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marky1

583 posts

83 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
SystemParanoia said:
things like... ?
As an example I would imagine something along the lines of lending money at 5000% APR.

Manks

7,824 posts

109 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
Digga said:
Manks said:
SystemParanoia said:
Manks said:
Being ruthless helps a lot.

The people I know who have made a lot of money (8 figures or more) have also engaged in what I would call "legal criminality". They don't actually break the law but relentlessly exploit that which is legal but questionable.

In fact I seriously question whether it is possible to make a fortune from scratch whilst at the same time being law-abiding, moral and pleasant.
things like... ?
Not going to go into detail here, but basically doing things that aren't illegal, but which you might assume are, or preying upon the naive, stupid or vulnerable.
Here's one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_van_Hoogstra...
I don't know "Nick" but yes I know a couple of people who do similar things. FWIW though I suspect he is better to deal with than some other people I know. At least he seems fairly up front about what you're getting.

I have also done business with an outfit of doorstep lenders, who charge ridiculous rates of interest. Some of the nicest people I have ever dealt with actually. Another chap I know has just been barred from being a director of a company for a few years, due to a well-known mobile phone racket and another jailed for defrauding the public purse. Nice blokes to deal with, generous of their time and never did me any harm.

In fact there seems sometimes to be an inverse relationship between business morals and respectfulness, i.e. some of the biggest sharks I've known have had the best manners and have generally been very pleasant to be with. It is almost certainly the case that some of our top entrepreneurs were no angels in their younger days but they just didn't get caught.


Digga

13,743 posts

170 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
Manks said:
In fact there seems sometimes to be an inverse relationship between business morals and respectfulness, i.e. some of the biggest sharks I've known have had the best manners and have generally been very pleasant to be with.
We had a tangle with a firm a few years back - I mean a really nasty legal battle.

Face to face, they would never say boo to a goose and gave the appearance of blue-chip respectability. Which is why we never even thought to check their previous directorships... Suffice to say, lesson learned.

GEWAGON

Original Poster:

76 posts

63 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
Manks said:
I don't know "Nick" but yes I know a couple of people who do similar things. FWIW though I suspect he is better to deal with than some other people I know. At least he seems fairly up front about what you're getting.

I have also done business with an outfit of doorstep lenders, who charge ridiculous rates of interest. Some of the nicest people I have ever dealt with actually. Another chap I know has just been barred from being a director of a company for a few years, due to a well-known mobile phone racket and another jailed for defrauding the public purse. Nice blokes to deal with, generous of their time and never did me any harm.

In fact there seems sometimes to be an inverse relationship between business morals and respectfulness, i.e. some of the biggest sharks I've known have had the best manners and have generally been very pleasant to be with. It is almost certainly the case that some of our top entrepreneurs were no angels in their younger days but they just didn't get caught.
I have noticed that a few wealthy business men I have met are like confidence tricksters, very cleaver in getting people on board to invest in there ideas brilliant at captivating an audience (Pied piper) fantastic at swerving problems, and if the st hit the fans ...oh that’s business next !!!
It takes a shrewd streetwise person to avoid been taken in. Which they avoid, they home in on dreamers who think that someone will knock on there door and make them rich. And the other scammers Examples:- land bank scam, Boiler rooms scams , buy diamonds, then the Nigerian offering to give you £1.5m for you bank details dob address password ect ect. Problem is greed, and the free lunch mentality.



Tuna

4,805 posts

171 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
I think there's a difference between the guys who make a rather fraudulent buck in the short term, and entrepreneurs who build hugely successful long term businesses. Admittedly the difference is thin in places, but very few people can both run a business and dodge investigators and customers they've conned for long.

The richest guy I know (top 20 UK rich list) made his money by delivering on time, on budget and to spec when very few others in the industry could manage it. No fraud, no illegal practises, just good business. That doesn't mean he hasn't had interesting times, a few enemies and had to play hardball, but the money came from being better than the competition over a period of years.
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coyft

3,417 posts

98 months

[news] 
Thursday 4th October 2012 quote quote all
Tuna said:
The richest guy I know (top 20 UK rich list) made his money by delivering on time, on budget and to spec when very few others in the industry could manage it.
I've noticed a common theme in the business section, which goes along the lines of I want to start a business but need an idea. You don't need an idea to make money, you just need to do it "properly".

Chops9

48 posts

34 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
I cant believe some people are so negative on the topic. I think the two would have made it in these tough times, they might not have made it quite as big due to not being in the right place at the right time but would have still been a success.

These days there is the same chance to get ahead just not in the same areas. There is bound to be some sort of way of making buckets of cash off changing to face of the high street. Another could be improving current businesses such as farming in the UK, factory farming is huge in the US but the UK doesnt even have one, I read about a guy applying for planning for one.

Look at innocent smoothies it's a new enough company and coke bought it off the founders for millions, the guys that set it up just put a new spin on smoothies and had fresh ideas.

You need hard work, persistence, a bit of luck and these guys had loads of it (it's a lot easier said than done!)






Manks

7,824 posts

109 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Tuna said:
The richest guy I know (top 20 UK rich list) made his money by delivering on time, on budget and to spec when very few others in the industry could manage it. No fraud, no illegal practises, just good business.
How do you know this?

Simpo Two

60,414 posts

152 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Chops9 said:
I cant believe some people are so negative on the topic. I think the two would have made it in these tough times, they might not have made it quite as big due to not being in the right place at the right time but would have still been a success.
I do wonder what Zuckerberg would have done if the internet hadn't been invented. The explosive life-changing world-changing power of the internet has made many people rich (though that money comes indirectly from the rest of us). Put them in 1880. Would they be Thomas Edison or just chimney sweeps?

Tuna

4,805 posts

171 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Manks said:
Tuna said:
The richest guy I know (top 20 UK rich list) made his money by delivering on time, on budget and to spec when very few others in the industry could manage it. No fraud, no illegal practises, just good business.
How do you know this?
I think I was employee number seven, worked with him for a number of years. Saw how he did business, and where the money came from.

It's fascinating that other people's wealth seems to be such a big deal to some.

NorthDave

818 posts

119 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
There seems to be an assumption on here that the majority of people who have made money are doing something bad to get it (be it immoral or illegal). The vast majority are just better at doing something than anyone else.

Digga

13,743 posts

170 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
NorthDave said:
There seems to be an assumption on here that the majority of people who have made money are doing something bad to get it (be it immoral or illegal). The vast majority are just better at doing something than anyone else.
I think you're correct, although what I think Manks (and certainly I) were intimating was that just because there's brass, doesn't neccessarily mean there's not a whole lot of (sometimes very nasty) muck behind the scenes.

People can be wowed by moneyed individuals to the piont that they ignore very significant flaws.

bigandclever

7,226 posts

125 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
NorthDave said:
There seems to be an assumption on here that the majority of people who have made money are doing something bad to get it (be it immoral or illegal). The vast majority are just better at doing something than anyone else.
In a strawpoll of one (me) I can categorically state that the 2 billionaires I know did a variety of illegal things (white collar, lying to the markets and the banks kind of things), they were caught, and they were punished. But they're still billionaires (although I'd argue they're not entrepreneurial).

Manks

7,824 posts

109 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Tuna said:
Manks said:
Tuna said:
The richest guy I know (top 20 UK rich list) made his money by delivering on time, on budget and to spec when very few others in the industry could manage it. No fraud, no illegal practises, just good business.
How do you know this?
I think I was employee number seven, worked with him for a number of years. Saw how he did business, and where the money came from.
Then you would never know, frankly, the nitty gritty of his affairs. Only what you saw. There are people very close to me, who I have worked with for over ten years, and there are plenty of things they don't know. Nothing especially dodgy, I might add, but things that it doesn't suit me for them to know.

Tuna said:
It's fascinating that other people's wealth seems to be such a big deal to some.
Yes, isn't it. That can be for a variety of reasons I think. Jealousy often. But sometimes because people want to know how to emulate that person.

It came a bit hard to a younger me, however, when I found out that some of the people I admired did things I didn't approve of to get where they did.

To use Branson as an example, he got caught fiddling tax. He has gone on record admitting that drugs were dealt out his record shops. His arline, almost certainly with his knowlegde, was price fixing. It seems very likely, then, that he has been up to all sorts of other things that he has not been busted for.

And this is to some degree what I was talking about earlier. Most people look for rules to follow, but most hugely successful people I know anything about assume that rules don't apply to them. They seem to get away with this mindset most of the time, in part because society as a whole rarely wants to undo that which has been done. Especially when things like job losses may be the result.

Digga

13,743 posts

170 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
[quote=Manks
Tuna said:
It's fascinating that other people's wealth seems to be such a big deal to some.
Yes, isn't it. That can be for a variety of reasons I think. Jealousy often. But sometimes because people want to know how to emulate that person.
And this is the nub of that particualr issue - it's the sort of 'keeping up with the Jones" type interest.

The GFC has, as Buffet predicted, seen the tide ebb out allowing us to see who's been swimming naked. Locally, a lot of flash casrs and houses have suddenly been surrendered by some of the got-rich-quicks.

Equally these days, I am very aware of friends and acquaintances who are very wealthy indeed but do not (perhaps deliberately) let anyone know - houses and cars are totally unremarkable compared to their overall wealth.

I also have a friend (who lives in a nice 1930's semi and drives a van) collared me a few years back to ask for help with raising finance for a business opportunity. he didn't need money, just advice on getting a business mortgage. He and his family own a significant amount of land and machinery all of which has zero finance on it. They got a mortgage (for the new venture) without the slightest bother in the depths of the GFC. Yet very few other people who know the guy realise he's worth anything at all.

Manks

7,824 posts

109 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Digga said:
nd this is the nub of that particualr issue - it's the sort of 'keeping up with the Jones" type interest.

The GFC has, as Buffet predicted, seen the tide ebb out allowing us to see who's been swimming naked. Locally, a lot of flash casrs and houses have suddenly been surrendered by some of the got-rich-quicks.

Equally these days, I am very aware of friends and acquaintances who are very wealthy indeed but do not (perhaps deliberately) let anyone know - houses and cars are totally unremarkable compared to their overall wealth.

I also have a friend (who lives in a nice 1930's semi and drives a van) collared me a few years back to ask for help with raising finance for a business opportunity. he didn't need money, just advice on getting a business mortgage. He and his family own a significant amount of land and machinery all of which has zero finance on it. They got a mortgage (for the new venture) without the slightest bother in the depths of the GFC. Yet very few other people who know the guy realise he's worth anything at all.
There seems to be no correlation between wealth and apparent wealth. There are wealthy people who live very low-key lives and others who are a bit flash.

Slightly off-topic, but I did a deal with an old Polish chap a couple of days ago. On the face of it he is a poor, frail old man. But he is actually quite wealthy as a result of a long life, good pension and a lottery win!.

coyft

3,417 posts

98 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
Manks said:
And this is to some degree what I was talking about earlier. Most people look for rules to follow, but most hugely successful people I know anything about assume that rules don't apply to them. They seem to get away with this mindset most of the time.
I'd agree to some extent although there is a world of difference between bending/breaking rules and criminal activity. Rule followers do not build exceptional businesses.

Manks

7,824 posts

109 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
coyft said:
I'd agree to some extent although there is a world of difference between bending/breaking rules and criminal activity. Rule followers do not build exceptional businesses.
Sure. But then there's criminal activity and criminal activity. By which I mean, criminal activity that is the core business and low-level criminal activity peripheral to it.

I can think of one chap, household name, who started his life stealing and selling large, expensive items. He progressed to construction where his core business was legitmate, but some of the periphery was dodgy. Right now, as far as I am aware, his interests are mostly legitimate. He is very rich.


Digga

13,743 posts

170 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
One of my parents neighbours is a case in point. He actualy was wealthy but he really wanted everyone to know it. I can remember as a kid in the late 70's early 80's he'd get a brand new S-Class every year with a new personalised plate for the year; xxx 78 in 1978 to xxx81 in 1981 etc. and he also had one of those hideous (but definitely real) diamond encrusted Rolex watches.

He was a bore - I often think Harry Enfield's self-made Midlander really was modelled on him - and most people tollerated him despite his abominable manners and character simply because he was wealthy. When he came to dinner he always made some pointed, unsubtle remark about our (good quality but admitedly haphazard) non-matching dinner service, so my mother used to deliberately give him the sttiest chipped plate in the house to get her own back. My wife simply loathed him and avoided contact as far as possible.

He was interesting nontheless, and was happy to hold forth on how his network of businesses allowed him to keep ahead of the taxman and skim off (he was in metal plating, so the scope for dodgy deals was huge and I think where the Rolex came in) for personal gain.

Ultimately he was a nihilist though and didn't enjoy a long retirement because he drank himslef to death. His widdow has spent the last few years playing catch-up and is likely to follow sadly.

Andrew[MG]

2,855 posts

85 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
I wrote this the other day....

With news today that JJB has finally collapsed, it’s worth taking a look back at other companies that Tom Hunter has been involved with or sold businesses to that have also subsequently collapsed. I’m not saying he is bad at business (he was Scotland’s first billionaire after all) but once he has sold a company they seem to have a knack of going bust.

  • Sports Division sold to JJB – Bust
  • Qube – bust
  • Office – sold, went bust and rebuilt without debts
  • USC – sold, went bust and rebuilt without debts
  • D2 – bust
  • Rangers FC – tried twice to buy them and they went bust
  • Travelodge – owns a portfolio of their properties and they have just agreed rent cuts due to them being in difficulties
So what does this record say about Tom? Is he cursed?
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