Investment. It is always a hot topic of conversation and even more so when you have a world health event that affects the economy, job security and a variety of different local and international markets. So far this year we’ve seen massive spikes and troughs in the share market, media outlets predicting 30% property price decreases, term deposit rates less than inflation and every other doom and gloom prediction from anyone that wants to share an opinion and anyone willing to believe it.

So, a common question I get asked is what or why should I invest? Good question, and the truth is, it depends on a lot of things, many of which are outside of your control don’t have a crystal ball and not even the best so-called experts can give you a definitive answer on what the best investment in the market is. So why do people get caught up in all the hysteria and believe people they don’t even know? It’s emotions, and when you’re looking at putting your hard-earned money into something you want it to be going forwards not backwards. The thing about investment is we don’t always get it right and past decisions may cloud our judgement.

What stage of the investment journey are you in also plays a part in your decision making. If you’re investing in your 20’s/30’s compared to your 40’s/50’s then your strategy is going to be different. What do you go for? Shares, property, term deposits, bonds, the list goes on. Being that I am in property I’ll look at this asset class. Do you look for capital growth over rental yield? Negative gearing vs positive gearing, renovation vs new build, units/apartments v houses, regional vs metro, east coast vs west coast and so on. The point that I am making is that there is no exact science and even the best of the best get it wrong. Ask any property developer what the worst purchase is they have made, and they will reel off a list. There are markets within markets. Who would have thought at the start of the year vacancy rates in the majority of WA would be under 2% and places like Melbourne would have auction clearance rates less than 45%.

Because mistakes happen and unexpected events impact on markets, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be looking at investing and aiming to get ahead and secure your future. Interest rates are at an all-time low, banks are saying they are open for business (Are they really? Not from my experience when it comes to how hard they are making it for people to get a loan since the Royal Commission but the people that can lend happy days), the rental market in WA is having the lowest vacancy rates for over a decade but we are still not seeing many investors back in the marketplace yet. That may be the fear of the unknown particularly in the current climate, it may be other investment options are better for them at the moment or it could be following the herd mentality and waiting for others and everything to be rosy before jumping on board. The reality is, I don’t think anyone really knows what is going to happen with any kind of certainty but one thing I do know is that if you do nothing then your position won’t change.