The multimillionaire and Business woman Linda Plant wh prefers to invest money in real estate and her own business, is known for grilling candidates on the BBC TV series The Apprentice, told DONNA FERGUSON that she had already written a business course during lockdown and was about to launch her own online business academy and club, she claims she’s too lazy to invest in pensions and has limited exposure to the stock market,
Founding members have the opportunity to ask her questions as well as to have a live session with Linda.
These are some of the questions and answers during one of the interviewing Section.
What did your parents teach you about money?
“Linda said that her parents never taught me anything about money because we had no money at all when we were kids. My father was a tailor and my mother was a part-time secretary. Money is tight.”
We lived in a small house and they took in a Jewish refugee from Germany as a tenant to make ends meet. He stayed with us long after we couldn’t afford a tenant and was a part of my family until the day he died.”
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“I had to learn to be independent since I was a kid because my mom went out to work. I became a key kid at seven and started cooking for myself by eight.
The biggest lesson my parents taught me was good values—whether it was about money, or about life and relationships. I think good values can take you through many aspects of life.”
What Was The First Paid Job You Did?
Selling stockings at a Saturday market stall with my mom when I was ten.
If we had a good day, I’d be paid two shillings and sixpence—that’s 12.5p. But I don’t care about the money, I care about the thrill of selling. Today, I still get the same buzz from doing business.
Have you ever struggled to make ends meet?
No – not an adult. At 12, I encouraged my mother to quit her job as a secretary, borrow money from my grandfather, work six days a week, and sell jewelry and handbags at the market.
When I was 15, I left school and started working full-time in the market – by then we had three stalls and were no longer poor.
I got married at 17. By the time I was 21 and had two kids, our business had grown to 13 stalls.
Then we became a fashion wholesale business. So I never struggled. I have always worked for myself and given my all to the business.
Have you ever received stupid money?
No. I sold my first business for millions of pounds at the age of 29. Then I co-founded an electronics company and sold it in 1988. I was doing fine at the time, and I’ve done fine with property since then, but I’ve never received stupid money as an expense for my time. I only do after dinner talks at charities and it’s free. I think giving back is important.
What was the best year of your financial life?
In 1988, I sold the electronics business. It was a great year. It sold for an eight-figure price, which was a lot more money at the time.
What’s the most expensive thing you bought for fun?
A black organza Chanel dress I bought on a business trip in Paris in the 1980s. I’ve seen it in magazines. It cost £3,500 but is worth £25,000 today. Believe it or not, I still have it and I will never give it up. It has a satin bow and nice big rhinestones. This is awesome. The little old man from an obscure market stall that I could walk into a Chanel in Paris and buy that dress was one of the greatest thrills of my life.
What is your biggest money mistake?
Not investing in entrepreneur John Hargreaves. He was one of my clients and in the 1980s he told me he wanted to expand his company. His new venture, Matalan, requires £250,000. I have money, but I decided to invest it in my own business.
I had dinner with John last year and he reminded me that if I had invested £250,000 in Mataram it would now be worth around £250m. That’s a pretty big mistake.
Best money decision you’ve ever made?
Invest in real estate. My best decision was to buy a large warehouse building in Regent Street, Leeds for £137,000 in the 1980s. Its value rose sharply. I converted it into 360 serviced apartments, sold some of them for a few million pounds and kept the rest. It offers a decent rental income and is now worth a lot: millions of pounds.
Are you saving for a pension or investing in the stock market?
I don’t have a pension and I have limited exposure to the stock market. I mainly invest in real estate because I believe in investing in what I understand and control.
So, what residential properties do you own?
I own two homes: a beautiful three-bedroom apartment right by the sea in Palm Beach, Florida – and a four-bedroom house in central London. It has four floors and was built in 1826. It has spectacular views and is worth millions of pounds.
What is one little luxury you treat yourself with?
I enjoy attending health retreats. I usually go to health and beauty spas in Italy twice a year for luxurious treatments. I came back this year with a weight loss of two kilograms and feeling healthier.
If you were the principal, what would be the first thing you would do?
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I would add VAT on online sales. I think we need to level the playing field for small businesses that are rapidly disappearing from the high street. About 13 million people work in small businesses, and I worry about them during this pandemic.
During lockdown, I’ve written a business course to encourage those who may have been laid off and looking to build their own businesses – and to help existing entrepreneurs who may need some guidance during this difficult time.
I also launched a resume and business plan review service and the Linda Factory Business Blueprint Club. For £20 a month, founder members can join the club and ask me questions.
Once a month, I speak on a variety of business topics. I set the price at £20 a month so everyone can use it. I have gone through three challenging periods in my business career and we are about to enter a fourth. I want people to be able to afford what I offer the