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Ian Cole

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About Ian Cole

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  • Location
  • Property investment interests
    I have bought my first buy-to-let property in November 1999, and built a portfolio since then (not a large one, but one that cash flows well. It's about cash flow not number of properties). A mix of houses and flats; BMV purchases; JV purchases and an HMO. I used to host and run a monthly property networking meet and also provided daylight bridging finance with a business partner to other professional landlords - back in the days when one was eligible to do same-day refinancing.
    I've been on several courses, including a self-build course, and then a hands-on strawbale build course (this is for the family).

    My wife and I drew up a fairly comprehensive 'Deal Analysis' spreadsheet, into which one punches the numbers and an instant calculation is done to assess any potential deals, based on known costs. However, one should still apply their due diligence, including local demand and economic variables. Some things just cannot be put into a spread sheet - though it's essential to do the figures in detail too!
  • My skills
    Analysing deals; finance; DIY and building etc. A good network of people behind me. Quick evaluation and an ability to see the whole picture, including the long-term. Many people don't like hearing the hard facts, and accuse me of being a doom and gloom guy; but nothing could be further from the truth! Preparation is key; and I'm forever challenging conventional wisdom. There is NO 'one way' to do something. I'm always asking questions and try to better my knowledge. None of us know it all, not ever will. Time means things change, so constant evaluation and re-evaluation are crucial.
  • My goals
    To expand knowledge and increase income to a level that provides a little extra security. I don't want to be 'rich', and certainly not famous! To have too much money (though very much a personal opinion as to what constitutes 'enough' means different things to different people) as this would deprive others from having their fair share, further down the ladder.
  • Interests outside property
    Woodworking - both green and fine woodworking. Different cultures. Food! Reading and self-improvement. Travel. Economics (real, not conventional thinking, and not from people who support 'the system' as it currently is). Cycling and cycle-touring.

    Living sustainably and looking at ways of surviving, when (not if) our current model of civilisation finally breaks down. Learning survival skills and how to work and live as independently as we can, keeping things local, is the best way to prepare. I find this is comforting, not worrying. I WOULD be worrying if, like most people living in denial, they just didn't want to face up to what we face and haven't a clue what they'd do or how they'd survive when things go belly up.

    Make hay while the sun shines, as the old saying goes! ;-)

Recent Profile Visitors

921 profile views
  1. Thank you Jordan. One might defend themselves, as Susannah has here, but you can't escape the fact that based on personal experience, TGPC was certainly not the company behind the glossy words and stats. We can all make impressive claims and get into mathematical gymnastics, but cutting through the smoooth, slick headlines and the typical talking-up you see in this industry, all one is really concerned about is whether the business delivers on its promises. For me, and I must add a few other investors I know who've also had first hand experience of this outfit, all have spoken similarly.
  2. Many thanks again, and just to say I'm looking at the routes I'd need to consider IF things don't go my way: Broker help; ombudsman (though I've found these to be pretty much useless in the past: toothless tigers, happy to appear helpful, but rarely helping individuals); CILA (Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters) and even a named person, who was int he media a couple of years back, who is apparently very successful in helping to get insurance companies coughing up their dues, being both a chartered surveyor as well as offering help with claims too. But I shall only go this latter route if it
  3. First of all, many thanks for such a speedy reply, Andy. With a Friday, this week, deadline, it naturally gives me more time to think about my options etc. Thank you too for your well-considered thoughts on this case. I wasn't of course suggesting anything underhand or otherwise being economical with the truth, but more so I stand better informed and to therefore hopefully know an angle that I could focus on more, in order to work things in my favour. After all isn't this why anyone would seek help and advice? LOL! Meanwhile, I'm frantically trying to assemble as much w
  4. Hi everyone I have just posted this to someone specific, who asked about anyone wishing for insurance claims advice, but I thought it maybe a good idea to open the debate by widening the audience a little by making a separate post....so here we go: I've just logged in to the forum after a lengthy period of absence, for one reason and another (family life and business diversification etc) as I'm faced with a potentially large bill if I don't prepare myself adequately for a meeting this Friday (30th June, 2017) with a 'Subsidence Consultant'.
  5. Hi Andy I've just logged in to the forum after a lengthy period of absence, for one reason and another (family life and business diversification etc) as I'm faced with a potentially large bill if I don't prepare myself adequately for a meeting this Friday (30th June, 2017) with a 'Subsidence Consultant'. I am a relative veteran as far as property investment goes, having got into the 'game' back in 1999, and built a portfolio soon after - to then sell off half of it for the economic abyss we face; but that's a story for another time. Where I'm not experienced
  6. I have had experience of Susannah Cole's TGPC myself, and I will say that very soon after I'd signed up, as an investor of 16yrs on property now, I was very soon disappointed. They seem lovely people and decent folk, but when it comes to admin and actual operational procedures, they are very unprofessional indeed. Promised phone calls and e-mail had to be chased. The deals they'd boasted about how many they do, just weren't coming; and they just weren't up to standard at all. Worse, I personally know two professional investors who would never use TGPC again. If you look on Property Tribes webs
  7. Hi Sam Indeed you didn't say we weren't in a bubble, but that Australia is in a worse one. Well maybe, maybe not. However, far from the general chest-thumping we see from the British government, saying how our GDP to debt ratio is favourable to many other countries (and I'd say that' would include Oz no doubt) if you include personal debt, then the average is around £50k/head, we rank THE highest in the world! To miss or exclude this is to be more than misleading, for the government can only attempt to boast or brag that they can handle the nation's debt when personal debt too has been dea
  8. Hi propertysam I agree that it's largely down to personal choice and what you want to get from property investment, but ultimately you have to pay for your choice: Going interest-only is more tax efficient (or will be until George Osborne changes the rules in 2017) as you could offset mortgage interest against against your income tax; so Australia isn't unlike the UK in this respect............though you didn't explain in detail by what you mean exactly when you say 'costs'? If it's interest on the mortgage, then that is still a tax deductable (and will still be, if you're a basic rate tax
  9. Just by way of an update to everyone who's contributed to, or reading this post, I perhaps ought to share what I recently did with regards to a legal document I had drawn up, where I sourced it, and how it provided flexibility to tailor to my individual needs: I'm not actively promoting this source, but only saying that I used it, as IMO it is professional, very flexible, and ultimately 'free', if you do it right. See below for more detail. You visit the website, choose the genre you're looking to, then drill down to the more specific dodcument you're looking to employ. You're then pre
  10. emackie my apologies for not coming back to you again, to thank you for your kind comment: We have been away in Morocco until very recently so I wasn't keeping up with e-mails to do with 'business'. We wanted a break, and it was a nice break - though too darned hot, at 43 degrees a couple of days, and a whopping 33 degrees at night! Luckily we had air-conditioning, but think of the poor locals. They are still humans, and all the taxi drivers were complaining about the heat. I think when people say 'they are used to it' it just means 'they are more tolerant because they have no choice' I k
  11. That's good news then Matt! If it's saved you hundreds, and you can meet your needs, then it's been a worthwhile exercise. Good on you. I'm so pleased I could help
  12. Thanks to you too, Mark. However, to be truthful I winced a bit when I re-read what I'd written, for there were several typos and doubling up of some words in sentences, and even a couple of words missed out altogether, which is never good. But sadly I don't have time to go back and correct it all, as I'm busy working on preparing for a meeting this evening at the group I host; and recently I've been consumed with business concerns (property related). Nevertheless thank you for your kind words - much appreciated
  13. Thanks emackie. A little 'wide' interpretation from me on some points, so hence non-specific. One just can't be overly detailed on something like this as it's very much down to one's own personal circumstances. One would need to know a lot more to give anything more concrete or targetted; but also because I'm not qualified to give such advice anyway, as I've pointed out. However, if it's got you thinking differently or opened up new avenues to explore, then I guess it'll have been worth me posting. In any event thanks for coming back to me. By the way, there are a few websites that hav
  14. Hi emackie First of all let me be clear: I'm not a tax advisor, investment advisor or anyone 'professionally' qualified to give advice. All I'm doing is giving an opinion based on my own understanding and I/we would personally do (my wife and I and my other JV business partner). My wife and I have investment properties in joint names (for CGT advantages and for security reasons). I would only do this with a lifetime partner, or an 'official' partnership. By that I don't mean a partnership in a company structure sense (although you might like to look at that option) but more of a contra
  15. I've been quiet for a while on here because I've been busy working on major strategic shifts in my approach to property investing, and have got about 75% my way through things. When the remainder is complete I shall have an all-new method which takes into account many facets of the ecomony, both at local as well as global levels, for the winds of change have never been quite as strong as they are now - if one's not got their head in the sand that is! Anyway, here's a rather comical, but sad and frustrating situation, which epitomises the absurdity of what not just this country faces, but p
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