Many Singaporeans are obsessed with property investments but not many have been successful. Some have made a windfall, while many have lost a lot of money. Those who have become rich through property investments are reluctant to share their experiences and prefer to keep a low profile. This is understandable as who would want to reveal their secrets to building wealth? Therefore, I was a bit skeptical initially when Property Soul asked me to do a book review on her newly launched book “No B.S. Guide to Property Investment – Dirty Truths and Profitable Secrets to Building Wealth through Properties”. I thought that she must be a property agent trying to market her services through publishing a book on real estate investments. But after a phone chat with her, I realized that I was wrong.
Property Soul was a Hong Konger who relocated to Singapore in 1998 (she subsequently converted to Singapore citizenship). She bought her first private property for rent in 2002 and within 4.5 years, managed to build up a portfolio of 5 properties. By 2008, her total investment value doubled. She sold 4 of her properties in 2010 and 2011 and made a handsome profit of 80 to 120 percent. She decided to share her experiences in property investments with Singaporeans and set up a personal blog called PropertySoul.com. Interestingly, that was the same year that I set up my personal finance blog, SG Wealth Builder (my blog’s predecessor’s name is SG Web Reviews) too. Our blog goals are pretty similar: basically to share our investment experiences and to exchange ideas with fellow investors.
It took me a few weeks to do this book review because I have been pretty busy in my day job recently and there were several vendors who were interested to advertise in my blog as well. But after settling down and having read through the book, I realized it was such a good stuff that I feel every aspiring property owners or investors must read. Firstly the author does not work in the real estate industry, therefore the book was written from the perspective of a property investor. So you can be assured that there is no hidden agenda or hard-sell marketing tactic. Secondly, the book contains a lot of hands-on property investment experiences that you would not be able to find in many of the local finance blogs. Readers can leverage on the author’s wisdom and lower the learning curve in their real estate investment journey. Thirdly, the book contained a lot of interesting anecdotes from her blog readers. These stories made the book engaging and at the same time, provide valuable lesson learned because the author also shared her thoughts on how to address these issues.
Personally, I find Property Soul’s concept of “3-3-5” affordability test for property investment interesting and there are many other useful articles, such as how to deal with property agents, common mistakes in property investments and whether should investors opt for HDB or private properties. I am glad that I read the book because it covers many aspects of property investing that I never thought of. It is like a secret manual which contains all the author’s property investment experiences and thought processes. Furthermore, this book highlights potential pitfalls that investors might suffer and forced me to re-examine some of my strategies for buying a second property. Indeed, I like this book very much because it is written in Singapore context and contains very little industry jargon. So Singaporeans who are interested in investing properties would find this book useful.
Not too long ago, one of my friends suggested investing in Japanese properties. I highlighted to him the potential dangers in investing overseas properties. I am not sure whether he was convinced by me but anyway, I am heartened that Property Soul shared the same thoughts as me. In the book, there was a section on why Singaporeans should be careful in investing overseas properties. Singaporeans should take note of this before parting away their hard-earned monies in overseas projects. Apparently, this had happened in Hong Kong in the nineties before and there were striking parallels between now in Singapore and back then in Hong Kong. I highly recommend this book to all Singaporeans interested in building their wealth through property investing. You might not become rich after reading the book but certainly it provides important pointers that could help you avoid pitfalls that may lead to financial losses.
No B.S. Guide to Property Investment – Dirty Truths and Profitable Secrets To Building Wealth Through Properties is available now in major bookstores such as Popular, Kinokuniya and Times.
The paperback can also be purchased online at http://www.propertyclubsg.com/