Whether you’re a seasoned property investor or yet to purchase your first home, there is no time like the present to take stock of your finances and re-evaluate your spending, saving and investment strategies.

In order to do any of the above however, it is important to first have a clearly defined list of goals and a plan in place to show exactly how they will be achieved.

That is why we have created our ‘My Plan’ workbook, which helps investors clearly define their investment dreams. Perhaps for example, you have always imagined retiring to a house by the beach, or having enough money to travel or simply being able to retire with a certain level of income each year?

By using the ‘My Plan’ workbook, our members are able to set their goals, then put in place a strategy to achieve them.

For those who have already have a set direction, it is still a great idea to re-evaluate every so often and refine your strategies, so as to make the most of the latest investment products on the market.

For example, structuring your portfolio debt correctly is crucial to keeping your costs down and maximising profits. While getting your finances right at the beginning can save you a lot of time and money, if you have mortgages in place already, it is certainly never too late to change and save money in the future.

For this reason, employing the services of a professional mortgage broker who specialises in property investment finance is highly advisable, as they can suggest the best packages to suit your requirements.

If you’re happy with your mortgage provider, there still may be room to move as with any type of leverage, the more business you intend to give, the more power you have in sitting down and challenging your lender for a better deal. Never assume rates or fees are set in stone. The truth is, the lending industry has become increasingly competitive over the years, with more lenders and loan products available to the consumer than ever before.

So never be afraid to ask for a better deal, particularly if you will be borrowing hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars over the life of your investment portfolio. After all, you are offering the banks the best security around – residential real estate.

Another factor that can be re-assessed is whether to fix your loan for a period of time or not. As our article on page three shows, now may be the perfect time to fix all or part of a home loan with the current best rate sitting at 5.59% for three years.

So why don’t you take another look at your mortgage by taking advantage of our free mortgage health check, (for more on which, please refer to the special offer on this page) – we will either save you potentially thousands, or give you $50 for your troubles!

Controlling your cash flow (incomings and outgoings) is also another element of your investment strategy that will benefit from regular re-evaluation.

Take a look at the household budget, perhaps there is a monthly allowance you no longer fully utilise such as pay tv or a gym membership? Or there may be a new phone bill not fully accounted for. Re-drafting your budget at least yearly lets you see precisely what your spending and saving patterns are which therefore allow you to make more informed decisions on matters such as mortgage repayments and savings strategies.

Other fees associated with investment properties such as insurance and rental agency costs should also be assessed yearly to make sure you have the best offers available.

It is also important to regularly review your actual property portfolio. Surprisingly 86% of investors only ever purchase one residential investment property. For that reason, it is essential to review your portfolio regularly and determine if your properties have produced enough equity for you to add to your collection. And don’t worry about where the market is, if you have the ability to leverage into further high growth assets, do it immediately. Remember, the name of the game is to have properties whose compounding growth is working for you in order to build on your asset base.

Finally, it is paramount that you feel secure when investing in property and for that reason, we recommend that you regularly assess not only your own financial situation, but also your lifestyle at any one point in time.

You may be young, in a stable job and without too many overheads and can therefore take an aggressive approach. Or you may be close to retirement with significant capital in a SMSF but wish to tread more carefully. Which ever your current reality, it is important to be able to refine your investment path to suit your current situation and your lifestyle.

Your Real Estate Investor personal property consultant will help you to calculate your own personal level of risk and therefore advise how you can structure your borrowings to suit your profile type.

Furthermore, we offer a wide range of tools and applications to help with all areas of investing, from budget planners to mortgage checks. These we make available free to our members so that you can be in the best position possible to make informed decisions on your investment future.