Are wise investors born or made?
I believe investors are born with a level of natural acumen. What is important is to use that innate acumen and learn from your mistakes in order to make you a better and more rounded investor.
Do you believe it’s become harder for entrepreneurs to make prudent investments since the crash of 2008?
No, I don’t think so at all. Sure, the crash has created a lot of uncertainties for many people, but the ones who have moved forward are the ones who have continued to invest – a deal is a deal, you can still make good investments during recessions. The people who follow their hearts and have the courage to press on continue to succeed.
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who are looking to make a major investment?
Follow your heart. If you have money to invest and have the appetite to set up a business without major investors involved, do it. Just think differently. If you rely on other people’s money, you’ll have a watered down investment. Steer away from VC investment if you can. They will start to control the decisions you make and ‘your’ business will start to be led by them, rather than by you.
What’s the worst investment you’ve ever made?
Getting involved in a property development project by investing about £700,000 and allowing a third party to manage my portfolio, so I was one step removed from what was going on. It was my biggest financial mistake as I had no control of my money once it was in the system.
What lessons did you learn from your worst investment?
The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence and becoming involved in something which you don’t really know much about is not always a good thing. Above all, don’t let your own core business suffer by being distracted.