A long standing friend of Douglas for over 20 years, Roger had followed his progress but had always remained sceptical. A couple of years ago, they met for a social lunch. Roger was excited. His engineering company had been doing very well, and he told Douglas that he was “going to invest in two new machines within the next few months”. This implied a significant capital investment, but as Roger said, he had “some long-standing regular clients and business was booming”.
Much to Roger’s surprise, Douglas told him not to buy two machines, but only one, as there was going to be a downturn in his business and he would lose clients. As he drove away, Roger was torn.
After all, he knew the figures, he could see the trends and he also knew his business better than Douglas. On the other hand, he knew Douglas and the accuracy of his predictions. After much consideration, he invested in only one machine. A few months later, at the end of the year, one of his major clients told him that they would not be renewing their contract because of corporate cutbacks and, during the first quarter of the following year, a failing economy meant the loss of several other clients. By his timely warning, Douglas had saved him thousands of pounds.