From very humble beginnings and the attitude of a sole trader who sought to prosper others, the $490 million Paladin Group of companies emerged. In 2001 David Hodgson was as a sole-trader and contracting as a finance broker to Aussie Home Loans, the largest finance brokerage in Australia at the time. Since Aussie was pioneering the broking industry in Australia it launched an advertising campaign with the slogan “We’ll save you” (from the banks) to attract new borrowers. Thus, many people from the lower socioeconomic end of town who needed financial salvation responded to the ads, in the hope they could secure finance to buy their dream homes.
A broker is only paid if they actually source a loan for the borrower, and in those days, it needed to be greater than $60,000 to get paid by Aussie. None of the other 12 brokers in the office wanted to deal with these poorer people as it was difficult to get them loans, and the loans were very small.
David collected all of these leads from the other brokers and went out at night to visit these poorer people. His goal was to help to acquire positively geared investment properties in a rising real estate market. This meant that the rent earned by the investment property was higher than the interest paid on the loan to the bank, creating residual income for the new owners.
Because it was a rapidly rising real estate market, these cheaper homes were going up in value and creating equity for the new owners. David taught them how to use the equity to buy another cheap home and repeat the process over and over again.
David did this for several years and was never paid for any of these loans as they were too small. However, his objective was to make sure these poorer people were able to increase their incomes and their asset bases so that they could eventually buy their dream homes. He knew that if he did this for them, they would become his clients for ever, and collectively they would all prosper together.
Over a short period of time David was able to find property and loans for these people until some of them had over 20 investment properties. This meant that they had over 20 new income streams and as the real estate market rose these properties doubled and tripled in value. The poor people became very affluent, and some of them became multi-millionaires in less than 3 years.
In 2003 / 2004 interest rates rose and the residential real estate market slowed. By this time, David had formed Paladin Corporation with the slogan “That All May Prosper”, and it was expanding into commercial property development. Paladin was raising capital to secure the development land.
These newly wealthy people were looking for investments outside of the slowing residential markets and because Paladin had prospered these people through its policy of caring and sharing, they were willing to co-invest and provide the seed capital for the projects. David formed a suit of property trusts to accommodate these people and saw to it that they were given a generous monthly income and shared handsomely in the end profits.
In 2005 Paladin expanded further and diversified into business acquisitions. Once again Paladin sought to raise capital, this time to buy various targeted companies. By this time the investor base had grown significantly via word or mouth as people prospered due to Paladin’s culture of sharing profits with a view to empowering others to trade again and again. Once again the same people provided the funding for the acquisitions.
Over the years 16 years since 2001 Paladin has emerged as a group of companies with assets in excess of $490,000,000. It has interests in the Energy, IT, Water Infrastructure, Telco, Investment Banking, and Health and Fitness sectors. Along the journey, it has deliberately prospered its clients, its trading partners, and by default the community in which it is based.
The directors of Paladin are very well aware that the reason for their success has been the fact that they cared for other people, they shared with other people, and together they have all prospered.