Are you a saver or a spender?
A bit of both. I live in a nice home. I drive an electric BMW i3 car. I’m not a big spender. People who know me, since my 20s and now, know my lifestyle has never changed. I don’t have private planes or private yachts.
What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learnt about money?
Bamber Stores taught me a lot. I would say to people: “Never stretch yourself. Never borrow more than you know you can pay back. And cash is king; always have enough so you’ve got working capital for your business.”
What are your priorities for the next five to 10 years?
My priority is good health. In 2019 I had pneumonia and was given 24 hours to live. That was in April. In August I had another illness and was in intensive care and virtually died. So I have learnt the value of health. You cannot buy good health.
That’s where you put things into focus and you realise that it’s not all about money. It’s about looking after your health, looking after your family, looking after your friends. That’s what’s important.
Do you also invest in the stock market?
Within my pension fund, yes, I’ve got a portfolio of stocks. I’m a big investor in Marks & Spencer. I’m a big believer that it’s going to come back very strong, because I’m involved in supplying it and dealing with it.
Do you have a financial adviser?
I am the adviser.
What would you change about the financial world?
There should be one currency across the world. This would allow the implementation of a minimum world wage more easily, thus helping to reduce poverty and inequality.
We know that in certain countries people are being used as slaves so that’s one thing that I am very conscious about.
Does money make you happy?
I think money is important to a certain point. We all need money to buy food and to pay our bills. But I don’t let it get to my head where it takes me over. Forty years ago I drove an Aston Martin and I thought I was a playboy.
I think as you get older you realise what’s important in life.
The new series of Dragons’ Den starts on Thursday at 8pm on BBC One