MARGARET McLachlan owns More Than A Handful, a specialist lingerie store in Sydney for the fuller figured woman. She says property is her preferred investment.
> > What was your first investment and how did it go?
My first house – the worst house in one of the better streets in the inner city of Sydney. Four bedrooms, lock-up garage. It has done well for me.
> > What is your favourite type of investment and why?
It would be property. I like to feel I am making the decisions about the investment. With shares or cash someone else makes the decisions.
> > What is the best investment advice you have received and who was it from?
Pay as much of your loan off as fast as you can so you build up an asset base. This advice came from my uncle.
> > How do you approach investment risk?
Apparently quite conservatively because of my drift to property and cash. Having said that, I am always looking at or thinking about new opportunities, but financing them is the limiting factor. Lenders are very keen on solid assets, not brilliant ideas.
> > Do you have a personal finance budget and do you stick to it?
No budget, just a philosophy: If you don’t have funds available to pay for it in cash you can’t have it. Unless of course it is property.
> > How would you invest $25,000 if you were given it tomorrow?
Property – I prefer freestanding houses but with $25,000 it would be a unit or a property in a country town where the capital gains are lower but the rental return is good.
> > What has been your best-performing investment?
My first business 20 years ago. It was more service-based than retail and my asset base was established then.
> > And the worst?
They were Babcock and Brown shares – ouch!
> > What would be the most extravagant purchase you have made so far?
The multitude of silk Turkish carpets I bought after I sold my last business five years ago – absolutely nuts, but beautiful.