Today, we are excited to launch a three-part Q&A with Dr Johnny Hon, Chairman of The Global Group, UK Investor Show’s fantastic headline partner. Over the coming months, via these 21 questions, you will get an insight into Dr Hon’s thoughts on everything from the British Investment Market, Sustainable Investing, and the importance of ‘seed funding’ for start-ups. This is a series not to be missed, so keep an eye on our website and social channels for when the next will be released. All that leaves us to say is, enjoy part 1 of this insightful Q&A.

1. What most interests you about the British Investment Market?
The British Investment Market has undergone a drastic change in the past year due to Brexit and Coronavirus threats, however vast opportunity and interest remains. Regional legislative changes and reliance on technology has become a new trend in the British Investment Market opening up more Fintech and other innovative investments and using the block chain business strategies. I closely watch and remain highly interested in luxurious assets, such as racehorses and artworks, which can be easily owned by the general public by way of tokenization of assets. Tokenization with an investor protection regime will also promote a new era of investment.

2. In your opinion, what strategies would you advise private investors to implement when investing large sums of money?
We understand that most investors adopt a risk management approach in respect of their investment decisions, especially those who deal with large sums of money. Based on past experience, we suggest that it is best to diversify investment risk by investing in various sectors and sizes of firms, from entertainment to technology and so on. We advise potential investors to conduct research on new industries and markets, and to invest in stages or cycle instalments. This ensures that the target company utilises the funds as proposed and investors are at liberty to decide whether or not to continue with the investment.

Dr Johnny Hon presenting at The Global Group UK Investor Show 2019

3. What are the key skills that new private investors need when setting off on their investment journey?
I find that investors who are passionate about the investment arena, who embrace change and are excited to learn new industries, are the ones that find not only success but gain a lot of pleasure out of their investment portfolio. Our method to success is to keep exploring and learning about new up and coming industries, such as fintech, AI and biotechnology, and then grab the opportunity to invest in them. At Global, we tend to learn from traditional industries but help them to develop and grow by implementing new technology elements. As investors, we must be educated in our preferred investment industry and be ready to bring innovative solutions to even further enhance the opportunities in front of us.

4. What is your view on sustainable investing?
Sustainable investing continues to rise and more than ever investors are compelled to put their money
into sustainable investments that not only capture financial returns but also align with their personal values. I am very pleased to see this trend and support it entirely. Global Group has always been a company with a goal to give back and we direct our business ventures towards opportunities that do good for the world and society as much as possible. Socially responsible business practices are already reflecting a very positive impact on the environment and society, and I am pleased to embrace the opportunity to make a positive imprint on the world.

5. Which emerging economies excite you the most?
With so many opportunities yet to be found, Dubai’s economy has been the most exciting market that I look forward to exploring more this coming year. As known by many, the Dubai government entity has decided to launch the Crypto Valley which is to include a variety of services for early-stage startups, co-working facilities, and so on. This launch will present a very important opportunity for investors around the world and will be able to benefit the country’s economy with a range of features. For example, Crypto Valley creates a tax-free zone that offers 0% personal and corporate income tax. While this already sounds very exciting, this launch is approved by the Dubai government with a further usage of its own blockchain-based cryptocurrency, ‘EmCash’. This zone will include a variety of services to help early startups such as funding and mentoring among others. If the launch is successful, this would further benefit Dubai’s economy as the increase of successful startup businesses would also reflect in an increase of the country’s GDP. In short, it would benefit Dubai’s economy in the long term. The potential of this launch is endless. This is very exciting news and I can’t wait to see the opportunity that it will present, not to mention how this launch will contribute to the further growth of Dubai’s economy.

Dr Johnny Hon striding into the 2019 Global Group UK Investor Show

6. Do you still consider oil and gas a viable investment option or should investors move further towards newer technologies?
Fossil fuels remain essential to modern lives, albeit with diminished importance. Yet, impact investing has gradually taken the reins in the financial world with hundreds of millions of investor funds pulled out from carbon-heavy companies. As market sentiment tends towards fossil fuel divestment, especially in times of coronavirus, the plunge in demand has and will continue to exert downward pressure on industry stock prices. We, being a value-seeker in the private equity market, invest in the future and the betterment of our generation, and we would therefore recommend investing in newer technologies within the clean energy sector of which profit margin and long-term return will likely be higher.

7. What are your thoughts and tips for investing in cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is a growing trend for exchanging goods and services. Unlike traditional bitcoin that could fluctuate and have a higher security risk, cryptocurrency is used to tokenise certain assets, such real estates. Potential investors could buy these tokens and act as a tool of investment on that certain asset.

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