Kenyon Clarke: The Cult of Investment Ideology

Published on April 27, 2020

It’s interesting to see that the cult of investment ideology is alive and well.
We have all come across property zealots in person or online who claim to have the “best” strategy. Flippers, renovators, and discount vulture investors who prey on others misfortune are often ideologically wedded to their particular strategy. There is a group of these “gurus” that provide coaching or paid courses to lure in the inexperienced with snake oil and the promise of a quick buck allowing them to fuel their addiction and ego.

Gurus are often quick to criticise investment strategies that may be more conservative than their own or don’t conform to their limited world view. In short, they have no depth!
There is an expression, “those that can, do and those that can’t, teach”. In the case of property investment, “those that can, do and those that can’t, start a coaching business”.
The truth is that you won’t find a single residential property coach on New Zealand’s rich list, whereas the ultra rich around the world often have property as a core part of their long term investment portfolio.

I’m not a fan of paid coaching on the basis that I believe that helping others succeed is my duty and my privilege. For the price of a cup of coffee, I will happily spend my time with someone who genuinely wants to learn about the industry I love. Having said that, for those who do choose to make a career in this field, I believe that the most important thing to recognise is that an investment strategy is personal and must be tailored to an individual.

There is no one size fits all!

The reality is that those coaching people to follow a regional microeconomic and opportunistic strategy are actually promoting speculation rather than long term investment. The property industry as a whole is vast and it is important to have a breadth of experience.
While some coaches may be able to help others replicate their initial success, it’s not without risk. The first rule of investment is to not lose money and while following a speculative strategy may pay short term dividends, moving away from investment fundamentals as it relates to housing is a dangerous game.

The fact of the matter is that information is free for those prepared to do the research. Data analysis should determine investment decisions rather than what you or I believe.
My advice is to find someone who is a successful property investor and ask them for their advice. They will be unlikely to charge you. This is the same for any field or endeavour. If you want to excel then find the most accomplished person you know and ask them for advice and then make your own mind up.

I don’t ask my barber for medical advice and neither should you.

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