My investments: Patrick Bywater, director of Seneca Investments

What was your best investment?

I’ve had a few really good ones over the years, so it’s hard to say which one was the best. I would narrow it down to three. The first saw us invest in a retailer in the September, double our money by the December, and then sell 18 months later for four times the initial investment. We also consolidated a couple of manufacturing businesses over a three year period and quadrupled the initial investment. My final choice would be the £100 that we invested into an online business three years ago, that is worth £500,000 today and growing by 100 per cent a year.

Are wise investors born or made?

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I meet a lot of people who have been very successful with their investments and you realise that in many cases, they have been lucky. It takes a certain type of person to have that “luck” and I believe that like entrepreneurs, those people are born that way. On the other hand, there are a lot of very professional investment advisors that do a fantastic job for their clients. These people tend to be made by their own determination. Often people equate financial success with it being a wise investment; however, the most successful outcomes tend to be the most risky investments, so you would have to question whether that risk was wise or lucky?

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

Prudent or safe investments have always been difficult, however since the era of low interest rates, the banking crisis, commercial property prices crashing and an under performing residential housing market, prudent or safe investments are definitely harder to come by. That said, a good investor can make a return in all economic climates.

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

Research the market and the investment well.