From Scientist to Financial Planner

by Ben Handler

April 18, 2023

When Andrew Courtney was getting ready to leave home, he was inspired to buy something for himself and not just rent like everyone else

He successfully bought his first property, a one-bedroom apartment on Surfers Paradise, and quickly saw the potential for what property investment could turn into.

From there, Andrew started to dive into all aspects of property investment and began to try and build his own portfolio. After a few years, he had managed to purchase two more properties and he could really see where property investing could take him.

“That’s when I, was absolutely hooked,” Andrew says.

“I started projecting out and thinking to myself, wow, this is going to be amazing. Just keep doing it again and again and start building a portfolio.”

At the time Andrew was studying science and pursuing a PhD but saw his calling lay elsewhere. He began transitioning over to finance and eventually went on to start a financial planning business, Plenitude Wealth. However, when he began working with clients he realised that the industry wasn’t catering to the needs of the customer well enough.

“I was telling people about the power of property while working as a financial planner because I just knew my experience and the power of property,” he explains.

At the time he was forced to refer his clients to other property experts, but he found they weren’t providing his clients with the right type of information which became a stumbling block.

Andrew decided that he wanted to provide those services to his current planning clients so initially set up a mortgage broking business and then moved into becoming a buyers agent as well.

“The goal for most financial planning clients is to replace their income asap, and that’s where property comes into play because it’s one of the major asset classes that you can leverage up to one hundred per cent with no margin calls,” he says.

Andrew’s current strategy is heavily data-driven and is focused on buying properties in high-growth, high-yield locations so the costs associated with holding the properties are as low as possible or even positive.

“We’re looking at purchasing investment properties and building a property portfolio that’s diversified across multiple states, multiple LGAs across the country so that they can build a diversified portfolio that allows them to ride the wave as the property clock goes around and around,” he says.

Twelve months after adding property into his planning services, he says the business has successfully purchased 27 properties which have generated his clients a 70 per cent cash on cash return, with the average property also boasting a yield of 5.5 per cent.

Andrew says while the transition to offering property to his planning clients has been a smooth one it has still taken him many years to build up his business and get all the processes in place.

“If we go back to the start back in 2013 when I first started in business, that’s when there was massive pain there,” he explains.

“It wasn’t all smooth. It’s smooth now because of all the pain and suffering and the lessons that I’ve learned over the past 10 years.”

Andrew worked with the Buyers Agent Institute to help get started and says it was a key part of his success.

“The BAI sped up the whole process basically,” he says.

“When you’re building a business there’s obviously a massive gap in knowledge and BAI was there at the perfect time.

“I had earmarked it for quite some time, and when I was ready I pulled the trigger and straight away went through the content and implemented accordingly and off we went.”

Going forward, Andrew hopes to continue to grow his business and reach more people.

“Where I’m hoping to take Plenitude is I’d like it to be a mainstream household name for financial planning, and basically taking property into consideration,” he explains.

“The goal is to double every year for the next five years,” he hopes.

“Increasing financial literacy across the board is one of the missions of the business as well.”

For others looking to get into the property business, Andrew says you need to work through the process.

“There are stepping stones in the process and it’s very difficult to skip a step,” he explains.

“Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.

“Far too many people think, they know it all when they don’t realise that each and every step is being designed for a particular purpose.

“If you want to speed it up, get with people like Ben, talk to these people, so that they can speed up the process for you and trust the system as much as you can and implement accordingly.”

 

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