ISSUE FOUR | DECEMBER/JANUARY 2013
MAKE IT • SPEND IT • LIVE IT
Stake & CHIPS How London is taking centre stage as the new tech capital of the world
PLUS Yo!Home and the evolution of property development… Equity markets and the US election… Olympic sports memorabilia
editor’s letter DEAR Reader, As we come to the end of the year thoughts inevitably turn to two particular subjects of note, namely personal highlights of 2012 and New Year’s resolutions for 2013. We’ve kicked ideas back and forth across the MoneyMaker office for weeks, but thankfully I’ve finally managed to settle on how I will be looking back at this year, so that we can concentrate on looking forward as the annum draws to a close. Top of my list of achievements for this year has to be the launch of MoneyMaker itself. Many months of planning and preparation had gone into the project before we launched six months ago, and the realisation of the magazine is testament to that hard work. Like all new ventures, the many years of success we have ahead of us are now possible because of the solid foundations the team here has built, and that’s something I feel we can be proud of. Now is yet another time that I would like to say a personal thank you to everybody who has committed wholeheartedly to the development of the MoneyMaker brand. It has been a true team effort. As a fanatical sports fan, most of my highlights away from the office have been on the sports field. An England win over the All Blacks at Twickenham just last week was the icing on the cake that was a once in a lifetime year for British sport, with too many heroic achievements to name. Europe’s stunning comeback to overhaul a massive American lead on the final day of the Ryder Cup is my moment of the year, but with so many to choose from it would difficult to argue against any of a dozen victories being the greatest of 2012. But as I said, the time for looking back is coming to a close. Rather than dwelling on what has been and gone, it’s what is on the horizon that really excites me. We’re introducing some great new features and columnists who can’t wait to share their knowledge, experience, expertise and insight with our MoneyMaker readers in 2013. We’re keeping things under wraps for now, but be sure to check the website and our Twitter feed (@wearemoneymaker) for updates before the February issue. We’ll also be hosting a number of MoneyMaker live events for the first time throughout the year, so watch this space for news on how to join in with those also. So that’s what I’m looking forward to, but I hope that right now you’re looking forward to getting to grips with yet another great issue of MoneyMaker. I hope you enjoy the issue, and have a fantastic Christmas and New Year.
Best wishes Alex Hammond Editor in Chief, MoneyMaker Magazine
Editor in Chief Alex Hammond Managing Editor Mark Southern Associate Editor Lisa Curtiss Features Writers Phil Green Jo Franks Natasha Heard Alessio Rastani David Murray-Hundley Contributors Louise Hinchen Simon Smith Michael Derks Lisa Best Chris Smith Quintessentially Wine Michael Hewson Colin Cieszynski Estella Shardlow Robbie Canale James Fenn Hannah Petley Art Director IF Design & Art Direction Videography Adrian Butterworth Photography Simon Jessop Head of Sales Eve Hartridge firstname.lastname@example.org Marketing & PR Polygon PR Research Analysis Simon Wiltshire
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contents DEC/JAN 2013 UPFRONT 8 10
News In Brief Book Club
Entrepreneur 12 18 20 24 26 32
Simon Woodruffe Tech City Silicon Valley in the UK Business Planning Dream Chaser Music Indutry
GIVE BACK 36 Wings of Kilimanjaro
Trading 40 44 46 48
Trading psychology Alessio Rastani Equities Forex
Assets 50 52 56
Wine Sports Memrobelia Iconic Cars
Lifestyle 60 Egypt 64 Weekend 66 Golferâ€™s Guide 68 Spa 70 Experience
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Send in your stories: Got a story MoneyMaker should be reporting on? Contact us at www.moneymaker magazine.co.uk
News in Brief what we’re talking about right now
Mercedes-Benz Style’s First ‘Silver Arrows’ Motor Yacht “The new yacht, styled by mercedesbenz designers, is expected to hit the market some time in 2013” 08 | MONEYMAKER MAGAZINE
More than 125 years after Gottlieb Daimler built the first motorised boat and cruised up the River Neckar, Mercedes-Benz Style and Silver Arrows Marine have created designs for a new, exlusive, luxury motor yacht. The 14-metre-long seagoing Granturismo combines design elements typical of Mercedes-Benz automobiles with innovations hitherto unknown in the boat industry. The result is a super stylish luxury yacht displaying all the classic design work of Mercedes-Benz. The new yacht, styled by Mercedes-Benz designers, is being engineered by the project partner, Silver Arrows Marine, and is expected to hit the market some time in 2013. Mercedes-Benz Style and Silver Arrows
Marine have been working closely together to implement the designers’ interior and exterior style concepts in line with their ultimate engineering specifications. Silver Arrows Marine will also be responsible for the boat’s technical equipment and construction, with the first yacht expected to be launched within a year of the presentation of its design. On the design collaboration, Silver Arrows Marine Chairman Ron Gibbs said: “It has been a privilege to work with professionals as passionate about design as we are passionate about boats and the sea. I am confident that together we can deliver innovation and elegance in a motor yacht that changes the way people see boats in this class.”
Global wealthy keep London firmly in their sights
Retail forex trading up 6% in 2012 The latest annual research from Investment Trends into UK retail trading markets has shown a substantial growth of 6% in the number of retail forex traders. The study, the most comprehensive retail trading markets survey ever performed, also showed financial spread betting growth had also risen to 92,000 traders in the UK, and CFD traders also increased to 25,000. IG continued to display dominance over the retail trading market, increasing its spread betting market share of primary account provision from 41% in 2011 to 44% in 2012. IG also has the largest CFD traders market share at 32%, up from 24%
in 2011. IG’s chief executive Tim Howkins reacted positively to the news that the retail trading market is expanding, but stressed that education and understanding of how markets function are as important as important to the industry as the number of traders. Howkins said While the figures are pleasing there is still plenty of work for the industry to do to encourage more retail customers to trade derivatives sensibly and profitably, saying “here at IG we offer a comprehensive range of trading tools and resources to help both the experienced trader and the novice alike.”
House of Krug Treasures Auction Sotheby’s is holding a sale of ‘Finest and Rarest Wine Featuring Treasures Direct from the House of Krug’ on 1 December 2012 in New York. This selection of Champagnes has never previously left Krug’s cellars in Reims, where all the wines have been stored since production, and is the largest auction offering direct from Krug since it was founded in 1843. The once in a lifetime sale spans nearly 40 years of Krug with Champagne from legendary vintages such as 1961, 1979 and 1982. Among the highlights from the sale are four examples of the Krug Grande Cuvée never before released: Finesse, Savoir-Faire, Richesse, and Mémoire. These wines have remained in the cellars at Krug post disgorgement, and have only been available during private tastings at Krug’s cellar in Reims. Also not to be missed is an extremely rare case of 1990 Krug Clos du Mesnil,
expected to fetch $18,000-25,000. Overall the Krug lots in the sale are estimated to fetch $350,000 -500,000. Serena Sutcliffe MW, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine Department said: “Krug is the Rolls Royce of all champagnes and we are honoured to bring to auction this remarkable library of their finest wines and vintages. The depth and profundity of Krug are legendary and this is an unsurpassed opportunity to enter this cellar of treasures and acquire rarities of perfect composition and maturity. Krug Champagnes possess extraordinary intensity and class, the result of noble vineyards, unique cellar methods and brilliant blending, honed by long experience. We are the beneficiaries of such great art.” The sale will include over 530 bottles of Krug in bottle sizes ranging from 750ml bottles to 3 litre Jeroboams.
57 per cent of overseas highnet-worth individuals (HNWI) name London real estate as their top target investment class, an international private capital survey has revealed. Global appetite for both London residential and commercial real estate assets has seen an upturn in the last 12 months, with overseas investors (both institutional and individual) contributing almost 90 per cent in recent commercial asset transactions. 71 per cent of HNWI surveyed said they were planning investment activity in the next three to six months in their first choice target city. And at over two-thirds higher than last year, investors stated that the target city will be outside their domestic market. Well-seasoned Middle Eastern investors interviewed identified London as their first choice city. In particular, HNWI from Dubai and Manama (Bahrain) were continuing to look at prime Central London residences as the obvious target location. Growing demand pressure on this scarce asset class is sure to drive value up further. 57 per cent of HNWI surveyed cited strong capital growth as the primary appeal; as the rapid recovery of Central London property from the impact of the global credit crunch is a key factor influencing investment decisions.
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All three books from featured in this month’s Traders Book Club can be found at www.harrimanhouse.com
MoneyMaker’s answer to Oprah
Initial Public Offerings: The mechanics and performance of IPOs By Arif Khurshed
n An initial public offering (IPO) – the occasion when a firm’s shares are issued to the public for the first time – is one of the most exciting events in the life of a company, providing new opportunities for the business, its managers, and for investors. IPOs have considerable appeal since they allow investors to buy shares in exciting new companies as they make their debut on the stock exchange. In addition, there is the lure of making potentially high returns in a relatively short period of time, as quite often on the first day of trading the share price of these companies closes much higher than the price at which the shares were offered to investors in the IPO. Initial Public Offerings by Arif Khurshed is an enlightening guide that will help all those interested in the workings of the financial markets in their quest to understand IPO companies. Khurshed states that his main purpose with the book is to provide information on the mechanics and performance of IPOs; he achieves this well. Readers will find information on many fundamental IPO matters, including the different methods of flotation, how IPOs are priced, and the performance of IPOs in the short and long term. The book also provides some information related to investing in the IPO market, including where to find out about IPO companies and how an IPO prospectus is structured. This is a well-written and thoughtprovoking study of a fascinating investment area. If you are an academic, finance professional or serious investor looking to broaden your knowledge of stock market flotations then you will find Initial Public Offerings to be an indispensable guide.
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“Readers will find information on many fundamental ipo matters, including the different methods of flotation and how ipos are prices”
Winning spread betting strategies: How to make money in the medium term in up, down and sideways markets By Malcolm Pryor
n There are two common misunderstandings about spread betting, one being that it is just gambling, the other that is just for the short term. The reality is that spread betting is a leveraged derivative product that can form an important part of a trader’s arsenal, particularly for those that are fortunate enough to be successful enough with it to profit more than the capital gains threshold. There are of course those who treat spread betting in much the same way as a trip to the casino or the race track with, for the most part, similar results – but ‘‘Winning spread betting strategies’ is not for them. From the author of bestselling ‘The Financial Spread Betting Handbook’’, this book is about using spread
betting in a structured way to take advantage of price moves lasting from weeks to several months. Because many people think spread betting is much shorter term than this, the book introduces the spread betting investor – a concept used to describe the characteristics of someone using spread betting in this way. The major part of the book is the detailed description of seven spread betting strategies specifically designed for this duration and matched to whether the market is rising, falling or trading sideways. ‘Winning spread betting strategies’ is a well-constructed and informative guide, mainly aimed at traders who already use spread betting products and who are looking to develop additional strategies.
Stop Orders: A practical guide to using stop orders for traders and investors By Tony Loton
n All those who have even the most basic knowledge of trading and investing will know of the stop order tool. Stop orders can be used with any tradable security or financial instrument – including equities, exchange traded funds, currencies, commodities, options, contracts for difference and spread bets – to help manage losses and improve profitability. However, even though this is an essential – perhaps the most essential – tool available to traders and investors, it is often poorly understood and regularly misused. Unfortunately many books on trading and investing only include a short section on the topic and therefore inevitably gloss over the finer points somewhat. Tony Loton’s Stop Orders redresses this with a whole book on the subject. In a lively and engaging style, Loton runs through the different kinds of stop order available – including buy
and sell orders, and trailing stops – and then moves on to how to apply stop orders effectively at entry and maintain them properly until exit, how to limit downside risk by combining stop orders with effective position sizing, and explains what you should do if the market gaps and you get stopped out. In a particularly valuable section, the book examines the practical applications of the various stop order tools and outlines some ways to use different stop order techniques when placing your trades. This book includes everything you could ever need to know about stop orders and how to use them effectively. Whether you are a trader, investor or spread bettor, you will find something of value here – this book will help everyone to see the importance of the stop order for containing losses, locking in profits and, as a result, being successful in the markets.
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dawn of the (convertible) SPACE AGE MoneyMaker sits down to talk revolutionary living environments with entrepreneur Simon Woodroffe, the man who is putting post-modern technological property development on the map
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o you consider your home to be tech-savvy, dear reader? Do you find yourself looking down at the lowly technophobes from your minimalist chrome home of gadgets and gizmos aplenty? Well, think again, Mr Flintstone, as you’re being left behind by the future. A future that’s threatening the traditional property development industry with a fierce technological will unlike that seen since Fred and Wilma wondered what would happen if they used a wooly mammoth as a vacuum cleaner.
Woodroffe, whose Yo! Sushi brand brought a blend of Japan and technology onto the high street, and who launched the BBC business pitching show, before leaving after the second series. Woodroffe, whose Yo! brands now number nine in total, including a rapidly expanding hotel chain that utiises Japanese principles and innovative technology to create unique, luxe-feeling spaces at surprisingly inexpensive prices, calls his new project Yo! Home. And what a concept it is. Operating as a kind of TARDIS-comeshow-home, Woodroffe and his talented team have used their decades of experience
technologies, that move the existing room around to display something else or take another shape at the touch of a button. Hidden hydraulics in the walls, floor and ceiling combine to physically move the room, creating new spaces and items where previously there was something else entirely. A spacious luxury bedroom becomes a sunken sitting room, a cinema becomes a dining room, an office transforms into a full-sized second bedroom. They say that technology should be like magic to the savant, and seeing the transformations take place so seamlessly is astonishing. In total the Yo! Home provides two
“The four-fold increase in space is achieved via smar the existing room around to display something els Visitors to the UK’s largest design show, 100% Design, recently witnessed this future in action, causing the 25,000 guests to have the kind of property-envy the like that would have even the most grand of the Grand Designs alumni left luminescent green. This high-tech glimpse into the next evolution of housing was conceived and established by millionaire entrepreneur and former Dragons Den stalwart Simon
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in everything from obscure technology industries to rock and roll theatre staging to change everything you thought you knew about how a home should be built. They have taken a modest 80 sq metre apartment space - the size of a standard one bed flat in London - and through brilliantly bright design effectively quadrupled the size of the place. It’s quite remarkable. This four-fold increase in space is achieved via smart use of both new and old
bedrooms, a sitting room, a home cinema, a dining room, an office, a full size kitchen, a breakfast room, a bathroom/ spa, a party room, and a wine cellar, plus plenty of hidden storage. It isn’t so much an evolution in city-based property, it’s a revolution, and its leader is as passionate about it as you’d expect. When we meet, Woodroffe is preparing for a gruelling trekking tour of India, but it’s his latest, and some would say most
innovative, venture that he is filled with most excitement about. “It’s such an exciting time for the business right now, and we’re on the verge of something big” he ebulliently says, whilst also revealing plans for his heavy-duty trek through the sub-continent. “The world has never seen anything like this, and how often can you say that?” Woodroffe’s a famously innovative entrepreneur, but what was in his mind when he came up with his latest brainwave? “I launched Yo! Sushi, then Yo! To Go, then Yo! Below, my bar chain, and then I got thinking about what would make a great
bed apartment to a spacious two bedroom apartment with separate office, cinema, spa and anything else the owner wants.” The results of Woodroffe’s domestic brainstorm are eye-catching, so does he think that the future of Britain’s ailing property development industry is something that looks like it’s from a Ridley Scott movie? “I think there’s all sorts of futures in all sorts of sectors, but I’m sure one of them is definitely technologically advanced homes like these. If you think about the average apartment, people have decorated them in a million ways, but, since they’ve been
the future.” But how long will it be until the entrepreneur’s big idea is available to buy? “We first launched Yotel at 100% Design seven years ago, and within two years we had our first hotel ready for guests, so I would have thought that within the next eighteen months we will be announcing a deal, and within a year of that people will be living in Yo! Homes. It always takes a long time when you’re physically building large things, longer than you think sometimes, but it’s always worth it.” Of course the first rule of entrepreneurialism is that you can’t please
rt use of both old and new technologies, that move se or take another shape at the touch of a button” Yo! Hotel, or Yotel, as it has become known. After that I started to think about what would a home be if it were a Yo! Home. I started with a blank piece of paper, and as I started off in theatre and then in rock and roll doing dramatic staging for bands, I thought about the hydraulic moving scenery I was responsible for. I wondered what would happen if you were to start with an empty room and use the mechanics from stage scenery to change it from a small one
invented, no-one has really re-invented them. We use every square inch of an automobile, every square inch of a camper van or an airplane, and it makes sense to apply this principle of making every inch count to homes. It won’t be for everyone - some people will still want to live in an old-fashioned cottage - but in cities, where we all have really busy lives, to have a home that is as well engineered as an automobile is, I think,
all the people all the time, but does he believe that there’s a demand for such a radical house makeover? “Change takes a lot of time, and when someone like me comes along and launches something new, like Yotel, or Yo! Home, it takes people time to get used to it. What I’m always looking for are the magic words ‘it’s so obvious, why didn’t someone do it before?’, but of course, if you were to do market research and ask people do you want to do something out
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of the ordinary, like sleep in an 80 sq foot hotel room with no natural light, very few people answer yes. However, when people see it, it makes sense to them, and they buy into it. When people have seen our Yo! Home prototype, everyone has said, ‘I want one’.” From his sushi revolution to his bright colourful brand palette, Woodroffe is clearly in a committed relationship with Japan and the Far East. So what’s the fascination with the land of the rising sun? “I’ve always loved Japan, and consider myself a Japanophile. When I first started going out there twenty years ago very few
And we can both learn from each other. In Japan it’s all about ordered society and politeness, and they have a thing called nemawashi, which is where they’ll spend forty minutes chatting about personal things in an hour long meeting, before getting all the business done in the last twenty minutes, because they’ve built up trust before. Japan may have given him inspiration, and his rock and roll background may have provided him with the tools to make his dream a reality, but what does he consider his main assets as an entrepreneur? “I always say that the only things I’ve got
When I was a kid, apparently, I used to tell people I was going to be a millionaire by the time I was twenty. And then I got to twenty and then to thirty, and then had the drama of my thirties, and then I was forty, and I realised, my God, I’ve completely forgotten to become a millionaire. But I’d had small businesses during my twenties and thirties, and I’d learned how to do it. If you want to swim, you’ve got to jump in the deep end, and that’s what I did, although I didn’t necessarily realise it at the time. Looking back, I recognise that I had low self-esteem at some level, and I wanted to prove myself.
people had been, so much so that I used to call the country the last great mystery of the East. I love the food, the people, the culture, and what they did with small spaces. It’s just the most different place on Earth. I was, and am, inspired by it. “Of course, Yo! Sushi was inspired by it and Yotel was inspired by Japanese capsule hotels too. However Yo! Home, whilst taking certain elements from Japan, is far more inspired by my earlier days of rock and roll theatrics. Japan is a completely different culture which is why it provides inspiration to company in the UK. It’s neither better nor worse than Britain, it’s just wildly different.
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are enthusiasm and a touch of ignorance, to some extent, as I left school quite young. But I’ve got great enthusiasm for what I’m doing, and if you can get, and stay, enthusiastic about something, then you’ll get into it completely. If someone can start with a little idea, and not give it up early, constantly writing new ideas to improve it and being absolutely interested in it, then with enough enthusiasm you can do anything. We’ve all got to have something that drives us deep down, something that makes us want to get up in the morning, and I didn’t have so much going for me when I was younger, I just wanted to prove myself.
I think that’s true as well of a lot of entrepreneurs. I also don’t think most entrepreneurs are doing it for the money. There are very few people I know who think ‘I just want to make a load of money, and that’s it’, they get a bee in their bonnet about something and just want to go and do it.” So does he think now is a great time to be an entrepreneur? “I think it’s a brilliant time right now. Twenty years ago entrepreneur was a crap French word, business was a crap word. Now both are very cool words. Entrepreneurs are like the new pop stars, and it’s become very fashionable. Dragon’s
Den, The Apprentice and all those kind of shows have done wonders for business, in that sense. Call them real or not, those programmes help inspire kids to become entrepreneurs, so I think it’s very good.” Talking of young people, the papers that sit in front of us are full of stories of a warring coalition at odds with each other and the opposition over university tuition fees and a lack of jobs for under 25’s. Does Woodroffe, himself the owner of just two O-levels, feel that now is the time for teenagers and first-timers to throw caution to the wind and start up their own business? “Definitely. There are lots of young
young people should consider.” And what tips would he give any rookie entrepreneurs starting out? “It’s common sense. Everyone says, ‘I’m a risk taker’ or ‘I’m a maverick’, and all that stuff, but for me it’s just normal. I don’t think I am that big a risk taker - I’m careful with what I do, I’m innovative, I’m interested, and enthusiastic, but I’m not stupid - I don’t want to take massive unnecessary risks. I have a good handle on the finances, I can imagine the future pretty well, but if you look at all that It really is all common sense stuff.” But what sectors should they be looking
and then swings back again. That’s what happens in life. So, yes things may be very virtual now, but it will swing back to people wanting a more ‘real’ experience at some point.” With our time nearly up, conversation ends up at Dragon’s Den, the show that the entrepreneur parted company with after two successful seasons from launch. Does he have any regrets about not staying around longer, and does he believe that it’s been overall beneficial for British business? “I think the show is good, really good, but I always say I was fired for being too nice. There was a part of me that wanted
“Some people are real analysts of markets, but I just do things that I want to do. I suppose instinctively I do look for gaps in the market, but I really just go for projects that interest me.” people doing it, and the proof of the pudding is in the eating. At that age you’ve got nothing to lose, and there’s an amazing culture amongst young people now that they help each other. I know young entrepreneurs who start off working in their bedrooms, and one’s a designer, and one’s a programmer, and one’s a web designer, and they all help each other, as they’re all involved because they want to be. Every day they’re learning a great deal - more than they would at university, probably - and, if they’ve managed to stick at it for the three years, then they’re three years ahead of their university-going peers. Plus they’ve saved themselves fifty grand. It’s an option that all
to expand into? “I don’t know the answer to those kind of questions, and, to be honest, I tend to do the opposite to what everyone else is doing. Over the past few years many entrepreneurs have been building brands in the virtual arena, but I’ve been making real tangible things. Some people are real analysts of markets, but I just do things that I want to do. I suppose instinctively I do look for gaps in the market, but I really just go for projects that interest me.” Does he feel that consumers will go too far down the digital path to ever go back to a desire for things they can actually touch? “Look, everything swings out one way,
it to be more encouraging to people. The producers wanted us to be bad to everybody, and I didn’t want to do that. So I did have my gripes with it for that reason, but generally it’s been very, very good for business because people look at the television and think “God, those guys aren’t very clever, I could do better than that”. And I don’t just mean the people pitching the ideas, I mean the Dragons themselves! What comes over in the programme is that business is not that difficult - you can work it out if you try.” To find out more about Simon’s Yo! Brands visit www.yo.co.uk
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LONDON 3.0 Tech City leads the way for next generation of entrepeneurs
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his summer saw the UK dripping in patriotism, with Jubilees and Olympics as far as the eye could see. But in addition to our sportsmen and women, Tech City gave us another opportunity to fly the flag high and to cheer a very different ‘Team GB’. Based just down the road from the Olympic Park, its members have given the UK another series of world-class contenders in their fields. The Tech City start-ups that cluster around the Old Street roundabout continue to go from strength to strength in their quest to be amongst the world’s finest, a fact that was demonstrated in this summer’s Start-up Games and Young Entrepreneurs Festival. Some of Europe’s brightest and youngest tech talents gathered at Tech City to participate in a business boot camp, with the best being recognised as an International start-up champions, and also given the opportunity to pitch to angel investors to raise seed funding for their business ideas. Making sure only the best was on offer for our future business leaders, encouraging start-up mentors from around the country played a vital part of Tech City’s offering to share best practice tips with the entrepreneurs in areas such as funding, research, development and media relations. Learning from the best The competitions saw competing entrepreneurs putting their business acumen to the test in a series of sessions focusing on sales and marketing, understanding equity and valuation, marketing overseas and investor pitching, amongst other things. Throughout the events, participants heard from, and were directly mentored by industry luminaries including serial entrepreneur and LinkedIn Business Leader of the Year, David MurrayHundley, CEO and author of “Student to CEO” and “Bank To The Future” Simon Dixon, and CEO of Global Natives and International Media Technology Mentor, Daniel Teweles. Speed mentoring sessions with industry experts and “Pitch and Dip” peer-to-peer sessions enabled the young entrepreneurs to gain feedback and validation on their business plans. The slightly tweaked format was designed to test and stretch the contenders’ entrepreneurial flair and core business skills to the limits, meaning only half of the highest-performing young entrepreneurs went on to compete in the second day of activities, with only ten making it through to the third and final day. The main goal for all Tech City events is to display ‘tomorrow’s talents’ as well as inspiring up and coming entrepreneurs, and to prepare the tech business people of tomorrow for ‘what’s out there’ –it is obvious from listening to the stories of yesterday’s young entrepreneurs that every success story starts with someone taking that brave step of striking out on their own.
“In a time when the only thing we seem to be reading about is bad economic news, Tech city stands out as a british success” David Murray-Hundley, Tech City mentor and angel investor, said: “The more we can encourage people to take that step, the better for them, for our economy and for our country. Initiatives like these give UK startups the chance to shine. But to continue this positive journey, Tech City must continue to grow, and quickly. We’re already seeing fast growing European tech hubs from Berlin, Paris and Istanbul and if growth starts slowing down, we risk being overtaken.” Moreover, in a time when the only thing we seem to be reading about is bad economic news, Tech City stands out as a British success. A study by Intellect, the UK technology sector trade body, in August showed that more than 80 per cent of UK technology companies were considering hiring new staff in the next six months. And with thousands of talent-rich companies lining the Silicon Roundabout together with a number of recent announcements, there is a clear vote of confidence in online companies from some of the world’s major players including Amazon and Google. The road to success Thanks to the growing success of tech start-ups globally, what has become clear is that all over the world governments dream of creating hubs of digital innovation to compete with Silicon Valley, and the UK is no exception. If you build it, they will come – a phrase that seem to go hand in hand with this recent initiative. Over the last two years the UK government has led a high profile campaign to support the area around Silicon Roundabout, and evidence reveals that we’re heading in the right direction in establishing a globally unique community. Tech City is doing well, but like any top squad, the leaders in the UK tech field are hungry for more. To build on this, they will need more space and low rents to allow new players enter the market, more investors and more innovators, better broadband, faster connectivity and more flotations. And with growth expected to continue, we can expect all of this and more in the coming years.
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New Kid on the Silicon Block How far has London come in chasing down Silicon Valley as the entrepreneurial tech hub of the world? n By DavId Murray-Hundley
n 1995 I left the UK to work for Chase Manhattan and CommerceOne in New York and Silicon Valley. At that time there were few opportunities for ambitious technologists in Britain. The US, especially California, was different altogether. Not only were the world’s best software companies based there, but the
attitude towards new ventures was completely different, and very exciting for a young entrepreneur. Instead of the British attitude of “avoid failure at all costs”, on the West Coast you were encouraged to take risks and try new ideas. If you fail, you get up and try again. Winston Churchill said: “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no
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loss of enthusiasm”. That attitude is at the heart of the Silicon Valley culture. The core of the technological revolution was of course in Silicon Valley. Innovation was happening on a scale the likes of which we had never seen before, what seemed like crazy ideas were becoming reality and changing lives. Much of Silicon Valley’s growth, both in its origin and today, is fuelled by an ability to attract the best and brightest from across the world. For decades every major city that has tried to emulate Silicon Valley has failed, because it hasn’t been able to attract talent in the same way. The only cities that have had success are the ones that bring their own flavour to the technology table, such as New York and Las Vegas. That is not to say that start-ups could not succeed outside of the Valley. However, if they did, it was likely to be because of their unique and innovative offerings, rather than simply emulating the Silicon Valley formula. In addition, and most people may not realise this, Silicon Valley was built on the back of years of US military spending on the Cold War, which means that very large sums of investment were being pumped in by the government.
Taking on the challenge in the UK But as the start-up scene in the UK continues to flourish, we should now be able to bring talent from within the UK and from overseas. The government’s entrepreneur visas are a good start, but we need to make it easy to bring in hi-tech workers from across the globe to help make Britain a powerhouse of innovation. To date, the UK tax regime has never been overly understanding of young start-ups, which is why the latest government proposal about relaxing listing requirements for fast-growing companies on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) has been welcomed with open arms. The new measure is set to stimulate internal investment and make it easier for technology companies to list their shares in London, in a bid to prevent highflying businesses from heading to the US and NASDAQ. For the UK start-ups, this isn’t a day too late. A few weeks ago I met David Cameron’s Great Britain team at Tech City’s Start-up Games. I was impressed by their interest in start-ups, the willingness to listen, and their creative ideas on measures to help young entrepreneurs on their journey. One of our biggest challenges is letting people know
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“For decades every major city that has tried to emulate silicon valley has failed, because it hasn’t been able to attract talent in the same way” about what is happening in East London and improve the education system to encourage more companies to head East.
The Path Ahead The new government initiatives and involvement is helping us highlight the exciting growth we are currently seeing. Today, technology accounts for 8% of GDP to the UK economy, numbers that can only grow and help to improve other areas of the economy that struggle such as public services. We’d like to see more graduates and experienced developers considering working with new tech start-ups and the focus the government puts on the area at the moment will help this. Furthermore, in a time when we seem to be drowning in bad economic news, Silicon Roundabout (the area of London in which technology start-ups are congregating) stands out as a real British success. New companies spring up every week, and existing companies are growing fast along with US companies moving into the area such as Amazon, Google, Facebook and Yammer. With more than 600 companies in the area, compared to just 200 last year, the area has seen unprecedented growth. Moreover, we need to ensure students are encouraged to think and act like entrepreneurs. Similar to what is on offer in America, universities should be encouraged to run start-up competitions, allowing students time away to start their own businesses as well as being exposed to angel investors for potential investments in promising new enterprises. Slowly, we are starting to see this happen, but we are still far away from where we want to end up. School leavers and graduates with a mix of technical and business skills are particularly helpful for building on the success of Silicon Roundabout – something that became
obvious at last month’s Tech City Start-up Games and Young Entrepreneurs Festival. As demonstrated at the recent Tech City event, the majority of technologists are self-taught, after spending hours and hours building codes or pulling apart hardware. And as age engagement into technology is becoming younger and younger, we all of a suddenly have a great opportunity to capture talent much earlier in the lifecycle – with an opportunity to be at the forefront of growth and innovation. It is clear that the UK’s start-up community is growing in stature. However, it is still missing one of the defining characteristics
that has led to the success of Silicon Valley: the ‘Silicon Valley elite’. These experienced entrepreneurs, rather than retire to the preverbial country mansion, keep starting companies and actively investing and passing on their knowledge on to new entrepreneurs. They provide a ready source of money and experience to start-ups that are too early for traditional venture capital investments. At Tech City, it is clear that hopes of becoming the new, improved Silicon Valley remain high that the dream can still become reality - but the mind-set has now subtly changed from a straight-forward copy of the Californian model to a more nuanced
appreciation of what made it work in the US and how that could be translated to UK realities.
Where we go from here Great things are happening in Silicon Roundabout. Hundreds of new companies have been born in the past two years, employing thousands of people and generating a sense of community and excitement that we haven’t seen in the UK for a long time. It’s time for Britain to embrace the new spirit of risk taking and entrepreneurship that these companies tap into, and build a new digital economy, and
community. We invented the computer, we invented the world wide web, we even invited the ‘original’ ipod, IXI, back in 1979! It’s clear that Silicon roundabout is now attracting some of the bigger names in the tech world, with Google recently taking on a new site. While this may be seen as a positive move for the area, some of the smaller tech companies are concerned that this could result in increased rents, forcing them out as a result of the area’s popularity. As for now, all we could do is to keep fingers and toes crossed that the next generation of great technology entrepreneurs and companies will be born in the UK.
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YES WE PLAN!
Hannibal was right, you know, it is good when a plan comes together. It’s even better when that plan wasn’t simply getting B.A. Baracas on a plane, but was your path to riches and a better life. We asked Gal Davis, founder and MD of PlanWriter.co.uk to tell us her secrets of making your business plan as effective as possible for start-up success, whether that be securing investment or soundly plotting your business’ future. Frankly, you’d be a crazy fool to not take her advice. Don’t use templates or software An investor can spot a business plan that has used a template or software a mile off, and it’s a big turn off. Software and templates use generic structures and financial tables that can sometimes have nothing to do with your business. If you’re going to be using your business plan for a professional purpose either write it yourself from scratch, or hire a professional. Don’t say ‘I have no competitors’ Because you do. Your product/service might be the newest thing on the market – there may be no one else even coming close to what you do – but you still have ‘indirect competitors’. Indirect competitors are what your potential customers would do/use before your product/ service existed. So, if you’ve invented the first ever flying picture frame then your competitors are every other picture frame manufacturer. And you have to explain why people will buy your flying one instead. Don’t include an NDA Investors aren’t going to sign it. Investors read hundreds of business plans a month and can’t accept the risk of litigation should they hear about a similar idea, especially considering that they may receive similar ideas that very month.
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“Show commitment and do whatever it takes to be able to detail your business plan, demonstrate research so you can say positively that people want your product” Show the money The financial forecast is generally the most important part of the business plan, as it shows investors/banks that they will get their money back. You don’t just need to show a business that generates revenue – you need to show that you can pay back a loan or generate a higher return for the investor. If you’re asking for £500,000 for a business that will make a profit of £50,000 a year, you need to make it clear that the investor won’t see any money back until after year ten. Don’t just ask your friends If your business is a new product, you need to find out if people will use it. An investor
will want you to have conducted thorough market research into your customers’ needs, and also their opinions of your product and its value. This does not mean asking your friends and family, or posting it on Facebook and seeing what people say. Hire a market research company. If you can’t hire one, stand at the train station and harass people to look at your product and fill out a form. Show commitment and do whatever it takes to be able to detail the results in your business plan, demonstrating that you have researched and can positively say that people need, want and would pay for your product/ service. Keep it engaging Imagine reading ten business plans a day, every day. Now imagine that they all follow the same structure. If you’ve ever hired someone, you’ll have had the same feeling from reading CVs. What happens is the same in both cases is that you read the first few lines and, if it bores you, you skip it. It happens in the music industry if an agent doesn’t like the first few bars of your song, and it happens in business. Make your business plan readable, logical and channel your passion. Gal Davis is the founder and MD of PlanWriter.co.uk. Get 15% off your business plan review service until the end of January by quoting ‘MoneyMaker Magazine’.
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Stockings and Shares:
Under the Covers of the Business of Love Seduction in 2012 is big business, with an elite cabal of Casanova’s across the globe offering wealthy men access to their skills, at a price. Mark Southern met Europe’s number one pick-up artist, Rob Beck, to get up close and personal with the most intimate of industries
hen the Rolling Stone journalist Neil Strauss first infiltrated the underground seduction scene in Los Angeles, little did he know the impact his attraction memoirs would cause. For Strauss, or as most know him, Style, rose to international prominence with his best-selling exposé, The Game, about the phenomena of pick-up artists - a collection of mainly LA-based men
who had created what they believed to be a foolproof way of seducing women. Strauss started as a beginner, but finished a master, and his famous book made him an icon to millions of similarly socially-awkward types, who shared his frustrating lack of romantic success. And so, like a smooth-talking romeo in a convent, the lingo of the pick-up artist (or PUA) has charmed its way into single men’s vernacular across the globe, with in-depth analysis of ‘negging’, ‘the AMOG’ and ‘kino escalation’ breaking every social interaction down to its base parts. Meanwhile, the
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professionals (or MPUAs to the in-the-know community) have become heroes - one part guru, one part god. Spiderman’s uncle once said that with great power comes great responsibility, but he should have mentioned that the same great powers also can earn outrageous profits, if harnessed effectively. The seduction scene is now an estimated hundred million dollar industry, with the most marketable individuals fronting teaching companies designed to make any man a lady-killer. Whilst the scene most definitely achieved its worldwide fame on Sunset Strip, its appeal has spread far and wide, and there are now few major cities that don’t have some form of PUA presence, offering a practical kind of magic to its students. However, for every guru providing genuine skills for sale, there are many charlatans taking advantage of those willing to do whatever it takes to become successful with the opposite sex. Whilst LA still is the spiritual home of pick-up, London has become the European capital of seduction, with Leicester Square the arena in which boys become men. King amongst the princes of British pick-up is Rob Beck, or Beckster in PUA-parlance. Beck is the undisputed number one seduction artist in Europe, with the kind of female track record that would have Jack Nicholson looking like a lonely, pimply schoolboy at a disco. And Beck’s company, Beckster Seduction, is thriving, as he teaches men from all over the world the secrets he has learned. However, it was not always like this, and Beck was once just like the men he teaches on a daily basis. The Casanova of London’s pick-up industry was working in a grey office block in a public sector call centre. Generic days went by without note, and weeks merged into one beige amorphous disappointment. But then something changed, and Beck emerged from his fuzzy life of mediocrity, like a social butterfly. We caught up with Beck at one of his famous weekender ‘boot camps’, where small groups of clients eager to learn gather under his tutelage. Beck’s a dream-chaser who empowers his followers with both the new skills and attitude to become dream-chasers themselves - to echo his reinvention from Joe Schmo to Don Juan. Up close Beck is tall and clean-cut, albeit with an edge. He’s handsome, and dressed to impress, but it’s not that which causes him to stand-out, but instead the way he radiates confidence and congruency in his own skin. His body language is bold and assured, and he possesses that quality so prevalent in
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the most successful entrepreneurs; he backs himself at every opportunity. Self-belief really is worth its weight in gold. So, what was the entrepreneur doing before his metamorphosis? “I was leading the dullest life imaginable. It was just so mundane and repetitive, and I didn’t love every day, so it brought me down. I was doing what most people do every day; I’d get up early, cycle to work, turn the computer on and then sit in a grey office waiting for the day to finish, the highlight being a Marks and Spencer’s sandwich at lunchtime. People would be bitching about each other, like they do in every office across the land, the general public would be rude to you, for no apparent reason when you’re trying to help them, and then when the day was finally over I’d be too exhausted to do anything other than watch a bit of television, with a boring and unhealthy meal for one. It was such a boring, pointless existence, and so wildly different from my life now, that it doesn’t even feel like it happened to me. It feels like I know of that world by watching Eastenders or something - my life is one hundred per cent better now.” And how did he make the change that ninety plus per cent of the population fail to make? “I got into what some call the pick-up or seduction scene, or what others call self-help to better myself. I didn’t have any success with women, my life was forgettable, and I had self-esteem issues as I wasn’t exactly the most popular in school - in fact, I was the fifth least popular kid in a school of 300; I can remember counting! And, basically, I realised something had to change. A friend introduced me to the pick-up scene when he told me about some articles he had heard about that were floating around online, which taught readers how to be good with women. So, I thought, I’ve got to read everything to do with this. Everything. I read everything I could find, although at the time there wasn’t that much out there, and I was inspired by the principles of it - essentially being the best you can be, jumping outside of your comfort zone, living every day to the full and not being afraid of making mistakes. I then taught myself all the basics of the industry; body language, voice control and modulation, eye contact, how to be tactile, how to escalate a conversation in a romantic direction, and although it all began to make sense, I was limited to what it was teaching me. So, I decided to make up my own
way of doing things, and it was a trial and error process, which took a long time, but eventually I was getting amazing results.” During this period in his life, Beck was keeping impossible hours, tolerating the daily grind whilst hitting the bars and clubs of Soho in the evening. So how did he make the use of his talents as an international businessman? “By this time I’d got a bit of a name in the community as a kind of best-kept-secret, as it were, and then people started to ask if I could train them, and they in return would offer
“I’ve got five c’s that i teach my clients - confidence, congruency, calibration, conviciton and courage - add these characteristics and they will eventually become natural” me cash. So, I thought, sure, I’ll do it as I was passionate about helping people - I definitely didn’t think of it as a business to start with. But as things were moving along, I found I was using a lot of spare time training people - sometimes paid, and sometimes for free, to give back to the community that had taught me so much. As time went by, my reputation grew, and before long I was considered the best pick-up artist in Britain. It was then that I realised that it was the time to practice what I preached and take a risk, say farewell to my boring
government job, which was depressing me, and do it for a living. So I went away and thought carefully about everything I had learned, and then I wrote up a unique program of my learnings to help people develop these skills themselves. And then thought about my next challenge, my biggest challenge in some ways - not how to be the best seduction artist anymore, but how to become the best teacher I could be. And things have snowballed since then, starting off with people in London hearing about me, and
getting to today when I travel the world giving talks to big groups of people, and taking individuals and smaller groups out myself.” As the Beckster name itself has become something of a legend within seduction circles, doors have opened, with the original star pick-up artists wanting to share his spotlight. “I’ve met all of the main players from The Game, including Strauss (AKA ‘Style’) and Erik von Markovik (AKA ‘Mystery’), and I knew that I’d arrived when I found myself giving advice and routines to them, as well as receiving tips from them too. We’ve become friends and peers, with Mystery and I putting on joint boot camps across the world, and it’s great to share knowledge with top professionals in any industry. I was also invited to come along to meet Ross Jefferies at one of his famous seminars, and he was one of the first major gurus of the industry that I read. I’d consumed everything he’d written and recorded of techniques to improve social and romantic interaction, and so when I found out he wanted to meet me, it was like meeting my guru. The next time he was in England, he asked me to talk at his seminar. That was a real milestone, and every year since I’ve spoken at his seminars, and he rarely lets anyone do that. We’ve now got some business things together, which
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is great. Luckily, I’ve made a great name for myself globally, things are great and business is booming.” However, Beck is keen to emphasise there are some differences between him and the traditional powerhouses of pick-up. “The thing with Mystery is that he is a pick up artist, and would describe himself as such. Me, I’d describe myself as three things; firstly, a social artist, as I’m interested in seeing improvement in all social situations, which includes the fact that you never see a great social person without plenty of romantically-interested parties. Secondly, a seduction trainer, and, finally, a dating coach. My company and I do all three things, which marks us out as unique in this industry, because this really does play on people’s most personal wants and desires; maybe they want a girlfriend, or maybe they want to play the field a bit, particularly if they didn’t have much success when they were younger. Whatever their reasons, my company and I exists to make them happy.” What represents a happy client for Beck? “People get different experiences from this, and we try to cater it for every different individual. Sometimes our clients see something as a problem, that isn’t really a problem - it’s often deeper routed, where they don’t like themselves very much, for example. And we try to solve that, and that in turn acts as a domino effect, as it were. The main thing is for them to come out smiling, and to start to like themselves. I’ve got five C’s that I teach my clients. They are confidence, congruency, calibration, conviction and courage, and these are found naturally in those people who you see are good with women. We teach our clients to add these characteristics. And that’s without using all of the techniques around how to start chatting to a girl, and how to be a good story teller. These stories and routines are really just training wheels for people to improve themselves, and are just the start of the process to doing all of this naturally.” Does he have favourite clients he has turned around? “I had a client who was 54 at the time, and he came to me as he was bi-polar and couldn’t meet women, and he’d have these massive mood swings, where he’d have one good day, and then one very, very bad day. I trained him personally, no matter what his mood, and on his first training session he met two girls who he was dating them both within a week. And of course it’s best not to
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jump into a relationship with the first girl you meet, and you give yourself more of a chance of meeting the right girl if you play the field a bit first, and eventually he found the right one, who was twenty years younger, one foot taller, and gorgeous! He’s now married and has two lovely kids with her. That took a few sessions, though. The quickest success story I had was a guy in his fifties again, with a bit of disfigurement, and a very strong accent, which was hard to understand. He was deeply unhappy and wanted to play the field after many years of being alone after a failed relationship. I did a couple hours talking, and then we went out to try the theory out in practice, in what we call ‘day game’. We were in Covent Garden, and I gave him a funny line to open a conversation and said to him, ‘go and say this to that good looking girl over there’. So, he went over to her, delivered the line, and she laughed, which he followed up by saying ‘it’s good to see you’ve got a sense of humour to go with your looks, where’s good to get a coffee around here?’, to which she answered, and he replied by saying ‘well I owe you one now, but I haven’t got long, but let’s go for coffee for ten minutes.’ They then disappeared into the coffee house, before walking back towards me half an hour
later. Just when I thought he was going to stop he carried on walking with her, winked at me over his shoulder and walked into the tube station with her, hand in hand. We didn’t see the guy for the rest of the weekend, apart from towards the end of the day at the end of the weekend, when he finally reappeared, grinning from ear to ear. It turns out he’d been holed up in a hotel suite with the girl for the weekend, venturing out only for dinner at a posh restaurant, and she’d told him that he was her soul-mate! ‘Why have you come back then?’, I asked, to which he replied, ‘I looked at the itinerary and this hour’s the sex education bit, and I didn’t want to miss that!’ And, sure enough, after the hour was up, he said goodbye to us all and went back to meet his new girlfriend.” So does the dream-maker revel in his dream-chaser life change-around? “God, yes. It’s what I encourage every single one of my clients to do every day, and it’s my life now. We don’t start living until we start following our dreams - we’re just running around in a never-ending cycle, without ever achieving anything, without having fun. You’ve simply got to do something you’re passionate about, and eventually it’ll pay off - it has to, because you’ll give it one hundred per cent, and you won’t be doing it halfheartedly. You’re giving yourself permission to start living - that’s how I see it.” And, with his dreams firmly chased, what next for the entrepreneur with the midas touch in business and bedposts? “I’ve got a great new product out soon too, which is designed to educate people who do want to self-improve in this area, but can’t fly out to see me. Watch this space as everybody can be better by doing this course, and everybody can improve themselves by doing this. Some people take longer than others, with different problems taking different amounts of time, although I don’t see it as a problem - more as a hurdle to overcome. It’s the next evolution of this industry.” l www.becksterseduction.com
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“The music industry is pretty much permanently in flux. However, talent and determination are often rewarded, and it’s new dynamic people who drive the industry forward” 32 | MONEYMAKER MAGAZINE
That’s When Rock and Roll Dreams Come True
Music is the UK’s number one most desirable industry to work in, but so few make a career out of it. Mark Southern caught up with recording studio entrepreneur Neil Kennedy, who followed the advice of every musician from AC/DC to ZZ Top, and never let his rock star ambitions die
here cannot be anybody reading this today who hasn’t dreamt about pursuing a career in music at some point in their lives. Whether those daydreams include rocking Wembley Stadium clad in a spandex catsuit, or playing a haunting solo piano piece to a sold out Albert Hall, music is one of life’s great joys, and has been voted Britain’s most desirable career to carve out a niche in. However, if X Factor et al have taught us one thing, and that’s arguable in itself, it is that your teeth can never be white enough, and some people were just not born to sing. So, what then? Neil Kennedy has loved music his whole life, and has played in a myriad of bands since first picking up a guitar as a child. These bands came close to making the big time on more than one occasion but, as any hardworking jobbing musician will tell you, close didn’t pay the bills.
So Kennedy worked a variety of lowly paid jobs to allow him to pursue his dreams, against the backdrop of a society that encourages commuter-conformation at every corner. It was in his late twenties that he realised that if his musical aspirations were to come true he would have to look at it in a smarter way. He shifted his focus to creating music with others, in an environment he
could completely control. He would become a producer, with his own studio. Utilising the smallest of small start-up budgets, Kennedy started the process that has gone from effectively recording music in a shed to creating what people have called the best British music recording studio outside of London, with a team of driven and talented producers creating outstanding output. We catch up with Kennedy at his space age studio set-up, a beautiful converted barn in rural Hampshire. If the location is idyllic, the inside would have Buck Rogers feeling like a caveman. It’s a suitably impressive place for the entrepreneur to continue his undeniably impressive journey. When we sit down to talk, it’s on chairs that Captain Kirk would be a little wary of, and it’s the muffled sound of a rather well known band recording new material that soundtracks the interview. We would later bump into the band in the car park outside, and in their own words they tell us that “they’ve recorded in LA, Vegas, New York and
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Abbey Road, but they’ve never been made to sound as good as they did in there”. So, if you’ve always wanted to fulfill those rock and roll career aspirations, then here’s the blueprint from someone who knows exactly how to do it. Why is your job a dream job? I think it marries the best elements of creative freedom and expression with some more orthodox elements of a “Job”; self-discipline, time management and most importantly customer service and satisfaction. Although, obviously it’s the creative aspects which make it most attractive. How did you come to set up your own studio? I made the transition from musician (guitarist in the back of a tour van) to engineer/producer about 8 years ago. It was a massive risk considering that I’d spent the best part of the previous years working minimum wage jobs to facilitate trying to break the band I was playing/writing with. I took any money I had left, sold a car and borrowed a small sum from my Dad, himself a successful entrepreneur, and always keen to promote the values of being one. I ploughed all of it into a modest set-up, found a space to work with and set about really trying to turn myself into a producer. I had an ear for harmony and arrangement, which was really beneficial, but needed to develop the skill-set of a sound engineer much further to be taken seriously.
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“I had an ear for harmony and arrangement, but needed to develop the skill-set of a sound engineer to be taken seriously” After a few years of working in a space which, central to the local music scene as it was, was extremely limiting and fundamentally flawed as a space to record music with higher production values, I moved into a new studio that I had self-funded along with another engineer (Geoff Swan), who would become my business partner. I found a local farm with unused outbuildings and set about converting one into a modest studio space. This space has allowed me to develop my skill set much further, and as business has grown so has the studio, as we now have the lease on all of the outbuildings. Our most recent acquisition was a large barn we converted into a live room that has 80sqm floor space and a 5.5 metre high ceiling. What’s special about your studio? I would say that until recently our studio’s unique selling points were simply the engineers. You can have the best equipment in the world, but without the right talent
you’ll never get the best results. However, with the new space I really think we have created a great working environment and increased our sonic palette tenfold. How important is it for a record producer to think commercially these days? I think commercial viability is very important the further you wish to travel up the music industry ladder, but for much of my work I act as a facilitator not an enforcer. If the artist wishes to deliberately shun convention, I’m as happy working on the project as I would be if we set out commercial “rules” on day one. For me, I like to try and strike a balance between working on projects that are sonically interesting and musically appealing; I don’t subscribe to a working practice on the basis that its results have turned over £x,000,000’s, because I honestly don’t believe such things exist. How entrepreneurial is the music business in 2012? The music industry is littered with artists and talent that have got there on their own, or that have managed their success to make them powerful, influential figures in the industry. I think for many the most aspirational role is to be an industry fulcrum, such as Kanye West, Butch Vigg, Dave Grohl, etc. These are artists that build creative empires, and as such leave an indelible mark on the landscape of the industry.
How entrepreneurial are you with your business? With my business output I have stuck to an ethos which pretty much states I work with the band to create a product that showcases their own sound. I don’t push artists into my mould, but instead I mould my skills to their own identity. I think a lot of engineers try to impose their own check list when they work on project, like they’re seeking a level of homogeneity to their output. The artist’s signature should always be apparent, but I’d prefer it to be the artist’s own, rather than me faking their signature. Who is the most entrepreneurial record producer working in the world today? I think Rick Rubin has to be considered one of the most influential, diverse and consistent producers, from establishing Def Jam and American Records, working with the some of the first exponents of hip hop, to capturing the last recordings of Johnny Cash and, for me personally, the job he did harnessing the self-indulgence and mania of the Mars Volta for their debut album is a feat of utter genius. What’s the future for you and your studio? All I have planned at the moment is to keep my head down and keep working hard. We are generating a greater turnover and attracting ever more exciting clients every day, so I think it’s vital that we solidify what
“The music industry is full of talented people who have achieved success on their own - it’s an entrepreneurial industry” position we have and make sure people see us as guys to work with over the next few years. What are the most common mistakes start up record producers make? We all make mistakes starting up, but for me the biggest is trying to fake it to cover up the fact you haven’t develop your skills OR your ears. Fake drums, fake amps, auto-tuned vocals etc, may be “of the time”, but to me it’s already totally boring and I think it will sound so dated so fast. Is it easier to become an independent record producer in 2012 with technology? The examples I just mentioned really show how easy it is to get some tools and call yourself a “producer”. I rarely even call myself a producer, because I think it’s a title that can only be earned through recognised output. There are a few records which I have
definitely produced; I’ve been involved in the pre-production song writing, the tracking, arrangements, performances and mixing. I think that makes you a “producer”, not midi scoring drums because you don’t have the skill set or impetus to get out and figure out how to translate a drummer’s performance to a record. What’s your biggest achievement? I’d say building my business from a tiny closet in a building under a bridge to a true studio complex offering multiple work spaces, engineers, and all aspects of production was probably my biggest achievement. Keeping my wife during that was probably another achievement in itself. Sonically, the first time I saw my work on the cover of a national rock magazine, garnering some pretty great reviews - well that to me felt like a good success, something I worked hard to achieve and can feel proud of. Is the music business a place for entrepreneurs to be looking to thrive today? It’s hard to comment on the music industry, as it’s pretty much permanently in flux. However, I’d say talent and determination are often rewarded and every industry grows with an input of new, dynamic people. Neil Kennedy’s studio, Ranch Productions, is located near Southampton, Hampshire. www.ranchproductions.co.uk
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On Top of the World Simply running a successful business wasn’t enough for go-getting Australian entrepreneur Adrian McRae, who wanted to do something memorable for good causes. Naturally, in typical Aussie outdoor style, that didn’t involve sitting behind a desk, but instead climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and paragliding all the way down. We caught up with the powerhouse behind the most exciting charity challenge of 2013, Wings of Kilimanjaro.
ver sigh to yourself when a sponsor form comes around the office, where a colleague is looking for money to go on a 24 hour pamperathon? Or cringe a little when an email arrives from someone you once went to school with asking for you to contribute towards their sponsored trip to the Maldives, where they will swim with dolphins - all for charity, obviously? In that case, prepare yourself for something a little different. The Wings of Kilimanjaro event is 2013’s most eye catching, and awe-inspiring charity
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challenges. Two hundred lucky adventurers will be tasked with scaling the tallest mountain in Africa and then, in a world first, paragliding down to the bottom - it certainly sounds quicker than clambering down, at least. The event is the brainchild of Antipodean entrepreneur Adrian McRae, who wanted to create a challenge which could raise $1 million USD for good causes. We caught up with the charismatic businessman just four months before the event, with a handful of places still left for would-be adventurers who wish to join the challenge.
â€œtwo hundred adventurers will be tasked with scaling the tallest mountain in Africa and then, in a world first, paragliding down to the bottomâ€?
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Tell us about the event Wings of Kilimanjaro is a world first event that will see a team of two hundred adventure philanthropists climb 19,340 foot to the roof of Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro, and fly (paraglide) down. It’s a one-off adventure that, for the first time in history, has received unanimous approval by the Tanzanian government, and we have promised to raise a minimum of $1 million for three charities doing amazing things in Tanzania, focussed around clean water, education and environmental initiatives. What can adventurers expect? To be part of a genuine ‘Adventure of a Lifetime’! It’s the ultimate bucket list journey, that is affordable and accessible to anyone in the world who is still in any kind of physical shape. Anyone with an adventurous bone in their body will be hard pressed to find a more exciting project to be involved within their lifetime.
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For most people, reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro, the most iconic physical and visual landmark on the continent of Africa, is a lifetime achievement in itself. However, to be among the first to paraglide from its peak, together with some of the greatest adventurers on the face of the earth, will of course have different meaning and importance to all involved. I think the real reward lies at the foot of the mountain, when back on terra firma. For everyone it will be a life changing experience to see how our actions can be used, not just for personal enjoyment, but more importantly to make substantial positive impact, and change many people’s lives in Africa for the better. What kind of person do you expect to take part? We have one of the most amazing and diverse groups of people ever assembled, and have a few spaces left for people who want to
do something incredible. We have the Adventure Junky (Mad Mike Kung), the 2012 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year (Sano Babu Sunuwar), the Humanitarian Worker (Helen Hawkings) and then the Commissioner of the City of London Police (Ade Leppard), and that’s just the beginning. So it really is a diverse group. One of the best things to come out of this event (apart from the obvious positive humanitarian difference we are going to make), is the eclectic collection of people from every corner of the globe that are being brought together. Do you have to be super fit to take part? Kilimanjaro is the highest free standing mountain in the world, so a good level of fitness is of course required. I have climbed Kilimanjaro a couple of times - once when I was super fit, and the other time when I was in simply good physical condition, and
I’d say that whilst the climb does test your physical endurance, but it’s your mental stamina that will determine whether you are successful. For safety reasons, we are taking our time to summit Kilimanjaro to reduce the effects of high altitude and maximise acclimatisation for the whole team, but all participants will need to be able to walk for up to eight hours daily up and down steep and sometimes slippery terrain, while carrying at least 10kg on their back.
The charities benefiting from Wings of Kilimanjaro Plant with Purpose PWP began working in Tanzania in 2006 to address the severe problems of deforestation and poverty that beset rural communities. Through raising awareness and funds, Wings of Kilimanjaro will join them in healing the land and empowering local people with the assistance of PWP’s mirco-financing scheme for poor farmers (Village Community Bank). One Foundation To date, the One Foundation has changed the lives of over 2 million people, working with communities in Africa to address some of the most pressing humanitarian issues of the day, including clean drinking water, HIV, nutrition and sanitation. The One Foundation has identified education projects that are in need of resources, skills and infrastructure and deliver upon these needs using the funds raised by the Wings of Kilimanjaro project. WorldServe International WorldServe International is a community development charity working in close cooperation with Maji-Tech, a social enterprise it founded in 2002. Headquartered in Arusha, near the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro, MajiTech specializes in safe water projects requiring deep Borehole drilling and the installation of water pumping, storage and delivery systems. Over the past decade the organisation has completed safe water projects serving over 1.9 million people. Wings of Kilimanjaro will be working with WSI to deliver safe water projects on the ground in Tanzania.
What were you doing prior to Wings of Kilimanjaro? I have a construction company working in the resources sector in the remote Pilbara region of Western Australia. But before that? Salmon fishing in Alaska, busking in New York, playing rugby in Ireland, studying and working in Equine Dentistry all over the world, flying planes in the Aussie outback, or plain old farming on the family sheep, cattle and cropping property in central New South Wales. I try to fit a lot in! What gave you the idea for the event? While travelling in Eastern Africa in 2003 I undertook my first Kili summit. On that day I knew I wanted to return and do something positive to help the region and its people in the future. I took up paragliding a few years ago, and it just clicked. Combining my love of adventure and my passion to help those less fortunate - that’s when the idea formed. What charities are benefitting, and why did you choose them? Early into the event we invited charities with a presence in Tanzania to nominate themselves to be major beneficiaries of our fundraising efforts. We had hundreds of nominations from all over the world, and were humbled by the response. We did an extensive amount of research into their backgrounds of the charities, and the most important part was their accountability of funds. We wanted to ensure the funds that were raised went directly to projects on the ground in Tanzania, and, believe me, this wasn’t as easy as it sounds. We are beyond thrilled with the charity partners we have today, Plant with Purpose, One Foundation and WorldServe International, with each one focused on three key areas of need in Tanzania (Environment, Education and Health). Wings of Kilimanjaro will donate 100% of monies raised to support these three amazing charities to address issues surrounding access
to clean water, deforestation issues and accessibility to education. What message would you have for others who want to do something big for charity? I have been fortunate to be able to combine my love of people, the planet and flying to make a small yet significant change in the lives of some extremely impoverished communities in Tanzania. That’s what this is about. It doesn’t matter what scale of project you have – but if it combines your passions and giving back to those in need – it’s a no brainer. Wings of Kilimanjaro has brought into my orbit of friends some of the most generous and most amazing philanthropists on the planet. To meet and work with people of this calibre will change anyone’s life. Without sounding corny or too philosophical, it gives meaning and purpose to your existence. Everyone I have ever met is capable of creating something special like this event. Everything begins with an idea. We all have a Wings of Kilimanjaro inside of us waiting to be created. Get out there and make it happen! Too many people are trying to find themself and find their path. Instead they should create themself and cut their own track!” Wings of Kilimanjaro still has a limited number of places available for climbers, including places for solo pilots and those requiring a tandem pilot to guide them safely down the mountain. See www.wingsofkilimanjaro.com for more details.
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The Brain Game Think trading is all about knowing whether the FTSE is going to open up or down on Monday morning? Guess again. Because as well as knowing the markets and having a good strategy, understanding the psychology behind making good trades is now a fundamental skill in the professional trader’s armoury. We sit down with Steve Ward, one of London’s premier trading psychologists, to find out just how to go about getting your head screwed on and pointed towards a profitable horizon How did you become involved in trading? Is the psychology of trading a relatively new field? The psychology of trading as an independent concept has been around since the 80s or 90s, when people started to see it as something aside from the main trading process. Its always been around though. If you go back and read any books about trading from the 40s or even further the psychology is always there, it just didn’t become its own science really until the publishing of Jack Schwager’s Market Wizards. In that was the first example of a psychology professional not directly associated with the trading industry talking to traders about enhancing trading performance. In the last ten years the concept of trading psychology has become even purer, so it is only over a very short period of history that traders’ understanding of psychological factors affecting performance has been as acute as it is now. I began my career as a sports psychologist, but branched into trading as the recognition
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for trading psychology has grown over the past five or six years. The term ‘sports psychologist’ is fairly common these days, and very well recognised as being a key component to achieving success in a sporting field. Are the skills and importance of ‘sports psychology’ transferable to trading? There is a hefty crossover between the two disciplines. At least 50% is transferable, ideas such as motivation, confidence, concentration, overcoming setbacks and goals visualisation are all key components of both sport and trading. But the additional challenge in trading is that you’ve got a whole cognitive mind-set
and conscious decision-making process that is a bit different from sport, which is more instinctive. I have concentrated my own learning since coming into the industry on understanding how the brain works during the decision-making process, particularly when a person is faced with risk and uncertainty. Did you ever find any resistance to accepting psychology as a useful tool from trading houses or individuals when you first started in the industry, and is there a greater level of recognition now? There was definitely a degree of resistance
in the early days. When I started working in sport, psychology it was seen as the thing you did when there was something wrong with you, almost like a doctor rather than a performance enhancer. Trading was the same, and of course in such a competitive and cut-throat industry no trader wanted to ‘admit’ they had psychological flaws. Away from the trading floor though most traders realised there were ways in which they could improve mentally with things like confidence so they were looking for help, just not when it was visible to their peers. Some people just simply didn’t believe in it back then, and a few still don’t believe in it now. That’s also something similar between trading psychology and sports psychology, and all you can say is it’s not for everyone. But generally the willingness to accept psychology has increased massively, both institutionally and by individuals. That’s partially due to increased exposure, and partially due to the fact that traders are always looking for that extra edge in an increasingly competitive market. What are the most common psychological hurdles you encounter when working with traders? Coping with losses is a big factor for a lot of traders, and on the flipside of that is overconfidence and complacency which can be equally as dangerous. Having confidence not to alter from your trading system or strategy is also very important, as is understanding from a mental point of view
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when to trade and when not to trade, and the factors that will affect that decision-making process. Do amateur traders face different problems to institutional traders? I think that there are some differences. Institutional traders are getting paid a salary, so worst case scenario you make no money but still get paid your salary. If you’re trading your own money full time then if you make nothing, you genuinely make nothing. However for some institutional traders the guilt of losing someone else’s money can cause a very different psychological impact that retail traders won’t encounter. The interesting thing though is that both a retail and institutional trader share the vast majority of psychological challenges. The human brain centre is pretty much the same in most people and reacts the same way during period of risk and uncertainty, so there really isn’t a huge difference in the reactions of amateur and professional traders to wins or losses, despite the difference in the number of zeros attached to the figures. The mistakes amateurs and traders make, trading when they shouldn’t, not taking profits, not stopping losses, poor risk management, are all exactly the same. The only difference really is the frequency of errors and the size of the damage when they get things wrong. A lot of amateur traders, particularly those who don’t work from home fulltime, struggle to take a professional attitude to trading in a home environment. Is there any advice you can give them? Trading isn’t something you can get good at in a few hours or a few weeks, so taking a relaxed attitude is never going to work. The environment you trade in is also a big psychological factor, and you should look to replicate institutional traders as much as possible in this regard as they are the professionals in the industry. You certainly won’t find an institutional trader sitting on the sofa trading in his pyjamas. I would highly recommend dedicating a room in the house solely to trading, in which you can surround yourself with as professional a setup, including trading screens and news feeds, as possible. How you mentally approach being a retail trader is also key. There is a huge difference between seeing trading as making a bit of money on the side i.e. being a hobby trader, and thinking of it as a profession. If you
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think you are a professional retailer, ask yourself the questions ‘do I have a trading plan?’, ‘do I have a business plan?’ and ‘have I got a plan to develop my skills as a trader?’ If the answer to any of these is no then you’re still not taking the right mental approach to trading full-time. That grey area between being a hobby trader and a professional is probably the most dangerous for a trader in terms of making substantial losses, because people believe they are taking a professional approach to trading and therefore act in a certain way when in fact they aren’t. I guess then that over-expectation becomes a critical factor in altering correct trading strategies. Exactly. A lot of retail traders I meet have the expectations to double their money. If you look at good hedge fund traders though, if someone was returning 25% profits they would be a superstar. If you make 10-12%, you’re keeping your job and getting a nice little bonus. And those guys are doing it fulltime, 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. That’s what it takes to make 12%. There’s a perception that a fear of losing money often hinders trading performance, but recklessness can lead to gambling and losing large trades. With most psychological factors, is finding a balance between two extremes the ideal solution to enhanced profit-making? With most factors, a balance is the ideal. Using that example, the ideal position, which is a balance between the two extremes, is good risk management. If you compare a good amateur trader with a good professional trader, the amateur will solely be focused on making money, whereas the professional will be implementing good risk management. The danger of looking for ‘winning’ trades rather than concentrating on risk is that it does lead you somewhat down the road of gambling, and therefore the effects of losing are worse. But if you start from the point of trying to minimalise risk and not losing money then you approach trading with a completely different mind-set. The extreme of prioritising not losing money of course is not placing any trades at all, so there is certainly a balance to be found between two extremes at which it is almost impossible to make any profit. That balance is managing risk. Different personalities manage risk differently, but the common
thread you see with all professional traders is that they have a very carefully planned risk management strategy. As an amateur trader, how easy is it to disassociate a trading fund from your personal finances? Are there any methods to overcome your strategy being compromised by materialising the money you are speculating? When you make a trade, you’ve got a risk on that trade. Hopefully that risk is a small proportion of your trading capital, and ideally your trading capital should be a small proportion of your overall financial wealth. If all of your wealth is your trading capital, and the risk on each position is a large proportion of that capital, then any swing up or down in your trading position will have a huge impact in your trading capital and your personal wealth. That creates a very disproportionate emotional experience when
“Emotions are always a positve thing. they are data, they tell us how we are receiving and processing information ” coaching, but some are more ready to benefit than others due to their receptiveness to ideas. You can certainly help every trader that wants to be helped. Should traders be looking to dampen their emotions, or are emotions sometimes a positive thing? Emotions are always a positive thing. Emotions are data, they tell us how we are receiving and processing information at any period in time. Old school thinking was to trade with no emotion, but the latest research shows that emotion is a crucial factor in good decision-making.
you’re trading, which is never good. Probably one of the biggest mistakes you see from retail traders in under-capitalising. A lot of retail traders have small starting funds and big expectations, whereas what they should have is a big starting fund and small expectations if they want to be profitable in the long run. During all your time in the industry have you ever met a person whose trading performance you couldn’t improve? I did some work last year for one of the big investment banks, we did a little intro presentation and in that intro we had about twenty traders come along to that to see what was going on and see whether they thought anything we said could help them. We then had a little pilot study set up that had limited places available on a fist come first serve basis.
The first guy to sign up directly after the meeting, who in fact demanded that he be allowed on the course, was the bank’s biggest trader, and the second biggest trader in the market. Out of everybody in the room you would have guessed that he would be the last one who would need any trading advice or tips, he was the bank’s rising superstar. So that immediately was very interesting. Why did he want coaching when he was already the best? The answer is that when you are as good as that, you’re always looking to get better. He was always asking himself how he could improve, and often getting the view of an outsider with a different viewpoint to your own is one of the best ways. And one of the guys who didn’t want anything to do with the coaching, he was the bank’s very worst trader out of the twenty in the room. I believe that every trader’s performance could be improved with psychological
Where would an inexperienced retail trader start in getting to grips with the psychological aspects of trading? What tips would you recommend? There’s plenty out on the web and in bookstores to read on the subject (includeing Steve’s highly acclaimed book ‘High Performance Trading: 35 Practical Strategies To Enhance Your Trading Psychology and Performance’). The key is understanding that psychology is a factor in the first place. Finding the material and reading around the subject only happens if you’re open to the ideas it presents. But if I could give one tip to an amateur trader it would be to develop your understanding of risk management, as this will help with fear, anxiety, confidence and complacency. To find out more about Steve Ward and trading psychology visit www.highperformanceglobal.com Steve Ward’s book High Performance Trading: 35 Practical Strategies To Enhance Your Trading Psychology and Performance is available now
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TH E TRAD E
Why I Am A Shameless
“Closet Bear” Alessio Rastani remembers when he confessed on live news that he was dreaming of the next market crash… n By Alessio Rastani
efore you decide to Google the phrase “closet bear” after reading this article, a word of caution. I would urge that you don’t. The images that Google will throw at you under those words really do not need any description in this forum. But back to our discussion for this month. I don’t believe the term “closet bear” has made it yet into the Oxford
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English Dictionary yet, but if it was, I believe this would be the definition: “Someone who secretly prefers to make money from a falling market than a rising one”. That’s probably the politically correct definition. However if we cut out all the PC nonsense and just be honest about it, a more accurate definition would be: “A trader who secretly wishes the market would crash, because he (or she) knows more money can be made faster
in falling markets than rising ones.” In case you’re wondering why “secretly” and who exactly would fit the description of such a “sociopathic” trader, well you’re about to find out. Shameless “Let them eat cake”. Those were supposedly the words uttered by Marie Antoinette, the wife of France’s Louis XVI, after she was told that the peasants had no bread to eat. Even though the accounts of her saying
“people were so shocked that a trader would so cANdidly and shamelessly describe what he really does for a living - make money from a collapsing economy” principle. The principle of “impartiality” and the dissemination of “true information”. However, the truth is that most of our news media is biased towards repeating one particular lie when talking about financial markets over and over again: that “bull markets are good and bear markets are bad”. A bull market is simply a “buyer’s market” whereas a bear market is a “seller’s market”. This may not seem at first all that particularly important. But when you consider it, many people are being misinformed that a bear market is a disaster – rather than the fact that it is a real money making opportunity.
those words are unreliable, you can see why she became a figure of hate during and after the French revolution. Fast forward 222 years. In the height of a European crisis that was pushing the world into a global recession, a trader by the name of Alessio Rastani (yours truly) goes on BBC News. During the live interview he announces to the world that: “I dream of another recession. In fact, I’ve been dreaming about it for three years!” Interestingly enough, the words were not really what shocked people. What really was shocking were two things: Firstly, that a trader would so candidly and “shamelessly” describe what he really does for a living: making money from a collapsing economy. Secondly, that the BBC, supposedly an “impartial” news service, would allow such outrageous statements to be spoken on live TV. The Lie We are supposed to believe that our news media is founded on one fundamental
Bear Love When the S&P 500, the index of the 500 largest companies in the world, plunged from 1300 to 750 in 2008, many people in the media only focused on the doom and glom aspects of the crash. In reality, if you had applied “selling short” methods (betting on a falling market), rather than losing money you would have made a 42% return. Had you applied the same approach to individual stocks such as Bank of America (BAC), your returns would have been considerably more. BAC plunged from $50 to $5 within twelve months – that is a 90% move in the price of the stock. The argument that is often put forward against my view is that bear market strategies like selling short or buying puts are just too “risky”. Somebody should perhaps remind them that blindly buying and holding stocks is just as risky. In fact, buying stocks in a bear market is even more risky than selling short. A little known fact is although many people lost money in the 1929 Wall Street Crash, just as many people lost money when they mistaken assumed that those stocks had “bottomed out”. As the market plunged even lower so did their investments – and their sanity…
“Closet Bear” OK I will admit it. Being a closet bear is not cool. Unless of course, “controversial” is cool. My comments on the BBC that I was “dreaming of a recession” may not have been popular. But it did arouse a lot of interest from people who were yearning to hear something different. Perhaps it is just as well that I came out of the closet. We do need to be aware of how to prepare for both bull and bear markets. If the only method you know to grow your money is in bull markets, congratulations – you’re probably in one right now and you’ll do very well by buying stocks on the way up. But the question is, what if the market changes? And what if the ponzi scheme that is “money printing” (QE3) ceases to generate any real growth? When that time comes, it will be the closet bears who will be ready and prepared.
Alessio Rastani Alessio Rastani is a 10 year financial markets trading veteran, and at the age of 34 has become a widely followed and respected trading mentor. In 2011 he gained fame and caused controversy when he stated on live TV news that he “dreams of another recession” and that Goldman Sachs, not governments, run the world. The YouTube clip has since been watched over 2 million times, and Alessio has since been interviewed by figures such as Sir David Frost. Alessio hosts free online training sessions where he gives the most up-to-date information on trading to professionals and newbies at www.LeadingTrader.com
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The US Election Impacts on Equity Stocks How to profit from American Politics
he United States of America flooded to the polls last month to elect the leader of the free world for the next four years – an event that unsurprisingly held huge gravitas over financial markets across the globe. Any financial speculations at the moment could be considered as a straight up wager on the fallout from the election, but with the markets being so volatile at a time like this a correct strategy could reap huge financial rewards. With that in mind, now could be the perfect time to take a closer look at how the election’s outcome could impact equity markets in the medium term. Incumbent President Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney presented the American public with as different a view on economic policy as perhaps had been seen in decades. Romney was seen as perhaps the most elitist, conservative Republican candidate in recent memory, something that greatly concerned the working and middle classes, particularly in a time of precautious economic
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recovery. In contrast Obama has embarked on reducing the US deficit by applying pressure predominantly on the rich, a strategy that is only partially working. But what effect does this political tussle between Democrats and Republicans have historically on the stock market, and how can we profit from it now? We know equity markets have boomed in the twelve month lead up to the election (as is the norm when incumbents focus on improving the economy before the vote), but what will the forecast be when the dust settles on the result? A closer look at the data Using the past century as our sample field, we can see that historically in years following an election equity markets rise an average 8%. This would initially appear to be a positive note for speculators, but when we compare this figure to the average annual return (11.4%) forecasts don’t appear so rosy. There are a number of reasons for this. The typical over performance of markets before the elections (due in part to favourable economic policy, in part to
political rhetoric and promises) suffers a natural contraction as all in power know their jobs are safe for four more years. Coupled with the fact that pre-election promises are rarely adhered to within twelve months of an election (or at all), the fact that economic policy isn’t living up to its hype inevitably has a detriment pull on market projections. If we take a closer look at the numbers though there is historical data that is far more positive for investors. Across the years following the past 21 elections, there have been 11 years where S&P 500 has grown and 10 years where equity markets have contracted. These growths and declines can be heavily correlated to the economic climate surrounding the election – the
“Immediately following an election the policy of the winning party is one of appeasement and consolidation, which almost invariably means reaching out to the centre” bull market of the 80’s saw huge returns following the elections of Reagan and Bush in 1984 and 1988, whilst the depression that overshadowed the Roosevelt administration saw the largest post-election losses. Republications vs democrats This should come as positive news to investors. Average rises in equity markets in positive years is 26.1% since 1928 (compared to average falls of 11.4% in negative years), and with the economy performing well in 2012 historical indications point to equity markets outperforming average returns of 12% in 2013. But will it matter who’s won? The data examined so far doesn’t take
into account the difference between the Democrat and Republican election victories. If we take a closer look at these factors, however, we can see a clear distinction between the economic performance generated by victories for either side. You could be forgiven for expecting the greatest returns following a Republican victory, and poorer performance following a Democrat win as the Republicans are viewed by most as the party with the interests of big business at heart. This is not the case, in fact it is this presumption that sees the reverse effect occur. Immediately following an election the policy of the winning party is one of appeasement and consolidation, which
almost invariably means reaching out to the centre rather than forging ahead with party policies. Republicans, therefore, focus time, policy and finance on the welfare and the plight of the middle classes. It is the Democrats who look to win over the wealthy and big businesses, and this is clearly demonstrated in the statistics. Since the Great Depression there has only been one year out of eight (12.5%) following a Democrat election win that the S&P 500 has suffered losses, compared to five years out of nine (55.6%) following a Republican win. An Obama win should therefore all but guarantee a positive return for equity markets in 2013. The US economy is strengthening, and with a Democrat
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The vulnerability of the renminbi n By Michael Derks - Chief Strategist, FxPro
otwithstanding the weakening economy, in recent months the renminbi has achieved a 19-year high against the dollar. Indeed, since late July Chinaâ€™s currency has appreciated by almost 2%, after a similar decline over the previous three
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months. A number of factors account for the recent improved display by the renminbi. First, the dollar was under pressure throughout the summer in anticipation of further quantitative easing from the US Federal Reserve, which was ultimately forthcoming on September 13th.
Interestingly, although the dollar has been strengthening against most major currencies since the announcement of QE3, it has continued to lose ground visa-vis the renminbi. Second, some foreign buying interest in Chinese securities has emerged amidst hopes that the PBOC will soon provide
“there is an expectation that policy officialS must consider some further measures to ease financial conditions, such as fiscal stimulus and a reduction in bank reserve requirements” assisted by a PBOC initiative earlier this year to allow companies to maintain short CNY and long dollar positions overnight. As a result, many banks in China have been accumulating long renminbi positions.
additional stimulus. Liquidity provision by China’s central bank has been very generous in recent weeks. In addition, with the economy still struggling, there is an expectation that policy officials must consider some further measures to ease financial conditions, such as fiscal stimulus and a reduction in bank reserve requirements. Third, some local forces have contributed to a surge in renminbi demand. Chinese banks and corporates have tapped into the negative sentiment towards the dollar by slowing their dollarshort hedging operations. Also noticeable is that there has been a sharp slowing in dollar-buying flows, after what has been a very substantial accumulation of dollar deposits in the first six months of 2012. Finally, flows into renminbi have been
Despite this improvement in the renminbi in recent weeks, it is not clear that it has much further upside potential. Political factors loom large for the currency in the final quarter of the year, with first the US presidential election and then the seismic shift in power that will result from the meeting of the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China immediately after. In America, GOP challenger Mitt Romney has been banging the drum regarding the Chinese economic threat, declaring that he would declare China a ‘currency manipulator’ on day one if he was elected. President Obama has been more accommodating to China in terms of the currency question, but if he is re-elected (as appears likely) then he may be dragged into the political quagmire that is China’s poisonous relationship with Japan. In China, policy-making has been in something of a hiatus over the last few months ahead of the change of leadership next month. Some have contended that an appreciation of the renminbi suits the politicians at this stage in the run-up to both the American presidential election and the Chinese leadership change. That said, Beijing’s approach to currency-management has for some time now shifted from an appreciation bias towards greater two-way flexibility and slightly wider ranges. Against the backdrop of weak global demand, the engine of China’s economic miracle (the export sector) has had a much tougher time. As such, after the American presidential election, policy-makers
will likely want a weaker currency to provide some much needed assistance to struggling exporters. According to various surveys of purchasing managers, the manufacturing sector has contracted in every month of this year. Also, it would be surprising if other forms of stimulus such as another interest rate cut and additional reductions in bank reserve requirements were not forthcoming. The banking sector in China has suffered a sudden surge in bad loans in 2012 as the property bubble burst, and so a significant decline in reserve requirements would partially alleviate balance sheet-pressures. As year-end approaches, adverse capital flows might also weigh on the currency. In the first half of 2012, high net worth investors were very active converting some of their wealth into hard currency assets amidst concerns over the faltering Chinese economy. These outflows of capital could also weigh on the currency in coming months, especially if the economy shows no signs of improvement. Interestingly, investors and traders are unconvinced that the recent gains in the renminbi are permanent. According to the forwards market, the Chinese currency is expected to decline by almost 2% over the next year.
A SHAKY HORIZON From our perspective, there is a significant risk that the renminbi will be under downward pressure in the medium term. Offshore investors have definitely cooled towards China as an investment proposition and internally the new rich are keen to diversify an increasing proportion of their wealth into reserve currency assets. Policy-makers themselves will prefer a softer currency as well, although it cannot be allowed to decline too quickly or else they will incur the wrath of the international community.
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Screaming Eagle: The Petrus of Napa Valley
creaming Eagle is a classic icon, one that has been able to create a reputation as Napa Valley’s top dog in the Cult Cab circle, over a very short period of time. Tiny productions, huge scores and a unique cult following has pushed the prices of this estate into the realms of the most sought after and highly coveted wines in the world. Screaming Eagle was founded in 1986, in Oakville, California, in the north of the Napa Valley, by real estate agent Jean Phillips when she bought 57 acres of vineyard. She sold most of this to other Napa wineries except for a tiny portion, just one acre of approximately 80 vines of Cabernet Sauvignon. Under the guidance of the Robert Mondavi Winery she was introduced to Heidi Peterson Barrett, who subsequently became the estate’s first winemaker. Described by Robert Parker as “the First Lady of Wine”, and with an already proven reputation in the region, Heidi went about creating the foundations for one of the world’s most iconic wines. In 1995 the first vintage, 1992, was released, and after 20 years of ownership, Jean Phillips sold the estate for an undisclosed fee to Stanley Kroenke and Charles Bank. In turn, they appointed another highly rated double team of expert winemaker Andy Erickson and vineyard manager David Abreu; the latter being responsible for the success at Colgin, Bryant Family, Araujo and Harlan to name a few. The motto was to renovate and replant whilst keeping it small and raising the bar of quality. In 2009 Kroenke took full ownership. The quality from Screaming Eagle is undeniable, and the scores from Robert Parker say it all. It has scored below 97pts on only 5 occasions in its 17 vintage history, with its lowest score being 94pts
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(only twice). However the icon status is due almost entirely to its scarcity. Vintage on vintage, the production is only between 500-700 cases, a fraction of the 15,000 cases Lafite Rothschild produces; that is a mere 5% of the 1st Growth’s annual release. With such a small production, the release is also of a very particular nature, whereby only subscribed members are offered the opportunity to buy upon release. With this mail order list also limited to only 3 bottles per member, the lengthy waiting list sits 5,000 strong, around 5-7 years, creating an even more impressive demand and iconic status. Knowing each vintage is released around $750 per bottle to the subscribed
members, the current prices on the market show its “street value” and how collectible, and investible this wine really is. The two 100pts vintages, 1997 and 2007, are currently valued in the UK around £3k and £2.2k per bottle respectively. This cult status is one that is not looking like changing anytime soon and reinforces its iconic image globally. With the Chinese market tipped to start investing in Californian wines, where better to start than the Petrus of Napa. It wouldn’t be the first time we saw extreme bidding for Screaming Eagle, as at the 2000 Napa Valley Wine Auction, one bidder paid half a million dollars for a single bottle of 1992 Screaming Eagle, the inaugural vintage.
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For some years now sports fans have been investing their cash as well as their time into sport as memorabilia has become big business for the supporter looking to speculate and spectate. Signed shirts and muddied boots not only look great on display, but also are becoming more valuable as assets to be held on to. We caught up with leading global expert in sports memorabilia, Jon Curleigh of Innovative Sports Group, who is responsible for the auction of some of the most iconic sporting objects of London 2012, to find out how MoneyMaker Magazine readers can make the most of their sports addictions Tell us about the upcoming auction of London 2012 memorabilia
This is a first in the history of the Summer Olympic Games. And what a debut! Never before have some of the Games most coveted assets and sporting equipment been made available to enthusiasts and collectors by means of an Official Auction. Our team worked tirelessly with the London 2012 Organising Committee, and in particular the various Sport Managers, Ceremonies Team and of course the Team GB athletes to ensure that we collected as many Games used related assets, images and autographs as possible. We anticipate that there will be over 10,000 items posted throughout the duration of the auction. Does the incredible summer of sport we have witnessed make London 2012 memorabilia more collectible?
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Without a doubt. London 2012 might just go down as the most successful Games ever. The Opening Ceremony set the tone for what was to be a very magical few weeks. No one could have ever predicted the overall success of Team GB and, as important, the overwhelming support from a very proud nation. There is no doubt that the spirit of the Games touched people in very profound and special way. The essence of memorabilia is to create a memory that will truly last forever. What are the most collectible pieces in the collection?
Perhaps the most unique element of this Auction program is the variety of collectibles that are being offered. Leading the way has to be the limited edition Autographed Olympic Torches that we crafted. Jessica Ennis, Chris Hoy, Bradley
Wiggins and several other gold medal Olympic athlete-signed Torches have surpassed the ÂŁ10,000 mark! Watch for items with multiple signatures and certain assets that incorporate an autograph to be some of the most coveted for 2012. Stay tuned to the auction for this. How long will buyers have to wait until their investment will mature and their purchase will become more valuable This is always a tough question to answer because there are so many factors involved. For sure, there will only ever be one London 2012 and those fortunate enough to own a piece of these Games will never be disappointed. It might take a couple of Olympic Games to pass before people really get an appreciation of what
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they have; especially anything signed or actually used in competition. How do you explain the rise of sports memorabilia as a credible form of investment over the past decade?
In a word “passion”. True fans simply cannot get enough, but similar to any other unique investments supply and demand is always a key factor in determining overall value. And sports memorabilia simply does not have an unlimited supply; in fact it is often just the opposite. That can include competition-used equipment and authentic autographs. What items from London 2012 which aren’t in the collection would you have loved to have been?
Obviously a gold medal would be the holy grail of memorabilia from the Games. But, even we would admit that this is one item that should be reserved for those who have truly earned and deserve it! We did, however, secure several actual medal trays used in the ceremonies and we plan to create a special signature series with these. Also, cycling played such a big part in the overall Team GB success; it would have been great to get our hands on one of the actual bicycles used on the road or in the Velodrome. Is this the most desirable moment in sporting memorabilia history?
Time will of course tell, but early indicators would say a resounding yes. There is arguably not one person in Great Britain that wouldn’t have at least one and more likely several positive memories from the summer of 2012. There was so much to celebrate and history was made almost daily throughout the Games period, which of course includes the Paralympics. Of course the phenomenal success of Team GB is the number one factor in solidifying 2012 as arguably the most desirable moment in sporting memorabilia history. What piece of sporting memorabilia from history do you consider to be the most desirable?
This could be argued forever, but history has shown us that competition-used equipment (including uniforms) that can be attributed to some of the greatest athletes and or sporting moments seems to be the most sought after in terms of sporting memorabilia. Second to that
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“similar to any investment, supply and demand is a key factor in determining value. And sports memrobelia simply doesn’t have an unlimited supply” would be any authentic item in limited quantity that is signed by a top athlete. Dual or multiple signed items are also very coveted by true collectors. What sport is currently the most desirable in sporting memorabilia terms?
We are seeing huge interest in competitionused equipment and limited edition premium autographed collectibles. True fans want to get as close to the sport or athlete that they love and this is perhaps the best way to achieve this. It appears that the future of sports memorabilia is being treated similar to art rather than simply something tucked away in a box.
What tips would you give people who want to start making money from buying sports memorabilia?
Authenticity is a must in order to ensure that your investment is protected. Look for rare and unique artifacts or autographs as they will almost always garner attention and increase in value. If you follow a sport, look for those athletes who are superstars in the making and try to obtain an autograph or item from them whilst young, as the future value will surely increase as they become more popular. Get involved with the London 2012 auction today. www.london2012.com/auction
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“The aesthetic expression must stay ahead of its time, but only through proportion, purity and elegance can you create a timeless design” 48 | MONEYMAKER MAGAZINE 56
Creating Cars to Covet The recent Paris Motor Show saw the debut of some serious car eye-candy – but how many will end up as those models collectors most covet, and fetch eye-watering amounts at auction? What makes a modern classic? A car design icon? Two notable stars of this year’s show included the much anticipated Ian Callum designed Jaguar F-Type, and the striking F12 Berlinetta, created from Ferrari’s long standing relationship with the most famous car designers in the world, Pininifarina. Lisa Curtiss asked Fabio Filippini, Pininfarina’s Design Director, Jaguar designer Ian Callum, and Alfa Romeo’s Chief Designers Alessandro Maccolini and Ramon Ginah for their thoughts MONEYMAKER MONEYMAKER MAGAZINE MAGAZINE || 49 57
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What ‘magic’ factors must fall into place to make a car a design icon? Fabio Filippini: “A design icon should be characterised by exceptionality. It is related to the imaginary that a design is able to stimulate, in some case design icons are not always necessarily followed by mass applications, while in other cases designs become icons thanks to their wide diffusion. What makes a product iconic is a brilliant idea coming at the right time, and generating a good response to the latent expectations of society. An object that comes too soon or too late will not become an icon. The combination of the right idea and timing is the key. It is also important to verify its presence in the collective memory acros several decades to be sure it is a real icon.” Ian Callum: “It is about understanding great proportions and great detail, and designers work very hard to get the best of both. Proportion is the most important thing as this is the key factor is determining whether something will last the test of time.” What cars do you think are considered iconic design masterpieces today? FF: “Cars such as Alec Issigonis’ Mini or Dante Giacosa’ Fiat 500 are perfect representations of iconic objects as advocates of change, as they arrived at an important time of the transformation process of society, and were themselves proponents of this transformation. In the same years I identify the Citroen DS as a true icon of automotive design for its innovative aspect and its technological solutions, but at the same time, it is an example of a car that remained an icon without any major impact on the transformation of automotive design. During its long history Pininfarina has created many iconic cars, still considered masterpieces of automotive design. Just to mention a few, historical examples include the Cisitalia 202, the Ferrari 250 SWB, Dino, Daytona and BB, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider and Duetto. Other true Car Design Icons are the Modulo and the Birdcage 75th.” IC: “The Ferrari 250 short wheelbase, because it is simply bursting with visual power, the original Mini because it is so perfectly formed and a brilliant piece of engineering, and the E-Type Coupe because it is simply the most beautiful car ever produced. I’ve always loved the E-Type, it’s the purest car ever built.” Is creating iconic cars something Italian designer get particularly right? FF: “The sense of proportion and elegance associated with a pure and timeless style are the same criteria that have inspired the Italian
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creativity across the arts over the centuries, from Roman times through the Renaissance. So it is not surprising that continue to exist now.” As a car design visionary, how difficult is it to perfect a practical vehicle’s aesthetics? FF: “A vision is primarily a question of ideas rather than simple aesthetics. The aesthetic expression must stay ahead of its time, but through proportions, purity and elegance of the lines you can provide a timeless design and avoid falling into the decline of recurring trends. Form is content that rises to the surface: if you only produce form without content, the result is fragile.” IC: “In today’s world of legislation and the demand of physics and efficiency, we have to work every millimetre to get to the best result. It becomes more difficult as time passes due to stricter legislation.” Where do you find your inspiration? Does it ever come from an unexpected source? IC: “Anything I find beautiful and simple, something that is efficient and even minimal such as furniture, architecture or even black and white photographs.” What vision, skills, taste and experience levels do you think the world’s best car designers have/need? FF: “Today, professional car designers must have a deep understanding of the evolution of the car, of technology and design in general, but he also has to be curious about all avant-garde forms of creative expression. He must also have an intuitive consciousness of evolution
taking place in society and in the market. This is not enough if you do not have natural creative talent to draw conclusions from this knowledge and turn them into compelling design proposals.” IC: “An understanding of form and a fundamental understanding of good engineering. Being aware that everything you do can be done better. This is what pushes my vision.” Can you see any current production cars becoming possible icons? FF: “The Ferrari F12 berlinetta can become an icon of Italian sports cars. On the other hand, I am particularly affected by the BMW i8 concept as a consistent and effective expression of style and innovative sustainable technology. I see the next step of the future of automotive industry in the i8 concept, this makes me think it could become an icon.”
The Car Design Master - Sergio Pininfarina Sergio Pininfarina died earlier this year, but is remembered as the creator of some of the most elegant, influential and iconic car designs of all time. From starting his career at his father’s design and coach building business in the 1950’s he went on to forge a famous and enduring partnership with Enzo Ferrari, for whom he designed the 1959 410SA, 1965 Dino Berlinetta Speciale, Testarossa in 1984, F40 in 1987 and Enzo in 2002. Other Pininifarina models included the1975 Lancia Beta Montecarlo, 2003 Maserati Quattroporte, 1986 Cadillac Allante and the super luxurious 1995 Bentley Azure. He also led the company to work with high volume manufacturers, creating the Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider , the Fiat 124 Sport Spider and even Peugeot’s 406 coupe. Initially promoted to Managing Director by 1961, the same year the family surname was changed (by presidential decree) from Farina to Pininfarina, Sergio became chairman after his father died in 1966, continuing the legacy before stepping down in 2006. He passed the reins to his oldest son Andrea, tragically killed in a motorbike accident a year later. Paulo, Sergio’s youngest son leads the company as chairman today.
What cars about to go into production? How about your own creations? FF: “Pininfarina is now developing a number of production cars. We deal with a wide range of cars for different brands, from supercars to popular products for emerging markets, but out of confidentiality reasons we cannot name them. Among the cars that have gone into production recently, I can recall the latest Ferraris designed by Pininfarina, the 458, the FF, the F12 berlinetta.” IC: “The latest Jaguar - the F-Type just revealed in Paris. Beyond F-Type you will have to wait and see! Your long standing working partnership with the likes of Ferrari and Alfa Romeo - how does this work, and the secret to success? FF: “With Ferrari and Alfa Romeo it is natural to represent the expression of Italian sportiness and passion. But these partnerships are also the result of a deep understanding of their Brand identity and a constant challenge to propose new solutions to renew the make without betraying tradition.”
Alfa Romeo Alfa Romeo is also rightly recognised as producers of some of the most stunning of cars. The bold, curvaceous 8C in both coupe and Spider form has been judged by many to be one of the most beautiful cars ever created. Like Ferrari, Alfa’s success can be contributed to the extraordinary talent of Pininifarina, and they’ve collaborated again for the forthcoming, much anticipated 4C. The 4C, Alfa says, represents the essence of a true sports car in accordance with the
company’s brand values – performance, Italian style and technical excellence for maximum driving pleasure. It’s a two-seater, mid-engined, rear-wheel drive coupe and was recently awarded the “Design Award for Concept Cars & Prototypes” by public referendum at the recent Concorso di Eleganza in Villa d’Este, Italy. It’s scheduled to go into series production during mid 2013. Alessandro Maccolini, Chief Designer, Exterior says, “We understand that people want to see beautiful design from Alfa Romeo, and we have made sure that the proportions are right and, like every other Alfa, it’s a very clean design. But the name “quattro ci” is very, very clear. It is much closer to the original Alfa Romeo: light, short, compact, with a small engine. The 4C Concept was not designed purely as a concept – the brief was to build a possible car for future production. Of course, there are some freestyle elements, but the exterior is very close to the finished production version.” Ramon Ginah, Chief Designer, Interior adds, “We can make futuristic interiors but they need to be connected to our history. For us the 4C Concept was a challenge because it’s a very modern car – how far can we push it? Let’s just say we have really pushed it!” The centre console has been designed as a swooping ‘scarf’ running down to the handbrake, housing ancillary dials and the D.N.A. switch. Analogue instruments have given way to digital screens, including interchangeable graphics depending on which driving mode you are in. The driver’s area is painted red and the passenger’s black, which as Ginah admits, has been done because the 4C Concept is ‘an egotistic car’.
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Escape to Egypt Tombs, pyramids and treasures. Stalwart ‘Bucket List’ favourites. Recent troubles aside, Egypt’s allure still holds strong. To avoid the worst of the crowds, queues and heat, now is an excellent time to go – and go in style
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four and a half hour flight from LHR, if you’ve not been before, Cairo’s all you’ve probably heard of and more – enormous, sprawling, hot, noisy 24-7, dusty, chaotic, carchoked – and I’d like to say charming, but… It is however vibrant, colourful, and the people incredibly hospitable. They’re rightly concerned how the riots have proved a huge deterrent to visitors. The country relies on tourism as its top foreign currency earner, and provider of employment for many. With numbers still yet to significantly rise following the uprising, they’re keen to reassure the world it’s now safe to come and witness the incredible pharaonic antiquities, year-round sunshine, coral-fringed beaches and top-notch hotels. Driving past Tahir Square, protesters have been replaced by children playing and the odd souvenir stall, yet just a couple of days after our return, the notorious square became a riotous hotbed once more, and a quick check on visitor warnings at the time of going to print reveals some are in place still – although not for Cairo itself or the key tourist areas. On the upside, now is your chance to not have to queue to get close to the Sphinx, pyramids and most popular tombs and sites. If this doesn’t seem much of an incentive – bear in mind, in summer, the temperatures are well over 100, and even now, 90 plus, the corridors in the ancient buildings and tombs little wider than your shoulders and the hallowed Cairo Museum of Egyptian Antiquities are typically a positively balmy 80 plus degrees. l www.egyptianmuseum.gov.eg
King Tut and his Treasures The museum is a must. Built in 1902, it’s the richest store of ancient Egyptian art and treasures from the pharonic to the Graeco-Roman period with over 100,000 exhibits. It’s best to either arrive early or later in the day – and with an expert guide of
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your own, which, along with all your flight, accommodation and itinerary wishes, luxury travel specialist Abercrombie & Kent can easily arrange. l www.abercrombiekent.co.uk
“It’s only when you take the road around these most famous of manmade wonders that you can appreciate their sheer scale”
Our excellent Egyptologist guide, Akram Allam, “Aki”, who’s shown the likes of Mick Jagger, Roger Moore, John Travolta and Richard Gere around, deftly directed us to the most famous and intriguing exhibits, still quaintly housed in simple wood and glass cases built over 60 years ago. King Tutankhamen’s funery items, including the gold bejeweled mask and sarcophagus are simply awe-inspiring, the craftsmanship exquisite. Seeing some of the greatest pharoes slumber in the Royal Mummy Room is truly incredible. After a museum visit, it’s worth heading to the Abu El Said restaurant, THE place in the city to dine, frequented by Cairo’s elite, who enjoy its opulent splendour and traditional, hearty cuisine. l www.abouelsid.com The restaurant is not far from the Khan El Khalili bazaar, one of the most magnificent oriental markets to be found anywhere, with shops dating back to the 14th Century. If it’s handmade rugs and carpets you’re after though, head on to Harrania Bazaar, and fine cotton Kerdasah. To do the museum even partial justice, you could easily spend two whole days there, (some enthusiasts a week) hence it is worth booking two or three nights in Cairo - giving you time to also enjoy fully catered moonlit felucca trips along the Nile, dine in some of the excellent authentic restaurants, buy spices, fabrics, fragrant oils and ‘hubbly bubbly’ accoutrements from the bazaars, and enjoy the excellent facilities in hotels such as our favourite, the Four Season’s Cairo at Nile Plaza . l www.fourseasons.com/caironp Both of Cairo’s Four Season hotels are located right on the banks of the Nile, with wonderful views across the sprawling metropolis, lush green oasis of the Cairo Zoo, and on, haze permitting, to the Pyramids beyond. These Four Season properties are five star luxe, superbly appointed, operated by staff to whom nothing is too much trouble. If staying in central Cairo doesn’t appeal however, the famous luxurious Oberoi Hotel, located just minutes from the
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pyramids is well worth considering. It has probably hosted more A-List guests over the years than the Oscars – from movie stars and royalty, to Indiana Jones sorts and famous writers, including Agatha Christie. Eclectically oriental in design, with one of Egypt’s finest restaurants, you can gaze out across the gardens to the pyramids, sip a cold beer or the traditional tipple of Karuda – a refreshing purplehued hibiscus tea and dine on platters of Moorish flat breads, local savouries and dips, before moving on to a delectable tagine. The Oberoi is a firm favourite of
well-heeled American guests – hopefully that won’t deter.
Giza Leaving early in the morning to beat the heat, crowds and most persistent of the hawkers, the pyramids are about a 40 minute drive from the centre, and much closer than you might think from downtown Cairo. It’s only when you take the road that travels behind these most famous of all ancient manmade wonders that you appreciate their sheer scale, and are able to see them sitting within the expected desert setting backdrop. They’re worth visiting at night too, as several evening showings of ‘Music & Light’ run in the evenings, where through projection, lights, lasers and a positively 1940’s Olivier- esq voice-over, you’re told the story of their creation. It’s rather Disneyfied, but worth it just to see the majesty of the pyramids and enigmatic Sphinx, lit up against a black night sky. Following Cairo, some jet down to Luxor to join one of the luxury Nile cruises that stops off at all the key sites of splendor. Alternatively, others leave this for another
Diving from the Four Seasons at Sharm el Sheikh There are 76 recognised dive sites within a day’s boat ride of Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, and many of them only a few minutes from the Four Seasons resort. The area between Tiran Island, the closest dive spot to The Four Seasons Sharm, and the Sinai Coast offers great drift and mooring dives. Further south is the Ras Mohammed National Park, home to a number of dramatic and famous dive sites, such as Shark and Yolanda reefs, the SS Dunraven shipwreck and Ras Gozlani. The conditions are excellent - many sites offer 30-metre visibility, as well as a wide range of corals, hundreds of species of fish and water warm enough to not need a full wetsuit. Night diving is offered on the Four Seasons’ pristine House Reef and at nearby dive sites. Even without lights, divers can see down to a depth of 10 metres with the light of the full moon. On most nights, divers can witness the bioluminescence of tiny particles of glowing plankton. On the private and secluded House Reef, depths range from the comfortable plateaus of just 5 metres down the sandy slopes to 30 and 40 metres - ideal for beginners.
trip entirely, flying straight from LHR to Luxor, and head for 5-star plus Red Sea resorts for some sun, snorkeling and scuba.
El Gouna El Gouna, known as Egypt’s Venice, is a resort that’s fast becoming known for its exclusivity, beaches and top-notch accommodation. Just thirty minutes from Hurghada airport, which has daily flights from Cairo, it’s all on totally reclaimed land, artfully formed into a series of exclusive waterfront communities of impressive villas and apartments, interlinked lagoons and white sand beaches. It’s a golf lover’s paradise – rain never stops play and the challenging 18-hole course is kept in immaculate order. And for those keen on shopping, there are plenty of chic boutiques to browse in. Two marinas berth impressive sailing craft and costly cruisers which take their owners or visitors out to the reefs, or for champagne at sunset views on the Red Sea. Private charters are available from around the £900 per day mark. On your return, dine at the small but exclusive Pier 88, famous for its steaks, and frequented by the wealthiest locals. The must stay place in El Gouna is the new super-luxe 6* La Maison Bleue, which can only be described as exquisitely designed and ultra-exclusive, and has being hailed as Egypt’s most fabulous boutique hotel. There are only 10 antiquefilled, individually decorated suites,
including one with its own courtyard and pool area. Recent guests include Hollywood A-Listers – but naturally the owner Amr Khalil will not disclose exactly who as privacy is key. Be warned – Amr told us he doesn’t want just anyone staying – prospective guests are asked to ‘apply’ to stay. l www.lamaison-bleue.com
Sharm el Sheik Thanks to direct flights now from a number of regional UK airports, Sharm el Sheik’s become a firm favourite with young Brits seeking an alternative to the usual Balearic haunts. Don’t let that deter though as it is possible to enjoy an altogether more up market experience in the vibrant holiday resort. It’s fair to assume the reason you’d head to Sharm is to dive, or snorkel in the Red Sea, and it doesn’t disappoint. Visibility is excellent, the water warm enough to not need a full wetsuit and there’s an abundance of rainbow coloured sea creatures and coral to see. The best reefs are a 30-40 minute speedboat ride away, but that’s part of the fun, and returning back as the sun sets, turning the water crimson and gold an experience not to be missed.
Travel From Sharm you can fly straight back to LHR. Star Alliance member EgyptAir flies twice daily to Cairo, with easy connections to Sharm and Hurghada (for El Gouna).
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Getaway of the Month: Fairyhill Restaurant with Rooms Fairyhill’s an award-winning restaurant with rooms, located in the heart of the Gower Peninsular, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in South Wales.
ust a few miles from two of the UK’s most spectacular beaches – Rhossili and Three Cliffs Bay, yet nestling in a lush countryside setting, Fairyhill is a peaceful and luxury haven for city sorts seeking a break away from the bright lights. Book to stay in one of the Georgian manor’s tasteful, well-appointed rooms, with views out across 24 acres of attractive parkland, and combine fantastic food with fresh air – getting out and about, walking the coastal path, sailing or even surfing are all available at this fantastic retreat. Fairyhill’s been hailed as one of the UK’s top ten restaurants outside London. It’s stylish without being starchy, and staff and owners are incredibly welcoming, knowledgeable about where all the produce is sourced and their extensive and award-winning wine list, meaning that within a few minutes you feel quite at home, thoroughly relaxed and content as you enjoy pre-dinner drinks in the stylish snug bar. Fairyhill is the perfect place for couples to come to unwind and spend quality private time together. Guests include many
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of the great and good from TV, theatre, sport and politics. The kitchen, under the careful guidance of chef patron Paul Davies, sources as much produce as possible from the local area. The food is refined, innovative, unpretentious and elegant, showcasing the quality of top-notch ingredients, which in large parts has been gathered just hours before serving from Fairyhill’s own walled herb and vegetable garden. The Gower’s highly acclaimed salt marsh lamb comes from just a few miles away, as does the beef, sea bass, mackerel and lobster. Locally gathered samphire’s often on the menu, accompanying tender and wonderful fish. Deserts too are made with produce from the area. They’re delicious and most definitely worth leaving room for.The wine list is one of the best in the country, and refreshingly many are offered by the glass. An excellent restaurant and place to stay which we couldn’t recommend more highly. l www.fairyhill.net l Reynoldston Gower, Swansea, West Glamorgan SA3 1BS. Tel: 01792 390 139
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GOLFER’S GUIDE MoneyMaker’s golf expert Sophie Horn takes us around some of her favourite courses in the world Valderamma l Designed by Robert Trent Jones Snr
alderrama is a relatively new course, yet it has still remained Europe’s No. 1 course for such a long time, and has already created a level of history that some famous clubs haven’t gained over hundreds of years. When I first got offered the chance to play the fabled course, I grabbed it as quickly as I could get hold of my clubs, not forgetting to take a little Dutch courage out with me on the way out! Make no mistake, Valderrama is expensive to play, and not always the easiet of courses to secure a tee-time, but whether or not you feel the green fee is justified, the place is undoubtedly special. There is an undefinable buzz about the place, and memories of the Ryder Cup in ’97 inevitably flow through the mind, with Seve very much to the fore. After a warm up on the practice range and a few putts, we were good to go. I decided to play off the men’s tees (or I might have been forced by my playing partners - they were a bit scared, perhaps!), and the first thing that strikes you is the immaculate presentation of the whole course. The tees resembled greens, and the greens themselves are out of this world! In fact, I almost felt bad making any kind of mark on the pristine grass this is certainly no place for the dreaded ‘fat’ shot!
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What makes Valderrama stand out from so many courses in world golf is how you have to think about every shot carefully. You must not try to be too daring or brave, and good course management is key. You must take a few moments on every tee to work out how best to attack the hole, even if it doesn’t quite work out. And, there are several holes when your driver must stay in the bag, which was quite a challenge for me. Valderrama is not a long course by modern day standards, but it is so very interesting. The greens are also relatively small, again by modern standards, and
the cork tree lined fairways (and the odd one in the middle of the fairway) provide a really fair penalty if you go offline. I like the fact that you can usually find your ball, but suffer that half-shot penalty by having to play back to the fairway. This course keeps you captivated the whole way round. My only disappointment, I suppose, is the restaurant area set aside for nonmembers. It wasn’t really in keeping with the rest of the Valderrama experience, but more in keeping with a high end coffee shop - not what you wish for after taking on the famous 18!
SOPHIE’s VIEW The HORNdex takes into account aspects of the golf course and facilities itself, alongside such things as the Club Sandwich and the local beers on offer. “I loved the majestic Par 5 4th hole, and the short 8th, with the bunker all the way round the front of the green. Meanwhile, on the back nine – the par 3rd is great fun, and, of course, the much discussed par 5 17th is magnificent.”
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spa revIEw Herb House Spa, Lime Wood, Lyndhurst, Hampshire The perfect antidote for a week in the City
he five star luxe Lime Wood hotel, owned by reclusive Ineos founder and multi-millionaire Jim Ratcliff, is just under a two hour drive from London, or a couple of hours train and taxi ride from Waterloo to Brockenhurst station. The supremely tasteful hotel has notched up numerous awards and acclaims, and is soon to open a new restaurant fronted by none other than Angela Hartnett. The Herb House spa is also setting standards across the board, principally for its innovative and luxurious holistic treatments, harmony with its natural surroundings, state of the art fitness equipment, and its relaxing, chilled vibe. Nestled in a particularly picturesque area of the New Forest, Lime Wood overlooks a meadow as well as miles and of wood and heathland, meaning that amongst other joys you’re likely to see fallow and roe deer with their fawns grazing on the laws right outside your window. Just another touch that makes this idyll one of those places that feels a very long way from the chaos of the city. A peaceful haven, perfect for some much deserved luxe R&R. The retreat’s designers have artfully managed to bring the inside outside – and vice-versa. A herb-filled roof garden
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offers panoramic forest views, where, weather-permitting, classes such as yoga are regularly held. A large sauna also offers great views, as does a mud house, and a steaming hot pool where you can relax outdoors with a glass of champagne. Designed over three levels, the spa has eight single treatment rooms and two impressive doubles – the Bath House which features a private steam room and indoor treatment bath, and the Bath Garden, with its own outdoor bath and private steam room. Evert room is extremely well done - blonde and white wood throughout, essential oil and herb scented, and, refreshingly, not an inch of chintz in sight. The large, airy rooftop gym has all the very latest equipment, there is a 16-metre ozone-treated lap pool with glass doors overlooking the garden, a large hydra pool with invigorating jets, a hands and feet room for manicures and pedicures, and a workout studio offering classes including zumba, kettle bell, and pilates. The spa uses respected natural product ranges from the UK, including Bamford, Voya, Nude and Tri-Dosha. Treatmentwise, there is a wide range available, many suitable for male as well as female guests - deep tissue, back, neck and sports massages, as well as relaxing de-stress
alternatives. The spa is one of very few in the UK to offer Chavutti Thirumal - a foot pressure massage. This innovative therapy is hugely popular with male guests in particular, its deep tissue massage treatment is ideal for alleviating muscle tension and pain and improving suppleness. Costing £150 for 105 minutes, the treatment requires the guest to lie down on a comfortable mat, with just a small
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modesty towel and provided thong. After a detailed consultation, the therapist uses the balls and heels of her feet to really apply pressure where needed, as well as long, sweeping, relaxing strokes. She uses ropes looped down from the ceiling to help support her weight and aid balance as deliciously scented oils are smoothed on the whole body, face and scalp. The treatment finishes with a marma point head and face massage, another
facet that is highly recommended. For those with a foot phobia – fear not, you wouldn’t actually realise feet are used – it feels for the most part as though you were being massaged by the therapist’s forearms and hands. There are specialist Ayurvedic treatments on offer too, including the supremely relaxing Forest Dream, three hours of ultimate relaxation at a cost of £255. Starting with a detailed consultation to establish your personal ‘dosha’, two therapists work in synchronised harmony for the ultimate tension releasing massage – known as a Samvahana. The treatment also includes a deeply relaxing Mukhabhyanga, a face massage with marma point pressure, and Shirodhara, where warm, fragrant oil is steadily poured onto the scalp and forehead. You then relax in your own private steam room. Don’t forget to head to the Mud House also, where you can experience a traditional Arabian body treatment involving a full body exfoliation, being covered in mineral-rich muds, and relaxing on heated benches while the mud purifies and tones. You can book the room for yourself, as a couple, or with a friend: 45 minutes - £90 for two people or £120 for four. If coming to Lime Wood’s Herb House spa as a couple, there are other treatments specially designed to give you both quality
“head to the mud house to experience a traditional arabian body treatment” relaxation and pampering time in the privacy of your own treatment space. The Ultimate Hideaway, Essential Harmony and Voya’s Wrap & Plunge are each three hours long and cost £190 per person. Together in the Forest lasts three and a half hours and is £205 per person. Spa days are offered too, including those specifically for men. Mint Condition costs £215, with three hours of treatment time, which includes a full body MOT to find out exactly what shape you are in, a personal bespoke training session and a deep tissue massage. Squeaky Clean, costing £215, includes two hours treatment time, a Voya back scrub, upper body massage, mini facial and deluxe pedicure. Recognised now as one of Europe’s top spas, Herb House is more than definitely worth a visit. l www.limewoodhotel.co.uk
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Watch the 2013 Dakar Rally in Style In the New Year,the Dakar Rally, the most famous and dangerous of all off-road races, will finish in Chile for the first time. Travel operator DialAFlight is offering a luxe 6-night trip to witness the last stages in style, from £4,799 per person to celebrate. Departing on 14th Jan, guests will spend two nights at the 5-star W Hotel in Santiago to acclimatise, before travelling by plane and private 4x4 to follow the last stretch of the race from Copiapo to Santiago. The world famous race is one of the most exciting sporting events on the planet, and will fit in right at home in its new South American backdrop. For fans of goos old-fahsioned motor racing, or simply adventure, the opportunity to experience this potentially once in a lifetime event it
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not one to be missed. For the more cautious travellers Englsih speaking guides wiill be on hand to ensure that every need is met as you follow the race though Chile to the chequered flag, with luxury accomodation (including luxury tents for the duration of your time in the desert) at every stop on the voyage. An absolutely fantastic experience ideally suited for the adveturous traveller looking to kick-start 2013 with a bang. We won’t be missing out on this road trip to end all road trips, make sure you don’t miss out either.
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REGRESSIVE THERAPY Who said that growing up had to mean waving goodbye to fun? Check out these cool boys’ toys from one of our favourite lastminute christmas shopping stores, www.BoysStuff.co.uk 1. ION Piano Apprentice, £85.95 Ever wanted to learn the piano, but lack the time and, well, piano? Good news, as ION’s super smart iPad accessory will get you up to speed with its 25 note keyboard, in-built speakers and easy-to-follow red lights. You’ll be fluent in no time.
2. ION iDJ2GO for iPad and iPhone, £89.95 Rediscover forgotten dreams of DJ superstardom with this neat gadget for iPad and iPhone. Simply link it up to your iTunes library to create your own mixes, and even output them to an amp to perform live. Great for novices and more seasoned DJs alike. 3. Arcade Mania Sit Down Arcade Machine, £1,499 Bring back the sepia-toned memories of high-tech 80’s gaming with this stylish (and HD) conversion of a classic gaming table. With over 150 games pre-installed and digital sound, it’s a shiny chrome accessory that makes hunching over a table cool again. 4. Razor E300 Electric Scooter, £279.95 We’ve been seeing more electric scooters around the streets of London recently, as commuters zip about in style. With speeds of up to 15 mph, the E300 is a leader in its class, and a full charge will take you over 11 miles - more than enough to get you to and from work, whilst reminding yourself that you’ve been put on this Earth to have a good time.
The nice people at www.BoysStuff. co.uk have given us a sleek and stylish Razor E300 Electric Scooter to give away to one lucky MoneyMaker Magazine reader. To enter, email us at email@example.com quoting ‘RAZOR’ in the subject. Competition closes at midnight on January 31st 2013. The winner will be notified via email.
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MoneyMaker December/January 2013