Custodian since 2001
When Heiner and Karin migrated to Australia 20 years ago with three young children, they started their new life with almost no net wealth. After 20 years in corporate life living in South Africa and Germany, the Karsts had some superannuation and a small deposit for a house after selling their home in South Africa. Effectively, they had what Heiner describes as ‘high executive income, no wealth’. Within a year the Karsts bought a house to live in. While they did not build any financial wealth, they expanded their minds, thanks to numerous self development functions and reading lots of books.
They were well aware that the move to Australia had been at a financial cost and nearing their forties they were looking for ways to build wealth to secure their retirement. Heiner and Karin joined a multi level marketing business in 1991.
Ten years later, they were in a better financial position: Heiner was on a good salary, working as Chief Information Officer for the technology company Siemens.
However, their accountant was unhappy: he told Heiner that he was paying too much tax and advised him to leverage his equity and tax to build a substantial investment portfolio outside superannuation. The accountant encouraged Heiner to borrow money to buy shares but Heiner says, “I was scared of shares – their volatility and the threat of margin calls.” The accountant then got Heiner and Karin thinking about property and suggested several books about investment property. They spent months looking at properties within a 15 kilometre radius of the Melbourne CBD.
Want to know more? Check out Heiner's case study