Welcome to the 47th CONKERS’ CORNER recorded on 23rd May 2017. In this interview, I have the pleasure of speaking with business man, semi-professional part-time private investor and blogger @darrenhazelwood Darren Hazelwood.
Darren describes himself as a “Council estate boy”, with only a couple of GCSEs. He started his employment journey in a multitude of menial jobs, warehousing and flour mills, however he always held aspirations to exceed his starting point. He had a good group of friends and watched his Dad work “seven days a week to buy his council house”, which he feels empowered him to desire more than his modest start in life. Darren is a firm believer that brightness can not be measured by exam results. He states “any kid can achieve what they want if they are willing to work at it.”
Darren has “always had a natural interest in money and finance”, what he did not have was the confidence to believe in his ability. At 19 years of age, after reading the Mail on Sunday’s Midas column, he followed the column’s tip and bought his first stock: Manx and Overseas. Darren admits that at that time he did not have the understanding or knowledge to do the due diligence required. Whilst his first foray was unsuccessful, his aspirations to achieve more led to him reading the Financial Times whilst he was working in warehouses and labouring with mates who were reading the Sun newspaper and skipping straight to sports pages. All the time Darren was learning from the university of life and being open minded in his pursue of greater financial achievements.
Darren describes himself as “an ultra-high risk investor” almost predominately in AIM commodity resource stocks. He advocates that investors create a line of communication with the CEOs in order to learn more about the individual in charge of the company, their strategy and goals. Darren’s view is that “only people complicate business” and therefore does not like to deal with complicated people or companies. Darren is an advocate of attending investment seminars, AGMs, Investor Events and taking the opportunity to ask CEOs/CFOs “difficult questions”.
Darren is of the view that certain commodity resource stocks have value and could achieve “astronomical gains over the next 18 months”. Darren insists that he is not a trader and always looks to invest. He has had several investment successes and made some mistakes during his investing journey. However throughout he has learnt many lessons from the positives and negatives. This discussion provides an insight into the journey that Darren has taken, which so far has encompassed working in warehouses, Woolworths, setting up his own Builders Merchants business, and much much more.
The topics we discussed include:
- Learning about opportunities;
- University of Life;
- Value investing;
- Attending Shareholder seminars;
- Investor events;
- TR 1 Investing;
- Trying to find deep value;
- Winning investments;
- Don’t become too overweight in one stock;
- Communicating with CEO’s of companies;
- Learning about the business;
- Not dealing with complicating people or businesses;
- Hungry CEOs;
- Aim & Goals;
- Importance of research & due diligence;
- Strategy & Plan;
- Charismatic leaders;
- Investment Charter;
- Attending investor events;
- Speak to CEOs & CFO;
- Lessons learnt;
- Ask difficult questions;
Listen now to gain insights into how Darren invests and learn from the lessons in his successful and insightful investing journey to now being a TR 1 investor (a shareholder that holds a major shareholding in a listed company).