The Power of Leverage

I am sure you are aware of the concept of compound interest. This is the concept that banks tell you about when they explain how your money will grow exponentially over time. You make a deposit at the bank. You then leave your original investment plus your interest alone. In time the interest earned on the interest of your original investment makes your return grow like wildfire.  Easy as pie.

Well, the same concept holds true for any leveraged real estate investment.

The truth is if you paid all cash (without the benefit of getting a loan) the return you will get on real estate would not be much higher than you would get on most any other type of investment. With real estate, however, it is not only common, but really, usually necessary to use leverage to buy properties. That is, you put a reasonable amount of money down and then you finance the balance, just as your wife is suggesting you do.

The key is this: The ability to use leverage with real estate significantly increases the percentage of profit you can make, and just as importantly, it allows you to purchase a significantly larger investments than you normally would have been able to.  

Let us say that you buy that duplex with $100,000 of cash outright. If so, your cash flow might look this:



Property price           $100,000 investment

Gross income             $14,000

– Expenses               -$4,000
Net cash flow            $10,000

Your profit as a percentage of your investment would be calculated using the following formula:

Net income
______________ = % return

Therefore, your profit would be

$ 10,000
_____________ = 10% return
$ 100,000

Ten percent on your money is pretty good, right?  Sure it is, especially if you are used to the return you get from your savings account.  But now let’s use the power of leverage and try this again.

This time we will put just 10 percent down and borrow the remaining 90 percent of the purchase price.  As an example, let us say that the loan on the property is 5%. Using these facts the loan costs $483.00 per month.  Your cash flow on the building is now:

Gross income             $14,000

Expenses                 -$4,000

Mortgage payment           – $5,796
Net cash flow             $4,204

Okay, you will see that compared to buying the property outright that your cash flow drops from $10,000 per year to $4,204. At first glance this does not seem so good – sure, that is true, that is until you examine what that means in terms of a percentage return on your investment.

Because your down payment was not the whopping $100,000 you would have had to put down by paying all cash, but instead is only  $10,000, the return now looks like this

Net income
_______________ = % return


____________ = 42% return

Yes, that number is correct, sir – 42%.

Think about it; if you were to do it this way you could buy ten of these properties with the same $100,000.  If so your annual cash flow would be $42,040, and that’s a number you cannot scoff at.

When you combine the power of leverage with compound interest, we know from both experience and basic math that you can make phenomenal returns.

Now add mortgage Pay down to the mix and you get a very powerful tool to create wealth



David Giovanniello is the Author of the book: "The Warren Buffett Approach to Sell Real Estate and also Founder & Host of North London Advice Givers™ Podcast and Editor-in-Chief of North London Advice Givers™ Magazine—a monthly print-publication, featuring London experts, entrepreneurs and thought-leaders. He is also, CEO of North London's Teacher Only Program® and is a licensed real estate agent with Century 21 First Canadian Corp. Brokerage. David has been called "provocative and entertaining," but also, "a committed philanthropist." He is praised for his Mission to raise/donate over $10,000 to local and Teacher-related charities each year. David also supports many great national charities too, such as: United Way London & Middlesex, Muscular Dystrophy, Canadian Red Cross, MADD: Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Jr. Mustangs Hockey Team Sponsor. Plus, with his "Free Book 4 Charity" campaign, he hopes to raise another $25,000 annually from the $5 (minimum) donations, of paying it forward., visit:  



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David Giovanniello

David Giovanniello

Sales Representative
CENTURY 21 First Canadian Corp., Brokerage*
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