Property & Mortgages - The Worst Businesses To Be 

In During The Financial Crisis 

October 2008

I don't think I've ever been so stressed, as I was in October 2008.  My Mum had been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour 4 months previously and my dining room had been turned into her bedroom.  Doctors, Palliative Care Nurses, Care Workers, & Night Nurses, were in and out of my house constantly, my Dad, my sister, Anita and our partners were here as well.

Anita and I ran our Mortgage Brokerage from offices at my house but mercifully the 'phones had stopped ringing.   We were still battling trying to find products for some of our clients.  It wasn't just the products disappearing daily, the lenders were as well.

Disaster Was Looming On All Fronts

Interest rates were high and my property portfolio was no longer supporting it's mortgages.  Disaster was looming on all fronts and I knew there was a distinct possibility the world financial system would collapse.
I remember thinking, as I was brushing my teeth one morning, if it all goes as bad as I think it will, what business would I want to be in?  The answer was property, people would still need homes.   I knew interest rates were going to fall, that much was obvious.  So I went down to my office and worked on spread sheets calculating my cash flow if interest rates fell.  
I realised that if I could get through the immediate crisis, my properties would cash flow better than ever if rates fell as low as I expected they would.
My Mum passed away shortly before Christmas and in the New Year I found myself facing a whole new world.  My 88 year old father needed lots of support.  My Mum was the one who ran their finances, planned and cooked all their meals, he was devastated at her loss as were we.

The Mortgage Business Died

The Mortgage Business died as well and although resurrection was a possibility, it was going to be a long slow recovery. I was a good Mortgage Broker but never a passionate one, it was simply a way of earning a living and there were aspects of it I really didn't enjoy, for example, the endless tedious paperwork.  I de-authorised it from our Regulatory Body, we didn't owe anything so there was no problem, and we ceased trading in March 2009.
My family loaned me money to tide me over until the Portfolio could support me and it.   I had two full time property maintenance guys, that sadly I had to let go because I had no choice.  I had to make changes and come up with a new plan.

A Job Wasn't a Possibility

I couldn't get a job, my Dad needed far too much support but aside from that, what job was I going to get?  I was in my late 50's, I'd worked for myself for more than 10 years, I would just be building someone else's business, probably enthusiastically because that's how I am, but I wasn't going to put myself in that position again.
So I set about finding another business.  I learned a legitimate mathematical gambling technique, that I could do online - I got really good at it, so much so, the less well known online bookmakers closed my accounts!  Since the system relied on having numerous accounts, that was the end of that plan.
I tried Forex, but that felt more like gambling than the mathematical gambling so that was out.

I Was Still Vulnerable

The problem hadn't gone away, I was still extremely vulnerable if property prices fell and interest rates rose.  I couldn't bury my head in the sand.  I really did need to find something viable, preferably online, so I could run it when it suited me.  I'd just about given up hope, when one day, watching Youtube videos about the property market, I came across a video describing a business model, that changed everything.  

Better Than Property?

The business ticked all the boxes, I could work from anywhere, anytime I wanted as long as I had a laptop and an internet connection.  It required an investment but what serious business wouldn't?  It was much like a franchise without the huge investment.  I could start small and grow, it was scalable, there was a blueprint to follow and it offered passive income, just like property does.  As it happened I didn't start that small, I went 'all in' immediately but it was still a lot less than a deposit on a property.  It really was the perfect solution, in fact in many ways I thought the business model was better than property, I just had to learn it and make it work.  

It's a few years ago now but I can honestly say, it's the best thing I've ever done.  Yes I have still got the property portfolio I'll always be in property, but in many ways I prefer my new business especially as the UK Government almost appears to have 'taken against' private landlords.  
Sadly, my Dad passed last year he was nearly 96.  My partner has been living mainly in Jamaica for several years now and I am free to leave the country & join him and take my online business with me.  In fact we're planning to go to lots of places now.
I didn't learn my new business overnight, it's taken time to grow and I'm still learning but I love the scope and unlimited potential it has for the future.  If you're interested,  
and it's this guy who is now my business partner and mentor.

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