Don’t mistake money for wealth

Don’t mistake money for wealth

I was talking to a friend recently about money and what makes us happy. He explained that the thing that brings his happiness is collecting toys. Yes, a grown man in his late 30’s explains that he greatest joy is collecting what many throw away. He believes that his estimated wealth from his toy collection is over half a million dollars

Money for most people money is an emotive, complicated subject. We all have different beliefs, motivations, emotions and preferences, which can make our relationship with it difficult. Money also influences how we view ourselves and can affect our feelings of self-esteem, control and security

For some people, other than paying for the basics, money is merely a measurement of their personal or business success. Others see it as a means of obtaining social status, often comparing their material wealth (house, car, clothes) to that of their peers and friends. Their personal motivation was very much about the outward appearance of success, even if they were not completely fulfilled and satisfied as a result

While this means money will make your life easier to a certain degree, if you let money own you it will make you miserable.

True wealth is what you are left with when they take all your money and properties away – your health, your family and friends, your knowledge and mindset, your spirituality and your ability to contribute to society.

True happiness comes from having a strong sense of purpose, being clear on your ideal lifestyle, and making work and spending decisions aligned with that vision. Life is far too short to waste time doing things you don’t enjoy.

There is always something to learn

There is always something to learn

Whether you are just starting out with property or you are already on your way to building a portfolio, educating yourself is the key to success. While it is possible to hire professionals to do most of the work, without some basic understand of how the process works it’s difficult to be successful

You don’t need to know everything but you must educate yourself in the basics to get started. A little education goes a long way in accomplishing four essential goals:


Learning about real estate will demystify it for you, reducing your fear of the unknown. Without that fear, you’re more likely to take the steps necessary to progress to the next level and reach your goals.


Educating yourself will show you that you don’t need to have any innate real estate talent or know-how. You will see that anyone can do this. You don’t need a degree in law, finance or real estate, and you don’t need huge sums of cash. Ordinary people just like you, with ordinary reserves of cash, have achieved great results in real estate investment, and you can too!


By choosing an area within real estate to invest in will help you to narrow down and focus. When you understand some of the unique qualities of each type of real estate, you’re more likely to discover the type and location that best suit your investment style and needs. Different areas include residential, commercial, renovations or developing, just to name a few


Identifying experts might be best for your particular kind of investment strategy. When you assemble your team of advisors, one of them will be your real estate agent. He or she will be an expert in one particular sector—the one you’re investing in—but most likely won’t be an expert in other sectors. For example, he or she might specialize in duplexes, but not malls. By sticking with one sector, you can retain the same team of advisors without having to seek others. Where do you get that education? A good place to start is to read books, magazines and online articles on related topics. One resource will lead to another, and then another, and as you find yourself asking questions or wanting more information on a specific issue, it will guide you to the next article or book.

Japan’s stable rental market

Japan’s stable rental market

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Over the last several posts  we have highlight some of the reasons why investing in the Japanese property market can be positive. Real estate investing like any investment vehicle comes with risks but the risks in property can be difficult to control. Things such as rent not being paid, tenants not looking after the property, items in the house breaking down and needing to be repaired and other issues that can cause landlord’s headaches. In Japanese properties, these issues are often absent.

  • Japanese Tenants generally stay for several years allowing a steady source of rental income.
  • Tenants usually are very reliable in paying their rent on time.
  • Tenants are respectful to rental properties making sure the properties are kept clean and tidy. On vacating properties Japanese tenants will make sure the property is left the same as when they moved in
  • By western standards, Japanese units/houses tend to be very basic accommodation. Tenants are required to purchase all white goods and furniture themselves. This even includes ceiling light fittings and fans
  • Little protection for the renter at the end of the lease period.
  • At the beginning of a rental period the tenant must pay on average a deposit of 2 months rent. Deposits usually are non-negotiable as they are a refundable expense that is meant to cover any damages done to the apartment outside normal wear-and-tear
  • Another payment a tenant must make is called ‘Key money’ and is a throwback from the end of World War 2 when the country was rebuilding. It was a gift to the owner for allowing the tenants to live in the owner’s apartment. Although building has long since be completed, the `key money’ payment still exists and usually around 2 months rent
  • Other fees charged to tenants include cleaning fees and renewal fees.

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