By Pizza Hardman Darren Atwater | Sunday 24 April 2016
Some readers may roll their eyes at Tom's Rebel Alliance vs the Empire meme that he has adopted the past few years. My adventure at yesterday's Master Investor show demonstrates that Tom isn't just bloviating.
I've been going to Master Investor since 2008, when I was first employed by t1ps.com, and continued to do so after leaving its successor, Rivington Street Holdings, to catch up with former colleagues and to see the sights. And I have come by invitation. Every year, Master Investor sends me an email (several, in fact), offering me a free ticket, to which I accept and register under my own name.
But at 2014's show, the Empire struck back. As my wife and I were about to enjoy a wine tasting at the booth run by the Commander, Jim Mellon's lovely Notting Hill pub, we were approached by then Grand Moff Richard Gollum Gill and asked to leave.
Last year, someone in the hierarchy decided the honest and mature thing to do was delete my ticket electronically but not have the guts to tell me.
This year, as mentioned, an entire squad of grim-faced security, led by my old colleague James Harper-Lewis of Ex Events, surrounded me as I chatted with someone I knew at a stand.
Harper-Lewis asked me how the pizza place was doing because, he reminded me, he was part of the team who did all the branding and refurbishment of the Real Man Pizza Company back in 2010. After the brag, he told me to leave, the grim-faced security itching for this one thing to be become interesting. It did not become interesting.
Compare and contrast this with the UK Investor Show. Critics and complainants—and I am certainly neither of Master Investor—are welcomed. When Tom exposed Blinx, its lawyers were given reserved seating. David Lenigas has been offered stage time to counter team ShareProphets comments this year. Suffice to say he is too much of a jesse to take up that offer..
A more apt comparison is Richard Gill's annual visit to the show. Gill doesn't apply for a ticket, he makes his own using logos from the website. These days Gill is no longer a Moff in the Empire but he still contributes to it, possibly as an Ewok.
Every year Gill sneaks in. Every year, I have spotted him. And every year the conversation has gone like this.
Me, shaking Richard's hand: Hey Richard, how are you?
Richard: Some pleasantry
Me: How are those colleagues we used to work with?
Richard: Some update
Me: Well, thanks for coming out. I hope you enjoy the show.
And that's that. The lesson is that here in the Rebel Alliance, we engage our critics and this has resulted in the continued success of ShareProphets and, as you'll see next week at the UK Investor Show, a surging hall of stands and a line-up of captivating speakers. We have nothing to hide.
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For those keeping score, the first non-Tom story was Revisited: Seven Stocks to get suspended where shareholders could lose 100% by Nigel Somerville at #11.
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