Candidate Profile

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Business, Management & Entrepreneurship
History - Classical
History - General
History - Maritime
History - Military
History - Naval
Money, Property, Finance & Tax
Michael Taylor is a successful private investor, having achieved triple digit compounded portfolio returns for each of the last three years. Since completing his Masters Degrees he has traveled through over 150 borders in order to further his passion for history.

Michael is not afraid to ask the difficult questions when meeting with FTSE 250 and AIM company executives in order to get the truth and believes that history should not be any different; no stone should be left unturned when examining a topic. Currently he is seeking to analyse previously unseen primary material on the life of Vice-Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood where he will present his findings to The Collingwood Society. He has been invited to speak in front of investment clubs, including Harvard Financial Analysts Club, and delivered the results of a commissioned research paper on populism and the socio-economic effects on the European Union to leading academics and industry experts.

He excels in Mediterranean and classical history, and has a deep knowledge of the history of Europe. Michael likes to add to his list of talks with his travels and is readily available for cruises at all times throughout the year.

He brings the same rigorous approach to his presentations as he does to his investments; a keen analytical eye to draw out the fine details in context of the bigger picture. Michael has an open, humorous, and interactive style of speaking, which makes good use of technology to simplify complex ideas and has been well received by audiences across the world.

Michael expects to publish his book on investing with Harriman-House in Q4 2018.















The Roman Empire and the Birth of Christianity
How the Church carried civilisation through the Dark Ages to become a dominant world religion and the eventual collapse of the Roman Empire to barbarians. This lecture looks at some of Rome’s colourful characters, the Church’s seduction of the Barbarians, and how the idea of ‘Romanitas’ would influence our world today.

Age of the Polis: The Hellenic Diaspora
This talk details the beginnings of Europe and the spread of the Greek city-states and growth of civilisation. Included are Hellenistic migration and detailed political, strategic, and tactical analyses of four battles in the Persian Wars, with the lecture finishing off with the successes of Alexander the Great.

The March to Empire: Roman Expansion
This talk specifically looks at key factors of Roman expansion including intra-political events and outside causes.

Diocletian and the Crisis of the Third Century
Diocletian’s reforms helped to curb the crisis; however, his splitting of the Roman Empire into two is controversial in modern historiography. Impoverished peasantry who joined armies made their commanders rich, who were able to buy votes at home causing constant chaos; this lecture looks at Diocletian’s decisions and the crisis in detail.

The Carthage Problem: Punic Wars and the Roman Empire
Conflicting interests between the Carolingian and Roman Empires lasted over 100 years and saw Rome emerge as one of the dominant Mediterranean powers of classical antiquity, giving her a distinguished status until the 5th Century AD.

Peloponnesian Wars: Ending of a Golden Age
Failure between Athens and Sparta played a part in ending the age of the Greek city-states in 5th Century BC. All out war destroyed swathes of countryside and cities; the consequences of which changed Greek society will be explored here.


The Balkan Powder Keg: Europe between 1871-1918
Lecture exploring the catalysts of the Great War starting from 1871, showing the effects of jingoism, and how a mix of rivalry, a little boy’s jealousy, and one discontent Serbian man lead to catastrophic consequences.

Serenìsima Repùblica Vèneta: One Thousand Years of Venice
Lecture covering Venice’s influence throughout the Crusades, including the Ottoman-Venetian Wars and the significance of the Battle of Lepanto.

Aquincum to Budapest
From humble beginnings, the Romans constructed roads, amphitheatres, and baths, which would eventually be influenced by the Italian Renaissance until occupation by the Turkish in 1541 before liberation by the Holy League. Budapest is rich in history and steeped with bloodshed; we look at key points in the metropolis’ story.

Battle of Budapest
This fifty day siege was crucial to Stalin to display his strength to Churchill and Roosevelt, and so ordered the city to be captured urgently. Heavy resistance was met with fighting on several fronts – the sewers, the streets, and the islands all saw action, which is looked at in detail in this lecture.

The Hungarian Revolution
Revolution in Hungary spread like wildfire, until Soviet tanks marched in to crush the rebellion. This alienated Communism from Western Marxist thought and strengthened Soviet control in the Eastern Bloc.

Right to Left: Life under the Arrow Cross and the Soviet Union
Almost 1,000,000 Hungarians lost their lives during WW2 – the majority of these being civilians. Under Arrow Cross rule, death squads hunted down Jews and under institutional decay they turned their attention to helpless hospital patients and poorhouses. Hopes of a better life for the Hungarian peasantry were dashed when the Red Army and communist rule brought more of the same; ‘kulaks’ were ruthlessly pursued with psychological and physical terror tactics. With no one left to farm the land, many starved and more were killed – we look at this vicious cycle of depression and brutal period of Hungarian history.

The Croatian Question: Self-identity and the War of Independence
Self-identity has often been a cause of discontent in the annals of history. In this lecture we will cover the catalysts for war, Operations Flash and Storm, and the how the world’s most wanted man, Radovan Karadzik, became a successful poet and spiritual healer in plain sight.

Ottoman Influences in the Balkans
The Ottoman Empire prospered under a succession of effective Sultans in the 15th and 16th centuries, with many regions becoming tributary states after the Ottoman-Hungarian wars. These tensions continued into the 20th century and continued into the modern era.


The Commonwealth of the Bahamas
When Chrishopher Columbus arrived in the islands of the “Baja mar” (shallow sea), the peaceful Lucayans had 25 years left before all 40,000 were wiped out. Nassau would be destroyed twice in the age of piracy, before the slave trade changed the islands forever.

The Real Pirates of the Caribbean
Piracy, or privateering (when it suited home nations), was rife in the 17th century, with many a buccaneer setting up home in the Caribbean. Towns such as Nassau, Tortuga, and Port Royal all played a part in the history of piracy, with famous pirates also looked at in this lecture.

The Carib Wars
British colonial expansion and an imperial ambition to force the Black Caribs to sell their land to the British government led to the First Carib War. Just over 20 years after the peace agreement, the British again fought the Caribs and the French and eventually crushed the Carib opposition with a major military offensive.

Anglo-French Tensions in the Caribbean
By 1700 only France and Great Britain remained players vying for imperial dominance in the Caribbean. This lecture looks at the catalysts behind the conflicts in the Caribbean.

The Transatlantic Slave Trade
The Slave Trade had a global impact and allowed the Europeans to gain such an advantage that, compounded over time, gave them global dominance until recent times. Africa, the Caribbean, and North America have all been the subject of change during this striking period.


Man of the Revolution or Scholarly Enshrinement? Samuel Adams in American Memory
History has never been able to agree on controversial Bostonian Samuel Adams. In times of improving American-Anglo relations it was difficult to write approvingly of one of the Boston Tea Party’s leading orchestrators. Though he was not the Boston dictator who single-handedly led his colony into rebellion, Samuel Adams has rightfully earned his place in the annals of American history.

Boom and Bust: The USA between 1917-1941
The ‘Return to Normalcy’ under President Harding led to the spectacular Roaring Twenties, and in this period American economic confidence skyrocketed under isolationism, but had serious effects in the aftermath of the Wall Street Crash in 1929. This talk also covers the 1932 election – did the New Deal revitalise a malnourished America or did Hoover Soup taste better?

The American Civil War: Total War, Total Revolution
The American Civil War was the world’s first ‘total war’, advances made into technology would change American history with this lecture exploring these into detail. The railroad, telephone, and even the submarine all played important parts in the war, which will be analysed along with tactics of the day. It has been often argued that the North's economic might won the war; however, without Lincoln and his sound leadership decisions, history may have looked a lot different.

The American Revolutionary War: British Colonies to United States
Despite initial help from the home country, later colonists did not believe why they should pay tax to a distant land across the ocean. Growing philoshopical and political differences led to unrest and the Boston Tea Party, and open combat when the British tried to disarm the Massachusetts Militia.

The New World: Challenges and Consequences of American Colonisation
Early attempts at colonisation were often fraught with failure, due to disease, starvation, attacks from Native Americans and also rival European colonists. Despite this, thousands would arrive in search of religious freedom and a new life. In this lecture we see the early hardships and successes of the colonists, inter-country wars on a different continent, and explore indigenous relations.

The Triumphs and Tribulations of New York City
From humble beginnings, the city of New York has grown to almost 10m people. It is a prominent city in United States history and a centre of commerce. This lecture explores the city and events that have shaped it.

Beginnings of American Might: The Saratoga Campaign
The campaign’s failure to capture the Hudson River turned the war into the American colonies’ hands; it was turning point as it convinced the French to openly participate and support the colonists. This lecture looks at strategic decisions and their impacts on the series of battles.

Fall of Tenochtitlan: Conquistadors and the Aztec Civilisation
Lecture explores how a group of just a few hundred men were able to conquer one of the world’s mightiest civilisations in an even that changed world history forever.


Portugal and the Age of Discovery
The beginnings of globalisation started with European exploration and trade and set the path for the unleashing of Christianity onto the Earth, as well as the Columbian Exchange. Portuguese discoveries and the sailing advantage allowed Europeans to flourish ahead of the rest of the world.

Catalonia and the Visigoths
This lecture looks at the Visigoth Kingdom and its influences on modern day Catalonia.

The Battle of Trafalgar (Destination lecture: Cadiz)
A deep look into the preceding events of the battle and the avant-garde tactics used by Nelson to smash the Combined Fleet’s line, as well as the repercussions for Europe. The battle continued long after as Collingwood kept a watchful eye over the Mediterranean.


Northumberland’s Forgotten Hero: Vice-Admiral Cuthbert Collingwood, Master of the Mediterranean
Vice Admiral Collingwood was not the exuberant type unlike his superior; however, his deeds were certainly far-reaching and consequential. We explore the man that time forgot, and what his actions in 1805 until his death at sea mean for us today, using primary material including unseen letters and sources from the time. Collingwood made his base at Mahon, Menorca, and with great personal sacrifice would ensure European peace.

Dieu et mon droit – God and my right: The British Monarchy and their Continued Survival
The Glorious Revolution of 1688 ensured the survival of a quintessentially British family. This lecture looks how the British Monarchy navigated their way through the long nineteenth century up to the present day.

The Labour Reforms of 1945-1951: A Turning Point to the Welfare State?
After a long and hard war, the British people unceremoniously dumped Winston Churchill out of power and instead voted for a different idea – cradle to the grave care. Social reforms had been enacted previously in the inter-war period, but the popularity of the Beveridge Report was unprecedented. This lecture explores Post-war Britain and its political climate.

Rule Britannia: Queen Victoria
The British Empire entered an era of unprecedented prosperity. When Queen Victoria died, over 25% of the world population and landmass was under her rule. The Scramble for Africa offered an opportunity to revive the trade deficit during the Long Depression, leading many to believe that the empire was one on which the sun would never set.

The Elizabethan Age and the English Renaissance
Under Elizabeth I’s rule, successes were enjoyed from reforms from previous monarchs, and the Act of Union between England and Scotland was formed. During this period, arts and culture blossomed under effective and organised government which benefitted hugely from the start of the slave trade.

The Great War: A Catalyst for Political and Social Change in Great Britain
The First World War was revolutionary for change in Britain; women suffrage, the Liberal Reforms and consequent split, as well as the House and Town Planning Act of 1919 were all changes of the war that brought progress in Britain’s political and social climate.

The Commercial Revolution: Urbanisation and the Birth of Modern English Society
An exploration into English society – agricultural advances led to increasing migration which brought the Great Vowel Shift. Coffee houses and the printing press led to information to be disseminated in an unprecedented way, and the stock market brought more problems.


Challenges to the Weimar Republic and the Stresemann Years
The Paris Peacemakers left Germany with a treaty that was a contributing factor to the start of WWII. The Weimar Republic started off weakly but the German economy grew under Gustav Stresemann; this talk dissects early navigations through the stormy economic seas.

The Development of the Nazi Party: Strong and Structured or Disorganised Chaos?
Was the Nazi Party a ‘survival of the fittest’ or was it regimented and well disciplined? Historians have long argued ever since the last shot was fired with modern historiography split on this topic – the lecture looks at the evidence for both arguments.

Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Führer: The Ascendance of Adolf Hitler
Discontent across Germany allowed Hitler to appeal the populist masses with various tactics. Circumstances were exacerbated by the Wall Street collapse in 1929 though it is dangerous to argue that this gave Hitler the Chancellorship.

The Nuremberg Medical Trials
The Hippocratic Oath was invoked in this trial for the sole purpose of making the Nazi doctors criminals – their actions were not unlawful in the Third Reich. This talk looks at the doctors and their experiments, and whether it is right to use such data for the advancement of scientific research.


The Golden Age: Het Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, New Amsterdam, and the Dutch Miracle
The birth of corporate finance and the world’s first stock exchange along with skilled migration transformed the port of Antwerp and made Dutch science, trade, and military might the envy of the world.

Heldhaftig, Vastberaden, Barmhartig: The United Kingdom of the Netherlands
Formed in 1815 after the Napoleonic Wars, the Netherlands has a history of secession and annexation with her neighbours. This lecture looks at the territorial divisions of the Kingdom, and how France and the Netherlands came to share a border also in the Caribbean.


The Overthrow of the Tokugawa Shogunate
Matthew Perry’s arrival in Edo was a factor of growing dissent in Japan, and in 1867 the Shogunate was overthrown after the Boshin War, leading to the Meiji Restoration. This was the start of a new and modern Japan; this talk looks at why it happened.

The Iwakura Mission of 1871-1873: The Road to Modernisation
Japan’s desire to be a world power and avoid the same fate as China and her opium led to emissaries sent out across the world to learn and report back. This lecture follows some of the journeys and if it achieved the mission’s aims.

The Fifteen Year World War: How Empire and War Became Indistinguishable
The Imperial Japanese Navy was a strong agent of South Sea expansion and Japanese leaders accepted modern state and imperialist power interdependently – much like two sides of the same coin. This process, reinforced over a series of events, led the hallmark of new imperialism to be perpetual war.

The Post-war Japanese ‘Economic Miracle’
This lecture shows that there was no such economic miracle and will explain the reasons why in great detail – a favourable international environment as well as government controls and procedures allowed growth to boom, though it was not a ‘planned econony’ as final decisions rested in the hands on many.

Construction of Post-war National Identity and the Lost Decade
Japanese division over the war can be exemplified by the Yashukan Museum where fourteen war criminals are enshrined. This led to terse diplomatic relations with China, with stagnant Japanese economic growth amplified by incongruent decisions by the new government leading to many viewing this period as the ‘Lost Decade’.


The Russian Revolution and Civil War
Under Lenin’s orders, the execution of the Tsar and his family ended three hundred years of Romanov rule, and started a multi-party civil war with collateral damage of around 10m civilians.

Russia between Lenin and Stalin: 1917-1953
This period of Russia looks at the reactions to the New Economic Policy and evaluates the success of the Five-Year Plans, and the purges of the Communist Party in the 1930s. Why did Stalin shock the world and choose to make a pact with Hitler in 1939?

How Did the USSR Win the War on the Eastern Front?
Hitler became a victim of his own ego; the Blitzkrieg tactics that had worked so well previously were disregarded and he decided to split his army in two, so confident was he in the supremacy of the Aryan race. The rapid industrialisation along with more causes looked at in this lecture allowed the Russian war effort to stagnate the German advances.


Hubris and History: Napoleonic Europe and the Battle of Austerlitz
This lecture details the rise of a young Corsican and the details of his greatest battles, including Austerlitz.

The American Civil War: Total War, Total Revolution
The American Civil War was the world’s first ‘total war’, advances made into technology would change American history with this lecture exploring these into detail. The railroad, telephone, and even the submarine all played important parts in the war, which will be analysed along with tactics of the day. It has been often argued that the North's economic might won the war; however, without Lincoln and his sound leadership decisions, history may have looked a lot different.

Battle of Stalingrad
(see Russian History)

The Battle of Trafalgar
(see Spanish History)

Beginnings of American Might: The Saratoga Campaign
(see American History)

Peloponnesian Wars: Ending of a Golden Age
(see Classical History)

The Carib Wars
(see Caribbean History)

How Did the USSR Win the War on the Eastern Front?
(see Russian History)


Always Coca-Cola! How One Soft Drink Conquered the World
Despite humble beginnings as a nerve tonic from an old Confederate General, Coca-Cola would defy two world wars and transcend conflicting nations to eventually become a world ideology. A series of smart decisions including aligning itself to the American military, to the introduction of New Coke in 1985 has allowed millions of people every day to ‘taste the feeling’! This lecture uses primary material to explain Coke’s global dominance.

Corporate Governance Failures
Enron, Tyco, Worldcom, Tesco.. All of these companies fooled analysts and investors for years before the house of cards came tumbling down. Scandals such as the HP spying saga will be looked at during this talk.

The Sandals Story: Caribbean Paradise
Sandals resorts have emerged to be one of the best in the Caribbean, but it wasn’t always success from the start. This talk looks at the history of Sandals why they are industry leaders today.


Superperformance Stocks and How To Find Them
Proven methods to find the next big stock market winners early are covered including various important valuation metrics, and how to avoid stock market dogs.

How to Win at Spread Betting
90%+ retail traders and investors blow their accounts in spread betting – a lot of the time because of similar reasons. This lecture shows how to be profitable and discusses several strategies that can be used depending on how much time is available and personal preference.

The Credit Boom: Inefficiencies in the Stock Market and What It Means for the Non Institutional Investor
Cheap credit and MBSs gave rise to the booms of the 90s and early 2000s. Since the financial crisis, borrowing has become more difficult for corporations and individuals alike. This has created lots of inefficiencies in the stock market and private investors can easily take advantage of agility and position sizing in the world's equity markets to achieve exceptional returns.

The above three lectures’ content will feature in my book which I expect to be published in Q4 2018.


The Rise of Populism and its Socio-economic Effects on the European Union
This lecture looks at several instances of populist success across Europe and analyses what they mean for the future. We will explore the current economic cycle including Brexit and the election of President Trump.
APT - Adriatic & Aegean Odyssey on board Le Lyrial.
June 14 - June 28, 2016.