My investments: Entrepreneur and business coach Sarah Shafi

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What was your best investment?

Getting on the property ladder in 2001 before the boom.

Are wise investors born or made?

Possibly both. It has been proven through psychometric testing and personality profiling that some people are definitely born with a natural aptitude for process and systems, and so they can quickly grasp how to make money work for themselves or their business. They can make excellent CFOs as their investments can often be extremely well researched, low risk and ultimately safe.

On the other hand, some of us have learned the hard way…making mistakes, taking big risks, focusing too much on the bigger picture and not the detail. However, certain investments that have the potential for rapid growth can often require a degree of risk taking and not playing safe, so as long as you have learned the lessons, and take good advice, you can make some wise and fruitful investments.

Do you believe it’s become harder for entrepreneurs to make prudent investments since the crash of 2008?

Definitely. Markets have de-stabilised and become extremely unpredictable and we’ve seen shares which we thought safe and secure suddenly plummet beyond recovery.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who are looking to make a major investment?

If entrepreneurs are wanting to invest in developing their own business, the number one focus should be on keeping overheads as low as possible so they can keep their business under control and start to generate profit as quickly as possible.

What lessons did you learn from your worst investment?

That there are very few guarantees of growth. Nothing is totally recession proof, so it is best to seek good advice and research thoroughly before making decisions that could cost you dearly later.

What was the best piece of investment advice you’ve received?

Don’t risk too much money on high risk high reward investments. Successful investing is all about money management and patience.