Yorkshire Post – My Investments Q&A

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Founding director of The Bigger Boat, and shareholding director of Digital High Street

  • What was your best investment?

Pretty sure my wife would say her engagement ring!  That aside, setting up and growing my first business.

  • Are wise investors born or made?

Successful investors possess certain traits, but much is learned on the job. A wise investor is someone who listens to expert advice, calculates risk, and avoids making the same mistake twice.

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

In businesses, no. Look at the huge popularity of crowdfunding websites – there are tons of opportunities needing investment.

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

A business that needed both money and expertise – I couldn’t give both and it suffered as a result.

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

Be clear on your role, responsibilities and ambitions.

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

Digital businesses and technology companies are still selling for decent multiples. Investing in start-ups is very risky, but it also comes with the potential for a better return.

  • Are there any sectors you feel should be avoided?

All the ones that you don’t know anything about!

  • What lessons did you learn from your worst investment?

Define what you want out of it. If you’re going on to a board as part of the investment you need to input time and expertise, as well as money.

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

Don’t fixate on % shareholding; look at your overall value. If a business needs more money to grow than you can provide, then diluting down is not always a bad thing.  

Posted by Dave Learmont on February 27, 2017