Hard road to success

Monday 19 June 2017

One Hawke’s Bay investor’s road to success took him on a challenging journey but now he’s sitting pretty and is sharing the investing rules that got him there.

Engineer and father-of-two Richard Gruiters knows a lot about successful property investing – but he had to learn most of it the hard way.

He’s ridden the highs and lows of the property cycle, built a fantastic self-sufficient portfolio and he’s using it to create the lifestyle he wants for himself and his family.

Gruiters’ is a classic story of Kiwi property investment. It starts with the book that sets so many property investors on their path: Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

Hooked, he read the whole series, then started on every other investing book he could lay his hands on, “and I haven’t stopped since.”

The idea of building wealth, solving problems and crunching spreadsheets appealed enormously to his engineering mind-set.

Gruiter’s property journey got off to a good start. Using a positive cashflow model, he bought five properties in the early 2000s and everything was going smoothly.

But then he says: “I probably got a bit cocky.”

He bought more expensive negative cashflow properties hoping to see big equity gains.

No such luck: the global financial crisis hit and prices in Hawke’s Bay not only didn’t grow, they actually declined.

He had to sell some properties to get some balance back into the portfolio, ended up with a much reduced portfolio and had to start again with a more conservative approach.

Since those days, he has successfully rebuilt his portfolio and in this month’s issue of NZ Property Investor magazine he explains how he did and shares the highs and lows of his property journey.

Here are Gruiter’s five top investing rules:

1. Don’t speculate. “I’ve learnt my lesson about going for capital gains that don’t turn up.”
2. Properties must generate surplus cashflow after all the costs are paid.
3. All loans should be principal and interest. If the sums don’t work without paying any principal, Gruiters doesn’t do the deal.
4. Spread your lending across more than one bank.
5. Stick to your investing rules.

To read more about Gruiter, his property journey and his investing rules, click here to get the digital issue of NZ Property Investor magazine.

Subscribe to NZ Property Investor magazine here to get great stories like this delivered to your mailbox every month.

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