A multi-millionaire property guru who left school at 16 has saved his favourite teacher from a ‘life on benefits’ by helping her build up a property portfolio.
Samuel Leeds, 30, from Walsall, became a millionaire aged 21 after leaving Walsall’s Emmanuel School at the age of 16 with one of the highest detention records.
But he has dramatically turned his life around since he was almost expelled from the Christian school as a teenager as his unruly antics constantly landed him in trouble.
Now, the property guru advises celebrities on their investments and has credited his success to his former teacher Deborah Hey-Smith, who he said was the only person to have faith in him.
Mr Leeds decided to repay his favourite teacher by passing on his insider knowledge and tricks of the trade after she was made redundant and faced ‘going down a spiral hole’ while on Universal Credit.
Samuel Leeds, 30, became a millionaire after leaving Walsall’s Emmanuel School at the age of 16 and has credited his former teacher Deborah Hey-Smith (both pictured) for his success
Mrs Hey-Smith, from Great Barr, now lives off a profit of more than £1,500 a month from a portfolio of property investments while she waits to receive her state pension.
The 64-year-old was even able to use some of the cash to give her only daughter Abigail her dream wedding.
Mrs Hey-Smith said: ‘Property is great for generating a residual income. Now I can live off my rental income.
‘I have to as I’m not old enough to have my pension because they keep changing the age.
‘If I hadn’t had a rental income, I would have signed on for Universal Credit and might have applied for some teaching jobs.
‘Because of the competition, I might not have got a job and then I would have resigned myself to being on benefits for the next ten years or so.
The former teacher at Emmanuel School (pictured) faced going on Universal Credit after being made redundant but now rakes in £1,500-a-month after Mr Leeds gave her property advice
‘Then you just go down a spiral hole because there’s nothing to really motivate you. Having property has been great and I love it.’
Mr Leeds bought his first investment home in Bournville within a year of leaving school at the age of 16 after his stepfather agreed to have the mortgage in his name.
He went on to found Property Investors – the UK’s largest training company of its kind, teaching people how to invest in property – and moved the then-Wolverhampton business to London as profits soared in 2019.
The father-of-three’s celebrity clients include rapper Krept, of duo Krept and Konan, ex-Liverpool midfielder Kevin Stewart and BBC presenter Liv Cooke.
He has also worked with the likes of Wales international footballer Christian Ribeiro, and rugby league players Jesse Sene-Lefao and Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e.
Mr Leeds said: ‘I was on the verge of being expelled. I was suspended regularly.
‘I had probably the most detentions out of everyone in the school apart from one other person. I certainly wasn’t the star pupil.
‘I’ve never forgotten how supportive Mrs Hey-Smith was at school and I’m so pleased to have been able to teach her about property.
‘She’s a great negotiator and good at getting things done, and cheaply. She’s bought properties in the right areas, and they are all going up in price nicely.’
Mrs Hey-Smith recalled Mr Leeds struggling when she taught him maths, IT and typing and said he wasn’t a ‘star pupil’ during his time at school.
Mr Leeds now advises celebrities on their investments, and his clients include rapper Krept (pictured), of duo Krept and Konan, ex-Liverpool midfielder Kevin Stewart
She continued: ‘I wouldn’t say he was the star pupil. Samuel was very good at communicating.
That was his gift and I think that comes through now in his property courses. He’s quite quick at thinking on his feet as well.’
The pair reconnected at a Christian business networking event set up by Mr Leeds in January 2014, with the former teacher signing up for a crash course on property investment.
Eventually, she bought a property in Bagnor, North Wales, for £95,000 – £15,000 under the asking price – and later spent £5,000 on revamping the house.
The property was later valued at £130,000 and the teacher now makes a profit of more than £1,000 a month from her investment.
Mrs Hey-Smith used £45,000 from refinancing the property to expand her portfolio, buying a second house in Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, which now boosts her income by £575 a month.