of the New Zealand Property Investor Magazine and is shared here with permission from the magazine. 

The magazine is an excellent resource with digital and print options. We highly recommend it

Nick Gentle
Business Owner & Operations Manager
027 358 3855

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