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[Book] Lost Property - 20th Anniversary Edition

Thursday 18th October 2007

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BookLost Property - 20th Anniversary Edition By Olly Newland $34.95

Many people remember with a shudder the massive stockmarket crash around the world in 1987. In New Zealand, as in many countries, it came on the back of unprecedented share and property boom when huge sums of money could be made for the asking.

One of the stars of the New Zealand scene was Olly Newland, founder of Landmark and wheeler-dealer supreme. Banks queued at his door to lend him money, the media for advice and comment, and he was in demand as a speaker to investor groups.

Then, beginning in New York, the market suddenly crashed. Here, Olly Newland gives an insider's view of the build-up and the let-down - and lays the blame firmly at the doors of the banks and the government. Readers may never trust either again.

In this special edition, released for the 20th anniversary of the 1987 crash, Olly Newland reflects on how much - and how little - has changed since then. He shares valuable insights into the crash, drawing lessons from his own and others' experience in those frenetic days.

Lost Property offers practical, timeless advice about building wealth and ongoing income from investment.


This book by Olly Newland, is the 20th anniversary edition of his earlier book of the same title. For those who have not read the original version, it is a true narration of one man's perseverance and hard work to make it to the top, and then only to see it all crumble unbelievably before his very eyes.

Newland was a very popular man in the heydays of the boom time of the 80’s. He built up a property empire that was the darling of the stock markets, and every thing he touched turned to gold. With his team of accountants, brokers and bankers he built up a huge corporate that was able to give the biggies of that time a run for their money.

In this book Newland describes the pains of delivering his public listed company on the exchange, the celebrations of its successes, the board room battles and the vultures and enemies he made on his way to the top. He was the knight in shining armor for kiwi investors around the country, and in great demand from north to south, going as far as Dunedin and Invercargill.

Time and time again Newland was the star. Bankers came knocking to his door to lend him money, “As much as you want” they said. “Whenever you want” they said. And it was such unfettered greed - greed from the Bankers, greed from the shareholders that slowly but surely changed the way he worked. As Landmark Properties grew, so did the vultures around it multiply. Newland had the additional task of protecting his baby from these vultures and sharks.

And then it happened. Black Tuesday was there. It was a disaster like no other in a generation. The Crash and its aftermath left a whole lot of people haunted and ruined. Parted from their savings, their holidays, their retirement, their security all robbed from them in a few days of uncontrolled collapse.

In this book, Newland candidly and honestly delivers a first hand account of those great days of sunshine in the financial world. The great days of making bucket loads of money, wheeling and dealing in the property market. How his Company, newly launched, gets caught up in the political winds of change, and is lifted up high. How he works the property market, the Board Room stand offs, and how he courts and fends off suitors and vultures in the corporate battlefield. How millions were made on paper in the blink of an eye. Of course such actions might have been viewed differently these days, and he would have found himself in a lot of trouble, but then, those days were different.

Newland is also very candid and forthright on how the big bust affected his fortunes, and how easy it was to get deceived by bankers and politicians.

Today Newland continues to be a property investor in his own right, a much wiser man for all the storms he has weathered.

Although a new edition of an old story, it is still a riveting tale of the workings of the corporate machinery. It holds many lessons for Property Investors, the young, and for new immigrants who would not have been in New Zealand at the time of the huge upheavals that the country went through, and serves as a history lesson for them. For those interested in property, there are a few simple and old, yet very relevant truths. – don’t trust bankers and politicians. Don’t get caught up in the greed of a booming property market. Quit when you’re ahead.

Although Newland is frank and open, and this book touches a raw nerve in many of his former shareholders, some of whom still blame him, the value of the lessons learned in those heady years appear to have been lost to the current generation. Much water has flowed under the bridge between then and now, and the investment climate and regulatory climate have changed a lot. One must remember however, that fear and greed are the life blood of all investment, and bad things do happen every generation or so. To that end, this book is a timely reminder for all aggressive punters looking for the elusive pot at the end of the rainbow.

Reviewed by Bryce Pais on behalf of Good Returns Bookstore


Lost Property is available through the Good Returns Bookstore ( or call 0800 345 675)

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