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Book: NZ Real Estate Investors' Secrets 2nd Edition

The huge popularity of the first edition of this book, and the feedback from readers that continues five years on, is testimony to the successful approach it’s taken – practical, honest, warts-and-all accounts from successful investors across a number of regions that show just what can be achieved and how to do it.

Wednesday, June 4th 2008, 12:00AM

by The Landlord

By Graeme Fowler $34.95

Reviewed by Helen Roberts of behalf of Landlords bookstore

The name Graeme Fowler will be well known to many property investors, having received acclaim when the first edition of New Zealand Real Estate Investors’ Secrets sold out in October 2006.  Although the main target audience for this book could well be those who read the first edition, this book would appeal to just about anyone, from those interested in and keen to get into property investment, to those who just like to read widely. 

Fowler is a grass roots Kiwi who comes across as a fairly down to earth sort of kiwi bloke with enough drive and ambition to succeed at virtually anything he tries his hand at. 

The book is divided into three broad sections.  The first section contains a couple of introductory chapters and a rather interesting question about the “Land of the Flat” that leaves the reader pondering the answer until they have read the rest of the book.   Following this there are a number of chapters where successful property investors are profiled and a couple of interesting chapters written by Graeme Fowler himself where he answers the same questions put to the other investors profiled in the book.  This is followed by a five year update on himself.  The sixth chapter of the book is devoted to ‘the legal stuff’ and is an informative chapter with an outline of the advantages/disadvantages of three different ways of owning property, ie in your own name, through a company or a trust, and a brief discussion of the tax implications of each.  Chapters seven through eleven profile more property investors before the book is rounded off nicely with copies of articles written by the author between 2002 and 2005.

I found this book to be really well written, informative and easy to read.  It is not really a “how to” of property investment but is more about the types of investment strategies that successful investors have followed.  The layout is very good, you can either read the whole book or go straight to the section on the investor you want to find out about.  In each of the sections where the different property investors are profiled, there are great little pearls of wisdom at the bottom of each page that add a lot to the general interest of the book.   There is plenty of white space and the layout is very good. 

For the most part each chapter follows the same format, with a series of questions posed to the investor being interviewed.  Although all of the property investors interviewed answered the same questions, the variety in their answers made this interesting all the same.  It was interesting that there was pretty much unanimous agreement that as a property investor, you should never negatively gear, and that making money from property is not as easy now as what it was a few years ago. 

This book was a delight to read and even had some one with no great interest in property investment going through the numbers in their head while they were reading it, wondering whether they should consider purchasing a rental property.  However, given that the land of Moo cows and Mayor Tim has experienced some of the best rates of capital growth in the country over the past few years, it was a little bit disappointing that not one of the property investors profiled came from south of Christchurch.  In saying that though, I would definitely recommend this book as a good read or perhaps as a present for someone who has voiced some interest in getting onto the property gravytrain.

NZ Real Estate Investors' Secrets 2nd Edition is available through the Landlords Bookstore or call 0800 345 675

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