First address by Mellon in Scotland

Investment guru Mellon forecasts end of eurozone

Jim MellonItaly and France will be the next countries to suffer monetary crises which will lead to the break up of the eurozone, according to one of the world’s foremost investors.

Scots-born Jim Mellon (pictured), once described as Britain’s answer to Warren Buffet, today gave his verdict on world economies and future technologies at a presentation in Edinburgh – his first on home soil.

Addressing an audience of investors, wealth managers and business angels, he forecast the end of the eurozone “as we know it”.

He warned against investing with the herd and said he was now getting keen on Greece, Japan and was close to becoming interested in China. He noted that investing in the world’s second biggest economy now would be a much wiser move than at its peak in the spring since when its stock markets have tumbled.

“The next two big countries to have problems will be Italy and France and they will lead to the break up of the eurozone as we know it today. At some point the eurozone will fracture,” he said.

In a no-holds-barred critique, delivered at the New Club in Edinburgh, he blasted a number of companies and products.

“The Apple Watch is an absolute load of rubbish. I spent £700 and I just look at it and wonder why I bought it.

“LinkedIn is the biggest waste of time. It is clunky and useless.”

Mr Mellon, who is listed in the Sunday Times Rich List, was a guest of long-time friend Alan Steel of Alan Steel Asset Management who credited him with being “one of the cleverest men I know”.

Mr Mellon listed a number of technological changes he expects will transform the way we live and therefore have an impact on investment opportunities over the next 10 to 20 years.

These included the advance of robots in everything from housebuilding to fast food outlets.

“People will no longer work in McDonalds, the customers will be served by robots. They do not require health insurance, suffer colds or take maternity leave. Robots bring down the cost of production.

“They will also build houses and they will reduce the time taken from 12 months to 12 weeks.”

He said driverless cars would put car park managers and taxi drivers out of business, but the biggest change would be brought about by life sciences. People would live to be 150 partly because of advances in health care.

Diseases such as Aids and hepatitis were already being managed and cancer would change from being a death sentence to be a chronic condition. All of these things presented a glimpse of the future for investors.

“You will have to make your money last longer and curate it better,” he said.


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