Investment strategy for a 55 year old?

Investment strategy for a 55 year old?

9:39 AM, 19th January 2016, About 7 years ago 24

Text Size

My fundamental question is “what property investment strategy would you recommend for a 55 year old starting out today?” The desired end state is to allow me or both of us to become self-employed in the property business and boost pension income.recommend

My wife and I are amateur landlords – two flats with mortgages being rented out and we’ve just finished a buy – renovate – sell property which is in the process of being sold. We’re now considering whether to take a more positive step into property so I’m looking for some advice on strategy.

The reason I emphasise the age bit is due to limitations on finance which are likely to kick in when I get to retirement age of 65-ish. This will undoubtedly impact my strategic thinking or limit my activity beyond 10 years (unless I have reached a self-sustaining financial state).

My mind is split as to the best way forward both with regards to limited company versus private ownership and buy to let or buy/renovate/sell.

Following the Chancellor’s attacks on landlords I’m presently researching the ltd co v private issue with a local property accountant (but happy for recommendations regarding other specialists whom it might be worth talking to) so the main focus of this thread is to investigate my other dilemma (although I recognise that my second decision may also impact on the former).

I think I ‘get’ the start of the normal BTL strategy (buy cheap, add some value, rent out, remortgage, use additional funds to help purchase of next property, repeat) but I’m not sure I understand the end state. What happens when I hit 65/67 and new mortgages become hard to come by and old ones are being called in by lenders?

Granted, the value of the properties will (hopefully) have risen but then so will the size of the mortgage if I have been sucking value out of them to finance newer properties. Is the expectation that my portfolio will be big enough to sell a few to pay off the many or is there another tactic used by people to continue?

Similarly, income; once all costs are taken out (thank you Property118 landlord calculator – really useful) the true gross profit per month is probably going to be around £200-£300/month per property which suggests a minimum requirement of around 10 properties to provide a decent wage plus some left over to keep a cash reserve. Does that seem a logical conclusion or are there other factors/considerations I need to take into account?

The other strategy I’m considering is the buy/renovate/sell model. For the experiment we’re just finishing we took money out of our offset mortgage overpayments, bought a cheap auction property, renovated it and now look to be in line for a net profit of about £15k on an overall investment of £120k over 8 months (and having gone through the process once we now feel we could repeat the process for less money and shorter timescales, thus potentially increasing profits).

Or do we go the third way and do a bit of both?!

Having spent quite some time looking into this I’m starting to get analysis paralysis so would appreciate any thoughts/comments you might have or words of wisdom from your own experience.



David Lovegrove

21:35 PM, 23rd January 2016, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Claudio Valentini" at "19/01/2016 - 12:14":

I am 59 and have to agree.
I bought my portfolio for cash and still have a net return no better than if I invested my cash in a 5 year fixed rate bank account allowing for buying and selling costs spread equally over a ten year investment period .
One has to assume that kitchens,bathrooms,decoration,carpets,boilers etc are going to look very tired if not replaced in that sort of period.
I am hoping for capital appreciation to make buy to let a better option in the long term .
Having googled property prices in MY area , statistics show that between 2006 and 2016 only detached houses increased in price (5% total) , all other properties actually fell in value over that period !
Luckily I only started investing in 2009 and have no paper losses as things stand , however in 7 years I have only seen capital appreciation of any note within 2 out of 8 of my properties.
This makes nonsense of average increases widely shown in the media.
Given that saving interest rates must increase at some point ask yourself if investment is worth the hassle if you also live in a area that has a history of low capital growth.

Michael Fickling

21:46 PM, 23rd January 2016, About 7 years ago

you are bang on there in terms of capital appreciation.One of the very if not THE major issues is ....we have several milion people living in the south east..and daily seeing strong growth ..thats where the power brokers are.They simply will not take the time to look elsewhere. FACT about 45 million of us are living wuth DEPRESSED price growth and ten to maybe twelve million with good price growth. It really is that unbalanced. But guess what the ones in london are the policy makers.............................
and their ignorance of the national situatuion is the lot..they have created an absolute myth.. claiming we have soaring house prices in the ujk. We dont !!! actually on long term average we actually have depressed prices nationally since about 2007..ALL..... repeat ALL the nationbal charts show stats...nationwides.....halifax the lot. So all the tax changes etrc are based on a complete. myth .

Alison King View Profile

9:02 AM, 24th January 2016, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jonathan Clarke" at "21/01/2016 - 09:01":

The advice to "know the end game " is very sound and this discussion has made me think a lot. Continually releasing equity to reinvest makes a lot of sense as part of a long term plan in which the end strategy might be to sell some to pay off the rest of the loans, or sell all and invest in something more passive. But other strategies work too. I've done the maths a hundred times and for me, paying off the loans in the run up to retirement makes total sense. If I do buy more properties it will be because I love property and enjoy being a good landlord. It won't be because it's the most sensible strategy in my circumstances.

Michael Gerasimoff

12:29 PM, 5th February 2016, About 7 years ago

It’s hard to plan for life after work, says George Kachmazov, a founding partner of Tranio international property broker. However, building an investment portfolio is a good way to guarantee financial stability late in life. Your assets should generate regular yields and gain value under your possession. That way, you increase your chances of being able to sell it later or leave it to your loved ones.

The ideal investment portfolio contains a varied collection of assets both by type and location: this will effectively protect you from economic and political risks linked to one asset class or country. For instance, investing in securities, metals and property will protect your assets for the risks linked to a single market and a single country.

The point of a portfolio is not to make quick money, but to maintain your funds and save them from devaluation as inflation rises. To make it work, your revenue should always cover your expenses and you should always participate a little in managing the investment. The idea behind it: have more time to dedicate to your family, travelling, leisure and even a business for your own pleasure — without worrying about the money.

Before building a portfolio, successful investors know their budget, risks and financing options. They also have a strategy to maximise yields and manage their investments.

1. Initial budget
Investors usually start to actively build an investment portfolio when they have at least €1M available because a smaller budget wouldn’t generate enough return. In Europe, for instance, the average yield on residential property is 4%.

2. Investment strategy (what investment vehicles to choose)
In order to expand the portfolio, you must decide how much you want to invest in the long-term and what investment vehicles to choose like property, bonds, stocks, etc. Let’s say you are ready to allocate €2M in 2015 and want to achieve €13M in fifteen years: estimate how much your portfolio should increase in value as well as your current regular income. Most likely, you’ll only have to invest €300,000 per year to achieve that €13M target. Alternatively, you could choose to make a few big investments over this period, like three properties worth €3–4M each.

3. Risk assessment
Take note of the biggest and smallest risks linked to your investments and build your portfolio accordingly. When choosing real estate for example, if you need stable returns, you had better choose property with long-term rental contracts but lower yields. However, if you don’t, then short-term lettings in holiday destinations have higher yields or you could choose a property where the tenant’s lease is coming to an end.

4. Diversifying the portfolio
Location is a key risk because the country you choose will define the safety and profitability of your investment. However it’s not easy to build or manage a portfolio with different assets in different countries. There are different legal and taxation systems to deal as well as different contractors to manage the asset. Nevertheless, it’s still best to invest in two different countries or two different asset classes in one or two countries. For instance, Russian citizens often live in their Russian property and buy income-generating real estate abroad.

Choose a country with a reliable political system and a strong economy like Austria, the UK, Germany, the USA and France. For example, property in London and German cities gained 26% between 2010 and 2015 and is still expected to rise. To mitigate the risks linked to European property, you should consider investing some funds in financial instruments like securities from firms outside the Eurozone rather than looking for more property on the other continents.

5. Yields
Depending on the risk tolerance, the yield spread should be sufficient under current conditions. Later on, the risk profile can be adjusted and the appropriate investment decisions can be made if necessary. Standard commercial lettings yields in Europe are 5–6% per annum and residential property is only 4%, so if anyone promises you high yields.

6. Financing
Taking out a loan will give you leverage to increase the yield. Portfolio investments, unlike single purchases, get better terms on credit that increase yields. In Germany, you can get a loan of up to 60% of the property value at 2% per annum if you are investing in real estate. So if the average rental yield is 6.5%, the investment yield in view of the loan could be up to 8–10%. If the portfolio is not refinanced, liquidity can be quickly achieved without selling it by increasing the level of leverage. At the same time, banks will allow you to finance other investments on the back of your current assets.

7. Management
While it’s possible to build, manage and sell the portfolio independently but when you are investing abroad, it’s often better to hire a company specialised in managing property investments as it saves time. As for your future tenants, quality tenants will minimise turnover and simplify property management.

8. Exit strategy and deadlines
There are two exit strategies: sell it or transfer by inheritance.

— Inheritance: the portfolio grows in value over time, though moderately, and can be owned by a single family for more than 100 years. For that reason, you should make arrangements to transfer it with minimal tax expenses.

— Sale: if you need funds urgently (e.g., for your main business), choose a liquid asset that can be sold quickly (2–4 months) without a significant depreciation. The best way to achieve this is to buy property in prime locations or multipurpose real estate.

However, if your goal is to build a personal wealth fund, you are probably not planning on making a rapid exit (excluding force majeure). This kind of portfolio requires long-term thinking and an investment strategy for at least the next fifteen years as well as strong knowledge of the tax systems and potential risks. If you have any questions regarding the specifics of real estate investments, George is always there to help
(Most of this originally appeared on Move Channel)

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now