Investing With Military Precision by Nigel Earnshaw

Uncertainty, incomplete information, fear. I’m not talking about my former profession as an Army Officer, I’m talking about the emotions I see in people when they muster up the courage to begin investing!

Thankfully, 23 years as an Infantry soldier and officer has imparted some experience on me and I can help.

Know the battlefield

The first thing I recommend is to start learning about the market and the stakeholders active in it. This is a constant state of observing and learning, and changes can be be incorporated into your plan.

Assess your forces

This will commence with an honest analysis of who you are and what you want. If you’re in a committed relationship, the interests and influences of your partner must be considered, but most of us also have friends and family who have experiences and opinions we value.

While you’re thinking about this, make sure you understand what you have! No plan is going to succeed if it is unrealistic, so take stock of where you are financially and how you got there.

Develop courses of action

When you’re mostly comfortable with this, then you are ready to start building your ‘courses of action’. If you’re inexperienced, you may mistakenly jump ahead to selecting assets that you have already identified. While these may end up being valid options, you must be careful to avoid doing all your working and planning to justify something you’ve already seen.

Consider different locations, and all types of assets in the class. For example: House and Land, Townhouse or Apartments represent the simplified options you have available, but you can look within these sub-classes with options such as student or holiday accomodation, as well as duplexes/ granny flats.

Assess your course of action

When you have some options (courses of action), then you can compare them to test your thinking, and improve them. There are a number of methods you can use to compare investment options but most involve a deliberate process of critical thinking and comparative analysis.

Decide and execute

Finally, and perhaps the most important step, is to decide and execute the plan you have chosen. Many, many people don’t act after planning and either forego the opportunity, or start again later and rush it because they’ve lost time. Even the world’s greatest investor, Warren Buffet said that his greatest mistake was “not getting started sooner”!

Nigel is a retired Army officer and property coach. Contact him on nigel@foxhound.net.au to learn more. 

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