Gambling on our future: are Australians financially reckless?
SMH Money 13th Feb 2014
Financial planner Peter Horsfield also reckons Australians are reckless — especially when speculating on property with borrowed funds. Horsfield partly blames market forces – the tax deductions and historically low interest rates.
Unfortunately, Horsfield says, investors are leveraging into the market well after the start of a growth cycle, spurred by family and a friend at a barbecue, or unregulated get-rich-quick spruikers.
Caught up in "the bravado of the block", some investors try to build a property empire, driven by greed or narcissism.
Warning how easily a "cross-collateralised" empire built on multiple mortgages can unwind, he quotes Warren Buffett on the perils of leverage. "To make money they didn't have and didn't need, they risked what they did have and did need."