Business Career

Stephen SchwarAt the age of 11 Stephen Schwar started a small mail order business selling second hand business and travel guides in the Exchange & Mart. In 1982 at the age of 16 he was offered his first job as a Trainee Contracts Clerk working in the Government Contracts Department of British Aerospace at their Head Office at Weybridge in Surrey. He worked there for four years and during this time developed a keen interest and knowledge of the stock market. In 1984 he applied for some shares in the British Telecom privatisation. He sold them on the first day of trading making a profit of over £280 which was more than three times his weekly pay as a Contracts Clerk. He then opened an account with a small firm of stockbrokers called Henry J. Garrett and began buying and selling shares, using recommendations from the city and business pages of The Telegraph and Financial Times.

In March 1986 at the age of 20, he went for an interview with a  firm of stockbrokers and was offered a job as an Equities Salesman. Despite his young age he quickly established himself as one of the top performers within the firm. By the following year, at just 21 years of age, he had  already made enough money to facilitate the purchase of two properties  in Surrey. One was a three storey townhouse in Chertsey, and the other a luxury apartment in Weybridge, a highly sought after part of the Surrey stockbroker belt.

Stephen SchwarAfter working as a top performing Equities Salesman for a total of three retail stockbrokers, Stephen Schwar left the city and has since set up a number of successful businesses. He pioneered outsourcing before it became mainstream business practice, keeping costs down in order to maximise income and profit. In 1990 he started a finance brokerage specialising in secured asset funding and leasing. The company rapidly expanded by selling licensing agreements, and developed a national network of agents. However, although initially highly successful, the recession of the early 1990’s, together with the crash in property prices, took its toll. The company experienced difficulties in securing funding for clients and the business became unprofitable and eventually ceased trading.

Stephen Schwar then became involved in publishing, selling financial and credit information via mail order. Then in the late 1990’s, after a chance meeting with someone who worked in the print industry, he set up and started hugely profitable print management company. Again using proven outsourcing, structured to minimise overheads and maximise profit, the business acted as an independent broker arranging high volume print and direct mail fulfilment for large corporates.

Within 3 months of starting to trade, the company was arranging over £100,000 of print and direct mail each month, making money from repeating commission payments of up to 17% from the print and direct mail companies who actually completed the work. The business was highly profitable and Stephen Schwar invested the money he made from the company into further property investments. This included the start of his involvement with the high yield HMO sector (House Of Multiple Occupancy). He bought a 2,500 square foot townhouse in Hampshire and converted the property into a 7 bedroom HMO, licensed by the local authority. Within just 8 weeks of buying the property it was generating a gross rent of over £42,000 a year.

Stephen SchwarBy 2003 the UK print industry was in recession and margins were being squeezed. The print broking company lost it’s biggest customer and the business went into decline. However, by now Stephen Schwar had substantial positive cash flow from HMO property investment.

In 2001 he had incorporated his company Viscount Estates Ltd. and in 2005 the company started trading under the name of First Inventory . The business provides property inventory report services to the lettings industry in parts of Surrey, Hampshire, Middlesex and Berkshire, and has now been trading successfully for over 13 years. In 2009 the company expanded into inventory business training and since then has run monthly seminars at the Holiday Inn at Guildford in Surrey. The training package includes full back-up, support and mentoring for delegates, together with an optional business start-up package.

In the meantime, Stephen Schwar and his wife Janette, continue to invest in property and are planning further acquisitions in the high yield HMO sector.