Financial career soars for Norwich's ex-RAF pilot Siam Kidd
PUBLISHED: 15:43 24 October 2014 | UPDATED: 15:43 24 October 2014
We live in a world where the retirement age is creeping up and up but you do not have to be one of those workers toiling away past your three score years and 10. That's the promise of EDP Future 50 entrepreneur Siam Kidd. Stephen Pullinger reports.
It’s a life story that sounds like one of those unrealistic job ads, “Stay in bed until lunchtime and own a Porsche”.
But yes, it’s 10am and Siam Kidd is still in his dressing gown and his to-do-list, as well as moving house, includes buying an Aston Martin in the coming days.
At the tender age of 28, the money-making reputation of the former RAF pilot is shown by the fact that last month he shared the stage at a glitzy Mayfair event called The Wealth Summit with such city titans as Justin Urquhart Stewart.
Mr Kidd came on the radar of the EDP Future 50 through his fledgling enterprise UK Bullion Direct, primarily selling gold and silver, which reached a turnover of more than £1.4m inside the first year.
But two years on, with the speed and decisiveness you might expect from an ex-fighter pilot, he is preparing to sell it to focus on business number two, The Realistic Trader (www.therealistictrader.com).
Trading currencies has been a passion of Mr Kidd since his RAF days and coaching people in the rules and principles of what he describes simply as “betting on whether a currency is going to rise or fall” is the aim of his new company.
In just a few months, he has signed up more than 160 students, introducing them into what is an unfathomable world to the general public through an intensive two-day workshop complemented by online courses and personal tuition.
Mr Kidd, who lives in Thorpe St Andrew with his wife Ellie, 30, said: “Eighty per cent of my students are male in the 30 to 55 age group.
“Seventy per cent are business owners, just starting to see profits, while the other 30pc includes many highly skilled employees such as doctors and solicitors; salaries range from £30,000 to £70,000-plus.”
The big appeal for students that make them happy to pay him £100 a month is summed up in the sweepingly bold title of his lecture delivered at the Brook Hotel in Norwich last week: “Why 90pc of people are doomed to retire over the age of 70 and how to realistically semi-retire within 72 months.”
The former student of Gresham’s School, Holt, confessed he had always found markets interesting - “why they go up and down” - but it was during his time in the RAF that he developed his interest into a way of making money.
He said: “In my spare time, I started trading currencies and commodities from my laptop. In my first year I lost £50,000 of my savings and came very close to giving up.
“However, instead, I analysed every trade and why it had gone wrong. I created my own trading rules which I never break now.
“I eventually got pretty good at it and found that I was making more money from a couple of days’ trading than a whole month’s RAF salary.”
Mr Kidd stressed that students were able to learn the lessons of his early mistakes rather than lose their own money.
The first three months they practised only on a simulated account before they began using real money.
Then, when they finally set up a trading account and put money in it - “software allows you to do that” - his clear direction was to start cautiously with £2,000, building up gradually if everything went to plan to between £6,000 and £10,000 within the course of a year.
He said he taught students how to look for high probability low risk trades and gave them the chance to copy the trades he was making.
“I only make a trade if I am 90pc positive, risk management is my golden rule; never risk more than one per cent of your trading pot,” he said.
“If students stick to my stringent trading criteria it is very hard to lose.”
In fact, 60pc of them were increasing their money by one to two per cent a month while 30pc were yielding between two and five per cent.
“About 10pc of my students have never started trading; they just wanted to learn about the market,” he said.
A yield of 2pc a month meant that an initial £2000 outlay would grow to more than £2,500 in a year.
Mr Kidd said: “Over the next 12 months, I am looking to build up to between 200 and 300 students. I am starting to scale it. “Every month I offer a £250 cash prize for the best trading performance and I want to eventually make that £10,000 a month.”
While focusing his attention on trading currencies, he has not forgotten the investment potential of silver and converts all his profits into the precious metal.
He said: “Silver is the second most used commodity on the planet and yet there are only a few years of easily mineable supplies left.”