Chris de Mellow: «Never Give Up! Persistence Leads to Success»

Chris de Mellow: «Never Give Up! Persistence Leads to Success»

Chris de Mellow about the importance of financial literacy for children, the necessity of understanding one's financial goals, the risks in the current investment climate, dreams, and what motivates him.


Chris de Mellow

  • Founder of de Mellow & Co, a company that has been providing a full range of financial planning services for 34 years;
  • A person with incredible passion for his work, constantly learning, teaching, and sharing his own experiences;
  • A great example of work-life balance, and a passionate enthusiast of cricket and golf.


Chris, how did the idea to establish the company de Mellow & Co originate?

It originated in 1990 when I was working for another organisation. I'd always wanted to set up my own business and there was an opportunity so to do and so I took the plunge.


What were the biggest challenges you faced at the beginning of your journey?

Gaining new clients. It takes a while so the first couple of years are really hard but once you get the ball rolling and the momentum it was much easier after that.



What are the main risks or challenges you see in today's investment climate?

Today's investment climate is no different to any other. There are always geopolitical events that will cause market shocks. We don't know what those are going to be. So my simple advice to clients is stay invested, stuff will happen, look at your goals in the long term.


What personal and professional qualities are important to consider when choosing a financial advisor?

So the most important quality with a financial advisor is empathy. Without empathy, they're not going to be able to do their job. So make sure they're interested in you as opposed to themselves.


I think that after 34 years of practice, you have a very close and warm relationship with many of your clients because you know everything about them, and most of them rightfully consider you part of their family.

The way I look at it is: «Friends become clients, clients become friends».



Why is it important to understand one's financial goals, and what steps can be taken to achieve them?

We believe that financial goals are a building block, a starting point. If a client does not understand where they are going and what they are trying to achieve, they will not be able to put together an investment portfolio to achieve that goal.

So, it's the goals that determine how they're going to invest, how much they're going to invest and how long they're going to invest.

Set the goals first, create a plan, and then the investment components to achieve that plan.


From your perspective, at what age should children start learning about financial literacy, and how?

If I was Secretary of State for Education, I would focus on the early years, embed it within the curriculum. Key topics such as how investing works and the power of compounding over time would be great within our curriculum.


Have you already started teaching your grandchildren financial literacy?

I intend to, whether they like it or not)


Do you think it's a good idea to pay your children money for doing well in school or helping around the house, cleaning the car and so on?

Money is a good motivation for children, but it is important to be guided by the specific case and the child's interests.

The most important thing is how they use the money afterwards. Obviously, they will spend some of it, but they also need to understand the importance of saving for the future, for example, when they want to buy a house or a car. Or Alona as in your case, a Porsche 911.


Are there any particular aspects or circumstances you would like to emphasize for parents to understand the importance of investing for future generations?

My advice to all parents considering investing for their children is purchasing power. If it's just left in a bank, the purchasing power of that money will be eroded by inflation, so the only way you can maintain the purchasing power of money is by investing.

Three basic tips for dealing with money.

A good one is earn it, keep it, grow it! Earn it in the first place, set aside some money for your future, invest it.


What do you dream about?

One day taking my whole team to visit your wonderful country.


What's the motivation now for you? What makes you feel happy?

Family - seeing my grandchildren grow and prosper, that gives me real joy. Also, seeing young people join the business and learn and develop and enjoy their success.


If a book or a film were to be written about you and you were asked for your advice on the title. What would you call it?

«The Trier». Never Give Up! Persistence Leads to Success.



P.S: The conversation was supposed to be about investing and money, but as always, it turned out to be about life.

I have been living in the UK for two years now and have been contemplating for a long time whether to start writing about people and businesses that interest me here.

I have always said, "I do all my projects because I simply can't not do them," and then I saw a quote by Dennis Waitley: "The real risk is doing nothing."

So, more to come...


With love, Alwaysbusymama