Single-mum of 4: how I became a successful property investor - Ironfish

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Single-mum of 4: how I became a successful property investor


Jenny Ng

Banking industry professional / Ironfish customer

“My Strategist always had time for me; she would happily answer all my questions and explain everything – even though she knew I couldn’t afford to make a purchase. She was very patient, and about 5 years later, when I was able to start investing, I had the confidence to invest with her and with Ironfish.”



  • Single mother supporting 4 children
  • 2 properties purchased through Ironfish
  • Long term savings plan


Perseverance and honesty

Jenny had always had a keen interest in property investment, but after the end of her marriage, was facing significant financial obstacles in making the dream a reality.

“After my marriage breakdown, I had to start from scratch again. I wanted to invest in property, and achieve something for my future and for my kids, so I knew I needed to educate myself about how to get started. I talked to a few property investment companies, but most weren’t interested in spending time with me, once they found out I couldn’t afford to make a purchase any time soon. (Ironfish Chief Investment Strategist) Priscilla Cheung was different. She always gave me her time and persevered with me for over 5 years. She was also very honest, and would tell me directly what I could or couldn’t afford.”

Setting a savings plan

At their first meeting, Jenny told Priscilla upfront that she wasn’t able to purchase anything, but wanted to get a feel of the market, and learn a bit more about what kinds of properties were out there, what deposits might be required and other related costs.

“We talked a bit about a savings scheme and had a look at the costs involved in making a purchase and cash flow scenarios in repaying the loan. Initially we looked at an NRAS (National Rental Affordability Scheme) property. At that time the market wasn’t as crazy as it is now and the numbers at the time meant I’d need about $30 – $40K to kick start that investment. But that wasn’t possible because if I did that, I’d be all in, and would literally have nothing left to pay the bills and look after the kids. So, I basically set up a savings scheme, but it’s slowly, slowly with kids – as everyone knows, having kids is not cheap. But as they got older and a little more financially independent, it became easier to save.”

5 years later…

After a period of 5 years, during which Priscilla remained in contact with Jenny, checking in every 4 – 6 months or so, Jenny was ready to meet up and have a look at some investment options.

“Priscilla knew my price range and my goals, in terms of securing my future and looking after the kids’ education. She presented a few properties, and I decided to purchase one house-and-land package in South East Queensland around the $400K mark, and one apartment in Melbourne, which I’ll be settling next year. Not being knowledgable about the market or property industry, I valued Priscilla taking the time to explain all the details about the property, the market and the transaction to me.”

Full disclosure

Jenny also decided to use Ironfish Property Management to manage her Brisbane investment property and really appreciated the efficiency in the service she’s received.

“Ironfish Property Management have been so attentive, there’s nothing hidden in terms of fees and comparison rates, and everything is disclosed about what I need to do from my end. It’s been a really good experience. Having dealt with so many real estate agents from a renter’s perspective over the years, this has been a completely different experience. My manager is always proactive and quick to respond to any questions. I am also happy that I’ve secured a really good tenant, someone who will be there longer term, which is more important than an extra $10 a week in rent.”

The future

Jenny is now saving for her next deposit, with the overall aim of adopting the Ironfish Portfolio Approach as her portfolio building strategy. And now that her daughters are older, she has also been actively encouraging them to start making their own plans for the future.

“I like to encourage my kids to design their own plan, to change when circumstances change, to know that it’s the journey that counts – but also to appreciate the results. A couple of my daughters have already succeeded in this regard and Priscilla has assisted in the process.

“In terms of my own future strategy: I would like to aim to buy 4 properties, and will save for the next deposit, but I’m not sure how quickly I’ll progress from here. I may also use my super to buy a property, once I’ve built up my super a little more – but that’s a couple of years away. At the end of the day, it will come down to what’s available at the time and what’s in my price range. I don’t have the ability to choose a million-dollar home. I’ll be happy to find something that’s comfortably within my budget. I’ve already diversified across 2 states, so my next purchase may be a different type of property, perhaps a townhouse or duplex.”

Jenny’s property investment tips:

  • Have a savings plan in place – even putting away $20 /$50 a week is something – and put it into a different account so you don’t see it in your everyday account.
  • It’s okay not to simply save-save-save: you work hard, so you should still reward yourself, even if it doesn’t involve spending a lot of money.
  • Be open minded about location, don’t just look at Sydney.
  • Have a buffer prepared for all the incidentals you will need to pay after purchase, for example, with house and land, you’ll need to pay council or water bills after the land is settled but before the house is built.
  • Do your own research so that you are aware of what’s out there. Feel free to compare options so you can find a Strategist you click with. That personal relationship will be key; if Priscilla hadn’t kept following up with me and educated me along the way, I wouldn’t have invested, and assumed Ironfish only cared about a sale!

Do you feel like you are a long way off from being able to buy your first home or first investment property? One of our Strategists can help you reach your goal, just like Priscilla helped Jenny. Book a complimentary appointment today and find out how we can help you to make property investment work for you.

*A very big thanks to Jenny for sharing her inspiring story. Jenny would prefer not to include a photograph, so images used are from our stock image library. 

Want to read some more Ironfish reviews and customer stories? You can find more investor stories via the links below.