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Free Capital

How 12 private investors made millions in the stock market

By Guy Thomas

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About the Author

Guy Thomas

Guy Thomas has been an independent investor since 1999. In his previous life as an employee, he was a research actuary with a firm of pension consultants, and then a university lecturer. He has published papers in academic journals covering insurance economics, actuarial mathematics, and taxation and investment. He is an honorary lecturer at the University of Kent.

www.guythomas.org.uk

Contents Listing

A Note on Names and Details
Preface

Introduction

I - Geographers

1. Luke: The Big Picture
2. Nigel: Catching the Swings

II - Surveyors

3. Bill: Just the Facts
4. John Lee: Defensive Value and Dividends
5. Sushil: The Apostate Economist
6. Taylor: The Autodidact
7. Vernon: Buying the Glitch

III - Activists

8. Eric: The Networker
9. Owen: Efficiency and Opportunism
10. Peter Gyllenhammar: The Corporate Engineer

IV - Eclectics

11. Khalid: The Day Trader
12. Vince: The Tax Exile

Conclusion

Characteristics of the Free Capitalists
Life choices and chances
Attitudes
Working Methods
Summary Table of Investor Characteristics

What Happened Next

A Note on Research Methods
Acknowledgements
Endnotes
Index
A Note on Names and Details
Preface

Introduction

I - Geographers

1. Luke: The Big Picture
2. Nigel: Catching the Swings

II - Surveyors

3. Bill: Just the Facts
4. John Lee: Defensive Value and Dividends
5. Sushil: The Apostate Economist
6. Taylor: The Autodidact
7. Vernon: Buying the Glitch

III - Activists

8. Eric: The Networker
9. Owen: Efficiency and Opportunism
10. Peter Gyllenhammar: The ...

Jacket Text

Wouldn't life be better if you were free of the daily grind - the conventional job and boss - and instead succeeded or failed purely on the merits of your own investment choices? Free Capital is a window into this world.

Based on a series of interviews, it outlines the investing strategies, wisdom and lifestyles of 12 highly successful private investors. Each of them has accumulated £1m or more - in most cases considerably more - mainly from stock market investment. Six are 'ISA millionaires' who have £1m or more in a tax-free ISA, a result which is arithmetically impossible without exceptional investment returns.

Some have several academic degrees or strong City backgrounds; others left school with few qualifications and are entirely self-taught as investors. Some invest most of their money in very few shares and hold them for years at a time; others make dozens of trades every day, and hold them for at most a few hours. Some are inveterate networkers, who spend their day talking to managers at companies in which they invest; for others a share is just a symbol on a screen, and a price chart shows most of what they need to know to make their trading decisions.

Free capital - money surplus to immediate living expenses - is the raw material with which these investors work. It can also be thought of as their psychological habitat, free from the petty tribulations of office politics. Lastly, free capital describes the footloose nature of their assets, which can be quickly redirected towards any type of investment anywhere in the world, without the constraints which institutional investors often face.

Although it presents many advanced insights and valuable investment hints, this is not an overly technical book. It offers practical ideas and inspiration, with revealing detail and minimal jargon, making it an indispensable read for novice and experienced investors alike.

Professional Reviews

"A compelling read...You could learn a lot from this dazzling dozen and Guy Thomas (himself a private investor on a par with his subjects) sets out the lessons very clearly...This is definitely the best investment book that has crossed my desk for some time." - Alistair Blair, Investors Chronicle

"This elegantly composed volume brings the practice of investing to life." - Financial Times

"A compelling read...I heartily recommend the book... the value of discovering anew that you're not alone in your thinking and your game plan is priceless." - Monevator

"Something of a future investment classic in my view...I heartily recommend it." - The Motley Fool


Media Coverage

Valueprax

A methodical review of investors and their strategies

The greatest strength of "Free Capital" is its organization and layout-- it's truly like visiting an expertly-designed website in that the ...

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The Motley Fool

David Kuo chats with Guy Thomas, author of Free Capital, which is about 12 private investors who have accumulated £1m or more mainly from stock market investments. They investigate how two investors ...

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El Confidencial

(Translated from Spanish) Become a millionaire from the bottom is not impossible, just very difficult. While most of those who dream entrust this task to systems such as the pools or the lottery, ...

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The Sunday Times

MAKING £1m or more from the stock market is a dream for many private investors, but a reality for only a few.

Isa millionaires, in particular, are a rare breed. Brewin Dolphin, the investment ...

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Financial Times

January was great for shares. Several of my holdings that had suffered declines have now almost or fully recovered.

Mining stocks had a particularly good run ? and my recently purchased shares in ...

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The Actuary Magazine

Andrew Howe is intrigued by Guy Thomas's analysis of the investment approaches of 12 millionaires.

Free Capital, written by actuary and investor Guy Thomas, describes the backgrounds and ...

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Theactuary.com

"Free Capital is excellent storytelling but, more importantly, covers material that you will struggle to find elsewhere. There are many deeper aspects that also make Free Capital ...

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Towards Financial Independence Blog

What do self-made millionaires?

Investment professionals and their strategies are written in a lot of books. Successful private investors say the books are a rarity, however. An exception to this ...

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Pensions World

Making Millions

Free Capital by Guy Thomas, £18.99, ISBN 978 1906659745 (279 pages) www.harriman-house.com

Would not life be better if you were free of the daily grind and instead succeeded or ...

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Media Review

Making Millions
- Pensions World
5th October 2011

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Shares Magazine

Astriking feature of some of the most successful private investors is their focus on smaller companies. Most of the ?Isa millionaires? I have inter- viewed during the course of my research ignore the ...

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Mohammed Amin

Overview of the book

The book consists of profiles of 12 private investors, based upon interviews. Each of them has accumulated at least £1 million and in many cases much more from stock market ...

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Financial World - IFS Learning

Free capital, as Guy Thomas evokes it, is ?money surplus to immediate living expenses? ? the wealth accumulated as full-time private investors by the 12 people interviewed (10 under aliases) for this ...

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Pensions Management

Unlike the vast majority of media material produced about those lucky few who have stuck a few quid away, this next book doesn?t extend emaciated arms in the hope of laying a hand on our modern day ...

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SelfTrade StockTakes

Wouldn?t life be better if you were free of the daily grind ? the conventional job and boss ? and instead succeeded or failed purely on the merits of your own investment choices?

Free Capital: ...

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Investoo

Free Capital (published by Harriman House) simply refers to the money surplus to immediate living expenses; it is the raw material that investors base their work on. The premise of ?Free Capital? is ...

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Traders Mag

Wouldn't life be better if you were free of the daily grind ? the conventional job and boss ? and instead succeeded or failed purely on the merits of your own investment choices?

Personal ...

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UK Shareholders Association

he author profiles 12 successful private investors in the UK, teasing out their methodologies and their psychological makeup ? and its an interesting and encouraging book.

Whilst he categorises ...

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UK Analyst

It is every private investor\'s dream to live off the fruit of his own investments, and this is the story of those private investors who are living that dream. The book profiles twelve individuals, ...

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Interactive Investor

I?ve spent two weeks in the company of twelve highly successful investors. The only thing that connects them is they?ve made a lot of money over a long period of time, enabling them to give up their ...

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Stockopedia

Fans of investing literature will know that, unfortunately, many of the best books are American. While a lot of what?s discussed in ?John Neff on Investing? or "How to Make Money in Stocks" is ...

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Monevator

Some great reading on money and investing.

When you?re young, half the classic books you read seem to apply to you. For example, like many a nerdy teenage bookworm without a girlfriend, a driving ...

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The Motley Fool

Books that focus on UK investors are relatively rare, so Guy Thomas's Free Capital should be well received.

Indeed, he has comfortably exceeded his goal of writing a 'journalistic profile of the ...

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AimZine

We do not normally review books in AimZine but felt that we should draw this recent publication to our readers? attention. We believe that anyone serious about managing their own stock market ...

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Investors Chronicle

Small caps! It's a privilege to write this page for you every week, but close on its heels in terms of stimulation was the job I had for five years writing a newsletter on small companies, including ...

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Investorschronicle.co.uk

"A compelling read...You could learn a lot from this dazzling dozen and Guy Thomas (himself a private investor on a par with his subjects) sets out the lessons very clearly...This is definitely the ...

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Trading Diary

Guy Thomas talks to tradingdiary about his new book Free Capital: How 12 private investors made millions in the stock market.

Who are you?

I am an actuary and investor. I qualified with a firm ...

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Interactive Investor

The story so far: Leeds Group shares are dirt cheap judging by conventional measures, but, although it has one main business importing fabrics to Germany, it?s an investment company run by two ...

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Blog.iii.co.uk

The Peter Gyllenhammar story
? Richard Beddard, Interactive Investor
10th March 2011

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Pensions-management.co.uk

"[Guy Thomas] has an easy style and is good at conveying complex information in short, pithy prose...an interesting insight."
? Pensions Management
5th July 2011

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Taloudellinenriippumattomuus.com

Free Capital - Self Made Millionaires - Towards Financial Independence Blog20th October 2011

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Bookfiles

Little fish are sweet - Why private investors should focus mainly on smaller companies - Shares MagazineSeptember 2011

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Fw.ifslearning.ac.uk

"Unusually compelling...This book answers its market extremely well."- Financial World, IFS LearningSeptember 2011

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Mohammedamin.com

"Everyone will learn something from this book, regardless of their previous level of investing experience...very well written and very interesting to read...I recommend it to everyone who is already ...

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Selftrade.co.uk

Want to give up the day job? Read how 12 people did just that in Free Capital, a new book profiling full-time private investors. Its author, Guy Thomas, explains. - SelfTrade StockTakeJune ...

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Investoo.co.uk

"Free Capital is a worthy read and is a special type of ?hybrid? investment book that manages to achieve a great balance between story and practical insight."- Investoo13th June 2011

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Uksa.org.uk

"An interesting and encouraging book."- Jeremy Prescott, UK Shareholders Association7th June 2011

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Commoditywatch.podbean.com

How 12 Private Investors Made Millions - Frisby's Bulls and Bears5th June 2011

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Media Review

Traders Tools - Book Review: Free Capital - Traders Magazine7th June 2011

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Blog.iii.co.uk

Thomas' Twelve - Interactive Investor23rd May 2011

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Uk-analyst.com

"The best thing investors will take away from this book is a sense of personal inspiration in light of what can be achieved with determination, careful planning and the odd spot of luck."- UK ...

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Stockopedia.co.uk

Guy Thomas? Free Capital: At last, a true to life account of UK investing - Stockopedia6th May 2011

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Monevator.com

"A compelling read...I heartily recommend the book... the value of discovering anew that you?re not alone in your thinking and your game plan is priceless."- Monevator5th May 2011

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Aimzine.co.uk

"Anyone serious about managing their own stock market investments will want to read Guy Thomas?s Free Capital...fascinating reading...we would commend Free Capital to anyone ...

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Fool.co.uk

"Something of a future investment classic in my view...I heartily recommend it."- Kevin Godbold,
The Motley Fool4th May 2011

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Tradingdiary.co.uk

Guy Thomas - 'Free Capital' Interview - Trading Diary26th April 2011

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Moneyobserver.com

Free Capital was featured in Money Observers' e-update - Money Observer4th April 2011

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Fidelity

For most people, bin cleaner Craig Brazier?s recent £1.3million win on the horses after staking just £2 will fall in the same category as some of the more extreme lottery wins witnessed in recent ...

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