"I used to think property investment was just for wealthy people" - Ironfish

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“I used to think property investment was just for wealthy people”


Here at Ironfish, we are proud to practice what we preach. Many of our staff are property investors themselves, and have kindly agreed to share their individual stories and their own personal property investment tips. 


Chen Chen

Property Investment Strategist, Ironfish Melbourne Box Hill

“Before Ironfish, I always thought property investment was something only wealthy people could do. Now I am an investor myself, and I know this is simply not true. It’s something I love to advocate.”



  • Former advertising executive
  • Migrated from China with little English
  • Joined Ironfish Box Hill as a Strategist in 2015
  • Purchased 6 investment properties

Starting a new career

Back in China, Chen Chen owned her own business – an advertising agency – which she started at age 28. Love brought her to Australia, after meeting and marrying her Australian husband, she moved to Melbourne’s western suburbs.

“Having a great career has always been important to me. But in Australia, as an immigrant with limited English skills, I didn’t have a lot of confidence in finding a decent job. By chance, I heard about Ironfish from an acquaintance, who informed me that it’s Melbourne’s largest property investment company. So I went along to a seminar and listened to Joseph Chou talk about career development and his experience of building a property portfolio. I found it very inspiring.”

“When Joseph came to Melbourne again, he held a big seminar at Deakin University. I arrived early and sat right up in the front row. Before the presentation even started, I picked up the pen and paper that was on my seat and on the spur of the moment, wrote down my wish to join Ironfish and my name and phone number, and handed it to the staff on the stage. The next day I got a call for a job interview – and the rest is history!”

Specialised services

At Ironfish we’re proud to be able to service our customers in multiple languages so Chen Chen’s lack of confidence in English was no barrier to success here. In fact, last year, Chen Chen was awarded Ironfish’s “Strategist of the Year.”

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“It’s hard to achieve success in your career if you don’t have ambition. Without ambition it’s hard to push forward. Ironfish has given me a platform on which to help myself, help my customers, and have the satisfaction that comes from having my own career, being financially self-sufficient, paying taxes – making a contribution to my new home country.

“But when I first joined Ironfish, I didn’t know much about property investment, so I made up my mind to study harder than others. At the time, I lived in Melbourne’s western suburbs – a 100km round trip from the Ironfish office. I went in to the office 6 days a week studying and working at the same time. Later, I rented a house nearby to be able to focus on my career, and I haven’t had a holiday in four years!”

I practice what I preach

Chen Chen is proud of how far her hard work has got her in her career, and of her many customer success stories.

“But what I’m most proud of is that I ‘practice what I preach’ to my customers. The second day I joined Ironfish, I bought the first investment property in my life. I bought my second in my second month. I bought my third after 12 months, and now I own a total of six investment properties, with a portfolio value of over $4 million – with strong rental returns. Some of which are so highly sought after and tightly held that I’ve had industry peers ask me if I’ll sell onto them.

“Since I have greatly benefited from Ironfish’s investment strategy, I have drawn a strong belief and love for my career through my own investment success. It makes me more eager to pass on this knowledge to others, as it can truly change your life – it’s changed mine!”

Investment can work for someone ‘ordinary’ like me

Although Chen Chen has a solid portfolio now, she admits that she had never even considered investing in property before joining Ironfish.

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“What I previously thought was property investment was just for the mega-rich. For ordinary people like me, it seemed like something I could only dream about. After hearing Joseph’s presentation and later joining Ironfish, I started to understand investment concepts and strategies and after gaining this knowledge, I realised it was something many people can do. This helped me to overcome my lack of confidence and plan out my next steps.

“I was lucky that my first two investment properties built up some equity relatively quickly, which allowed me to refinance and purchase the third and fourth properties. Building a portfolio has become my first ‘bucket of gold;’ helping me to grow my assets and wealth over the long-term in Australia. If Ironfish hadn’t shown me how it was possible, I wouldn’t have the portfolio that I have today.”

Chen Chen’s property investment tips:

  1. Through my work, I’ve found most people’s obstacle when it comes to property investment is a lack of knowledge. In my opinion, the best way to solve this is to talk to experienced professionals – and just learn and learn more!
  2. I’ve also found that once people have decided to invest, they go straight to a real estate agent. A typical agent doesn’t really care whether this is the right property for you – they’re just there to ‘sell their goods’ – as a result, people can have a negative experience and get put off from the whole thing.
    But if you sit down with an Ironfish strategist, you will find that at Ironfish, we really care about your future. We will listen to your financial situation and goals. We’re happy to explain the investment process for you and identify a strategy to work towards your goals and budget.

Want to learn a little more about Ironfish’s investment strategies? Or simply have investment concepts and jargon explained clearly and simply? Book a free appointment with one of our experienced property investment strategists like Chen Chen in your city.