My investments: Di Burton

What was your best investment?

Buying two office buildings. My business occupies a Victorian building in central Harrogate and the other office is just off the M62 motorway junction with the M1. The return on these investments has been better than any pension.

Are wise investors born or made?

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Made. However it’s vital to stay vigilant with your investment marketplace and track trends and issues.

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

Yes – we now live in a VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) - all certainties have gone.

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

Don’t invest if you can’t touch it, smell it or see it.

What’s the worst investment you’ve ever made?

Investing in a Ukrainian gas field in mid 2006. I knew that gas and energy would be a growth sector, but I underestimated the political volatility of the region.

Which sectors are most likely to offer handsome returns for business investors?

In this country it’s property. Demand always outstrips supply

Are there any sectors you feel should be avoided?

Ukrainian gas fields

What lessons did you learn from your worst investment?

Don’t trust other people’s advice, no matter who they are. Go with your own instinct.

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

To put all my profits back into my business. We’ve never made a loss in 27 years of trading, and we have a healthy bank balance.

* Are you a Yorkshire-based entrepreneur who is willing to share what you’ve learned from making investments during tough times?

Please provide brief answers to these questions, and email them, with a head and shoulders photograph, to Business Editor Bernard Ginns ([email protected]) and Deputy Business Editor Greg Wright ([email protected]). We will consider your submission for inclusion in our investments column.