Anthony Camillos, an investor and school teacher told NestEgg that his secret to growing a $6-million nest egg (and being debt-free) was to avoid over-leveraging and to keep that retirement end-game in mind.
He had two key pieces of advice for Australians in their 30s looking to build a nest egg: “One is, not to over commit.
“You can start with a humble beginning… It's taken five moves for me to live 8 kilometres from the [Sydney] CBD. I started in Springwood.”
He said that while many people are averse to commuting or moving, his best advice was to avoid taking out a huge home loan for lifestyle factors.
“Make a start, get into the market and make a start. But make sure that you [do] not over commit yourself financially, and allow for interest rates to move. Allow yourself to have a little bit of scope for a 2-3 per cent increase.”
A risk-averse investor, he said that in hindsight he probably could have leveraged more and built his assets. However: “I was completely motivated by paying down debt. I was so debt averse; I just wanted to pay down the debt.
“So any spare capital that came to me via a tax refund, Ior 10 dollars on the street, I would pump it into the loan.”
His second piece of advice was to remember that more youthful investors have time on their side, even though “it might not seem that way”.
“A little bit of patience, don't over commit, balance your life of course, enjoy the moment, enjoy the present, but we all reach 60 one day, we all get older, and you also have to think a little bit about the future.
“So, whilst living in the present, just have a balance, do what you can to pay down debt. If you do get a windfall, you get your tax dollars, think about your next trip to Bali or paying down $1,000 out of your debt. Instead of going there every year, you might go there every three years.”
Mr Camillos in 2016 also engaged a financial adviser for the first time. From Dixons, the adviser he engaged, he’s received education around different asset classes and their risks as well as advantages and disadvantages.
Given that he’d not engaged with financial advice until 2016, Mr Camillos said the decision came about as a result of a changing property landscape, lending regulatory framework and low interest rates.
He said: “I have felt the need to really get more professional advice.
“I think the important thing is that you are at least open enough to listen [to advice],” he continued.
“I think what I took away from that [the advice] is that there are people with a lot of knowledge and expertise who seriously have your best interests at heart, and you need to allow or be open to hearing it at least, or allow somebody to provide and communicate how they might be able to assist, and then make a judgement.”