An Australian investor with a $140 million property portfolio is revealing his secrets on how to build a fortune that matters.
Steve McKnight, 50, whose tenants range from everyday Australians to the likes of former US President Barack Obama, has published a new book titled Money magnet In it, he guides readers on how they can attract riches.
Steve, a fund manager and global real estate expert, escaped the rat race by replacing his salary with income from his real estate investments.
“I was working as an accountant and I was suffering from stress-related problems that manifested into ulcers in places you don’t want ulcers,” Steve tells news.com.au.
“The doctor told me I needed to change or I was headed for an early grave. I looked for ways to replace my salary with accounting and came across the idea of a positive cash flow property.”
The idea would lead to a complete change for the Melbourne man. In 1999, he and his friend David Bradley bought a three-bedroom house in Ballarat, Victoria, for $44,000.
“I bought my first property in May 1999 and was hooked. [David] and I went on to buy 130 properties in three and a half years. This allowed me to retire from the need to work at the age of 32,” says the 50-year-old.
“I continue to work, but in causes and concepts that interest me, and that give meaning and purpose to my life.”
That includes philanthropic work. Steve has donated 100 percent of the royalties from his six books – more than $1 million – to social environmental causes.
His latest project involves planting native forests on previously cleared land under a program called TreeChange.
It becomes attractive to wealth to attract wealth
“The secret to attracting more wealth is to first make yourself more attractive,” says Steve. “Interestingly, people expect to be successful before they acquire the skills to achieve it. That’s like saying I’ll work to be better with money once I have more money to be better.
“This approach will set you on a path of financial disempowerment for life. Making yourself more financially attractive requires only two things: doing less of the things that repel wealth and doing more of the things that attract wealth.
Steve says that being a better money manager is a lot like becoming a better driver; a few lessons from a skilled instructor will be far better than many lessons from a well-meaning parent.
He recommends three areas to work on to become a money magnet:
• spend less than you earn
• invest your savings wisely
• start as soon as possible
“People are programmed to be poor because they inherited some, or in some cases many, bad money habits and financial beliefs from their parents,” says Steve.
“This was not likely to be deliberate; your parents passed on what they were told, and so on in time.
“So if you want to retire early or want a better financial future than what your parents got, then you need to level up your financial IQ (the way you act) and your financial IQ (the way you you feel) learning from people who have achieved the results you expect.”
Steve’s top four tips for financial freedom:
• “The Age Pension is not an entitlement or refund of past taxes paid. It is an emergency support payment for people who cannot make ends meet. Currently, three-quarters of Australian workers work their whole lives only to end up needing the old age pension to survive. Something is wrong. The system people use to earn and manage their money is not working. If you want a different result then you have to follow a different plan for the masses. The sooner you do it the better you will be
• “You may be programmed to be poor without knowing it because some of your financial thoughts and beliefs that you inherited from your parents could be holding you back. It wouldn’t have been intentional, it’s just that your parents passed on to you what they passed on to them, and so on over time .Without new ideas and strategies, the highest level of financial success you are likely to achieve is what your parents achieved.If you want to go beyond that, you will need to upgrade your programming.
• “You won’t get rich by saving, but you’ll never be rich if you can’t save. Savings is a storehouse of wealth, not a source of wealth. It’s important to multiply your money by investing, not hoarding. That said, saving is important because it shows that you can live within your means, and if you can’t, you can attract a fortune, but it won’t stick, resulting in the appearance of wealth (materialism), but it doesn’t. the substance of wealth (happiness).
• “The more money you spend touching, moving and inspiring others, the more your money will matter and the greater your investment in making and leaving a lasting legacy. You will also attract more opportunities and raise the caliber of people in your circle influence. Make sure you live how you want to be remembered.”
Paying it forward
What inspired Steve to donate 100 percent of his book royalties to social and environmental causes?
“I didn’t write my books to make money,” he says. “I wrote them to help people who aspired to something other than working four or five decades only to retire with financial problems, to introduce concepts that are not known or understood, and to share amazing strategies that have helped me attract and maintain a fortune that counts . . .
“Using my money to fund causes I care about adds meaning to my wealth and gives my money meaning beyond dollars and cents,” says Steve.
“Take TreeChange.com for example. This is a movement I founded for people who want to lend a hand to Mother Nature by replanting native forests on land that is not viable for agriculture. “Our pilot project is a 700-hectare site in north-east Victoria that was cleared at the beginning of the 20th century. To date we have planted more than 300,000 trees to help establish a new native forest with permanent biodiversity. We’re helping save the world one tree at a time.”
He encourages others to follow in his footsteps, within their means.
“The first step is to give a little of what you have, not a lot of what you don’t have. If that’s money, great. If it’s time, great! The important thing is to get involved as much as possible.
“Many hands doing a little work is much more useful than a few hands doing a lot.” Think of a cause or issue that you are passionate about. Then find an organization that already works in that space.
“Finally, reach out to them and ask, ‘How can I help?’ Sowing the seeds of generosity today will result in a harvest of generosity later tomorrow.”
Originally Posted as Real Estate Investor Reveals How To Become A Money Magnet