Global Property Investment & Maybank, Malaysia

16/06/2015   John Hopkins, Executive Chairman

On behalf of John Hopkins Property, we were very honoured to have been invited to attend and present at the 2015 Maybank Property Talk in Malaysia on Saturday 13 June, entitled ‘To Hold or Be Bold.’

Maybank is Malaysia's largest bank and financial services group, and the Maybank Group is amongst the top five banks in South East Asia with significant banking operations in Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines.

To put it simply, Maybank is to Malaysia what the Commonwealth Bank is to Australia.

Six hundred of Maybank’s’ high net worth clients were invited to attend this annual premium event and I, along with one other key note speaker, had the great privilege to present and also join a panel discussion on global property investment.

My presentation was entitled ‘The Rules For Global Residential Property Investment Have Not Changed.’

The event was held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, a beautiful hotel with  impeccable service, in a function room that seemed like the Colosseum; not that I felt I was being thrown to the lions (as my hosts and the guests attending were particularly gracious) however because I really wanted to perform well.

The crowd, a combination of clients, guests and bankers, were all well educated in money and investment. 

For my presentation, my message to them (for now and the foreseeable future) for successful global property investment was; the rules have not changed. By that, I meant the rules are exactly the same as they were one year ago, ten years ago or fifty years ago.

The same for you, the same for everyone.

I have been living and breathing these rules for the past forty years, and they can be found on our property services page.

The first crucial rule (and maybe the most obvious but often ignored) is to only invest in property that exists in a strong and stable social, geo-political, economic, and legal  situation.

Purchasing property in countries that do not possess these features, no matter how good the property purchase opportunity seems, simply cannot be considered an investment; at best, it would be a speculation or a trading proposition; probably a gamble.

Therefore, in today’s circumstances, to buy property as an investment in Athens would not be a good idea because Greece is on its knees. Damascus and Baghdad of course would not be wise to purchase in, it is awful to witness but Syria and Iraq, to state the obvious, are in a terrible state. The geo-political and consequential economic and social elements at play are dire.

Beijing, Shanghai and Djakarta are also definite no’s. With China and Indonesia, avoiding purchasing property in these countries is for reasons to do with unusual legal and political circumstances; trusting the system is not possible for locals; it is impossible for a foreigner. With regard to Moscow, due to ongoing political turmoil, business and investment dealings for foreigners are very risky (what an understatement).

So, in terms of sound situations, countries that would be considered sound from a  geo-political, economic, social and legal perspective are (to name some of the obvious ones) France, Germany, North America, Canada, the U.K. and our own Australia.

I could write for pages more about the principals of being a successful global property investor (the rules of which, as I noted before, are timeless), however I will save this extended version for our next publication

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