Many uni students are focused solely on their exams, or Friday night drinks, during their degrees.
Not so for Emilia Rossi who already knew that if she wanted to financially succeed she needed to start early.
And that meant buying her first investment property while she was still at uni.
Melbourne-based Emilia says she was lucky to have a mother who was already a property investor back then. Plus, her mum was happy to share her knowledge, but her assistance only went so far.
“She’s business savvy. So she helped mentor and teach me the power of investing and the power of leveraging,” Emilia says.
“That triggered my desire to how can I leverage my financial situation at an early age so I could have a high-risk strategy to allow me to have the lifestyle that I’m already experiencing now.
“My mother did not help me financially. She did not hold my hand. She led the way but said, ‘Emilia, you need to do the rest of the work.'”
With her part-time employment as a contractor doing work such as data-entry for government, Emilia had managed to save enough money for a deposit while also studying for her degree.
She also up-skilled by attending property seminars and reading as much as possible about property investment.
That research lead her to buy her first property 10 years ago, which was a two-bedroom apartment in a small complex in Canberra.
“Back then, there was a lot of sturdy structural apartments in Canberra with massive floor plans and double brick,” she says.
“I still have that investment now and it’s performing well. I’ve managed to refinance it two times since I’ve bought it.”
Investing in her future
After buying her first investment, Emilia finished her studies and opened up her first business, which she poured her energy and finances into for five years.
Then it was time to expand her portfolio, which she did in quick succession in 2012 and 2013 when she bought two more units in inner-city Melbourne.
Now 35, Emilia says she never considered buying a property to live in because her motivation was to grow her future wealth while also living life while she was young.
“That’s the key concept that rentvesters understand. That’s their driving force. Their mission and that’s why they do what they do,” she says.
“If you don’t understand that concept, rentvesting is not for you.”
Over the course of her investing journey, Emilia says she concentrated on cash flow which saw her create multiple income streams.
That way she can use the power of leverage to create wealth.
“For me, my sole objective since I was 25, was to be high-risk, aggressive and cash flow. If I’ve got the cash flow, I can leverage and invest in other parts of my life,” she says.
“So investment property is one channel that I make income. I have other businesses on the side. I cannot put all of my eggs in one basket. That’s why for me cash flow has always been important.”
Last year, however, Emilia realised that with three units in her portfolio that she needed to invest in capital growth properties.
She says she was a little unsure how to do that so she engaged the services of a professional to help her select her fourth investment property, which she bought with her husband.
That property is a townhouse in Brisbane, which means her portfolio is now spread across three different capital cities.
“I do need apartments in my portfolio long-term but I really do need to start thinking about the actual physical land value if I want to get that strong capital growth,” she says.
Onwards and upwards
Today, Emilia rents in Docklands, Melbourne, with her husband. The couple has no immediate plans to buy a home to live in, because the numbers still make more sense to remain rentvesting.
“We would like to potentially go into a penthouse-style, so three or four bedrooms, because the rent is still going to be cheaper than the mortgage repayments in Docklands, especially because the prices are going up here right now,” she says.
“In terms of the investment strategy, I’m going to continue to be aggressive. I have time on my hands.”
She is considering investing in virtual currency or shares later this year but more properties will find their way into her growing portfolio in the years ahead, too.
Emilia created her long-term vision many years ago so she knows where she wants to be and what she needs to do to get there.
She says too many young people fail to understand that time is of the essence when it comes to successful property investment and creating wealth for their latter years.
“There is no better time to start than now. It’s really important to educate yourself financially. Stop using excuses. Stop waiting for something to happen or for someone else to do it. Do it yourself,” she says.
“You need to understand what’s your long-term goal, where do want to be and what sort of lifestyle you want for yourself.
“If you’re in your 20s and 30s, you need to start now if you want to retire in your 40s and 50s comfortably. You cannot wait.”