DUFFMONEY mindset is about having the right mindset to invest. Whether it is in property, stocks and shares or crypto assets.

The investing strategy for DUFFMONEY is long-term buy and hold. Buy and hold with property and index investing.

We have a little dabble with crypto assets. But we still feel it is a risky asset class so only invest a small percentage of our monthly amount. It is roughly 5% of the total investment pcm.

Up until 2018, I didn’t have the right mindset. It took me 36 years to finally get a grip and look at getting some financial literacy.

Not managing emotions

A big factor in not having the right mindset, was a total lack of control of my emotions. This goes back to when I was a kid. A very stressed kid.

A bad example of me being a stress head was when the snooker world championships didn’t turn out the way I wanted. Jimmy White was my favourite player at the time and was playing Stephen Hendry in the final. This must have been when I was about 8 or 9 years of age.

White took a commanding lead but lost the final as Hendry came back strong. This didn’t go down well with angry Pete. I took myself upstairs and smashed my room up.

After calming down, I wiped the tears of frustration away. I was devastated as I had ripped all my posters from the wall. There was a hole in the wardrobe door and I had broken my Scalextric set. Not to mention the fact I was then grounded for 2 weeks.

As the years went by, I managed to grow up and the temper tantrums stopped. Although my stress levels were ok on the whole, I always seemed to let it creep back into my life in certain situations.

There are a few other examples of me not managing my emotions. But there are ways to improve how you manage your emotions. As you can see from my 1st book (FI Money: Learn the hard way, teach the easy way), I have been heavily influenced by Steve Peters and his excellent book, Chimp Paradox.

The right mindset

By the time 2018 came along, I was ready to be happy and to improve my mindset. It started with Tony Robbins videos on YouTube. I then moved on to a few books, more YouTube videos and podcasts. Basically, anything I could absorb to improve my mindset.

This led to me learning about goal setting. And it also led to some much-needed financial literacy.

I now knew what I wanted and had goals to aim for. And I started to understand my relationship with money. How I can get obsessive with single shares or crypto assets. And how long-term buy and hold is what suits me.

Part of what Tony Robbins was saying was about investing. How that it is possible to invest in the ups and downs of the markets. But to get this into your head, you need to work on your mindset and your financial literacy.

If you invest in an index fund and there is a market crash like 2008/2009, well it is time to go shopping in the sales. Just keep on investing every month and eventually the market will revert to the mean (or the average).

What most people do is panic. They sell their shares when markets are down. This means you are crystalising your losses. And then buy back in when the markets are up. For more detailed information about investing concepts look into Tony Robbins and some of his excellent books (e.g. Money Master the Game).

What to do

Over the last few years, I have been investing in index funds. My fund is a Vanguard fund and has performed relatively well over the last 2 years.

With the right investor mindset and financial literacy, I finally understand my relationship with money. And I know that index investing, and passive investing is what suits me.

This has helped me to just set and forget with my index funds. I checked them after 1 year and again after the second year. Much better than every 5 mins with single shares.

All I’m saying is look into your relationship with money. This will help you to invest with skill.

Next week, we will be reviewing my Life Strategy 80 20 index fund.

Book of the week: Money Master The Game, by Tony Robbins. This book is about financial freedom. If you are disciplined and dedicated, financial freedom is possible. With diversified investments and expert advice, you can head towards reaching your financial goals.

For a hard copy visit the excellent Imagined Things Bookshop: https://imaginedthings.co.uk/


Property Networking ASAP

If you’re thinking of getting into property, start property networking ASAP. It’s the first bit of advice I would offer. And probably the most important.

See below for a brief history of my property journey:

  • 1st property purchased 19 years ago as a very optimistic 19-year-old
  • After 16 years, I had 3 properties and was a very average landlord
  • After 18 years, I had 5 properties but progress was slow
  • After 19 years, I have 7 properties and things are improving due to my network

DUFF PROPERTIES and networking

Whether you are about to start investing or been investing a while, your network is massively important.

This took me 18 years as a landlord to realise. It’s key to get around other investors if you want to be successful. They can motivate you and inspire you to be better and do more. And to realise what’s possible in the property game.

There are many training companies that offer networking and property training. A few didn’t suit me because of their aggressive sales pitch. Be aware! It is easy to get sucked in as they play on your emotions.

If you do go to a free property event, stand guard. Don’t go there with your bank card and sign up for the expensive training without giving it serious thought.

With trial and error, I stumbled across Simon Zutshi and his excellent training company PIN (Property Investors Network). The PIN meetings and training have helped me. They have helped me transition from average landlord to property investor.

My little property journey will show you how not to do property investing. If you’re not careful, being a landlord or investor can be difficult. Look at some of the lessons learned within DUFFMONEY.

Small improvements

Getting around other investors will help you to improve. These professional investors will have a positive influence on your life.

Just look at my old tenancy agreements. Initially bought as a 19-year-old from WHSmiths. I’m almost sure they were legal. But let’s just say not very professional.

After attending PIN meetings (PIN) I started to get my act together. Like joining the NRLA (National Residential Landlords Association). For £70, it is well worth it. They offer advice, resources, services, training and more.

They will give you all the resources to become legally compliant. Like a recently updated AST (Assured Shorthold Tenancy) that can be downloaded. That I have downloaded and now use for my single lets.

Then there is software to help you manage your property portfolio. There are many to choose from but I have started to use Landlord Vision.

See below for some of the features:

  • Property manager
  • Finance manager
  • Tenant manager
  • Account manager
  • Reports
  • Early warnings
  • Calendar
  • Document manager

Basically, everything you need to be an efficient landlord and property investor. Like the fact that you can upload all of your documents and get an email reminder x amount of days before they are due for renewal. This helps me with my tenancy agreements and gas certificates for example. 5 days before they are due, I get an email reminder and then I can get the documents renewed.

It’s these small improvements that are finally moving me away from being an average landlord.

What to do

Get around other investors. Let them rub off on you so that you can become a successful property investors.

Test a few different training companies out and see what suits you best. Add property investors on social networks like FB or LKD.

Put yourself out there and post on social media. This is advised on training I have done with PIN. This is massively out of my comfort zone. But I have learned to get comfortable at being uncomfortable and am now posting everyday.

Putting myself out there on social media has started up a lot of property conversations. I’ve even started to build lasting relationships with other investors. This can be helpful for accountability. I am talking to a few other investors regularly and it gives me the kick up the ass I need.

Good luck with your networking and you’re investing and if DUFFMONEY can help, you know where we are.

Book of the week: The Introverts Edge to Networking, by Mathew Pollard. Overcome fear and discomfort when networking with this excellent book. Among other benefits, it will also help you to target and connect with top influencers.

For a hard copy visit the excellent Imagined Things Bookshop: https://imaginedthings.co.uk/

Fear of public speaking

Being uncomfortable in Tesco 

I am naturally shy. You might say a little bit of an introvert. In certain situations, I have to force myself to speak up.

This shyness of mine is that bad, I get a bit weird in the local supermarket. If I see someone I know, I’ll start speaking and I will go red. Why, I have no idea and it is frustrating!

To save myself any awkwardness, I have even got a tactic that I started to use a few years ago. Basically, I won’t stand around chewing the fat with people I know in the supermarket. I will be polite say hello and crack on with my shopping.

Don’t get me wrong, if I saw my Mam, I would probably talk to her. But anyone from school or a former colleague is getting a polite hello.

New job in NI

Back in mid 2020, I got a project engineer role in Northern Ireland. Previously, my roles were all site based. This was my first office-based role. Well, 70% office, 30% site. Anyway, my natural shyness continued into this new role.

Everyone wanted to talk to me. Not because I am special or anything – far from it. I just realised that everyone was friendly and wanted to chat. I would highly recommend NI by the way. Beautiful country and most importantly, the people I met were friendly, down to earth and good crack as they say in NI.

This was uncomfortable for my inner introvert. I would talk very quietly and even mumble. Fuck me, this really pissed me off!

Part of my role, we had a lot of TEAMS meetings. I even had to chair some of the meetings as I was looking after parts of the project.

Yes, I was uncomfortable, and yes, I mumbled.

But as time went on, I got a bit more comfortable. I started to find my voice.

Practice. Practice. Practice. I got a speeko app on my phone and started to practice speaking. I done 20 mins in the morning and 20 mins after work. This went on every day for about 4 months as I knew how important it was to speak confidently. Communication is massively important, especially in a project environment.

Public speaking NI

I took it another step further. I was determined to improve my communication skills so went looking for professional help.

This led me to public speaking NI. To say I was nervous is an understatement.

Sinead was the voice coach and she really helped me to improve my public speaking.  We went through various exercises and I got an assessment.

It felt weird talking about my job to a speaking coach. It felt really weird reading poems out loud and describing my favourite film. This was me, well and truly out of my comfort zone.

I was told I had a slightly monotone voice. An understatement as I knew I had a very monotone voice! I was also told I was very softly spoken and that my voice dropped at the end of sounds. This was good information and I could continue to practice with my speeko app.

The point is I was willing to give it a go. I was trying anything to gain some much-needed confidence and it worked. I got to a point where I looked forward to Zoom meetings and just turned up and give it my best.

I wasn’t worried about how I was perceived or if I made a mistake.

The surprising secret to speaking with confidence

My little public speaking obsession led me to a couple of TED talks. I am going to share some secrets from a popular TED talk from Caroline Goyder: Caroline Goyder TED talk

She goes back to Ancient Greece. Using a little story about Demosthenes to demonstrate a point. That practice can help you to become a confident speaker.

Demosthenes wanted to be a great speaker. Or a great orator as it was known back then. But he had a few issues. He had a stutter and a lisp. People made fun of him when he spoke.

He made it his goal to become a brilliant and renowned orator. He recited speeches and trained himself to speak clearly.

To do this he practiced shouting over ocean waves. He also practised reciting speeches as he ran up hills.

This led to him becoming a famous politician. And also led to him being one of the most famous orators of his time. Practice. Practice. Pracitce.

The talk continues. Caroline goes into detail about 3 lessons.

Lesson 1 is to practice every day. And a way of practising is to sing. So, guess what, I sing Queen song’s in the shower every day.

Fuck it, I want to speak confidently, and I’ll try anything.

Lesson 2 is to breathe though the diaphragm and talk on the exhale. From my training with NI Public Speaking, you breathe in through the nose during a pause, and talk as you breathe out.

Lesson 3 is we breathe our thoughts. Breathe low and slow. We inhale thought. So, if we are thinking about our nearest and dearest as we inhale, the theory goes that we would speak with love and passion on the out breath.

Focus on the in breath and the out breath will look after itself.

This video is worth a watch!

If you are nervous about an upcoming speech or presentation, try and use some of the above techniques. They have worked for me.

Look at some of my embarrassing stories within DUFFMONEY: First ever sales pitch

If you want to discuss anything speech related, leave a comment. I will try and help you with my own experience. If not, I am confident I can point you in the right direction. Where there is a will, there is a way!

Book of the week: How to Develop Self-Confidence and Improve Public Speaking, Dale Carnegie. Carnegie encourages the reader to practice, practice, practice. There are loads of tried and tested techniques that help the reader to improve their public speaking. This timeless classic is well worth a read if you are interested in improving your public speaking.

For a hard copy visit the excellent Imagined Things Bookshop: Imagined things.

Transferring properties to your limited company

DUFFMONEY Limited company
Limited company

It is beneficial from a tax point of view to hold properties in a limited company. We don’t want to avoid tax but there is nothing wrong with tax efficiency.

Section 24 introduced tax changes that have affected many landlords in the UK. This little amendment to UK tax law in 2015, had a negative effect on me. I wasn’t a big fan of the then Chancellor, George Osborne.

This was to be phased in between 2017 and 2021. There would be 4 stages. Before Section 24, the BTL Landlord could offset their mortgage interest against their income. Let us call this 100% interest relief.

Every year, after 2017, 25% (one stage) would be taken away from this interest relief. So eventually, by 2021, you would have no interest relief.

In a nutshell, section 24 may well reduce your cashflow depending on your circumstances.

Transferring to your limited company

Before considering this option, it is worth discussing with your accountant. Your accountant will know your finances and what is best for you from a tax point of view.

You need to be aware that the company will be liable to pay stamp duty and CGT (capital gains tax). Stamp duty is based on the value of the property. Further details can be found on the gov.uk website (SDLT).

CGT is the difference between what you paid for your asset and what you sold it for. My understanding is that if you buy a property for £50k and sell it to your Limited Company for £50k you don’t pay CGT.

Depending on what you read, you may have to pay up to 28% CGT if it applies to your sale (Money donut). The sales from you (personal) to your company.

You will also have legal fees to consider when transferring your property to your limited company.

This is not financial advice! Speak to your accountant to confirm your position.

If you do move your properties to limited company, your mortgage products will be more expensive. But you will save on tax. This is something you will have to compare to make sure the company option is beneficial.

How did DUFF PROPERTIES do it?

To be honest, I haven’t had to do this. I went a different route. And I haven’t had the necessary chat with my accountant. If I did go down this route, he would have told me the tax implications so that I could make an educated decision.

With my 1st 4 properties, I transferred them over to Mrs Duffy as a declaration of trust. If your partner is a basic rate tax-payer, you can do this and section 24 won’t impact you.

What Mrs Duffy will do is pay 20% tax on any profit. If rental A, brings in £6k per year, that will be £1.2k in tax. That £1.2k figure minus 20% of the interest cost (e.g. £3k). See below:

  • £6k in rent
  • 20% of £6k = £1.2k in tax
  • 20% of £3k (estimated interest cost) = £600
  • £1.2k – £0.6k = £600 tax to pay

This is similar tax to what I would have to pay in limited company (e.g. 19% corporation tax etc etc). The big advantage of the declaration of trust in this instance is that I’ve avoided Stamp duty and potential CGT.

For a more comprehensive look at section 24 implications, see the property geek website – Property geek.

Another disclaimer – I am not a solicitor so please seek legal advice before attempting to do a declaration of trust in this manner.

What to do

If this situation applies have a good look into it. Do your own research. Don’t just take my word for it. Speak to the experts like accountants and solicitors.

If you have a small portfolio maybe keep them in your personal name. Or transfer to your partner as deed of trust.

Or you might want to build a decent size portfolio. If you are serious about being a property investor, holding them in a limited company is the way forward.

Book of the week: Perfecting Property Conversations by Rob McPhun. Personally, I’m a bit of an introvert so any book that improves my communication is right up my street. An excellent book that will help you in your property journey.

For a hard copy visit the excellent Imagined Things Bookshop: Imagined Things.

DUFF PROPERTIES and the follow up

DUFF PROPERTIES and the follow up

The follow-up is something I have been familiar with for many years. I just haven’t done it properly until recently.

Despite being involved with property for 19 years, I am still learning everyday. Just to be transparent, I’ve got a lot to learn!

This is because I was an average landlord for far too long! Things are starting to change. I am open minded and am learning from my network and books I am reading.

How not to do the follow-up

In 2018, I started to get back into property. This was after a little 12-year break.

At this time, I was looking to get a win under my belt and get a house BMV. I managed to get the next couple of properties at BMV but continued to be average in my approach.

An example is rental No. 4. This is my favourite house to date. And it was secured for £40k BMV. A big win for me and my little portfolio at this time.

Up to getting this property over the line, I was bidding for several properties.

I would bid say £20k under the asking price. They got rejected as expected. Then I would ask the Estate Agent to update me of any developments.

It never happened. They never updated me on any of the properties I bid for. This demonstrates that the follow-up is your responsibility.

Rental No. 4 was slightly different in the end. I was dealing with a company who were acting on behalf of a national builder. They were in regular contact with me.

The very low bid went in. They would call me every few days and I managed to get it over the line.

How to follow-up

To start acting like a professional property investor, I would recommend getting around other investors.

Regular networking is definitely helping me. This and some property training.

Finally, I feel I know what to do to become a successful property investor. Not an average part-time landlord.

One of the little gems I have been taught is the importance of the follow up. We have been taught to use a concertina file. Have a section for each day of the month.

You bid for house 1 on the 1st of Jan. They reject the offer. You put the details into the section for the 1st day of the month.

The next month, you follow up on the 1st. You get in touch with the vendor (if you have their contact details) or the estate agent. You send them a message asking them about the property.

You might bid for house 2 on the 2nd of Jan. They reject the offer. You put the details into the section for the 2nd day of the month. You get the picture …

Personally, I don’t use the concertina file. I prefer a spreadsheet. If I was full time property investing (New office), I would probably use the file system. But the spreadsheet suits me because I can use the follow up system wherever I am e.g. at work …

For any spreadsheets I use property wise, get in touch.

What do to do

If you’ve read a few property books, you will have heard many common sayings. Like: ‘your network, is your net worth.’

Your network is very important. My last 2 property deals have come from my network. A friend of mine is reducing his portfolio and we done a deal we were both happy with. A win win … another little common saying.

If you are new to property, get around other investors. That’s the best piece of advice I can give to any investor. Even if you have been investing for a while, ensure you are still networking and getting around other investors.

Start with solid foundations and learn from the experts from day 1. Educate yourself and be open minded.

You will learn loads of valuable information that will help you in your journey. Like the importance of the follow up.

Book of the week: Tej Talks, BY Tej Singh. A very easy read! Tej talks you through his guide with humour and the conversational style makes it easy to digest. He has inspired me to look more at Buy Refurb refinance (BRR).

For a hard copy visit the excellent Imagined Things Bookshop: Imagined Things.