Written by a very single-minded longtime ex-professional motorcyclist.
Let me start this by admitting that I’m obsessed with motorbikes. I first rode a motorbike when I was about six and haven’t stopped. In my younger years, I raced bikes to some success and eventually became a professional instructor. Part of why I want to build wealth is to buy a massive block of land, build an enormous barn, buy more bikes, and spend my greying years restoring them all.
Just like the wealth creation world, a large part of motorcycle training is having a plan. Part of being a riding training instructor was to show people how to take the ‘fright from your ride.’ Here are some fundamental principles.
Look where you want to go:
When steering a motorcycle, you will head toward wherever you are looking. “Look where you want to go!” is the most common thing I shout to riders of all levels.
The same goes for investing; it’s about having a plan and sticking to it. You’ll build this plan with your team of wealth experts, print it out, or use a vision board so as not to let the BS of the media headlines distract you. Yes, it takes longer to build wealth than when zipping around corners on a bike, but that’s even more of a reason to keep looking in the right direction all the time.
Prepare for the worst and you’ll never be surprised:
On motorbikes, this covers looking around your environment and wearing your safety gear because lady luck is a bitch. Gravel rash and broken bones take weeks to recover from after any slide (I sadly speak from experience). I never intend to fall off, but I still wear the appropriate safety equipment. I think of this as part of my personal protection; it helps me with confidence, like mental insurance.
In the wealth creation space, we want to ensure that should the ‘brown stuff hit the fan,’ we are protected and able to recover. So, this is where we look at the various types of insurance. Income protection, building, or landlord’s insurance are all there to cover the unexpected and, like my rather expensive riding gear, are regarded as a necessary expenditure for the long term.
Look for the obvious dangers:
Unfortunately, so many bike accidents on the road are caused by the rider putting themselves into a dangerous situation that can be avoided. Cars doing U-turns or not looking for a bike next to them are two of the most common. On a bike, we ask the question to ourselves, “do they know I’m here.” We can help the situation by slowing down to gather more information or moving within our lane to build what is known as a buffer zone. Same thing with finance and investing. If you are not 100% sure of the situation, you don’t have to run away. Just start asking questions. Get whoever is across the table from you to explain what’s happening until you feel secure, and don’t be afraid to walk away early.
Time and Space:
We’ve all heard of the three second rule. If you have the time and the space around you, you can pretty much overcome any issue. On a bike, we make sure we are not following the traffic in front too close. Here’s the scene. You are traveling along at 80kph with a two second gap behind the car in front (because it feels like you are getting home sooner, doesn’t it?). The car jams on its brakes, bright red brake lights fill your eyeballs, and the noise of their tires squealing fills your mind.
That first second is taken up with your brain assessing the situation and telling the various body parts what to do. But in that one second, you have traveled 22.2 meters…and so far, you’ve done nothing. By the time your brain and body start moving, you have one second of space remaining, and most of that is now taken up with you wish you had planned this a bit better…. “oh shiiiiiiiiiiii…..”
Time and space in finance and property are working back from the due dates, such as settlements time. That’s why we run events leading up to the settlement of any project. That’s why it’s generally four months away from the expected settlement. A large part of this is again, having a great team helping you (such as your mortgage broker). Brokers are not miracle workers, and when they ask for paperwork/sign this/or cancel that credit card, they are trying to keep you in that safe space with time to get it all done.
Have an Exit plan:
This has happened to me a few times over the years, something has happened ahead on the road. Invariably it’s nothing major, and while I’ve stopped well clear of it, a quick look in the rear vision mirrors shows me that the guy in the truck behind isn’t looking too good. So being a very nimble vehicle, I quickly exit to the left, sometimes up the curb, and into a much safer place.
In property, we know it’s a long-term plan to hold the investments for 10, 15+ years, but we might need to sell sooner. By holding a well-researched property that’s desirable to the biggest market (the owner occupiers), we are mitigating our risks. I’ve seen this with clients that bought studio apartments or Defense housing properties. When it came time to sell (or even refinance), the market conditions were unfavorable because of the issues with financing these types of properties.
Knowledge is power:
Education builds skills, and with bikes, a safety course will teach you the correct techniques in a controlled environment. You learn the appropriate actions to take in unpredictable riding situations if they should ever arise. So many of the situations I’ve taught might never happen.
This is a similar story today with the education courses that I run as part of the Blue Wealth Property Academy. A good, rounded knowledge base will take the ‘fright’ out of your wealth creation, and as you might already know, fear is not a motivator; it’s a suppressor.
Happy investing and Stay Upright