- About Tim
My experience as a business owner-manager began in 2000, when I started an internet company from my old bedroom in my parents’ house — all while supporting a young family.
Today, having run several successful internet companies, my business successes and further studies enable me to invest not just my own hard-earned resources, but also to work confidently as a professional money manager for my clients, too.
Out of an Engineering degree at Oxford in my early twenties, I wasn’t ready for a real job so spent four years working as a trekking guide, and then an aid worker, in countries all over the world. Having met my wife and returned home to the North Norfolk coast, there wasn’t much call for aid workers or trekking guides, and my CV at the time didn’t get me many interviews. After a brief spell on a data-entry contract for a local corporate, I decided that I was perfectly positioned to start an internet company!
That first startup didn’t go too far, but it did force me to learn how the internet worked, and I worked my way into online marketing. This coincided with the appearance of Google. Suddenly anyone with an internet connection could swiftly learn more about online marketing, and the great undiscovered way of getting business (before the world woke up to it).
My next stroke of luck was my first office. The small 10×6 room overlooked a machine shop on the local industrial estate, but more importantly it was owned by my first real mentor, a successful businessman who took me under his wing and kindly tutored me on the many aspects of running an SME.
Over the next few years I worked on a multitude of online projects with some amazing successes; some quickly faltered, and some survived.
The most successful of these was Blurtit.com which at 16m unique visitors per month was one of the most popular websites in the US for a time.
As my successes increased, I found myself hiring the services of a local IFA to help me manage my hard-earned finances. He was a great guy, but my busy business brain immediately questioned how my money was actually invested. It seemed to be based on a secret market, language and logic I was unable to follow.
I used Google searches to begin to educate myself, this time typing ‘the best investor of all time’, and was suddenly introduced to the world of Warren Buffett.
I learnt that investing is something you can understand and that it is, in fact, very logical.
The change in perspective for me was realising that investing is all about understanding the business you are investing in, and making sure you pay the right price for it in order to see returns in the longer term. With my business development and SME background, I found that much easier to understand than trying to guess where the market prices would head in the next week or month.
I started reading more books about Buffett’s way of investing, “Value Investing”, and quickly discovered that the investors with the best long-term track records all have Value Investing at the core of their strategy. Buffett learned from Ben Graham at Columbia Business School and so have many of the best investors since.
The concept of value investing is addictive, and easy to understand. Research the businesses you might invest in, look at their commercials, look at their managing team, and look for a margin of safety in the business’ own resources. I further widened my studies by reading books, watching online tutorials, attending conferences, networking and attending a number of business schools for further training and education. I still use the same learning methods today. The more I learn the more I realise I don’t know. It makes life so much more interesting!
In 2008, using value investing techniques, I started investing my own funds and achieving market-beating returns. As my studies and enthusiasm grew, my investment portfolio became my focus, especially as my gains here had begun to outpace those from my online assets.
Outside interest grew in my results, so I decided to start training to invest for other people. I was keen to align my investments with my clients’, and to have a structure that ensured the client came first. I copied this from the first Buffet partnerships in which clients paid performance fees only, and were invested in the same assets as Buffett himself owned.
I now manage discretionary funds for private investors on this basis, as a consultant through Credo Capital Plc. I continue looking around the world for great investments to add to this structure.
So, a thank-you to luck, to my family, and to the many people who have helped me on my way to this point — especially Google!
CV & Education
You can find out more about my commercial experience and further training on LinkedIn