Welcome to the Wealthwoke Weekly Whammy.
Here are my hot tips for the week.
WHAT I DID
Attended the Cape Town launch of LX Living, John Rabie’s new residential property development in Lisbon
I have been interested in finding an opportunity to invest in offshore property in Portugal for a while as I had heard from several people that it was the new hot spot in Europe. Last year I had a first-hand look at a couple of developments in Lisbon while on holiday there, but ultimately nothing came of it as it all felt too complicated, risky and administratively intensive.
I was intrigued, however, when I saw that Rabie Group (through its Neworld subsidiary) was launching a residential development in Lisbon, with the opportunity to invest in 150 luxury apartments with loan to value finance of up to 75% at an interest rate of under 2%.
I was not prepared for what I experienced at the Cape Town launch event. Firstly there were probably 200 people in attendance, mostly white, wealthy and over 50. There was a really short presentation from Johnny Rabie and then all hell broke loose. People were lining up to sign Promise to Purchase agreements for 300 000 – 600 000 Euro apartments (which carry a 10 000 Euro non-refundable deposit) like they were buying 5 Euro coffees at a Starbucks.
Within 30 minutes, all the studio and 1 bedroom apartments were gone and a fair chunk of the others too. In his presentation, Rabie claimed that prior to the Cape Town event, 100 of the 151 apartments were already sold. I’m pretty sure that by the end of the night, only the most expensive apartments were still available. This before the Johannesburg and global launch events have even taken place.
If you want to know where wealthy, older white South Africans are investing a good portion of their money, look no further than this type of scheme. Even taking financing into account, I estimate that somewhere between R500 million and R1 billion of South African retail investor capital is going into just this one offshore development.
I appear to be more conservative (and/or poorer) than many of the other guests in attendance and require more in-depth understanding and research before even considering committing this level of funds to a single investment. In particular, I was not prepared to sign a Promise To Purchase agreement before I had the above-mentioned finance approved, which was not possible on the evening. Clearly others had no such apprehensions or requirements.
Nonetheless it seems like an opportunity worth investigating so I will do some more homework and report back to you with the findings.
WHAT I READ
Becoming – by Michelle Obama
I resisted purchasing this book for quite a while, despite it constantly popping up as a recommendation for me on my Kindle. I think I was hesitant as I couldn’t see how the story of a woman who grew in Chicago’s South Side and who went on to become the First Lady of the United States, would have any relevance for me.
Eventually I relented and I’m pretty glad I did, for a number of reasons. Firstly, the book is well written and is full of colourful stories and characters, straight out of an American sitcom.
It also provides a unique insight into the background, character and personality of one Barak Obama. I can tell you one thing, I’m not sure it’s possible to find two people as different as Obama and current US President, Donald Trump. How it came to pass that these two became consecutive leaders of the free world is a PHD thesis all on its own.
The real value in the book however lies in the authors struggle to find herself and her true purpose in this world. Like most of us, she spend huge amounts of time and energy trying to become someone and achieve certain goals because that is what she thought was expected of her and would make others proud. When she eventually became this person and achieved these goals, she realised she was unhappy and living a life devoid of meaning and purpose. Sound familiar?
Obama provides real inspiration for those who find themselves in this position and are looking to make the changes needed to live a more authentic life.
Have a great weekend Wealthwokers