The wisdom of old men

Experience can provide wonderful lessons to those willing to learn, and as a man who has recently entered his mid-30’s, I have noticed brief glimpses of insight into life that make me think the quirkiness of my grandparents may in fact be pure genius.

As a young child growing up in the country, going to visit my grandparents in “the big smoke” of Sydney’s south was always a treat.

My grandfather, with tattoos up his arms, had been a sailor in the navy. He had a wry sense of humour and taxied us around whenever we came to visit while my grandmother was the quintessential centre of entertainment and adventure.

Like all grandparents however, they had their ways that never really made sense to us as kids. We never understood why grandma loved spending so much time in the garden, or why grandpa wore a singlet vest all the time and tucked it into his pants.

Like all good insights though, time reveals all and I have found myself taking up some of these very same habits.

So when it comes to property, I have found the advice of my grandparents always short and sweet…


Never sell.


You would be surprised at how often I hear this single piece of advice from those who are now grandparents – who have seen good ideas come and go along with their communities and the world they grew up in.

“You see those 3 terraces over there? They used to belong to your grandma and I. We should have never sold them. They’d be worth a fortune today!” “Yes grandpa”, I’d say. Salt in the wound of regret.

This is not a black and white mantra of course. The circumstances in our lives will always differ and what is right for most may not be right for you at the time.

But for those investors out there who are wondering how the market will fare in the next few months or years, whether they’ve chosen the right strategy or whether they can afford to hold on through tough times, clear your minds for a moment and read some of the simple lines I’ve garnered from many wise old men.

“It looks rough now but in 20 years you won’t recognise the place.”

“Buy as much as you can as often as you can. If you think it’s expensive now, wait till you get to my age.”

“Buy early in life and never sell. The sacrifices you make today will be the fond memory of tomorrow.”

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