You know what really grinds my gears?
Cashed up bogans.
For years, their success stories have been clickbait for news websites. They all run along the same lines:
Craig and Cheryl were just like you – wasting their lives away reading empty articles on the internet instead of applying themselves at work. Yet unlike you, they made the decision to buy five investment properties five years ago.
Today the young couple are worth $3 million and they’ve retired (to run a property investment advisory business). The savvy couple’s advice to people wanting to follow in their footsteps? “If we did it, anyone can. All you need is passion” says Cheryl. “Hustle!” adds Craig.
(Insert photo of the smug couple with matching tans, tattoos, and teeth.)
“Come on, they were just lucky!” I yell at my computer screen.
They didn’t work, or create anything … all they did was take on a lot of debt and rode their luck!
Well, let me show you what happens when your luck runs out, this time with a real couple: Michelle and Ian Tate.
In 2013, the Tates decided to expand their property portfolio … to five properties.
Despite the fact they had three young kids.
Despite the fact that they were relying on only one income, which was heavily dependent on a cyclical industry (mining, as a fly-in fly-out FIFO worker).
It didn’t take long for things to go (as my father would say) ‘tits up’.
So, who is to blame?
Well, the couple blame the bank for lending them the dough.
And so do their lawyers, Maurice Blackburn, who have made them the lead plaintiffs in their blockbuster Westpac class action with the charge of irresponsible lending.
Hang on a moment.
If we’re talking about acting irresponsibility, how about not taking a few moments to question how their single wage could possibly feed both a family of five, and five properties. It’s not that hard. All they needed to do was click away from Facebook and head over to a Mortgage Calculator:
“Strewth! If interest rates go up by 0.1% the computer says we’re cactus!”
It seems to me that there was a healthy dose of greed and stupidity on both sides.
The banks closed their eyes and went on a borrowing binge to hit their profit targets … and many borrowers did pretty much the same thing. (And now, in the circle of corporate life, the greedy lawyers are licking their chops at the chance of a big payday.)
Look, I’m a fan of kicking the banks, yet I’m an even bigger fan of personal responsibility. And the media? Well, it’s a fan of whatever gets the most clicks, which this week was, “Family’s $1.8m Westpac mortgage hell”.
Tread Your Own Path!