Entrepreneur homes in on property

Entrepreneur homes in on property

Entrepreneur Raymond Khoo has a refreshingly simple approach to investing - property and nothing else.

The 48-year-old avoids shares and bonds because he is not sure about them, while he sees the monthly mortgage repayments as a form of forced savings.

"When I buy a property, I know there is this amount of mortgage that I have to pay each month. If not, I'd just spend it," he said.

The best advice he has for budding property investors is to make firm friends with agents.

He also gives agents an additional commission.

"Then, at least there is something in it for them when they recommend the best deals to me," he said.

Mr Khoo is the founder and chief executive of Solutions 17, a lifestyle consultancy business for hotels, clubs and food and beverage outlets.

Some of the projects he has worked on involve the Park Regis Hotel, the Singapore Turf Club and the Galaxy Hotel in Macau.

Mr Khoo said his interest in entrepreneurship started when he was a child, when he used to visit his father at the office.

"He was the boss, and I remember thinking that it was such an amazing feeling."

At 21, he would camp out at the bowling alleys in Malaysia owned by his father and brother because he loved to bowl.

That led to his first entrepreneurial venture - a shop selling professional bowling equipment at an alley.

The business, which was financed by his brother, was sold many years ago.

He also ventured into marketing consultancy and, among other things, came up with innovative promotion strategies for nightspots in Malaysia.

Mr Khoo's wife works for financial services firm Visa and they have a five-year-old son.

Q: Are you a spender or saver?

I'm quite a spender rather than a saver. Supporting the economy, as they say.

Other than my mortgages and fixed payments, I don't actually have any savings.

Everything goes back to the business.

Q: How much do you charge to your credit cards every month?

On average, I charge about $8,000 a month to the cards.

I'm not a person who likes to carry around many cards, so I charge everything to one card.

When I go to Tiong Bahru market to buy groceries, even the fishmonger accepts Visa.

I like to use my Insignia card by DBS, because it is almost like having a personal assistant.

You can call them for everything - when your car breaks down, you can call them and they send a replacement car to you.

You can also call them for hotel or yacht reservations.

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