The Man: Tom Winnifrith, the editor of t1ps.com, started his career in the City before moving to The Investors Chronicle. He starred in TV's Show Me The Money and was the founder of Red Hot Penny Shares (RHPS) as well as being a contributing editor to Shares Magazine. He has been editing t1ps.com since its launch SIX years ago and his average gain per tip is 68%. Away from work, his interests are West Ham United, the Ireland Rugby team and thinking about work. Tom is 40.
Review of the Social Seminar held by Tom Winnifrith -:
The thing about the 'Social Seminar' was that it was held at a top 5 star hotel; it had 'aspirational' or 'success' written all over it. The 'free' talk by Tom Winnifrith tonight was held in a grubby meeting room; with uncomfortable chairs; overzealous noisy aircon and was given by a presenter wearing a creased shirt, grubby shoes and who presented arms-folded, swaying back and forth, staring mostly to his laptop. By the end I felt rather sea-sick.
His opening gambit: "I don't usually do talks like this but I'm launching the fund and the marketing chaps said I should get out there and tell people about it." Gee.
OK, I made a mistake - I didn't realize that it was basically going to be a sales pitch for his new 'smaller company fund.' No matter, it was still interesting.
Tom Winnifrith told us that he had made errors in the past, that he expects to underperform in the short term and that he aspires to hold stocks for 8 years or more (as done so by his idol, Nigel Wray). He's not interested in sector analysis, broker analysis or economics and one of his early slides read: 'my marketing man is a prat' - it wasn't quite clear why the man was 'a prat', or why the slide was relevant to his talk but we were also told the man had left the company. Bad taste time. The fund will hold no 'green' or 'BRIC'; perish the trendy thought.
On the other hand - he does look for good management, and demonstrated this by joking that his FD (sitting in the room) would agree that higher pay packages are a good thing. He refuses to back proven [management] losers and he seeks companies that are asset/cash backed (hmmm...so is that why his site t1ps.com tips that satellite thingy.avanti thing.). He likes recruitment (who cares that the city is laying people off, the bad news is already in the price), financials and IT, where there are a lot of good cash rich companies on low multiples.
He eventually got to the end; and I suppose one could say that he is sincere but it was all rather weary in delivery.
We then decamped to the pub next door, where he laid on a decent spread of wine and eats. For some reason two people thought I worked for Tom Winnifrith, one man saying to me "the problem with your tips are.", and then he carried on despite my telling him that I don't work for Tom or publish tips anywhere else. No idea who he thought I was.
I tried twice to talk to Tom but each time some 'rugby player' in a suit elbowed me out of the way. However, I got his attention when I said that I had enjoyed the spat between Cawkwell and Walters over TDM. That was a share that went from £1.20-4p (ish) with Cawkwell saying there was 'no product' and Walters saying 'there was'...or some such. Lawyers were brought in and the spat stopped but needless to say the Walters camp lost a shed-load on the way down. Not me, I bought at £1.25 and sold at £1.23...me no fool...well I was to buy but at least I cut quickly.
Later on I chatted to one of his staff; ah what a lot you learn...not sure I can repeat it here. However, I did ask if Zak Mir trades and was told emphatically that he does.
One must thank Tom Winnifrith for the hospitality and commend him on giving up his evening. It was interesting to meet a group who seem to follow him slavishly and quite happily (although nobody I spoke to seemed to be making much money). For my part, having glanced the short prospectus, 6% growth in the fund would be eroded to 3.3% due to costs.....which prompts a polite 'no thanks' from me.
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