Julie and Eddie Bruce
Eddie Bruce was born into a working class family east of London – Gravesend in Kent. It was a place where very few people could ever hope to buy a car, let alone a family home. His parents split when he was just 7 years of age and he and his younger brother were taken in and raised by his grandparents. Five years later in 1964, his grandfather passed away and his grandmother emigrated to Australia with the two boys in search of a better future. Eddie was just 12 years of age. Fast forward 44 years to now; Eddie and his wife Julie are successful IT professionals with two grown daughters. They own their own home plus three investment properties and are well on their way to a self-funded retirement…
1984 – Married Julie and bought first family home in Adelaide
1987 – Sold first home, bought next family home in Adelaide
1994 – Sold Adelaide home, bought next family home in Sydney
1999 – Purchased investment unit off the plan in Sydney
2006 – Purchased two investment houses with McCarthy Group, in Cairns and Townsville
Why did you focus on property as your investment strategy?
“Honestly, I have never felt like the banks have done the right thing by me. Over the years I’ve had a few experiences with short term investments that made it clear they’re out for themselves. I tried buying shares but I didn’t get great results from them either. You only have to look at what’s happened to most people’s superannuation funds recently – mine have taken a real clobbering over the last 12 months. We’re not that far off retirement hopefully and we can’t just rely on super. I realised if you buy land, it has to appreciate eventually. It’s more stable and predictable. I feel you’ve at least got a sporting chance with property.”
So what made you actually start investing?
“I had always wanted to make a better life than the one my father had, so buying the Chatswood unit was a step towards providing for the future. But life got in the way for quite a long time after that – raising our daughters and work – so we didn’t do anything further for seven years. Then we came across the McCarthy Group – it must have been the seven year itch! At that time our daughters were grown up, we hadn’t paid off as much of the family home as we would have liked and we knew it was time to do something. When we saw what McCarthy had to offer it just all made sense and it was obvious it was the right step to take.”
Did you have any fears?
“Of course, especially seeing as we were buying not just one, but two houses. My wife started calling me the million dollar man, just because of how much debt we were in! It is a big thing for me from the background I have come from to be in this position of taking on debt and buying houses, and we were both very nervous. My dad rode a bicycle most of his life as he couldn’t even afford a car, and would never have dreamed I would end up doing something like this. Although I know he would be incredibly proud too. I’ve always faced up to taking risks, I think it’s just important to assess the risk properly. If it all makes sense, which it did, you just have to throw yourself in the deep end.”
Were there any challenges along the way?
“McCarthy Group were so organised there was little else for us to do once we signed up other than make the payments. There were a couple of delays due to weather and what not, but we were kept so well informed; they sent us photos all the way through showing us where they were up to and we could see they were doing a good job. The answers were there before we even knew we had a question, and that gave me a lot of confidence.”
Looking back how do you feel?
“We feel really comfortable. Overall I can see we made the right decision and we’re glad we did it. If anything, I can see now if I could change one thing I would have started younger. I didn’t buy my first home until I was past 30. I see that as my only regret.”
What plans do you have for the future?
“Good question! In a couple of years we’ll probably sell the Chatswood apartment and put the profit back into our family home. Depending on what the market is like at that time, we’ll assess it and maybe think about buying another house if it all makes sense. We want to travel and retire with a good lifestyle as well as be able to help our girls if they need it. Those are the goals we’ll be working towards.”