Tower & Diamond Blues

In 2015 it was the hottest thing in Western Sydney. Blacktown’s Altitude Tower, the first high rise in the area. The media breathlessly reported 90% of the apartments were sold on the opening auction day.

With Sydney house prices nosing past $1 million at the time (depending on the data provider) the chance to grab something below $750,000 obviously appealed to first home buyers, investors and first home buyers who fancied themselves as investors, as one of them said at the time.

“This is going to be a first for Blacktown, so I thought it would be an ideal choice,” she said. “I’ve chosen an apartment overlooking a planned new park, so I really considered the potential for it as an investment property to rent or sell on in the future.”

Fast forward to 2018 and selling in the future is becoming a problem. This week the Australian Financial Review profiled someone they’d termed an investor who’d bought in the same building. As he admitted though, his intention was trying to flip before settlement.

Sensing that prices in Sydney were slipping he wanted out and was prepared to wear a loss. The project’s marketing company have given him no joy, unable to find a buyer – possibly because he’s prepared to take a loss which may revalue the whole building. Not something the developers want.

This highlights the danger with buying off the plan pre-construction as an investor. The delivery time means the market you excitedly buy-in will likely to be different to when you receive the keys. Sydney prices have fallen 2.1% this yearand the euphoria that swept across Sydney real estate three years ago has passed. Flipping pre-settlement in this market will be costly.

In respect to real estate, there will be a lot of these stories over the next few years. The market went up while the investment went down. Even supposedly long term investors second guess themselves when in the red. Not that getting caught with your pants down is just related to real estate, however it is related to speculation. These can be glum tales and they lead to significant stress and confusion. Cut the losses or hold on for grim death hoping to recover the losses?

Not getting caught in the first place is preferable, but emotionally the best break with any dud is the clean one.

Diamonds Aren’t a Quarterback’s Best Friend

If you’ve watched American football you’ll know the players are well paid for the onfield punishment they take.  The best paid is often the quarterback and this week news emerged one of the NFL’s bigger name quarterbacks, Drew Brees was suing a jeweler for selling him overpriced diamonds.

Why did Drew spend $9 million on diamonds he later found out were worth $4 million?

He wanted to diversify his portfolio.

US financial adviser Josh Brown offered a list in response to Brees’ idea of diversification

  1. Stocks
  2. Bonds
  3. Real Estate
  4. Cash
  5. Humility

The reality is diversification has its limits. Doing it to add increasingly exotic and untested options isn’t really diversification as much as it is speculation. Some investors believe (or are convinced) the wealthier they become the more they need to seek out exotic options under a very corrupted meaning of diversification.

Stepping outside the first 4 options on that list usually means a sales process and a purchase, not an investment.

This represents general information only. Before making any financial or investment decisions, we recommend you consult a financial planner to take into account your personal investment objectives, financial situation and individual needs.

#investing #diversification #martincossettini #bluediamondfinancial

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