Welcome to my personal webpage. I hope you find me and my profile interesting. There are many interesting life stories about me and some interesting people I have met along the way. There are also useful links that may interest you.


If I wasn’t doing this, I would be a member of the 21 SAS regiment operating behind enemy lines on special operations.

My epic journey begins at birth. I was born on the 4th of August 1976 with the umbilical cord around my neck causing me to stop breathing. And as a result, my left lung collapsed. I was over 9 pounds at birth.

I was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa on the East Coast between Cape Town and Durban. In 1976 the Angolan bush was war raging and there were severe political tensions in the country. My great dad, Michael Ellwood served for 9 years in the South African military. The military was conscription right until 1994 when the then President Mr. F.W. de Klerk released Nelson Mandela from prison. My dad’s unit, The Prince Alfred’s Guards, was part of a mechanized division / tank unit, the old British Centurion tanks in those days. Michael served as a staff sergeant and tank commander toward the end of his military days. During the war time, all able body men had to attend training camps and were called for duty to the front line. He often used to tell me some of the stories about being on the border for weeks at a time with specific shoot-to-kill orders on any and all moving suspected targets.

My dad once told me about the story when he received a special communication in the field, that he was to rendezvous at a certain point to be extracted from the front line. He had got confirmation that he had become the father to a ‘big’ little baby boy in Port Elizabeth hospital, but under difficult circumstances and he was to be transported to the hospital immediately. As I understand it, he arrived unshaven and filthy and extremely excited about my arrival.

My grandfather [another respected influence on my life] served in the South African Police service for over 50 years. With all these military figures as my father figures it felt normal for me that when I left school one day, I was going to join the South African military ‘parabat’ unit or parachute regiment as it is known more widely. Having a father who survived the Angolan war and a grandfather who did not see a future in the newly formed South African Police Service, I was quite literally forced into going to College to study and forget about military or police service. Quite ironic I find it now, looking back.

Never the less, I found business and economics interesting apart from playing rugby. So I decided to follow that route. I joined a prestigious rugby college and club in Cape Town’s Northern suburbs. The first year was a shock as the rugby was played at an extremely high level and the competition was strong. In South Africa, rugby is almost a religion and the dedication to the sport is absolutely incredible. On average I played nearly three rugby matches on any given Saturday. Most certainly two games, thank goodness for my youth and enthusiasm I still found time for a late night party afterward. Having realized that professional rugby was perhaps not going to be my calling, I decided to leave the sport and get into the corporate world.

After working for a couple of years at the company in which my dad was the M.D, I decided to venture overseas to find something different. What I wanted, I wasn’t sure of. Just in case you thought I got the job at my dad’s firm because I was the MD’s son, you would be mistaken. I slaved for no pay for three months prior to getting a basic salary to sweep, clean-up and run errant’s. Being ex-military and Staff Sargent in the military, nepotism was not in his remit.

I had played senior club rugby from about sixteen years old and had made very good friends with a man named Steve, who was originally from Jersey, Channel Islands. Steve was like a rugby coach and mentor to me. He had played county rugby as a boy and some very good senior rugby in his time. He was returning to Jersey after 10 years of sunshine in Cape Town and urged me to see him in Jersey if I ever intended leaving South Africa for the U.K.

I was fortunate enough to have a good friend who could set me up and look after me in a foreign country, so I obliged. I booked my flight and made provisions to go abroad. As I said earlier, my journey is epic.

One Friday evening, one week before my departure date a very close friend of mine urged me and another friend to go to Stellenbosch for a night out. Stellenbosch is roughly 15min drive from Somerset West in the Western Cape wine region. I was reluctant at first as I knew I was leaving the following week and wanted to spend time at home with family. Anyway, my arm didn’t need too much twisting.
Returning home in the early hours of the morning we were involved in an accident. At 80mph we left the road, destroyed a concrete street lamp post, somebody’s wall and about 30 meters of hedge. Luckily everyone survived, unfortunately for me I was sitting in the front left passenger seat, the exact point of impact. The miracle of the story is that when we embarked on our return journey, his fiancé wanted to sit in front next to him. I argued with her that I should sit in front and managed to occupy the seat before she could.

The doctors confirmed that if a petite girl like her was seated in the front left passenger seat, she would with almost certainty have not survived the impact.

I took the full brunt of the impact, fracturing 7 ribs of which one punctured my left lung (again my left lung). I broke my left fore-arm both Ulna and Radius. My heart was bruised and shifted way over to the other side of my chest.

I spent two weeks in hospital with a chest drain attached to me and having to undergo surgery on my arm. I had to undergo the surgery in a conscious state as the doctors would not risk putting me under anesthetic with only one lung functioning properly. That was horrific. I was given an epidural in my neck, to paralyse my arm.

My parents had to cancel my flight ticket and let Steve know I was not in a good state. Being stubborn and not wanting to accept my physical set back I was determined to get overseas and not let this stop me. I arrived at Heathrow airport one month later and joined the ‘non-EU’ passport holder’s line. At passport control they asked if I had chest X-Rays which are standard practice for anyone arriving from the African continent, to prove I wasn’t ill with T.B. It was automatically assumed that if you are from Southern Africa, you have T.B. I never had these X-Rays and was escorted by the airport Dr. to the clinic to do an examination and X-Ray scan of my chest. His first question was: are you in any discomfort? I said only if I cough or laugh, he was most startled that I was walking around with seven fractured ribs and a heama-thorax.

I enjoyed Jersey – it is really a beautiful Island with many sights from the German occupation during WW2. I found it extremely exciting working in the Institutional Fund section of a trust and investment company. Private Equity, Venture Capital, Property Unit Trusts and EBT schemes – you name it I worked on it.

Not feeling my usual self, weakened by the accident and not as fit and strong as I was. I felt this continual urge to prove myself and get fit and strong. I decided to join the military part time to ‘toughen up’. Jersey Field Squadron wasn’t quite what I had imagined the military would be. My dream was to be in the special-forces, not the regular army. I did the research on 21 SAS Squadron operating out of Regent Park. I read a very exciting book called ‘On selection with 21 SAS’ which inspired me beyond belief.

After a referral from the Commanding Officer at Jersey Field Squadron I was accepted into 131 Commando Squadron RE based in North London, Kingsbury. 131 is part of 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines and is probably the most professional reserve forces unit in the UK military. I was told that before attempting the special-forces selection course (which is considered the most challenging in all militaries around the world, including the French Foreign Legion and U.S. Navy Seals) I should complete the parachute regiment’s selection course or the Royal Marines Commando (all arms) selection course. I decided that being commando trained would be more beneficial because I could do the parachute ‘jumps’ course in the Commandos.

I completed the selection course in July 2005 as a reserve forces soldier. My next mission was to transfer to 21 SAS. I had been to 21 SAS on two prior occasions for medicals, a fitness test and an interview. It was close to becoming real. The then recruitment officer had come to know me well as I was the South African chap with such enthusiasm.

To cut a long story short, my then C.O. refused to sign my transfer form from my unit to the SAS. He insisted that he had trained me to commando level and I owed him at least 2 years of service. At my age I didn’t think I would have it in me to be running up (Pen-Y-Fan) a dreaded mountain in the Welsh Brecon Beacons should I attempted the selection course two years later..

Also around this time I had met my now wife. She was really the light of my life and I could feel the urge to stay with her most times rather than go off on training weekends. My head was really up in the air, one training evening I had taken my parade boots with me, rather than my combat boots. I had forgotten that we were doing a 9 mile speed march or (TAB) that evening. Needless to say, I suffered. I took photos of the blisters and the sole of my feet that had literally come off. I was spared no mercy and had to run back to base from the common that we had marched in. The commando’s believe that there is no such thing as pain and that if you feel any ‘pain’ it should always only be used to push yourself further into where it is coming from.

I had realized that my investment abilities were pretty good and that I could not see a very bright financial future on operations in far flung places with my wife at home worrying about me (and my feet). So I made a conscious decision to stay in the financial world and finally put to bed my military desires. Besides, I had become a Commando trained soldier and would have made the jump to special-forces had I of applied myself. The feelings do come back every so often, and when someone recently asked me: ‘What would you be doing now if you weren’t doing this?’ My response was ‘If I wasn’t doing this, I would be a member of the 21 SAS regiment operating behind enemy lines on special operations.’

I guess I like the military because it is such a disciplined organization. The average Major or Commanding Officer of a unit has more tasks and responsibilities than a FTSE250 CEO. He is responsible for on average the same amount of personnel, equipment and budget. On training, the army is the best. (SOP’s) Standard Operating Procedures are drilled into you from morning till night. Especially being in an elite unit or special-forces unit – as they command the top recruits both physically and mentally.

I liken the special-forces to value investors because value investors are extremely disciplined in their approach to investing. Sticking to your principles is vital. A common quote in the military is that if you are five minutes late, you are dead. It’s simple, if you are late for a RV point you will be left behind or you might be caught in an air assault.

Being in an elite unit and not part of the regular army gives you a certain advantage over others in the military. They look up to the commandos, para’s and SAS as the guys who get the job done. That is why when I was involved in setting up Yellow Capital Wealth Management I felt it normal to raise the standard and insist on an extremely disciplined ‘unit’ and to follow the ‘disciplined’ approach to investment management, namely Value Investing. Implementing standard operating procedures and adhering to them is without exception extremely important to me. Yellow Capital is not a ‘regular’ wealth management firm either. Yellow Capital is a special or elite unit. We focus our attention and energy in one particular area: investments.

Yellow Capital differs itself from the market due to its belief and stance on gold and value investing. There are not many wealth managers in the city that would publicly put their name behind their beliefs, rather they give both sides of the story and remain neutral.

So there you have some back ground to my story in life. The journey has had many very eventful times and moments. Continue browsing my site.