Often, friends and clients will ask us about strategies and ideas around their investing. That’s great, because that’s what we’re here for. But, of course, there’s rarely a one-size-fits-all answer. Everyone has their own different goals, and their own different style.

And, their own SANF.

It’s a term that I first came across on the Somersoft Property Investment forum, about six or seven years ago. It stands for Sleep At Night Factor; a concept that measures in a practical sense the level of risk that you’re comfortable with. Ie, how well you can sleep at night with a given set of circumstances.

Those circumstances, for you, may come in the form of high LVR’s; or being negatively geared; or holding interstate properties; or renting to students; or buying five properties in a year; or any other scenario that has the potential to make you (or your partner!) just a little too nervous. With shares, for example, it may refer to using margin loans or CFD’s.

To me, this is perhaps the single most important concept to be aware of, especially when starting out. There is a lot to be said about pushing your boundaries and expanding your comfort zone, certainly, but not to the point where it becomes hard to sleep at night. Getting stressed about creating wealth just seems kinda counter-productive, y’know?