A Foolish Interview with ianwaring Add to My Favorite Fools Add to My Penalty Box

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The Fool: What's your pet hate?
ianwaring: Dishonesty first. Then unnecessary complexity; the world is full of it.<BR><BR>The times I take most satisfaction from are where a key simplication caused a business boom. And if anyone's interested, i've managed to condense "Crossing the Chasm" and "Inside the Tornado", both seminal works by Geoffrey Moore, onto one side of A4 ;-)
The Fool: Okay Gilligan (or Ginger), you're stuck on a deserted island. What one material possession would you hope to have with you?
ianwaring: A Tablet with an Internet connection and plentiful electricity!
The Fool: Briefly explain how you select stocks.
ianwaring: I stick to software and Internet stocks, as i've had senior management positions in both industries and have some confidence spotting bullsh*t from 100 yards in either. I have experience of IT Distribution as well, but wouldn't invest there at the moment!<BR><BR>I try to see if the business model makes sense in line with previous experience. I ask around about the people on the board (if I don't know them in the industry already). Listen to them carefully to spot what I consider to be key signals that will return good long term profits (if not today, when they are asked to).<BR><BR>I've got a lot more TMF reading to do before I venture out to other industries (my technique seems a very early variation on David Gardners in "Rule Makers, Rule Breakers").<BR><BR>As far as going out further, an index tracker would be my only play outside what I know.
The Fool: What other financial products or services do you use?
ianwaring: I'm convinced i'm a victim of the wise for more years than I care to mention. I now have all my pensions consolidated into a SIPP that I direct - at low cost.
The Fool: What's the best restaurant you've ever been to? (Include name, location, and average bill for two.)
ianwaring: Langhans (I think that's what it is called), just off Piccadily in London. Owned by Michael Caine. I'll never be ashamed of asking for Bangers and Mash again - it was absolutely gorgeous. Nice food, nice buzz about the place, given all the time in the world to finish eating, and I think the bill was in the 60-70 pound bracket for two. It ruined my diet that week, though...
The Fool: Make a confession.
ianwaring: Theale Grammar School, 1974. It was me that bought the Hair Restorer sent anonymously to the (bald) headmaster one Christmas. And I had to stand in the front row of assembly when he pulled it out in front of the whole upper school - to accept it in the spirit in which it was sent. Ken Shield deserved the OBE he got a few years later...
The Fool: What's the best product you use that most people don't know about?
ianwaring: My Chromebook Pixel. Besides being a gorgeous machine in every way, I know that if it breaks or gets stolen, all my work reappears after logging back in on a new one.
The Fool: Does ethics or 'socially responsible investing' have a place in your investment approach? How so? How not?
ianwaring: I'm new to this. I'll just make sure I pay my taxes while I work the rest out. My late mother would send a bolt of lightning down if I ever failed her moral standards; I don't intend to start anytime soon.
The Fool: Which celebrity or public figure (past or present) do you most look like?
ianwaring: My wife used to say "Alan Turner" on Emmerdale. Since then, i've been on a mission to lose 10 stone - and am over half way there - thankyou to the local Gym and to www.weightlossresources.co.uk
The Fool: Tell us about your greatest personal success, not necessarily finance related.
ianwaring: Starting up a catalogue business selling complex software products for Digital Equipment Corporation. Two weeks in, the revenue trickled in. Then boom! $100m in six quarters. A lot of smiling faces in the people who helped make this a success, both in the UK and in Digital in Galway, Eire. Hat's off to the team!
The Fool: Describe the most embarrassing personal moment you'll admit to!
ianwaring: Burning good clothes trying to smother an engine oil fire in a Ford Fiesta 1.3 Ghia on the M4 in 1980. I should have left it to trash the car for the trouble it had caused.
The Fool: What's been your best investment to date, and how did you discover it?
ianwaring: Paying 30 pounds ($45) for another year of post redirection a year after I moved house.<BR><BR>Some share options were tossed at me by a previous company, the quantity of which were so low that the director apologised when he gave them to me. A year after I left, another company decided on a takeover, and bought out all the options for cash. The letter was posted to my previous address... an ROI of 60x my investment! The taxman said thanks too ;-(
The Fool: List some of your favorite websites, with running commentary where appropriate. (Please provide the URLs, too.)
ianwaring: My number one site has just got to be www.weightlossresources.co.uk - i've been with them for years and it's simply the best (and best working) diet plan i've ever followed.<BR><BR>If you're in a marketing role (or have to communicate with any human being), Drayton Bird writes the bibles that everyone should read: Commonsense Direct Marketing and How to Write Sales Letters that Sell. www.draytonbird.co.uk - then off to www.amazon.co.uk for the books. The second book is, for some completely inexplicable reason, not to be found on www.amazon.com - you have to go to their UK site for it.<BR><BR>In terms of clean web design and keeping things simple, www.creativegood.com<BR><BR>For high technology news, hardly anything beats www.news.com or www.slashdot.org<BR><BR>I'm often convinced that Dilbert works in my office: www.unitedmedia.com/comics/dilbert/ . <BR><BR>Then again, I can associate every character in "Disclosure" (by Michael Crichton) with a real life person in every company i've ever worked for. Ditto for Airframe by the same author.<BR><BR>The position of final web site mention goes to the legendary W Edwards Deming - see www.deming.org . When I was really young, the term "Japanese Rubbish" was common currency in the english language. This is the guy who eradicated it with a vengeance. If the world followed his principles (as in "Out of the Crisis" and "The New Economics"), it would be a far better place.
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