Linz’s Musings – Are you REALLY in control of your own Destiny?

G’day all

I want to chat today about an announcement in the news this week which I believe highlights two issues, one in Australia’s economic and political landscape, and another, much closer to home –our own security.

The announcement this week of the closure of Holden and the brand in Australia/NZ has certainly sent shockwaves through what is left of our Automotive industry in this country.

To lay my cards on the table, this is a subject that is near and dear to me, having been a Holden fan all my life, and worked for the ‘Lion” for almost 16 years.

It certainly was a sad day Monday to hear about the demise of a company I had a lot of fondness and loyalty for, worked hard for and bled for…but I cannot say the announcement shocked me.

For those who understand the automotive industry and kept an eye on GM’s worldwide activities, and Holden’s sales, particularly over the past few years, this certainly wouldn’t have been a surprise

GM had exited all other right-hand drive markets over the past few years and had no RHD vehicles in the pipeline. Holden sales had plummeted to all-time lows, and January’s results indicated an even worse year to come.

Great Wall put its hand up to buy GM’s Thailand plants where Colorado’s are built (one of the few remaining successful nameplates left of Holden, so the final nail in the coffin was driven home.

Anyway, back to my points…

Firstly, the government’s response, and a ‘surprised’ Prime Ministers indignant claim that GM and Holden had somehow ‘played’ the Australia taxpayer out of millions in funding and grants over the years.  Once again, it seems that Scott Morrison seems to have missed the target and focusing on the completely wrong areas here…

Instead of whining and complaining about the cost of industry assistance, he has completely ignored the return on investment Australia received from the car industry.

Australia got plenty from GM Holden and the other carmakers in return for the billions in assistance over the years, including capital investments that tally many times that amount.

And more valuable again were the benefits in terms of employment, both in-house and in the parts industry, continuing technological development on the production lines and in many other aspects of the wider industry.

I was speaking just earlier this week with business owner who started his career with Air International, a very well-known supplier to the Automotive industry in Australia, and he said he owned his current success (now owns an 8 figure software development company based right here in Melbourne) to what he learnt during his time in Automotive.  How many more are like this?  I know I am one…

To imply that Australia got nothing out of its support for the car industry is just plain incorrect. It demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the importance of manufacturing and of the concept of Return On Investment, where a manufacturer can take a $2 piece of steel and make a $20 component.

Critics continually harp on about the taxpayer subsidies, conveniently ignoring those larger but less-visible subsidies given to the mining and banking sectors.

The last Automotive plan was $300 million per year available to car makers and parts suppliers who employed over 50,000 people, who if earning only an average wage, would have been contributing around $1.3 Billion a year to income tax alone…never mind what they spent on housing, living expenses, entertainment etc.

No, Australia’s Return on Investment for its Automotive industry was excellent.  Maybe time for some new advisors Mr Morrison…

The second lesson learnt here though, is one much closer to our own hearts, and that is one of security.  Even when things are marching along smoothly, we all can find that we are not really in control of our own destinies

Do we really make the decisions in our life, or do we all have that ‘big brother’ who can pull the pin on us at any time?  Even though in the case of Holden, the writing may have been on the wall, Australia, and all the employees are completely at the mercy of another who is really pulling the strings – evidenced by the ‘shell shocked’ Holden MD – Kristian Aquilina’s interview on ABC this week.

Even when things seem to be going along nicely, and we appear to be kicking goals, all it takes is that ‘puppeteer’ to decide they have had enough of this game and shut it down.  All the work you have done, everything you have achieve can suddenly be gone in minute.

I was one on the lucky ones, able to build my own business and be at a point where I am completely in charge of my own destiny now.  I was able to leave my role at Holden (as much as I enjoyed it) and forge my own path, BEFORE someone was able to shut me down.  Around 800 or so employees there right now, are not that lucky…

I just want to stress… don’t wait for that decision to come and completely knock you down before you do something…

They say the universe always sends three signals; a feather, a slap and a brick…

Holden’s closure this week is the Brick.  Don’t wait for the brick before you make a decision to control your own destiny, your own life and not be at the behest of someone else, pulling the strings…

Happy Investing all! And have a great weekend!!

Linz’s Musings – Love or…Passion for life?

G’day all

As I sit here on another summers day in Melbourne (muggy though I must add, we are not used to this humidity!), on the eve of Valentine’s day here in Australia.

Now, I will admit to being a bit of a Grinch when it comes to days like ‘Valentine’s Day’, ‘Mother’s Day’, ‘Father’s Day’ and so forth…kind of feeling that they were simply invented by the retail sector to sell more flowers/cards/cakes/<insert your product here> 

I also understand it can be a good opportunity to cherish that loved one, Mother, Father in your life at this time, but also makes it difficult for those of us without our Fathers, Mothers, loved ones around.

Further I question, are you buying flowers for your loved one on Valentine’s day because you love them, or because it is expected from our society and you will be in the ‘dog house’ if you do not; get those looks from your colleagues…” What, you didn’t get her flowers last night??!”

Wouldn’t it be much nicer to come home one night next week with an arm full of flowers, unexpectedly, not because your sorry for something you did, or because society told you to buy flowers, but just because you love them, and wanted them to know?

Wouldn’t your Mum love a call today, tomorrow, next weekend – not just on Mother’s Day to see how she is going, or take her to lunch simply to say “Mum, I love you.” Not because society says Mother’s Day is the day to do it…

I believe we should be spontaneous, live life to the fullest all the time, not just on dedicated days.  Do what you love, love those in your life and TELL them, show your kids you love them. Spread the love, all the time!

And that brings me to the next point…do you love YOUR life?  Do you have passion for what you do, who you are?  No?  If you are not loving you, loving your life, how do you have love to give to others?

I am certainly no relationship councillor here, but it seems to me that you cannot give something which you have not…

If you are not loving you, living your life with passion, how can you provide this energy to others around you?

What’s holding you back from doing what you love?  Society?  Fear?

Life is too short to spend it doing something we have no passion for.  Without passion, you will also lack motivation, drive, dedication, and it is these levels of commitment that will allow you to thrive in what you do…which will in turn gives you more drive and passion to do more… which gives you more results and it turn… well you get my meaning

This becomes an upward spiral in which you can bring those around you with you on your incredible journey through this wondrous life we have been given!

What’s your other option?  Back to the grind stone, the rut?  Remember a rut is just a grave with the ends kicked out… That mouse wheel a lot of us find ourselves on is certainly powering somebodies dreams…why not use that energy to power yours?

So go on, get off that wheel, grab that rocket and set yourself for that wild ride. You will have ups and downs, but man, is it exciting, exhilarating! You will see your passion rise exponentially! 

So start by making sure you tell your valentine that you love them today…but do it again on Saturday with another (hidden) bunch of flowers and see how that goes J

Happy Investing all! And have a great weekend!!

Linz’s Musings – The Right time is… NOW!

G’day all

We have all heard the term ‘time flies’ and it’s amazing how quickly it can.  The old saying ‘time and tide wait for no man’ is so true, and it does not matter what we do, we cannot slow the progress of time.

It’s funny how in fact it does seem to speed up as we get older… As a teenager we cannot wait until we are an adult so we can…vote (read drink…) but then once we have been in the workforce for a few years, we remember how simple our adolescence was and sometimes wish we had it back…

It was Einstein who knew that time was relative… 1 second with your hand on a hot stove seems like an hour; whilst a 3-hour dinner date with our loved one, seems like minutes…

But the ONE thing that is a constant, is that we all have 24 hours in a day. It’s how we use this time that differs from person to person.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a good Netflix binge like the next guy, but I suppose the difference between success and mediocrity is the ability to prioritise time properly, and the understanding that we ONLY have 24 hours a day and need to use them wisely.

Nothing wrong with a good Netflix session, but this can be used as a reward, for achieving ‘the thing’ you were needing to do/finish/start. 

The other thing that lulls us into a false sense of security is that the feeling there will always be another 24 hours’ tomorrow…  Now for most of us that is true, but again, the issue here is that this is not a given either… 

No one would have guessed that Kobe Bryant would die at 41…nor the actor Kirk Douglas would make it to 103.  Understanding these are two well-known celebrities, but my point is, we certainly are not guaranteed tomorrow…

Yet we are quick to put off achieving the thing until ‘tomorrow’…

Or we say, I will do that when… <insert reasonable excuse here>.  But again, this is just a way of us justifying why we are not taking action now.  We feel better about ourselves if we have a reason we cannot do the thing today.

“Let’s wait until things are better; all lights are green; we have more money; we have more time…”

But the thing is… there will always be excuses… the time will never be ‘right’, it is just now…

There is no tomorrow, yesterday, later, there is always just now…

The past few weeks shows us that the universe will throw many obstacles in our way – bushfires, virus outbreaks, trade wars, and I am certain you will have had your own personal challenges as well (man, have we had ours!)

But the point I want to drive home here is this… there is no tomorrow/later/right time… there is only now.  We only ever always have this moment, right now…

It’s the decisions that we make in this moment that will affect the rest of our lives, however long that is blessed to be.

Happy Investing all! And have a great weekend!!

Linz’s Friday Musings – Laser focus & Determination

G’day all

Friday rolls around again, and we are already saying goodbye to January and helloooo February!

Wow… Feeling fatigue already from the new year’s resolutions, and trying to live up to them?  It can be tough.

All throughout the media at the moment is the tragic death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter, along with 7 other people in a helicopter crash in California this week.  Certainly a tragedy for all on board and their families, but of course, we all knew of Kobe Bryant, and while very few of us knew him personally, he lived a life of meaning and was a beacon to what is possibly for us all.

I want to focus briefly though on one of Kobe’s mechanisms of success – his Black Mamba Mantra…

He apparently learnt about the black mamba snake in the film, Kill Bill, then decided to take the name on as his alter ego.  From that point on, when he was on the court, he became ‘The Black Mamba’.

But this wasn’t about puffing himself up or trying to big note himself… This was about survival. He said:

“I had to separate myself. It felt like there were so many things coming at once. It was just becoming very, very confusing. I had to organize things. So I created the ‘Black Mamba.’”

How awesome is this!  We all have that feeling of overwhelm with so many things coming at us at once…from all directions. The mind will find a million things to worry about, even if you’re as successful as Bryant was.  Even just trying to live up to our new year’s resolutions, how much is the universe throwing at you?!

The Black Mamba allowed him to leave everything behind as soon as he stepped onto the court. He didn’t have to worry about the bills, or how the kids were going at school, or any of the million things we all have to worry about. He was focused, determined, lethal on the court.  The Black Mamba was a work of mental discipline. It was an incredible act of focus and determination.

And I think a lot of what Bryant achieved in his incredible career can be put down to this superhero-level focus, and the mantra that made it possible. 

Now maybe we don’t need to develop this level of focus, but what this teaches us is that with superhero focus, anything is possible…so go on…don that cape and see what you can achieve!

Thank you Kobe, for the inspiration.  His legacy is huge… but he also has now taught us the sobering fact, that no matter what you have, it can all be taken away in a heartbeat…

Happy Investing all! And have a great weekend!!

Linz’s Friday Musings – What is Freedom?

G’day all

Happy Friday y’all!  How’s that for a Texas drawl?  No?  Ok, ok I’ll stick to the Aussie language J

I was talking to a number of our coaching clients this week and discussing what our reasons are for investing in property.  And, as the sun rises here, on another beautiful morning over Melbourne, the one word that comes to mind is Freedom.  We are blessed to live in this lucky country, and to quote John Williamson in one of my favourite songs of his “Australia is another word for free”

One of the definitions of freedom (apart from the one that says “not being imprisoned” LOL) is the ability or right to act, think or speak as we want.  Now, all quips around political correct-ness aside, we are lucky to have this freedom, and there are certainly many places in the world even in this advanced 21st century, where this is not a given.

To me though, Freedom really means Choices.  The ability to choose what we what to do, where we want to go.  Real freedom is having the option to choose.  People talk about freedom being “not having a job” or use the term “financial freedom” as this holistic, airy fairy term that apparently we are all striving for…but in reality what is the definition of “financial freedom”?  Until we cement this down, we will never achieve it.

If freedom in your life is having the ability to choose; choose if and where you want to work; choose how long you want to work for; choose where you want to go, what you want to do, then is not financial freedom, the ability to choose what you do with your money?

I feel financial freedom really is this – the ability to choose where you spend or what you do with your money; because at the end of the day, really, that is all money is good for – to exchange for goods or services or to gift to others.  It is not some magic pill that makes everything better; not some new age cure for all that ails us; simply the ability to exchange for goods or services we want or use it to help others do the same…

So then financial freedom would, simply put, be the ability to choose the goods and services we want, when we want or to gift to others to do the same…right?  So, what choices do you want to be able to make? What freedoms do you want?  Travel, healthcare, ability to spend time with the family?  Give to charities or create your own? 

My wife and I booked a farm stay on Airbnb in the Blue Mountains and got the grandkids and family all together for Christmas in a large 5-bedroom home.  The cost in excess of $5000 for 4 nights, but this is the choices we want to be able to make, the reason we work hard and ensure our investments are working hard for us – what’s your reasons, your choices?

Anyway, have a great Friday everyone, I’m going back to choosing to film the gorgeous sunrise here in Melbourne this morning J

Happy Investing all! And have a great weekend!!

Happy New Year

On behalf of the Star Dynamic Property Investments Team, we would like to wish you a Very Safe and Happy Holiday Season.

May this year bring new happiness, new goals, new achievements and a lot of new inspirations in your life. Wishing you a year fully loaded with happiness. Wishing every day of the new year to be filled with success, happiness, and prosperity for you, happy new year.

Wishing you a Happy New Year with the hope that you will have many blessings in the year to come……

Merry Christmas

On behalf of the Star Dynamic Property Investments Team we would like to wish you a Very Safe and Happy Holiday Season.

2020 promises to be eventful and we hope to be part of your success next year.

The Star Dynamic team hopes that 2020 gives you the opportunity for great success, a healthy life and a prosperous year.

We hope you take the opportunity to relax over the festive season and find the time to spend with your family and friends.

Merry Christmas and we look forward to engaging with you all again next year. Think Abroader…

Linz’s Friday Musings – December 13th 2019

G’day all

Friday the 13th!  Look out!  Now, I am certainly not superstitious, but I know a lot of people are, so careful around ladders and black cats today hey…hehe

Hoping all your Christmas parties and catch ups are going well this time of year, we have one later today, looking forward to that, and our official Star Dynamic Christmas party next week!

This will be our last newsletter for the year, so you can all focus on your Christmas and family, and I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas from all of us here at Star Dynamic!

I was reading two articles this week by two huge mentors of mine in the property industry – Dymphna Boholt in Oz and Dean Graziosi in the US.  Both were writing about the mindset of money and how much impact this has on us and our success and it really got me thinking…

Dymphna even went on to say she was talking to one of her students, discussing their goals and aspirations and the student was insisting that they wanted the money, to help their parents pay their mortgage, help a friend start a business, start a refuge for abandoned horses etc… which are noble goals… thing is this person couldn’t pay their rent and was living off credit card debt, hell, one medical emergency away from bankrupt.

See, what Dymphna is trying to explain to her student, and also what Dean was explaining, is that generally it is that WE do not feel worthy of money or success, so we develop a ‘money messiah complex’.  We want to get rich so we can help everyone else…save everyone so to speak – not for us, because making money for us is bad…

The issue here is that this never works.  Firstly, without a mindset that allows you to be comfortable to gain wealth YOURSELF, you will never actually have enough to help anyone…

Further, by continually looking to ‘save’ people you are entering the Drama Triangle as the hero, always thinking the other person is a ‘victim’ and requires saving.  This can never end well, and oftentimes ruins relationships etc. 

I can’t do a deep dive into the Drama Triangle here, would take too long, but it is a brilliant concept to help avoid conflict in relationships – reach out if you would like more information on this, I can send it through.

I know I have touched on this subject before, but even in this period just before Christmas, be conscious of your money mindset.  Do you feel you are worthy of success, of wealth?  Or are you thinking that you are simply working hard ‘to help everyone else’ not for yourself? 

Be conscious of trying to ‘save’ people.  Don’t get me wrong, giving is one of the most rewarding experiences in this world, and it is incredible to be able to give to others.  I have found the ability to help others, more rewarding than anything I have ever done.  But to do this right, you must also be secure within yourself, confident and comfortable that you are in a good position to be able to help others.  Not trying or wanting to play the Hero…

As a recent Virgin Australia airline steward mentioned to me last week – “ensure to fit your own mask first, before helping other guests…”

Merry Christmas everyone and Happy Investing…!!



What are Lease Options?

Following on from last week’s piece on Land Contracts, another strategy sophisticated investors use to sell properties are Lease Options.

Lease Options – The basics…

This is where you lease or tenant the property to a prospective buyer and give them an option to purchase the property by a certain date at a certain price. This can take several forms, but essentially you agree on a price and a date by which the prospect must take up the option to purchase.

If you wish, you can take additional rental payments, to cover a deposit, if the prospect is confident, they wish to purchase the property, but other times, the prospect just wants the option to purchase.

Advantages of Lease Options is that you can often tenant the property for a higher amount, sometimes over market value, giving the tenant the chance to put together a deposit so they can get financing to purchase.

Further, you can often get an excellent price, as you are giving the prospect the opportunity to purchase a property that they would not have had otherwise.

Full market value for the property and even more – 110% – 120% is not unusual in these cases and 12-24 months to purchase can be popular as well.

Disadvantages are that there is no guarantee the prospect WILL purchase the property; it is just an ‘option’.

Now if you are getting additional rent as a deposit then chances are they would be pretty serious, but you would also need to be sure that your contracts etc was extremely clear what happens with the additional ‘deposit’ monies if in fact the option to purchase is not exercised.

There is no right or wrong here, just so long as all parties are fully aware of the stipulations, whether the deposit funds are returned, or kept.

Further, it helps to get your property solicitor (I would not do a lease option, nor land contract, without a solicitor) do some due diligence and checks on the prospect.

There have been cases where the prospective buyer was never in a position to purchase or even pay the rents correctly, so you will need to screen these applicants extremely carefully…

Certainly an option when looking to sell properties, particularly good in flat markets and can be quite profitable strategies when done correctly

Need to transfer funds to the US?

One of the certain aspects of Global Investing is going to be the need for Foreign Exchange to transfer funds to other currencies and countries. It is absolutely something you need to consider and ensure to allow for costs and charges when doing so.

The banks are generally the most expensive options and I certainly would not recommend this.

We’ve partnered up with award-winning Australian based currency brokers SendFX to enable our Star Dynamic family to make significant savings against the banks, and I have found the process to be one of the most streamlined I have used from all FX companies:

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If you need to send funds, here is a link to get a quote, compare and see what you think. Another massive advantage is the ability to lock in rates when they are high, have a chat with them today, can save you thousands on your next transaction!