I'm in a somewhat unique position in that I am nearly 40 with a wife and two kids and decent income, but because of years of non-profit work I do not have any significant investments or savings. However, we also have no significant debt, so our situation is "virgin" in some ways. My wife also works. We are settled in Sydney now, and are ready to stay put and save $5,000 per month. When we hit 100k (well under 2 years) we'd like to make our first major financial move. We're leaning towards conventional wisdom and purchasing our own home (which will cost between 700k-780k) first, then using the equity to invest in property. However, we are not stuck on the idea of having to own our own home. We're thinking more along the lines of wealth. My income is 140k p.a., so negative gearing is a definite option. We're very much open to renting and building wealth with investment properties, but because I already have two school aged children and a job in the Sydney CBD, we're pretty much stuck with a fairly high rent of around $2,500 per month (which is actually really low for our area), that still requires me to commute 1.5 hours each way. According to my (admittedly rough) calculations the cost of rent pretty much outweighs the benefits of owning an IP, even with negative gearing. My wife and I are very new to investment and finance management, but we're really interested in using our income in a smart way to create positive cashflow and capital. I wouldn't say I'm willing to take serious risks at this stage, but I realize that any investment has some form of acceptable risk attached. Obviously we need to speak to a financial advisor, but I'm just curious about what some of you might do if you were in my situation. What would you do?