The financial side can be the most daunting. From having an equitable partnership where both were working hard to achieve a foundation of wealth, this can suddenly be stripped away. The divorced partner is instead left with half or less of the assets and the prospects of having to rebuild on their own.
However when life throws disasters in one’s path these can also be the beginnings of a whole new road to opportunity. For many women who’ve had to start again after a number of years of marriage and shared assets, it’s been property investment that has been their salvation.
Women have traditionally always been enthusiastic investors in the property market. A recent study by Wizard Home loans found that 70% of female respondents said they preferred investing their money in property rather than shares or stocks.
It’s certainly not hard to argue the case that women are far better property investors than men.
Says Andrew Duke of Marley Investing: “Women tend to be better at saving, at being frugal. They are far better at juggling across different portfolios and keeping an eye on a bunch of different balls. Also, in my experience, contrary to what some may think, women actually tend to make less emotional decisions when it comes to investments. They’re far more clear headed and objective than men.”
This has been backed up by a new book, “Investing Like A Woman” by Steve Macdonald, in which he argues that women make better investors than men as they are more disciplined; focused and conservative and less likely to make hot headed decisions.
The results speak for themselves. Another study in the US found that women only investment clubs easily out performed their male counterparts in nine of the preceding 15 years, in other words, for a solid 60% of the time.
Some other telling points come from Margaret Lomas, a property consultant and adviser. She notes that in many married partnerships it’s the woman who will do all the legwork; the research and have all the facts at their fingertips. So this means that if the marriage sadly dissolves, it’s actually the woman who is in the better position to strike out on her own.
She notes that women’s “copious research” usually comes to the fore and means they will make a decision based on facts and data.
Take the example of Gina Bartone, featured in Property Woman. She was a shrewd property investor from an early age. She tried a number of different successful property strategies, everything from negative gearing through to dual occupancy. She also had two divorces. Each time meant having to start again as she would lose half her portfolio to her previous husband.
She bought a property that she was able to subdivide into two modern villas and thus increase her capital growth by 100%. She also designed the renovations and oversaw the house renovations.
However many women who’ve never tried the property market before can find it a daunting experience. Not everyone has an eye for design or renovation. Trying to predict which will be the next area of solid capital growth can be very risky without the solid, quantifiable research.
Also how does a divorced woman break into property investment? The chances are that they are now starting from a different base. Perhaps they’ve been forced to downsize, or else are renting in a unit or townhouse. If they have children they’ll be looking at renting a suitable property that’s child friendly. Maybe its somewhere further out – the suburbs or similar. If the family house is now part of a protracted court battle or settlement, its quite likely the woman will be renting for the short term.
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All this may seem like an anathema to raising cash for investment, but in fact, their overheads and expenses may now be a lot lower. As a renter they’ll no longer be paying a mortgage. Nor will they be hit with maintenance costs or strata levies or water bills. The reduced expenses mean that they have some money for property investment. In fact, they’ll be like a vast majority of those starting out – in either Sydney or Melbourne – who can’t afford to buy a house in their own area but rent and then invest in property.
Of course newly divorced women can find the notion of property investment very overwhelming, especially if they have never previously invested. Here’s where it helps to see a professional who has the data, the track record and can create an unique plan toward wealth building. They can then get a well structured and researched plan that allows them to create a solid portfolio while they rent at a lower amount.
It’s been proven time and time again that property investment in Australia is very assured and that, over a thirty year period, the demand has only ever gone up. Consequently property in Australia remains a highly desirable and safe investment. For many people trying to secure their wealth for themselves and their children after a financial setback it’s still the most golden option there is.
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