“I make my own luck in life by investing in property” - Ironfish

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property investor buying investment property to travel

“I make my own luck in life by investing in property”


Xiaolei Song

Corporate executive / Ironfish customer

“I feel so fortunate to have met Irene and the Ironfish team. If only we’d met sooner, I could have achieved so much more.”


property investment tips from property investor


  • Experienced investor who was feeling ‘stuck’
  • Purchased 3 investment properties through Ironfish
  • Diversified across housing type
  • Wants to have the freedom to pursue her passion for travel!


First home buyer

For Brisbane-based Xiaolei, an executive working within one of Australia’s top 50 companies, buying property was always high on her priority list, and she was keen to get into the market as soon as possible. She bought her first home in 2009: a 30-year-old house in inner-city Brisbane. However, the journey was far from smooth-sailing.

“Almost every two or three months, the house needed some kind of repair-work. The garden took a lot of maintenance and pest control was a constant issue. For a single-professional, a house like this was just too much work and I never had the time to look after it.”

Feeling stuck

After 5 years, Xiaolei was in a position to purchase a new home for her family – this time, she purchased a brand-new home – which made all the difference. But she was now also faced with the dilemma of what to do with her old house.

“I bought the house in 2009 for $450,000 and the 2016 valuation was only $500,000, earning $410 a week in rent – with no immediate potential for rental increase. I felt as though things were tracking really well in my career, but in terms of my investment, I was stuck and didn’t know what to do next.”

Tapping into the knowledge-base

By chance, Xiaolei met Irene Liu, General Manager of Ironfish Brisbane and soon discovered they had a lot in common, both migrating from China and being a similar age. The crucial difference was that Irene had purchased 9 properties over a 5-year period. Xiaolei was curious to know how she’d managed it.

“Irene shared a lot of her own personal experience as an investor, spanning from her investment strategies, loan structure, to choosing properties as well as her own property investment tips. Her knowledge was extremely valuable in helping me to explore all the options. For example, I didn’t even realise there were potential tax benefits associated with property investment.”

The importance of loan structure

At the time, most of her friends were telling Xiaolei to just sell the house and be done with it. Irene, however, pointed out the house’s advantages, such as a prized inner-city location which would likely have long-term growth potential. Irene’s major tip was to go away and explore the options around a loan restructure. Xiaolei eventually decided to refinance and use the equity in the house to be able to continue to invest.

“I always knew that simply keeping money in the bank really wasn’t the ideal way to build wealth. I always wanted to invest in property, but my first experience was so discouraging, that I had just about given up on the idea as being too much of a headache. Meeting Irene and having a strategy session helped me to push beyond this experience, and consider other options – it very much renewed my enthusiasm for property investment.”

Confidence in experience

Before Xiaolei started investing in property again, Irene helped Xiaolei visualise different cash flows using the Ironfish custom PPA software. She also presented the pros and cons of investing in different types of properties.

“Above all, Irene’s own solid experience as a property investor, and knowing that Irene’s personal portfolio comprised of Ironfish selected developments really gave me the confidence to purchase through Ironfish.”

Buying 3 investment properties in 1 month

Once Xiaolei decided to invest in property, she was extremely quick in making her decisions. In fact, she ended up buying 3 properties in only 1 month.

“My parents thought I was crazy! Though I get that it’s rare for most people to move so quickly. But for me, once I’d decided, done my research and had professional help, then I felt I had no reason to hesitate. Often, it’s when you hesitate that you miss an opportunity. We’re always racing against time – time is probably life’s most valuable resource and I want to make the most of it.”

Shares, super or property?

Xiaolei was well experienced investing in shares, and also contributed regularly to her super. After gaining further experience as investor, she’s very clear on which strategy she’s pursuing hereon in.

“Shares have the opportunity to gain profits in the short term, but are not the most efficient way to use leverage. And of course, super is the most familiar form of investment for Australians, but the gains are very limited. I think property is the most effective investment vehicle – it’s stable, lending is relatively easy and it’s an investment that is accessible to most people. I’m not of a very short-term or speculative mindset, so Ironfish’s long-term, diversified investment philosophy is something that makes a lot of sense to me.”

Cash flow positive

Xiaolei has now settled 2 properties and is about to settle the 3rd. She purchased a luxury apartment in South Brisbane, by developer ARIA, which she loved for its amazing building facilities such as private wine cellars, libraries, private cinema among others. Her other investment was a 4-bedroom house and land package.

“I was surprised to find that a tenant was secured for the house in the first week of its construction and the rent was more than 5.2%, which is entirely cash flow positive. I am now looking forward to settling my third property, in Newstead. I’m actually thinking of living there myself – many of my friends and colleagues now live there and it’s a great area.”

Xiaolei’s property investment tips:

  • Make your own luck in life… and in property investment: work hard, take action, seize opportunities
  • Take advantage of the knowledge and experience of experts and professionals
  • I got a lot out of attending some of the Ironfish property investment seminars – listening to Joseph, Linda and others.

If you are feeling a little stuck in your investments, like Xiaolei, you are welcome to pick the brain of one of our experienced Strategists by booking your free appointment today. Or come along to our next property investment seminar in your city.

*Since becoming an Ironfish customer, Xiaolei decided it was time to make a change and work in an industry she was passionate about. She is now happily ensconced in the Ironfish Brisbane team and keen to help others on their investment journey.