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The Reluctant Property Investor

Niraj Shah, a relative newcomer to property investment talks with the PIN editor Richard Bowser

I first met up with Niraj Shah at a London property event, just under three years ago. At that point he had yet to purchase any investment property but since then he has made some very positive investments and is now doing some decent sized development projects.

I asked Niraj about his career experience prior to our first meeting in 2012.

"I spent nearly 10 years in the recruitment industry," he replies, "mostly headhunting mid to senior traders on behalf of global investment banks, whilst investing in stocks and shares in my spare time.

"Recruitment taught me all about creating revenue from scratch, business ethics (I was lucky to mostly work for firms who had them!), managing people and building businesses. I also transacted a lot of business in Asia, travelling there regularly and living in Hong Kong for a while. It was very lucrative and fun work."

What sort of funds did you start out with? "My investment experience started in 1998 with £1,000 left from my first year university student loan, which I invested in shares. Over the 16 years since I've constantly added more funds and returns to that pot, made some mistakes and learned how to successfully invest. Now I hold strong investments in a handful of businesses and occasionally put capital into a high growth firm or start-up."

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