Thursday 30 November 2023



On November 12, 2023, a collapse occurred in the under-construction tunnel from Silkyara to Barkot due to debris falling in a 60-metre stretch on the Silkyara side. Immediate mobilisation of resources by the State and Central Governments ensued to rescue the 41 trapped labourers.

Safety concerns in opting for a 900 mm pipe through the debris led to the exploration of multiple rescue options simultaneously. The area of entrapment, measuring 8.5 metres in height and 2 kilometres in length, is the built-up portion of the tunnel, offering safety to the labourers with available electricity and water supply.

After 17 painful days, all the 41 workers who were trapped in Uttarakhand's collapsed Silkyara-Barkot tunnel were rescued on Tuesday 28 November. When all efforts since November 12 including the use of a highly sophisticated auger machine, to rescue 41 workers trapped inside Uttarkashi’s, hit a setback in drilling 60 meters of mountains, a team of rat-hole miners achieved success.

Since the collapse of the tunnel, various government agencies worked tirelessly on each assigned task to ensure the safe evacuation of the workers. National and International experts were also present at the site to render advice on the rescue operation. Several machines, resources, and experts from across the country were tasked with ensuring the safe rescue of workers. Many experts were involved in what is being touted as one of the country's biggest rescue operations.

Since the collapse of the tunnel, various government agencies worked tirelessly on each assigned task to ensure the safe evacuation of the workers. National and international experts were also present at the site to help with the rescue operation. Several machines, resources, and experts from across the country were tasked with ensuring the safe rescue of workers.

Six plans were executed including drilling from over three sites - horizontal and vertical. The machines did help in moving pipes for food and other necessary materials to the trapped workers, but the rescue pipe could not reach them till the end. A few plans were still in the making but rat-hole miners, experts in digging tunnels in coal mines, were able to do the impossible. The rat-hole miners, a team of seven from Jhansi, were able to dig over 10 metres (till the end) within 48 hours which the auger machine failed to dig when its rotor blades were entrapped in metallic rods running underside, relics of some past experiment.

Regardless of personal opinion of Prime Minister of Modi, one has to accept that this kind of rescue operation is unprecedented. Five people from the Prime Minister's Office were at the spot day and night for 15 days and lived there in the container.

The Chief Minister of Uttarakhand was present for three-four hours every day, General VK Singh, Nitin Gadkari and many other ministers visited the buzzing-with-activity site frequently to review the rescue work.

A special aircraft of the Indian Air Force was sent from Hyderabad and the auger machine was brought from Slovenia.  The world's best known rescue expert was called by a special plane.. To order a special kind of plasma cutter, the team was first sent to Hyderabad; then, the plane was sent to America and a special kind of plasma cutter was brought from there. Four machines and robots and ground penetrating radar were brought from Switzerland by special aircraft.

A helipad and a working runway were also built at the accident site and a vertical oxygen generator plant was installed there. Think whether you have ever heard of such a rescue operation being conducted in such a quick manner before in history.


Wednesday 29 November 2023



A list of actual announcements that London Tube train drivers have made to their passengers...

1) 'Ladies and Gentlemen, I do apologise for the delay to your
service. I know you're all dying to get home, unless, of course, you
happen to be married to my ex-wife, in which case you'll want to cross
over to the Westbound and go in the opposite direction.'

2) 'Your delay this evening is caused by the line controller suffering
from E & B syndrome: not knowing his elbow from his backside. I'll let
you know any further information as soon as I'm given any.'

3) 'Do you want the good news first or the bad news? The good news is
that last Friday was my birthday and I hit the town and had a great
time. The bad news is that there is a points failure somewhere between
Mile End and East Ham, which means we probably won't reach our

4) 'Ladies and gentlemen, we apologize for the delay, but there is a
security alert at Victoria station and we are therefore stuck here for
the foreseeable future, so let's take our minds off it and pass some
time together. All together now.... 'Ten green bottles, hanging on a

5) 'We are now travelling through Baker Street ... As you can see,
Baker Street is closed. It would have been nice if they had actually
told me, so I could tell you earlier, but no, they don't think about
things like that'.

6) 'Beggars are operating on this train. Please do NOT encourage these
professional beggars. If you have any spare change, please give it to
a registered charity. Failing that, give it to me.'

7) During an extremely hot rush hour on the Central Line, the driver
announced in a West Indian drawl: 'Step right this way for the sauna,
ladies and gentleman... unfortunately, towels are not provided.'

8) 'Let the passengers off the train FIRST!' (Pause ) 'Oh go on then,
stuff yourselves in like sardines, see if I care - I'm going home....'

9) 'Please allow the doors to close. Try not to confuse this with
'Please hold the doors open.' The two are distinct and separate

10) 'Please note that the beeping noise coming from the doors means
that the doors are about to close. It does not mean throw yourself or your bags into the doors.'

11) 'We can't move off because some idiot has their hand stuck in the door.'

12) 'To the gentleman wearing the long grey coat trying to get on the second carriage -- what part of 'stand clear of the doors' don't you

13) 'Please move all baggage away from the doors.' (Pause..) 'Please
move ALL belongings away from the doors.' (Pause...) 'This is a personal message to the man in the brown suit wearing glasses at the rear of the train: Put the pie down, Four-eyes, and move your bloody golf clubs away from the door before I come down there and shove them up your arse sideways!'

14) 'May I remind all passengers that there is strictly no smoking allowed on any part of the Underground. However, if you are smoking a joint, it's only fair that you pass it round the rest of the carriage.'

Commenting on a complaint from a Mr. Arthur Purdey about a large gas bill, a spokesman for North West Gas said, 'We agree it was rather high for the time of year. It's possible Mr Purdey has been charged for the gas used up during the explosion that destroyed his house.'
(The Daily Telegraph)

Police reveal that a woman arrested for shoplifting had a whole salami in her underwear.. When asked why, she said it was because she was missing her Italian boyfriend.
(The Manchester Evening News)

Irish police are being handicapped in a search for a stolen van, because they cannot issue a description. It's a Special Branch vehicle and they don't want the public to know what it looks like.
(The Guardian)

At the height of the gale, the harbour master radioed a coast guard and asked him to estimate the wind speed. He replied he was sorry, but he didn't have a gauge. However, if it was any help, the wind had just blown his Land Rover off the cliff. ( Aberdeen Evening Express)

Mrs. Irene Graham of Thorpe Avenue , Boscombe, delighted the audience with her reminiscence of the German prisoner of war who was sent each week to do her garden. He was repatriated at the end of 1945, she recalled -
'He'd always seemed a nice friendly chap, but when the crocuses came up in the middle of our lawn in February 1946, they spelt out 'Heil Hitler.''
( Bournemouth Evening Echo)

Tuesday 28 November 2023







I am an ex-IAF Officer, who left home in 1966, to retire in 2000. I have seen one war and one small-scale skirmish and noticed how people react under stress. I pray that we are never subjected to another war, even a 'minor' skirmish like Kargil.

I shall be posting between 200-1,000 words a day, as I keep rather busy; yet, I feel it is necessary for the civilian population at large to understand what goes on behind the facade of a peaceful existence. I shall stray from the absolute truth deliberately, though not by much, as I do not wish to invite the wrath of the Powers That Be under the Officials' Secret Act.


Partition saw Pakistan getting the larger share of the booty, as the Brits, prior to WW II, were being rubbed raw in the NWFP, by the Pathans. Hence, the infrastructure to support air operations went to NW India, which ultimately became part of Pakistan. Pakistan soon became a Military Dictatorship, whereas India moved towards a Democracy of sorts, as it was more Socialistic than truly Democratic. Krishna Menon and Pandit Nehru gradually emasculated the Indian Defence Forces, seeing what was happening across the Pak border. In fact, the job a mere Captain would do then is now being handled by a full Colonel, having graduated upwards through the intermediate ranks of Major and Lt. Col. The movies now talk of Major General Sa’ab, not the Major of yore.

Since 1947, Pakistan has been under Military Rule except for a few sporadic bouts of civilian leadership, which have always been toppled by bloodless coups. There was one casualty, though. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was hanged by General Zia, who himself was killed in an air crash engendered by the Israelis. His daughter, Benazir, herself an ex-Prime Minister, not once but twice, was assassinated recently by, in all probability, the ISI, though the word given out was that she was hit by a Militant outfit.

With the Military ruling Pakistan for so long, almost everything is under their control. Their infrastructure, used primarily by the population, has been devised by the Military, to support their forces in a war against India. Talking only about their Air Force, they have airfields strung along the tortuous border with India every 150 Km. These are about 60-75 Km deep and fully fortified. These airfields are called satellite airfields, the major bases being Sargodha, Jacobabad and Karachi. All these satellite airfields have been carefully built under a master-plan, which is something more than what the Indian Air Force has been permitted to do.

Allow me to digress a bit to cite an example. All runways of these bases are reinforced with dense cement-concrete, bearing a Load Classification Index of 70 and above. This figure of 70 is mandatory for any airfield handling big jets of the Boeing-747 class. All Indian military bases have an index of 40 at best and 30 as a norm. What this means is that runway denial weapons that will put Indian airfields out of contention need to have a capacity of damaging runways with an Index of 40 and the French BAP-100 Rockets are a perfect example, able to damage runways with an Index of 45. But these Rockets will barely scratch the surface of Pakistani Military airbases. Thus the cost of acquiring a runway denial weapon to hit Pakistani airbases quadruples; moreover, fewer numbers can be carried, as they are three-four times heavier.

The BAP-100 Rockets are carried in batches of up to 18 and released with intervals of milliseconds, so that craters are made on the runway every 50-75 metres. Attack aircraft carry up to 4 such groups and use them in attacks on the runway and then, further onto the taxiways, which can also used for take-off and landing. The IAF has huge numbers of this weapon which can only be used to hit taxy-tracks and the main runway denial weapon for the IAF today is the French Durandal Bomb, of which a maximum of 8 can be carried by the Mirage-2000, as against the 36 BAP-100 Rockets by the Pakistani Mirage-V.           

The Acquisition Procedure

The acquisition procedure has been simplified and is freely available on the net. The aim is to make the acquisition procedure transparent. When a need for any equipment is felt, the requirements are posted on this site and bids sought from approved Vendors. In case there is only one vendor, the requirements are modified so that at least two vendors can compete for the sale. If the equipment called for proves to be unique, a concession is taken from a Parliamentary Committee to permit a single vendor-purchase. The bidding takes place in two phases. The Vendors submit the Technical Capabilities of their product along with a sealed commercial bid. The technical capabilities are examined to see how close they come to those demanded and the first selection takes place here, reducing the Vendors to those who profess that their product meets with the requirements. These Vendors are then invited to display the capabilities of their wares and a long and laborious assessment is carried out, reducing the bidders to the least. Once this is over, the financial documents are opened and read along with the technical report so that a selection can be made. Generally, the lowest bidder is selected and this company meets with the acquisition committee to negotiate the deal in its entirety.

This process was initiated just three years ago. Prior to that, the process was actually rather arbitrary, with great scope for underhand dealing. Political requirements for campaign funds would also have a role to play, as was most probably the case in the Harshad Mehta scandal. Tehelka exposed the follies of the greedy and it was pitiable to see how little was required to make someone look the other way. It is hoped that the current acquisitions will be totally above board, though there is still space for corruption.  

The 15-Year Wish List   

Requirements do not pop up from anywhere. It has to be an item that is on record as desirable ‘in the near future’. What this means is that a special branch of the Forward Planning Section must have foreseen such a requirement and put it on record in the ‘15 Year Perspective Plan.’ Such requirements are found through research, discussions and information from Vendors of what they have in mind and are testing for both cost-effectiveness and feasibility. This 15-year plan is an on-going plan with no start or finish dates, just an estimate of progress in technology applied to aircraft or air warfare related equipment and when it is likely to come up.

It must be noted that, in the case of an aircraft, it takes not less than 10 years from the Drawing Board stage to Operational Status in an Air Force. The F-16 was first thought of in 1967 and, after a fly-off competition with the F-18, entered USAF service only in 1979. The Mirage-2000 took much less time-8 years-as the airframe had been proven with the Mirage-III and Mirage-V. Our LCA has already taken 22 years and will become operational in 2012, as claimed by an organization that goes by the most impressive name of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). When bought, it will be the most expensive aircraft on the Indian inventory, with all funding provided for by Air Force funds-which factor will not be added to its intrinsic cost in the world market.    

The 5-Year Plan

More concrete plans are drawn up under defined 5-year plans. These plans have a start and end date and also the total amount of money to be spent in the lustrum. I will not go into the details like Heads, Codes, etc. The 5-year plan is broken down into yearly plans, as mandated by priorities. Once a yearly plan is approved by MoD, the acquisitions branch swings into action. As laid down by the internet-listed arms acquisition procedure, Requests for Information on targeted products are issued, with a cut-off date. This is a prelude to the global issue of the all-important Request for Product (RFP) submission, with, of course, a cut-off date. Vendors submit their bids, as already explained and one is finally selected. Part of the final choice includes a demonstration of the product in operation in an Indian scenario.     

The number of contracts can be huge. In the current programme, they could well exceed three hundred per year, so you can imagine how arduous the task will be. There are, on an average, two meetings per working day. If a contract faces a delay due to reasons beyond normal control-like the Tsunami-an extension is given and the negotiations carry on into the next financial year, and the money reserved for it is also carried forward. Contracts that do not reach the negotiation table in time are axed for that year and the money reserved for it surrendered to MoD, for further disposal. This contract is negotiated the next year, at the cost of some other contract, which sets the latter back. This area is the worst-managed part of an acquisition, with MoD proving to be an intransigent and overly bureaucratic agency, to the angst of the Defence Force concerned as well as the Vendor.

How We Get There

It is indeed entrancing to see how a particular type of equipment is ultimately bought:

  • A particular item of equipment is found interesting at the junior levels in an operational directorate or acquisitions branch.
  • Details are circulated within the concerned branches at Air Hq, and Director Level Officers get together to discuss the item and its utility, if at all.
  • If found suitable, it is taken one level higher and Financial Branch officers are included. Its position in the 15-year wish list is finalized.
  • This is forwarded to the Integrated Defence Staff committee which acts as the interface between MoD and Air Hq.
  • IDS debates the issue before taking it up with MoD.
  • MoD accepts the idea or puts forward queries, routed to Air Hq through IDS.
  • Once resolved, MoD initiates technical discussions and conveys their findings through another agency, called the T&M, a Service Officer.            
  • The RFI stage, where Vendors are contacted on a global basis to submit a preliminary project with a can do/ cannot do clause.
  • The Collation stage at Air Hq, where all RFIs are examined, in-house discussions held re priority and a general concept mooted for the next stage. Concurrence is required from MoD (Finance).
  • The RFP stage, where Vendors bid in two areas-their technical prowess, to be proved live and the financial bid, which envelopes are stored securely in one of the many vaults that lie in MoD.
  • The Technical Evaluation stage, which is overseen by the T&M.

Monday 27 November 2023


Sunday 26 November 2023




Saturday 25 November 2023



Friday 24 November 2023



Thursday 23 November 2023





I’ve just finished reading a book about the world’s greatest basement…..It was a best cellar.

It’s my first week working at the bicycle factory and they already made me a spokesperson.

My laptop caught pneumonia, apparently because I left Windows open. 

I thought swimming with Dolphins was expensive until I went swimming with sharks….It cost me an arm and a leg.

The main function of your big toe is to make sure all the furniture in the house is in the right place.

Horses have lower divorce rates. It’s because they are in stable relationships.

It’s pretty obvious that if I run in front of a car I will get tired but if I run behind a car will I get exhausted.

My teachers told me I’d never amount to much because I procrastinate so much.    I told them you just wait.

90 % of bald people still own a comb; they just can’t part with it.

Every morning I get hit by the same bicycle……It’s a vicious cycle.

The word incorrectly is spelled incorrectly in every dictionary.

I’ve been experimenting with breeding racing deer.   People have accused me of just trying to make a fast buck.

The other day I yelled into a colander and I strained my voice.

What do you call a row of rabbits hopping backwards?... A receding hare line.

Always trust a nudist……They have nothing to hide …

Home (n.) The place where you trust the toilet seat.

English Teacher (n.) A person who puts more thought into a novel than the original author ever did.

Sibling (n.) You’d give them your kidney but you won’t let them borrow your charger.

Etc. (abb .) End of thinking capacity.

I’m fine (phr.) Not dead. Still alive.

Friend (n.) Someone who listens to your bullshit, tells you it’s bullshit, and then listens to some more.

Everything happens for a reason (phr.)  Sometimes the reason is you’re stupid and make bad decisions.

Psychopaths (n.) People who watch scary movies for fun and sleep fine afterwards.

Happiness (n.) Not having to set the alarm clock for the next day.

I’m going to sleep early tonight (phr.) The biggest lie you tell yourself.

Dad (n.) A person who has no clue what’s inside when you open a gift labelled “From Mom & Dad”.



Wednesday 22 November 2023

Tuesday 21 November 2023






 the 5 Golden Rules for property investment

In this article about successful property investing, you will learn the 5 Golden Rules for property investment that will make you a more successful investor. These simple rules and guidelines should be used to minimise the risk and maximise the return. So let’s examine each of these rules for property investing in detail for you.

1.      Always Buy From Motivated Sellers

The first Golden Rule for Property investing is that you want to buy property from what we call motivated sellers. A motivated seller is someone who really needs to sell their property. They've got some problem and because of that they're more flexible on the price and/or the terms of the sale. This is because for these people it's not about getting the most amount of money, which is what most sellers want by the way, it's about getting speed and certainty that this transaction is going to happen.

Most people when they're looking to sell a property don't start out as motivated sellers. They want to get the most they possibly can from the sale of their property, but as time goes on people become more motivated. They have deadlines they're trying to hit. Maybe they need to emigrate or they're moving for a job. They could be growing the family, or their family is shrinking. Maybe they've got financial difficulties. They see selling this property as part of the solution to that problem.

Given that one in three sales in the UK fall through, even if someone gets a sale agreed there's a pretty good chance it might well fall through. Selling a property is not a fun or enjoyable experience. If a sale falls through it's really quite stressful.

If you can find these motivated sellers and then come up with an ethical win-win solution, they get what they want, and you can get a much better price or flexibility on the terms of the sale. It's important to understand here that we're not looking to take advantage of people. One wants to find the ethical win-win that works for you and works for them. It is a numbers game. You need to learn how to find these motivated sellers and when you do, you're going to be far more successful in your investing.

2.   Only Buy Property in an Area of Strong Demand

The second of Golden Rules for Property investing is buy property in an area of strong rental demand. Sometimes people think they should buy a really cheap property because they think it meets the first Golden Rule for Property Investing. But if no one is going to want to rent that property, then there's no point buying it. So, it's got to be in an area of strong rental demand.

You can check this out by going online, you can see what the rental demand is in a particular area. You can also speak to local letting agents and ask them what they think the demand is like in the area. So it's about doing your research and your due diligence to make sure this is a good strong rental demand area.

Take into account what's happening in the area. Are they increasing the number of jobs? Are they extending universities? Are they building new hospitals? Are they creating business parks that will bring people into the area who want to work there and probably want to live in the area as well?

If you can buy in an area with a growing population you're going to have much stronger rental demand. You're going to also see better capital growth over the long-term.

3.   Only Ever Buy Property That Gives You Positive Cash Flow

Out of all of the Golden Rules for Property Investing, I think this is the most important one. What this means is, at the end of the month when you get the rent and take all the other costs away, there must be some profit left over for you.

Possible Costs:

  •     Mainly your mortgage
  •     The insurance you need
  •     The management fees
  •     Leasehold fees
  •     Maintenance
  •     All the bills if it is a Serviced Accommodation.

If there's no cash flow, no profit, then don't buy the property. That's not going be an asset, it could be a liability for the future. An asset is something that puts money into your pocket, a liability is something that takes money out of your pocket. Now with a rental property obviously you have a mortgage, but the whole point is you're putting tenants in for more than just covering the costs. You want them to give you some of that profit every single month.

You do need to pay tax on the profit, you do need to declare it to the tax man but it's in the same way if you have a job and earn an income, you pay tax. If you have another business that makes money, you pay tax on your profit. So it's no different to anything else. The rules around taxation may change so it’s best you speak to your accountant to understand how that might impact you.

A lot of people prior to that used to buy property in their own name, now many people buy within a company structure because it's more tax advantageous. But really you should get independent advice from a property tax specialist. They can look at your personal circumstance and give you the best advice and guidance based on your situation.

It's always dangerous to try and get advice on Facebook groups. People might give you advice on what they've done but that doesn't mean it's going to be relevant and correct to you. This is why it is really important you get the right advice.

4.  Buy Property for the Long Term

The fourth Golden Rule for Property Investing is to buy property for the long-term. Now you can make money for the short-term in property. You can buy a property, renovate it, and sell it straight on. It's called flipping property and it's a great, very profitable strategy in the right market conditions.

Ideally you want a rising market to be successfully flipping property. You don't want to be flipping property if it's a stagnant or a falling market because there's a good chance that you buy it, do the work, and it's worth less than when you first bought it. So that's not a profitable strategy. However, if you're looking to hold property for the long-term that's generally what I do.

I have sold some property in the past but I like to hold for the long-term. In the UK, one lives on an island with a limited supply of accommodation and an increasing population. This means over the long-term property prices must go up. So, holding property for the long-term, benefiting from the monthly cash flow and the long-term appreciation - that's how you create real wealth through property. Obviously you could then pass that wealth on to your family, to their kids, and their kids, your grandkids, by buying property and structuring it in the correct way.

5. Have A Cash Buffer In Place

And finally, Golden Rule for Property Investing Number Five is very important and it's about having a cash buffer. This is some money put aside. It could be on a credit card, it could be in a bank, it could be someone else's money you've agreed to borrow in advance, just to make sure you can fix any problems that aren't covered by insurance.

Now most of the things in property can be insured against, you know if your tenant runs off and doesn't pay the rent you can insure against that. If the tenant causes damages, you can insure against that. However, sometimes things aren't covered by insurance and it means you've got to spend several thousand pounds on your property to fix it and make it rentable again.

If you don't have that money you can't fix it, you can't rent it, suddenly that's a liability costing you money every single month. This is why need to have some money put aside which you can use to make sure that even if there's a problem you can fix the property. You can get it rented out nice and quickly to make sure it's bringing in money.


If you follow these 5 Golden Rules for Property investing i.e. Buy from motivated sellers; Buy in an area of strong rental demand; Buy for positive cash-flow; Buy for the long-term; Always have a cash buffer, you will minimise the risk of property investing and maximise your returns.



By 2030, the population over the age of 80 is set to quadruple… so if you want to maintain a comfortable lifestyle now and in retirement, you’ll need to be self-funded. Investing in property is a great place to start, but as with all major financial decisions, you need to be armed with information before you take the plunge. 

Surging prices pose a challenge for the ruling People’s Action Party. Its achievements include the highest public housing rate in the world, with over 80% of the country’s 4 million residents living in government-built homes. Singapore is defying a global property downturn, fueling concerns about affordability within the city-state.

The price jumps are fueled by a shortage in supply due to construction setbacks during the Covid-19 pandemic, and demand spikes from people looking for upgrades and an influx of well-to-do foreigners. Buyers are brushing aside concerns about rising interest rates that have dented property markets from Australia to New Zealand.

The world’s hottest housing markets are facing a painful reset. Interest rate hikes do not seem to have a significant impact on new home sales in Singapore. Property prices are more supply-driven rather than sentiment-driven.

Authorities are taking notice. The government introduced curbs last year to cool home prices that surged the most in a decade. Officials also announced tax hikes on high-end properties during the annual budget this year, and plan to increase the supply of private homes.

Despite a brief slowdown, residential prices have rebounded and grew at a faster pace than expected in the second quarter, climbing 3.5%.

Wealthy locals and high-earners moving to the city-state are pushing up prices. Singapore’s rent surged the most among 30 cities globally in the first half, tying with New York. The nation said last month it would try to woo highly paid expats with a new visa.

Don’t Believe the Hype

Always refer to facts and figures and not the hype surrounding the property or, especially, your own hopes and emotions. Before you dive in, do your research based on the two golden rules and work out if you have sufficient funds to hold onto a property for at least a few years.

Check Surrounding Value

For the most part, units on the same block will share the same problems and advantages. If you’re five minutes from the train station, so’s your neighbour. So when it comes to price, always check listings in the same general area. There may be other variables  but you’ll at least get a sense of the price range.

Enter At The Right Price

When it comes to choosing the right property, the star architect’s brand name or even the location is not as critical as the right entry price. This means cross-checking a property’s price against surrounding properties’; if it is lower than its neighbours, that means you’re taking less of a risk and have the potential to make more of a profit.

Popularity Counts

Besides the affordability angle, a property’s popularity is also a key consideration. It has to be sizable enough, be located in a reasonably well-known area and have a strong publicity push. When the market goes up, these are the properties whose prices will double or triple up faster.

 Look For Uncertain Times

The difference between newbies and “real investors” is that the former will wait for good times to invest while the latter craves market uncertainty. If the market isn’t good, there will be buying opportunities and interest rates will have to stay low. It can’t go up when the market is down because businesses will have problems and the government will not allow this to happen. As long as you have done your calculations and are not speculating, then you can take advantage of these opportunities.”

Monitor Interest Rates

For investors, home loan interest rates should factor into the buying decision. For example: During the past decade, typical home loan interest hovered around 1.7% (frequently falling to 1.3%). Now consider what happens if an investor uses their Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings to cover such a loan: CPF grows at 2.5%, which means it grows faster than the interest of the loan. It’s almost as if some investors have been borrowing for free.

The home loans market also affects the return on investment. Buy property when the home loans market is at a peak (say 4%), and the capital appreciation of the property gets swallowed by the high interest. For owner occupiers, this isn’t really a factor (you buy when you need to, whatever the home loans market is like). But if you’re thinking investment, look beyond property prices, and weigh in property loans as well.

Make Your Money Work Harder For You

Shrewd investors carefully formulate exit plans: when to sell their property. For example, if today a private property has exceeded its 2007 peak price, investors should seriously consider selling. They should take this opportunity to cash out their profits and they will probably be able to buy more properties. Do not be emotional and just hold on to the property.

Damon Nagel, managing director of property investment advisory firm Ironfish, recommends that investors who adopt a long-term view and strive to build a balanced portfolio will have the most success. Nagel’s three golden rules for investing in property are posted infra:

1. Have a clearly defined strategy

From the outset, adopt a clearly defined strategy and aim to build a portfolio that will meet your objectives. Property investment can be broken down into three distinct phases – growth, consolidation and income realisation – and your objectives will determine the strategy and the types of property in which you choose to invest.

2. Invest where investment is being made

Property in areas where significant infrastructure investment is being made is likely to enjoy strong capital growth and be attractive to renters. “In South Australia, for example, we have hubs where new infrastructure is being built or is earmarked for future investment,” he says. “Look closely at these areas for their long-term potential.”

3. Minimise your time managing your investments

Establishing and managing a property investment or investment portfolio shouldn’t consume all of your time or impinge on your work and social life. “It should be as passive as possible,” Nagel says. “Consider how you get set up your property portfolio in a manner that allows you to almost forget it. This can be achieved by investing in low-maintenance properties and by engaging a competent property manager.”

One final tip? Don’t follow anyone’s advice unless they can walk the walk. “I advise investors to steer clear of advice from people who don’t have their own property investments,”

“The best time to have started building a property investment portfolio was 20 years ago – the second best time is today”.