Investments  

‘Even at night I’d be on the computer or phone checking’

There are people who like their job, and then there are those who love their job.

Colin Morton, investment director and UK equity manager at Franklin Templeton Invest­ments, clearly falls into the latter category.

So much so that he freely admits to being a “bit sad” and checking the markets in the evening, as well as catching up on results and work while on holiday.

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He says: “The great thing about this job is the flexibility. There isn’t a set timetable where you always have to be in at 7am and stay till 9pm.

“The other side is – and it’s not because you have to do it, but you want to do it – is that when you’re on holiday or doing things it’s very difficult to say I’m not going to look at that for a week. That would be more stressful than checking all the time.”

He argues that not knowing anything that is going on would mean too much catching up on what results had been missed, and any industry activity.

“The fact you have the ability now with Blackberries and iPhones and other technology to see what has been happening... I’d much rather do that and catch up,” he says.

“It is quite sad. Even at night I’d be on the computer or phone checking, but I actually enjoy doing it.”

Although fund management was not always Mr Morton’s dream job, his first role as a trainee stockbroker at Wise Speke, in Newcastle, sparked his interest and sowed the seeds for his future career.

“Really early on I realised it was something that did interest me. I started very junior, but even then I was trying to put together my own portfolio,” he recalls.

“A few of the guys I worked with and I would do a lot of research on these companies. It was obviously pre-internet, so we’d look at newspapers and things called Extel cards, which told you all you needed to know about the company. And what I tended to get involved in was really quite small companies.”

He adds: “Obviously, when you don’t have much money and you’re trying to have a bit of fun when you’re younger, you don’t want to be buying big blue-chip companies. You want to have a bit more fun with the smaller companies and that’s really how I got into it. It was a bit of a bug after that and it is just something I’ve done ever since.”

In his 30-year career, Mr Morton has always stuck to the UK and has no ambitions to move into a different region, noting that his background and mentors at his first job made UK equity investing the natural choice.