The biggest part of being a successful property investor is having the right mindset. Bernard Salt, demographer with KPMG believes professional property investors have a ‘missionary like’ intensity to their psychology, which helps them break down the many barriers they may face throughout their portfolio journey. Salt says “A professional property investor is quite cool, rational, passionate, and even quite brutal in the way they view their investments. A lot of property investors say that they make the money on the purchase rather than the sale. So, in this, having a cool head and making rational decisions and not being swayed by emotions is very important.” The mindset or psychology that we use to approach investment decisions are subject to a variety of different influences. The way we view debt and the risk attached to things like using our owner occupied home as collateral are individual to us as investors. The psychology towards debt and investing stems from lessons learnt from our parents. The conversations around the kitchen table are what mould us as investors and create our mindset. There are exceptions to this, but by and large the property investor DNA is created at a very young age. Bernard Salt, on the other hand doesn’t totally agree with that theory. He says “It comes down to the individual itching to be motivated by different things. For some it may well be the views of their parents, but anecdotally I see that people come out of left field and have a fascination with property investing.” The first step towards changing your negative mindset about debt – if that is what is holding you back – is to recognise what your financial philosophies are and to replace any disempowering beliefs with empowering ones. The choice to invest in property is optional. It is not the compulsory house, car and home that many of us strive to achieve. For this reason, the idea of spending money on a non-compulsory asset – and risk losing everything we’ve worked hard for – can be scary. The solution is, forcing yourself to think of the property as an asset only. See property investment as an opportunity not a risk. Replacing a lifetime of disempowering beliefs with empowering beliefs can take some reinforcing. Old habits die hard, and your subconscious conditioning will lead you back to the less risky decisions and therefore an outcome with less benefit. The best way to keep your empowering beliefs strong is by having a mentor.