Author Interview: Peter J How

Peter J How is the author of All About Buy-to-let Mortgages, the chart-topping book for prospective or current landlords looking to maximise their advantage when borrowing to finance their property portfolio.

All About Buy-to-let Mortgages is ranked #3 on my ranking of the 5 best mortgage books. I reached out to Peter after the ranking was compiled, to understand more about him as an author and an investor.

This is the most recent in our author interview series that we’ve published, celebrating authors who have penned the books which landed top spots in our best property investment book pages.

I’m delighted to announce that Peter kindly wrote back, so I have an interview which I’m able to share with visitors below.

Interview with Peter J How

Please could you tell us a little about your professional background and why you felt inspired to write the book?

Peter: My professional background is in fact as an electrical engineer in the manufacturing industry. I worked in that area since leaving school and went to university for 4 years to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering. That was followed by a Masters in Manufacturing and Management a few years later, when I could do that on a part-time basis whilst still working in industry.

However, just over 15 years ago, I decided to move into residential property investing as a side-line and to scratch an itch I had about residential property investing. From that point onwards I became involved in property and ran the two professions side by side.

I was inspired to write the book simply because I had learned a lot about how to expertly use buy-to-let finance over the years and how to use just bank money to buy property. I didn’t have a lot of money in my own bank account when I first started out investing, so I had not option really.

In effect, I learned about No Money Down (none of my money down) property investing by experimentation and asking questions. There were not so many property courses available back then, and the ones I did attend did not teach me much more than I had already learned myself.

Considering myself and expert in this area, I wanted to share what I had learned with future budding investors. I also saw that there was no single book that dealt with property investing using BTL mortgages from the point of view of an investor.

This title is a guide suitable for beginners. What drove you to write such a comprehensive guide compared to a more specialist title?

Peter: The title might not be the best title, but it is the one I went for as I felt it describes a book that covers the topic of BTL mortgages quite comprehensively… All About Buy-to-Let Mortgages.

It contains details you simply will not find anywhere else, but you might find out after many years of property investing. By that time, in order to learn the same things as I teach in the book, you will have made many mistakes that will have cost you a lot money.

I would disagree that it is just for beginners actually. Although it serves beginners very well, there is also enough detail to teach anyone who has been in property investing quite some years a profitable thing or too.

In the course of researching and writing your book – did you come across anything that surprised you?

Peter: It might sound a little big-headed of me to say this, but I surprised myself with the amount of information I had picked up over the years of investing. The challenge I had was to put it in a logical order and in a way that would keep the interest of the reader.

Mortgages might not sound the most exciting topic, but when you think of it as effectively ‘free money’, it should be!

I only had to do research in a sense to check my understanding of some areas, but that was just because I did not want to publish any incorrect or misleading information. The whole structure and detail came straight from my head, from real-life investing experience.

For budding financial writers, what is the one piece of advice would you give to those writing to educate beginners about investing?

Peter: Don’t assume they know the jargon, but introduce and explain the jargon as they will need to use it to communicate with financial professionals. I would make sure that all the fundamental concepts are covered as well so that you provide a solid foundation for them to build their knowledge upon in future.

And finally, I like to ask all authors; when saving and investing your own money, what is your preferred investing style?

Peter: I am a risk-taker. I prefer to look at things that others might not consider. I don’t want to be reckless of course, but I think if you invest in a conservative way, you can expect conservative results.

You only have one life, so try to make it count and achieve something you can be proud of. If you fail in what you tried to do, learn from it and apply to the next investment. Always try to use lessons from past failures to give you more profit opportunity on future ventures.

You will read in my latest book (UK Property Investment: The Toxic Truth!) how I took some considerable investing risks that did not pay off. However, the latest update on that is I am using the lessons from that experience and profiting in a way I would not have done, if I had not taken the risks in the first place.

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