My investments: Chris Oldfield

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What was your best investment?

Building a technically specialist waste machinery company which, after 14 years, became so well-established that I was in a position to sell the majority share to the Austrian manufacturer whose technology we distributed.

Are wise investors born or made?

In every walk of life there will be people willing to take risks. But those who are lucky enough for the first investment risk to pay off, will often grow into wise investors and learn more.

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

For people with cash reserves it is probably easier, as fewer individuals are able to pursue the attractive investment opportunities. However, for the majority, it is undoubtedly tougher, because even a small mistake could prove personally very costly.

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

Cars, boats... you name it. I’ve always been a sucker for boys’ toys, and it still goes on. That’s one lesson I’ve never learned.

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

Have a passion for whatever you are investing in. You will lose interest or patience during

the tougher times, if your heart isn’t in it.

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

Our sector, and the wider recycling industry, has found the recession tough. However, ever-

increasing environmental pressures and businesses’ growing sustainability consciences, mean gradual, yet sustainable growth is now likely.

Are there any sectors you feel should be avoided?

Any that sound as though they’re too good to be true – they probably are!

And, on a personal note, I would avoid any sectors I don’t feel passionate about.