"Ironfish has helped me take my life to the next level" - Ironfish

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“Ironfish has helped me take my life to the next level”

Shelley Zhang

Senior Property Investment Strategist &

Team Leader, Ironfish Glen Waverley

“Ironfish is a group of good and honest people. Everyone works towards one firm belief, that is, to work hard in order to help more people build wealth through property investment. It’s a belief we have to help each other, as much as helping our customers.”


  • Former Kindergarten teacher
  • Started investing after joining Ironfish
  • 5 investment properties purchased with Ironfish

A winding career path

Shelley has had an interesting and highly varied career. Back in China, Shelley was a civil servant, working as a policy-maker at the Guangzhou Municipal Finance Bureau. After migrating to Australia around 20 years ago, Shelley worked part time as a kindergarten teacher, while also supporting her husband in his business. It was only after attending a school reunion in China that a desire for another major career change ignited.

“Going to the reunion and seeing how much my peers had accomplished made me take stock of my own career and made me realise that it was time for a change. Working with kids at kindy was rewarding, but I realised that teaching isn’t where my passion lies, and it wasn’t making the best use of my skills. And while money certainly isn’t everything, the ability to earn a higher income would certainly be a big help for my family. After thinking long and hard, I settled on real estate as a good path to take. I am multi-lingual, I’m good with numbers and I love meeting new people and helping others – I thought these advantages would set me in good stead in the industry.”

Finding a mentor

Shelley got her real estate license in 2012, but didn’t join the industry till two years later.

“After I got my license I just wasn’t able to find a good mentor to help me get started. In 2014, I met Michael Du, the Managing Director of Ironfish Glen Waverley, through some friends. It turned out he was the mentor I’d been looking for. Under his careful guidance, I officially joined Ironfish and became a Property Investment Strategist. Five years later, I am now leading a team of my own, with seven Strategists under my wing. I’ve had the opportunity to help hundreds of Ironfish customers and I have also been able to build my own property portfolio and realise some of my own financial dreams and goals alongside my customers.”

Getting out of my comfort zone

Taking the plunge to enter the property industry was a clear step outside Shelley’s comfort zone, but so was investing.

“I always knew property would be a good investment and every time prices would rise, I’d again regret that I hadn’t got into the market. I knew I should have started investing 10 or even 20 years ago! But at the same time, I was a kindy teacher, my income was very limited and so was my time. Most importantly, there was no strong urge to get me out of my comfort zone and start investing.

“After I started working at Ironfish, my income improved but the most important thing was that I began to think seriously about my plans for retirement and the need to put some investments in place to make sure I could enjoy the lifestyle of my choice at that time. Understanding the ‘why’ eventually helped me break through my comfort zone and become a property investor. I have now purchased five investment properties, one has settled, and the rest will settle this year. After years of lost opportunities, I now take every good opportunity that comes my way! I also have so much confidence about my final stage of life now, knowing that I don’t have to worry about money in my older age!”

Never looking back

Shelley is one of our top strategists at Ironfish, and is well known for her immense work ethic; always studying the market and looking to improve her investment knowledge, and meeting customers at any and all times of the day.

“Ironfish Burwood Managing Director, Linda Lu made a strong impression on me, quite early in my career at Ironfish. She said, if you want to live an exceptional life, then you have make an exceptional effort ie you have to go above and beyond what others will typically do. Ironfish has helped me take my life to the next level, giving me a fulfilling career both in terms of personal satisfaction with the work we do, and also in terms of career and income growth. Ironfish also helped me change my mindset – giving me the power to change and the determination to invest. For all these things, I am full of gratitude to Ironfish.

Shelley’s property investment tips

  1. Come talk to me about how I did it! Honestly, I know exactly how hard it is to sit on the fence, knowing you want to do something, but not knowing how to push past your comfort zone and just do it. Practically speaking, I can also help with the numbers, and show you some cash flow scenarios with an intended property purchase.  
  1. While it makes sense to invest with market cycles, it’s worth knowing that no one can predict the future or what will be the perfect time to buy. While you wait for the perfect time to buy, it’s like the market has quietly rebounded, meaning you miss out on the opportunity again. If you’re investing for the long-term, the ‘perfect time to buy’ really doesn’t matter so much. It’s about getting in as soon as possible, and then holding for the long term.


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