How An Ex RAF Pilot From Norwich Became Financially Free
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Welcome to our first interview in The Money Nest Expert Interview Series – a range of interviews featuring people from diverse backgrounds who’ve become financially free (passive investment income = more than their outgoings) before turning 35.
To kick off we’ve interviewed Siam Kidd, Siam is an ex-RAF pilot turned currency trader from Norwich who now owns several businesses and became financially free before turning 30.
He has a fantastic story including how he once made £426,000 in 30 mins (risking only 0.25%), why business has been a game changer for him and the many lessons he’s learnt along the way!
If you’re interested in trading or becoming financially free this interview is a must read.
Let’s get started:
SJ: Hey Siam, thanks for agreeing to this interview, lets start by having you explain who you are and how you got to be where you are?
SK: Hi there, I’m an ex air force pilot turned trader/investor in a nutshell. I started trading when I was 18 at the same time I joined the RAF.
Predictably the air force proceeded to consume my life and so the Trading vs Flying juggle act began, with trading taking an absolute hammering for the first 4-6 years.
But from Year 6 onwards, the trading began to pick up and so I left the air force for un-noble reasons really, I just wanted more money :-S I soon realised that if I dedicated another 20 years in the military the best wage I could expect was about £100k.
Which wasn’t enough for my desires and so it was in-congruent of me to remain, hence I left when I was 25 to pursue the world of business and trading! Five years later, despite making every mistake possible in business I think I’ve cracked it. I now own 9 separate businesses and the trading is ticking along nicely 🙂
SJ: That’s fantastic to hear you’ve done so well, I imagine as with any goal there was a huge amount of effort you undertook behind the scenes. How and why did you choose trading?
SK: When I was 18 I thought to myself, how can I make money in bed, in my underwear, on my laptop. Two solutions came to mind and that was online roulette and trading. Trading seemed a bit complicated so I took up roulette.
Unfortunately, I had early luck and so I thought I was billy big balls and that I’d cracked the industry but doubling up every time I lost! I soon lost about £4000 I had made and then maxed out my credit card for another £4000. I was gutted!
That was a lot of money for an 18 year old! I now know that ‘system’ is called the Martingale system and although it’s great in theory if you have unlimited capital and no ceiling restrictions, in reality…you’ll get rinsed.
So after dusting myself down, I then jumped into trading and proceeded to lose money like an idiot, hand over fist for the next 4-6 years!
SJ: Ouch – An £8,000 loss, that is a lot of money for an 18yr old! you certainly don’t do things by halves! So after your run in with Roulette why did you focus down on trading rather than say…property?
SK: Just the time leverage aspect I guess. With trading, you can make silly money sat in your underwear at home and there’s no one to blame but yourself on the markets. With property for instance, there are so many variables to consider and nearly all of them can screw you.
From unruly tenants, market slumps, interest rates, everything. Plus global market crashes happen around every 8 years. So you can profit immensely on the way down and then also on the way back up.
SJ: That’s a good point, I have experience of some of those! I also like the idea of being able to profit in downward trending markets as well as up. So tell me, what are some of the biggest successes you’ve had in trading?
SK: I’ve forecasted a number of different economic events/market moves but my personal best so far is the Black Monday crash of 2015. I was running a fund back then and grew the fund by 30% in that day despite only risking 0.25% per trade.
It was the best forming fund in the world that day and ended up making £426k in about 30 mins.It was the best forming fund in the world that day and ended up making £426k in about 30 mins. Click To Tweet
The best part of the day wasn’t the forecasting of it, but my best buddy, who was my best man at my wedding, listened to my ‘advice’, sold his house, dumped a lot of money into the fund and I made him £50k that day…best phone call I’ve ever made ha.
SJ: Wow £426,000 in 30 minutes! Not many people can say they’ve made that amount of money, certainly not in 30 minutes. I’m sure your friend also enjoyed that phone call too!
SK: Many people view trading as something that’s inherently dangerous or risky – for some it’s even become something of a taboo to talk about. What’s your take on this?
I always find it silly when people formed negative thoughts/associations with something they are grossly naive and oblivious about. Unfortunately, when it comes to trading, 99% of people follow this ignorance and form their negative stance on it, when it’s perhaps one of the most liberating life skills you can ever develop.
People just fear what they don’t understand and they’re just too happy to hide behind the horror stories that they hear from idiots blowing up their accounts. And yes, I was that idiot for many years! I’ve definitely learned the hard way!
SJ: Tell us about some of the mistakes you’ve made which you’ve been able to learn from?
SK: Every business and trading error one could make, I’ve made them…more than once! I’m a bit of a slow learner sometimes and I guess it takes some real pain for my stubborn mind to realise that this is a learning point!
So I guess with trading the common suspects are trading with your gut, trading without a detailed plan, trading too large, trading too often, revenge trading, taking too many trades, trading from advice from forums, Day Trading, Scalping and trading exotics!
SJ: Thanks, that’s some great advice – essentially having a detailed trading plan and understanding the psychology of trading seems to put you way ahead of the average Joe who is more blindly betting on the market rather than trading. Speaking of novices what do you think are the most common mistakes or oversights people make in trading?
SK: Yeah, as mentioned before, these pitfalls: Trading with your gut, trading without a detailed plan, trading too large, trading too often, revenge trading, taking too many trades, trading from advice from forums, Day Trading, Scalping and trading exotics.
SJ: Thanks, so what’s the one thing you wish you’d done earlier?
SK: Find a mentor. Someone that actually knew what they were doing and then learned and copied from them. It would have saved me a good 4 years and 5 figures!
SJ: That seems to run true across many areas – find someone whose already got the battle scars to guide you through the journey saving you time and money along the way. What do you think the future holds for trading in the UK?
SK: Same as it always has…lots of opportunity! Plus, tax free trading!
SJ: Tax free trading! That does sound good, I assume you are referring to Spread Betting which is treated as betting by the HMRC so largely exempt from income tax. I understand you’re now diversified across several assets e.g. businesses and IPO’s how did you get involved with these and is this something you’d recommend?
SK: Yes business was a game changer for me. I consider myself an investor primarily and when scouring the globe for investments you’ll find that the best asset on the planet by a country mile is Business. You can control every part of it, influence every part and scale it as much as you want.
No one ever got rich in a time efficient manner through a savings account or pension! Study the 15 million millionaires and 1,810 billionaires on the planet and you’ll see that at least 90% of them gained their wealth through biz.
So yes, learning how to set up, run, grow and sell a biz is one of the best life skills you could ever learn. You’ll always have food on your plate.
Then you can do the 5-9 game. Sell a biz for 5 figures, then 6 figures and so on 🙂 But to begin with, right at the start, the best question you can ask yourself is, what can I sell/provide for £10 a month and then find 200 people to buy/subscribe to it on a Direct Debit. When you nail that, a huge weight is lifted off your shoulders!
SJ: Selling something for £10 a month to 200 people sounds like a great start anyone could make and £2k a month would go a long way. I understand you became financially free – any advice for readers seeking to do the same?
Yes, READ! Read, read read. Well, if you’re like me, listen. I have no time for reading. It takes me forever to read a book, so I use Audible and just listen to books at x2 speed. I go through about 4 books a month that way.
SJ EDIT: We’ve listed Siams top books in our free bonus.
Finally any other specific advice you’d like to offer?
SK: Yes, hold yourself at gun point on a daily basis. Metaphorically speaking of course. Going back to that beginning biz example of finding 200 people to pay you £10 a month.
Hold yourself at gun point and say, “If I had to find 200 subscribers within 3 years, or else I die…could I do it?” The answer is always FRICKIN YES! So you just have to get off your ass and do it!
Giving yourself a 3 year goal to become semi-retired really isn’t that hard! Let’s say you have a diabolical 50% churn. So really you need 400 clients. Well 400 / 3 years = 133 per year which = 2.56 per week! I’m pretty sure you can find 3 customers a week! We now live in an age of Google and Youtube, there are NO excuses!
SJ: Nice, when you break it down to 2.56 a week that does sound even easier – you’ve certainly lit a fire underneath me! Please tell us about The Realistic Trader and where we can find out more.
SK: Cool, yeah we’re a super friendly bunch of people all building our financial parthenons. We have monthly meet ups in London and Norwich and quarterly socials and it’s just the best financial education group/resource in the country in my view. Of course I’m biased, but I’ve created it to be exactly what I myself needed all those years ago.
So if you like the idea of setting up a biz so you can siphon off its profits to put in your trading account and then use trading to amplify it, give us a shout. In fact you can grab a free copy of my book and some free videos here: www.InvestingStarterPack.com – hope this helps! 🙂
SJ: Thanks again for the motivating interview Siam, I’m sure our readers will find some great nuggets!