Lucian Miers – A Bear with a Very Sharp Brain profiled

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Lucian Miers often finds himself overshadowed by the larger than life figure that is Evil Knievil (Simon Cawkwell). The two men sometimes share ideas and bear raids but on other occasions they disagree. They are very much their “own men.” I sense that perhaps because of his casual and light hearted approach to life, folks underestimate Lucian. That is a mistake.

Known as East London’s most feared short seller, Lucian is about as much of a cockney as myself or Prince Charles. His family used to own rather large amounts of real estate in the area around Upton Park and hence “the Bard of the Boleyn” is a devoted West Ham supporter. But he is (like Cawkwell) quite a posh public school educated fellow. And like Cawkwell he did not quite make it passed the final interview when it came to applying to Oxford. That is not to say that Lucian is not very clever, just that he is perhaps not a true academic.

The highlight of Miers career as a stockbroker was his short selling of Pan Andean Resources as the world and his wife bought the stock on the back of hopes (and puff pieces in the Daily Mail) for South American drilling success, Miers took the trouble to call the site of the well on the phone to be told that it was dry and that the directors were at that stage flying back to Ireland. As they flew Miers shorted aggressively meaning that the poor fellows arrived at Heathrow to find the share price decimated and one or two folks asking a few questions. What Miers did was legal but the authorities were not exactly impressed.

These days he operates as a sole trader but also earns a few bob writing articles here and there. Indeed Miers has agreed to become one of the 20 share tipsters and bloggers who will each once a month post a free share tip on ADVFN’s new onefreesharetip.com service. To make sure you get tips from Lucian and all the other folk involved sent direct to your email each morning register here.

Unlike Cawkwell who will buy or go short on the back of a rumour or a tip off because that is the (entertaining) nature of the man as a gambler, Miers is pretty rigorous about doing his homework. That means that he looks at accounts not just at the numbers but also at the notes to the accounts for discrepancies or strange wordings. In terms of picking up on these things but also understanding how numbers add up (or do not add up) Lucian is an excellent operator. And perhaps that is why he can work so well with Cawkwell. Evil (normally but with a few horrendous exceptions) has a good “nose” for market sentiment but can occasionally skimp on the detailed analysis. Lucian does not.

It is Lucian not Cawkwell who has been he one digging away at the notes to the accounts of Avanti Communications (LSE: AVN). As it happens I think that Lucian’s analysis is wrong ( I discuss the bull vs bear case here) but while Cawkwell grabs the headlines, the spade work is Lucian’s. That is not always the case and I stress that Cawkwell can turn his razor sharp mind to some fine analysis himself. My point is not to ‘diss Evil merely to suggest that Lucian is too often overlooked.

It does not pay to be too proud in life and Lucian may give the appearance of a reckless slightly roguish fellow at times. Indeed I think he rather enjoys that persona. But he is always happy to admit that he talks to stacks of folks and gets his ideas not just from his own research but from others. He gives credit where credit is due but before acting on the idea of another he will always do his own research as well.  What is he “locking at” now? There is some US company with the epic ZERO which seems to be aptly named. Lucian’s target price is er….zero and I cannot disagree with his analysis. In the UK in recent months his forte has been stocks where the management has more or less admitted that they are bust but where the share price is off by 95% but not yet by 100%. Short at the minus 95 level and you can still make a 100% return if the company goes pop. This is the idea, to quote Evil, that the “best time to kick a man is when he is down.”

I know that some folk do not like sort sellers but Lucian is a man of a strange honour. He and I have discussed a certain oil stock where I am super bearish at length. Lucian clearly agrees with my analysis although it is very much on the “you might say that, I could not possibly comment” lines. A friend of his is a non-exec. And so he just says “I am not getting involved at all.  This maybe free money but for Miers some things are more important than that. Quite right.

Away from the markets and, more importantly, West Ham Lucian is delightfully right wing, taking a rather bearish view on the long term prospects of the UK ( the “we are pretty much snookered” line) and can when he lets himself go be as funny as he is perceptive and sharp.

Lucian Miers will be doing a double act with Evil Knievil ONLY at the UK’s top investor show, UKInvestor Show on April 13th. Other big name speakers include Nigel Wray ( Britain’s Buffett), Mark Slater, secret millionaire Nick Leslau, UKIP leader Nigel Farage MEP, Zak Mir, Clem Chambers, Alpesh Patel and columnist Christopher Booker. For a full speaker line up and details of some of 80 companies that are booking in to present to delegates at CEO level and to book your FREE tickets go HERE

 

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Comments

  1. Gary says:

    Hi Folks/Tom,

    agreeing with most of your article. However at the UK Investor Show I vote for Lucian either getting his own slot or 50/50 with Evil otherwise he gets swamped by EK. In short…more Lucian without losing EK please!

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