My Investments: Russell Short, Sheffield-based property entrepreneur

What was your best investment?

Russell Short

Setting up Property Partners 15 years ago, then Home Team to support that business five years ago. Property isn’t the most exciting investment but is a great, stable business.

Are wise investors born or made?

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In my case, I’d say made. Honestly, I was rubbish with money at uni and left in debt, but it’s a learning process.

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

It’s hard to be prudent because the markets have been so volatile. I dabbled on the stock market when Northern Rock shares went rock bottom with a group of investors then the government nationalised them… and goodbye investment.

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

Research, research, research. Know your market, know your product. Then research some more! I made a mess on the stock market as I didn’t understand it.

What is the worst investment you’ve ever made?

Off-plan ski apartments in Bulgaria! I paid the deposit in 2005-6, the build dragged, I made a second payment in 2007 then the project crashed.

What lessons did you learn from your worst investment?

Don’t invest off-plan in a foreign country! But actually, I may do it again in the UK with more research next time.

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

Property is a sound investment strategy.

Are there any sectors you feel should be avoided?

Only avoid a sector if you don’t understand it. I’d give the stock market a wide berth, but it might suit someone else.

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

Be calm, treat staff with respect, don’t be afraid to develop your ideas, keep going.