This blog runs through the value to me of attending Master Investor and other Shows and some ideas on how Readers can build Networks of like minded Investors/Traders.
Sadly I have to report that the Master Investor Show this year was far from impressive. As usual, it is Free to enter (always like that !!) and the night before the Show I had a look on the Website to draw up a list of the Company Stands I wanted to visit and the Speakers I wanted to listen to on the Main Stage and the other little Stages. However, I was really disappointed by the line up for both elements - the Speakers were totally uninteresting to me, and frankly second rate, and the Companies were mainly High Risk AIM Resources Stocks (of little interest to me) or they were Spreadbetting Companies or Brokers or suchlike. Of the Companies with Stands, I was only interested in Interquest ITQ and Avation AVAP - I know both companies pretty well and actually on the day I didn’t even bother making my way over to their Stands. I hold Shares in AVAP and wrote a couple of Blogs about them here:
I get the impression that Tom Winnifrith has poached all the best speakers for his UK Investor Show with Mark Slater being of particular note - he is the guy I really like to listen to.
Where the Real Value was
So, in essence, I dragged myself into London, and attended a Show with no Speakers I wanted to listen to and almost no Companies I wanted to speak with……hmmmm, so, you may well ask, “what exactly was the point?”
To which I would reply, “Well, I met loads of my mates”.
In other words, I had a fun day out and Master Investor were kind enough to provide us with a Venue and they even had a Canteen which served Budweiser and Wine - didn’t expect that !!
When I hit upon the idea of doing the WheelieDealer Website and using Twitter to enable me to ‘speak’ to Readers of the Website on a regular basis and in Real Time, I totally underestimated the Power of Twitter. It really has been the most incredible revelation to me. My mate @MarkOtten1 had mentioned a few times how excellent it was and how he used it to follow people like Paul Scott and Merryn Somerset Webb etc., but I never really took the bait until I figured out it might be a good adjunct to the Website.
As it happens, Twitter has utterly surprised me and turned out to be very different to the concept I had in mind when I started out. The first realisation was that Twitter drives traffic to my Website - not the other way around. In many ways, Twitter has become the focal point and the Website is almost secondary to my Twittering - this is completely opposite to what I had envisaged. By the way, if you are reading this and not on Twitter or even looking at my Tweets, then you could well be missing out on a huge amount of useful information - you could of course get yourself a Twitter Account - it is free and runs on PC, Laptop, Fones, Tablets etc. and you can see my Twitter Feed on the Homepage of the Website. In addition, I learnt from a mate at the Show that if you use Google to search for ’@wheeliedealer’ you can get a list of my Tweets almost exactly as if you had a Twitter Account - it is quite amazing.
I am on Twitter for a huge amount of the time during the Week, but of late I have started to cut down my Twitter use on Fridays and over the Weekend especially - I was just finding it too time consuming and I worry it detracts from my time to write decent Blogs etc. and to do Research on Stocks and read and suchlike - and of course there are other things I want to do with my life apart from Stockmarket stuff. However, despite taking a bit more control of how much time I spend Twittering, I do enjoy using the Tweets and I get huge value myself out of the Information that gets shared around and from the interactions I have with seemingly countless numbers of other people - this links neatly with the coming text of this Blog. I see my use of Tweets as an essential aspect of the whole ‘WheelieDealer Experience’ and I intend to carry on pretty much as I am for the foreseeable future.
My Twittersphere Network
As time has passed and many gazillions of Tweets have been touched by my prodding fingers on my Fone, I have built up some very strong friendships with a whole bunch of people who I didn’t even know existed prior to October 2014 and I am meeting up with great new people all the time within the Virtual World of Investors/Traders.
It really is quite astonishing when I sit back and wipe my mind and think about how my whole Investing Approach has been altered by use of Twitter and the access to some truly talented Investors/Traders it has given me. Before I started WheelieDealer, I had a reasonably sizeable network of mates who all Invested in Shares and did the odd bit of Short Term Trading but in reality it probably numbered barely a dozen people and we were a very wide range of experience and abilities. I got a huge amount of Value from this bunch of people, and I still do, but this has been augmented by the Twitter Buddies to an unbelievable extent. It really wouldn’t surprise me if I now have a network of as many as 40 People of extremely high Investing/Trading abilities and I could call on any of them at any time for help/inspiration etc. Obviously many Readers see my Tweets that are out in public but you do not see the Direct Messages (DMs) that whizz around and I have many conversations taking place in the background with some extremely capable people - and of course I do quite a bit of Mentoring kind of thing to some newer Investors. And I haven’t even mentioned the emails……….
Oh, and a huge THANK YOU to all the people who shove Comments under my Blogs - this is a great addition to the Website and gives additional insights for all Readers, so it is very much appreciated.
Right, back to the story. I sent out some Tweets announcing that I would get to the Canteen on the top floor at Master Investor at about 12 noon and when I turned up, I straightaway found a table with a whole bunch of people who I knew from Twitter - some I had met in Flesh & Bone before and some I only knew Virtually. Anyway, my priority was to speak with Aston Girl @Reb40 who had flown down from the Arctic Circle especially to meet us all, but she had to leave at 3.30pm to catch a flight to Scotland somewhere because her Hubby is not fully trained yet. I talk a lot to Aston Girl in the Virtual World and it was so excellent to meet her for real - it’s a funny thing but when you meet people this way, it is like you know them really well already and this is the case with all the people I have met in Real Life through doing WheelieDealer.
It was also totally superb to meet up with Ian M Smith @GrinderTraderUK who had flown down from Glasgow for the Show and we had a really good laugh and might even have chatted about the Stockmarket, although I am not sure we did all that much. For Ian’s version of events and a full list of the gang, INCLUDING A PICTURE OF THE MISCREANTS, check out this from his Website:
Along with these travellers from far-flung parts of the World, I met up with a load more Twitter Peeps, many of whom I had met at Master Investor last year and some I have had sneaky beers with etc. The great thing about the gang of people that turned up was that we all just got on so superbly well - it was like we have all been mates for years and years and years and the surprising thing was that the conversations about Stocks and related topics were only a small part of the discussions - it was just a great fun day out.
At about 5pm ish we decided to head next door to the Ask Pizza place and I guess about 10 of use decanted to this venue - again the beers flowed and we chatted about all sorts of silliness. Sadly for me I had to drive home so my Alcohol intake was very limited but at my ripe old age I have had plenty of fun times with intoxication in my life anyway and I am quite happy with a more sedate pace of being these days !! I understand the serious Drunks headed off to the nearby Hilton Hotel and carried on the frivolity.
Do it Yourself
I hope the previous Text hasn’t bored you senseless and given the impression that I have loads of mates and my life is amazing and all that sort of silliness - there is a serious point here for Readers.
I have no doubt that my Twitter Network and the friends I have made over the Years of Investing are of real value to me in my Investing activities. Such a Network is a great source of new Ideas to invest in and it is very useful to discuss potential Investments to look at the Risks and the Value and suchlike - in fact, there are loads of benefits such as:
- People to bounce New Investment Ideas off.
- A forum for discussing Investment and Portfolio Management concepts like How many Shares should I hold? What Psychological aspects can affect us as Investors? How can I shelter my Dosh from Tax? Is Buy to Let a good idea? I want to buy a Miner - which one should I buy? Etc. etc. etc.
- A peer group which can be used as a Yardstick to measure Annual Performance of your Portfolio against.
- An opportunity to see how other Successful Investors do things and how you can amend your own Approach to boost Returns.
- Any recommendations of Books to read or Websites to look at or Shows to attend etc.
- If you are thinking of Selling a Stock, you can discuss it with mates in order to decide if this is a good idea.
Probably the easiest way to build a Network is to get involved on Twitter. The vast majority of people do no interaction and they simply read Tweets in a passive way - if you want to get involved, then just get typing and feel free to fire Questions my way or whatever - the more the merrier and all that. By getting active on Twitter, you will find that as long as you are sensible and polite, then people will Follow you and your Network will just sort of evolve and before you know it you will be meeting up with like-minded people at shows and stuff.
I know there are loads of Investment Clubs all around the Country and lots of people do this sort of thing where they meet once a Month and pool an amount of Money which is then invested in Stocks on behalf of the Club - I don’t know much about this but if you Google ‘Investment Clubs in XXXXX’ I suspect you will get a few pop up in your locality.
I have noticed a few people put out Tweet requests for people to form a Meeting Group in a particular area - for instance, I remember a few months back some Peeps arranging a meet-up for Investors in the Midlands. If you want to do a similar thing where you live, then Tweet me or send me an Email and I am happy to help facilitate bringing people together for such a meeting with a mention on my Website Homepage at the top and I can send out some Tweets or whatever.
One of the guys I met up with for the first time last Saturday at Master Investor was Mark Bentley @marben100 - he is a Director of ShareSoc and they hold loads of Private Investor Evenings in various locations where People can meet up and there are usually Companies doing presentations. I have never been to one but I know loads of people who have and they sound like a good night out. Contact Mark for details.
I think David Stredder @Carmensfella runs a thing called ‘Mello’ which takes place once a month in Beckenham, Kent, where they have a Company presenting - contact him for details.
Paul Scott @paulypilot runs a similar event in Brighton from time to time - check out his Small Cap Value Report on Stockopedia for details.
Whilst this Blog has been in draft I finally got around to looking in the extremely thin Carrier Bag of ‘stuff’ that was handed out at Master Investor. Apart from a copy of Shares Mag which I am sure will be worth a flick through (it was and I must say I am much more impressed by Shares Mag these days than I used to be), it was all pretty junky stuff (although there was a nice sharp pencil complete with a rubber on the end), although I did find something from ‘SIGnet - the Serious Investor Groups Network’ which might be interesting to some readers. It seems to be some sort of thing where Investors can meet up and discuss stuff - they charge £25 a year but you seem to get stuff for that and you do not have to pay upfront - you can go to a couple of meetings for nothing and if you like it you can then pay to keep going - seems fair enough. I don’t know these people or anything about them - the Flyer looks nicely amateurish and that is probably a good thing !! You can see their website here:
Email email@example.com or contact John Lander on 01242 224316.
Well, I hope I haven’t bored the pants off you by all my talk of socialising etc., and maybe for a few Readers it might get you thinking about how to widen your Investor/Trader network - it is definitely worthwhile.
I was thinking about this earlier this morning - when I first gave up ‘Real Work’ about 7 years ago, I had a few years of Reading and Learning and refining of my Approach and then a few years of putting it all into practice and then I got a bit bored. For that reason I started doing WheelieDealer to keep me occupied and I then discovered Twitter and suddenly met this amazing bunch of truly talented Investors/Traders that I could never have met in any other way I suspect - it really has given me a boost and been a bit help in my development and learning as an Investor.
OK, go and get building your Network !!