This is the most powerful habit.

Summer is well and truly here.
 
We’ve seen the first Test Match of the summer come and go and, as of yesterday, all States but Western Australia have now opened their borders, allowing many families to reunite for Christmas!
 
Here’s hoping it is the last we see of border closures and lockdowns. While probably necessary, the cost has been high – economically and socially.
 
Melbourne has been hardest hit, enduring six lockdowns and 262 days in lockdown since March 20, 2020.

During the week, the Victorian Agency for Health and Information produced a report that detailed the social cost of the pandemic.
 
The report said 336 children and teenagers per week were admitted to hospital for a mental health emergency during lockdown. That works out to be a 46 per cent increase since 2020.
 
In the same period, one in three parents and carers experienced moderate to severe symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. 
 
Sobering as those numbers are, it’s encouraging to see the Victorian government introducing a mental health and wellbeing surcharge.
 
From 1 January 2022, businesses paying more than $10 million in wages each year will contribute 0.5 to 1 per cent of their wage bill to a mental health and wellbeing fund.
 
Apparently less than 5 per cent of businesses will be affected by the tax, but it will raise nearly $3 billion in four years with all money raised to go toward the provision of mental health services.
 
Mental health is something we all need to make a concerted effort to manage, regardless of our age, gender and stage in life.
 
Almost every single successful person I know makes a concerted effort to switch off every now and then as a means of managing their mental health. Achieving and maintaining success – financial or otherwise – is a marathon. It’s important to have enough energy to keep going all the way to the end. Making time for rest is a vital habit.

This will be my last Bulletproof blog for the year as I do just that – have some rest for a few weeks.
 
I plan on spending time with family and friends who are coming home from interstate and overseas. I’ll also try and read a bunch of books that have been recommended to me.
 
Like switching off, I find learning through reading to be a powerful habit. I thought I’d sign off for the year with a list of my favourite books that made an impact on me. They’re also a great gift idea coming into Christmas!

 


 The Richest Man in Babylon by George Samuel Clason
 
The ‘OG’ of books on personal finance. It’s a tiny book written in 1926 that is the original book on getting control of your finances.
 
It’s written as a parable told through the eyes of an impoverished boy, Arkad, who, despite a challenging beginning, becomes the richest man in ancient Babylon.
 
Simple, practical and life changing.
 
McDonald’s: Behind the Arches by John F. Love
 
This is the greatest book ever written on real estate, telling the story and secrets of the most successful real estate company in the world, McDonald’s.
 
McDonalds went from owning no real estate in the 1960’s to having a real estate portfolio worth $30 billion and making up 55 per cent of all its profit globally.
 
As McDonald’s chief financial officer Harry Sonneborn tells owner Ray Kroc, ‘You don’t seem to realise what business you’re in. You’re not in the burger business, you’re in the real estate business. You build an empire by owning the land. What you ought to be doing is owning the land upon which that burger is cooked.’
 
Atomic Habits by James Clear
 
Our lives are the sum total of our habits. Habits are small decisions we make and actions we perform every day. Some are highly productive and propel our lives forward; others are just repeated behaviours. Unfortunately, some habits can hinder our progress.
 
This is a page-turner that gives interesting real-life examples of the power of our mind when it comes to habits, and how we can replace bad habits with good ones.
 
Author James Clear puts it perfectly when he says “habits are the compound interest of self-improvement”. So true!
 
Breaking the Habit of Being You by Dr. Joe Dispenza
 
This is a book about habits but, for me personally, had a greater impact on goal setting and visualisation. A good idea to save this one for just after the New Year as you ponder what you want to achieve in 2022.
 
Author Dr. Joe Dispenza talks about the science of habits, saying “it makes sense that we should concentrate not merely on avoiding negative emotions, like fear and anger, but also on consciously cultivating heartfelt, positive emotions, such as gratitude, joy, excitement, enthusiasm, fascination, awe, inspiration, wonder, trust, appreciation, kindness, compassion and empowerment to give us every advantage in maximizing our health”. I’ll let you ponder that one…
 
Finally, you could pick up and read – or better yet, gift – a copy of Bulletproof Investing.
 
I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed putting together these blogs. Thank you for taking the time to read them and forward them on.
 
Wishing all our Bulletproof Investing followers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

Which block size?

Q – I’m weighing up between a property that is 600m2 and further from town, versus a 400m2 block that is closer to town. What do you think is better?


A – Good question and it’s not a one size fits all. 

In Bulletproof Investing I wrote about buying land in high growth areas. It’s not enough to simply have a decent size block of land, it also has to be in a fast-growing urban area.

Reason being is that, over time, an area with strong population growth, jobs and infrastructure will see an increase in density (i.e. smaller blocks, townhouses and even units) which will really drive up the value of your land.

If the 600m2 block is in an area with good population growth (+6 per cent per annum), has plenty of jobs and infrastructure then that will be the best option.

However, if the 400m2 block has better population growth, job proximity and infrastructure then that’s going to be the best option.

My cousin Alex Fitzgerald and I answered this question in more detail on our The Double Shot Podcast recently – link here.

I’ve got properties that are on blocks smaller than the average lot size in Australia (396m2 today), but in fast growing urban areas.

I should also note that I’m operating on the assumption that they are roughly the same cost!

James Fitzgerald
Author, BULLETPROOF INVESTING