Overcoming the Fear Factor


‘Fear directs people. True learning comes from passion, energy and desire. When it comes to money, people play it safe to feel secure. Passion does not direct them. The main cause of financial struggle is fear and ignorance.’

– Robert Kiyosaki

My advice is to avoid the naysayers, the people who talk negatively about property. If you listen to them, they will always have a theory about a property bubble, about interest rates shooting up, or they simply want things that are just not possible (such as a guaranteed this or guaranteed that.) The naysayers don’t take responsibility for themselves. They have never left the playground, and are most likely failures in their investment life. They favour excuses over results and effort.

Often these people feel lonely in their failures in life and want to suck you down that slippery slope, to justify or reinforce their own lack of success, lack of action, or state of not being in-motion.

Maybe the reason people choose to avoid uncertainty and therefore (by default) they choose a future of poverty, rather than being in-motion by thinking proactively about their future, is that poverty is a reliable and certain outcome, and the other is more uncomfortable because it is unknown. Living in the present seems to be more important than living for the future, in balance with living for the present, and, thus, by the time they get to the future it’s too late.

Some people believe there is a perfect property out there, and unless they find it they don’t do anything. All those ‘what ifs’ play on people’s minds. What if I can’t get a tenant? What if, when I do get a tenant, they cause damage? What if it floods? What if I make a mistake? What if the advice or information is wrong? What if there is something better, or rates change, or I see something better next week, or my friends think I’m mad?

There are answers to most of these things, but the procrastinators, the people suffering from inaction and fear and ‘future damaging’ so-called priorities, will dream up new ‘what ifs’ and, eventually, it can become very difficult (or impossible) to remain connected with common sense, perspective, reality and/or rational thought. To lots of people fear of doing something is more debilitating than the fear of not doing something.

Common Excuses or things that get in the way

Age Related Issues:

Under 30 years

  • Too young.
  • Spending money and going out is more of a priority than thinking about investing.
  • Wedding expenses may be a factor.
  • Buying a first home or considering having children.

Between 30–50 years

  • School fees.
  • Holidays.
  • Bills.
  • Pressures, or fear of instability, at work.

Between 50–60 years

  • School and university fees.
  • Stock market and superannuation suffering leaving a sour taste and fear.
  • Despondency, and feeling like it is too late.

60+ years

  • Hard to get a loan without an exit strategy.
  • Feeling life is financially over, and what could have been ‘green grass heading out to pasture’ is now barren and drought ridden turf.

The Fear Factor itself

The sooner people face their fear, the sooner they can start to work on it, address it, confront it, and work to overcome it, to accept it whilst being able to take action and get into motion. The sooner we discover the problem, the sooner we can try to fix it, or look for a solution.

Every person, when it comes to investing, has one of two things in common: either they have lots of excuses, or they have results. Results come from action. Excuses are a result of inaction and lead to inaction. Often it’s ‘the chicken or the egg’ scenario that leads to failure in retirement. Failure is ending up on the pension. Results come from action. They provide the opportunity for a future, and investing toward the future gives you opportunity. It gives you hope.

The Scared Factor

  • No tenant.
  • Interest rate movement.
  • Job loss.
  • Bank won’t lend.
  • Complexities of managing the property.



With the number of baby boomers retiring in the next few years, I am concerned for both them and also for the next retiring generation. Will the Government have the money to fund all of our retirements, given that the majority of people end up on the pension due to failure to create wealth in their lives, which would provide for a passive income in retirement?

As there will be fewer people in the work force, and with humans living longer, the Government will gather less tax and will, likely, be forced to review the pension eligibility. They may then continue to restrict voluntary contributions into superannuation just as they have done before.

It’s a shame that people don’t have as much fear of merely ‘existing’ in retirement, rather than ‘living life’ in retirement, as they should. Merely ‘existing’ is when someone lives off a pension and has little money to do anything more significant than the occasional caravan park holiday, bingo outing, or crossword day with friends. If the fear of the ‘financially-poor future’, which most people end up in, was stronger than the ‘fear of doing something’ then more people would take action, and seek out the right advice. Ultimately fear is illogical, based on something that might happen, but may never happen.

Andrew Crossley

Andrew Crossley from Australian Property Advisory Group is a qualified Property Advisor and Property Advocate with over  20 years’ experience in wealth management, property and finance both here and internationally working in Private Banking in Austria, Italy, Netherlands, UK, and the Cayman Islands.

Although Andrew has grown his personal property portfolio to 11 properties and just under 4 million, it is his balanced and risk managed approach to his properties that was recognised in the ‘Your Investment Property’ magazine where he was recognised in the 2012 Property Investor of the year Awards, placing him 5th overall in Australia.

He has conducted several seminars on Property; Wealth Creation through Property and Self- Managed Super Fund lending.
Andrew is also on the Forrester Cohen National panel of certified Property Advisors. Andrew has recently been asked to become a contributor to the “Your Investment Property” Magazine, Smart Property Investor Blog, The Advisor, and Money Magazine on the topics of lending and property.

Andrew has also contributed to Terry Ryder’s quarterly report, (Terry being Australia’s foremost respected location hotspot analyst), and he is also referred business from Money magazine.

This is an extract from a chapter in the book Property Investment Australia. Available from Mithra Publishing.

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