My Investments: Elizabeth Ward, principal at Virtuoso Legal

What was your best investment?

Elizabeth Ward

A share save scheme in the late 1980s with the pharma company that I worked for. The stock market boomed and we bought shares at a very good price before selling them on.

Are wise investors born or made?

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I’m not sure they’re born as such – they just learn the lessons early in life.

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

I think there are still lots of opportunities for entrepreneurs to make prudent investments. The crash has changed people’s attitudes to investments. Some put their money into art or other tangibles to enjoy, rather than traditional investments.

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

Do your homework on any investment. Also let your head rule your heart.

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

The biggest returns at the moment are technology companies and IT/web-based start-ups. However, you do need to be able to read the runes here. Lots of people have lost money in this sector too. My money has always been in healthcare and pharma as I know the industry well and health never goes out of fashion – it is also largely unaffected by recession.

Are there any sectors you feel should be avoided?

There aren’t any sectors that I would expressly avoid, but we’re back here to putting your money into an area you know about.

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

A lot of business owners don’t know what their costs are, where their profit comes from and don’t forecast or plan the numbers in their business. That’s a big mistake. Find a good accountant and do this exercise with them – and get them back regularly to review it.