My Investments: Jamie Durham, managing director, Systemwork.

Jamie Durham
Jamie Durham
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What was your best investment?

In relationships, by far. Sitting down and getting to know people properly and sincerely is the key to long business partnerships based on trust.

Are wise investors born or made?

A lucky few are born. They may just have that little bit of magic or get a better start than the rest of us – fair play to them I say. Learning where and where not to invest time is the key to everything.

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

Not necessarily.

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

I started refurbishing an old mill into serviced offices. It was a black hole of a money pit.

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

Don’t use your own money. If it’s a good investment, other people will lend you the money and minimise your exposure.

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

Sectors that nourish everyday necessity. At present, people seemingly spend money on apps, almost daily – they seem almost as essential as food!

Are there any sectors you feel should be avoided?

For the immediate future, oil, mining and financial services.

What lessons did you learn from your worst investment?

The serviced offices debacle was an amazing lesson in research and cost projection. It also taught me to follow my instincts.

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

Baron Rothschild is credited with saying “The time to buy is when there’s blood in the streets.”