Shares Vs Property – The Great Investing Debate

So you’ve saved up your pennies and are looking to get into investing – you feel the timing is right, the market is doing better and you’ve got some capital to invest. The only question is, what should you invest in, shares or property? The answer probably won’t surprise you – it depends. Read on to get a breakdown on each option.

Shares

Shares have a number of features that make it highly attractive investment choice, namely liquidity and speed. Broadly speaking, there are 2 ways to make money from shares – dividends and capital gains. If you are looking for a more long term and stable return from your investment in shares, then your best bet would be to invest in a solid company that pays dividends to its shareholders.

If you are looking to make (potentially) quick capital gains from your investment (and don’t mind keeping a keen eye on things) then you might look at investing in smaller companies with a bit more volatility.

Property

Property is the backbone of many a millionaire’s fortune – and when land is one of the few things that “They” aren’t making anymore, it makes sense that property will always be at least a consideration when it comes to investing.

Australia’s real estate prices have been relatively resistant to the GFC, particularly in comparison to other countries, such as the US. Like shares, there are two basic ways to make money from investing in real estate – rent and capital gains.

Many people opt for the capital gains option, as it requires a fairly large deposit to positively gear a property (positive gearing is when the expenses of the property are smaller than the rental income).

This is called negative gearing. One advantage to negative gearing is that the loss from your property can offset tax from other incomes. Needless to say, investing in property isn’t a short term strategy, but should be fitted in with your long term investment goals.

So what investment should you go with? That depends on what you want to achieve and what you feel comfortable with. A lot of people don’t want to deal with the tenants, broken toilets, etc, of property, but others want to see what they’ve actually invested in. Seek the help of a professional financial adviser, who will guide you in the right direction.

By   Robert Peters