Britain’s most wealthy gypsy, born in a caravan when he was just ten years old, will soon be a billionaire, as his home park empire grows.
Alfie Best, who was born on the side of a road near Leicester, now lives in a £6m mansion in Surrey.
He started in business as a teenager selling vans and cars, then he set up several mobile phones stores at the age of 20.
Now, more than 30 years later, he runs Wyldecrest Parks, which operates 91 mobile home parks across the UK and is worth £700 million.
The entrepreneur has even reached the point where he can even afford to buy his own £4.5 million helicopter designed by Aston Martin.
As his business grows, his star will continue to rise.
Alfie Best, pictured here with his his new £4.5 million Aston Martin-designed helicopter, is set to become the world’s first gypsy billionaire
The 52-year-old, pictured here for TV show Undercover Big Boss last year, owns Wyldecrest Parks, which operates 91 mobile home parks across the country
Although it’s quite a change to his childhood in the Traveller Community, Mr. Best claims that he is still able to see what’s most important, even though he has extreme wealth.
He told The Sun ‘This genuinely isn’t about earning any more money. Once you’ve made five-ten million dollars, you no longer need to have more.
“That’s all there is to it as far as my concern because you can do anything with that money.
“After that it is about building something that actually makes a difference. It’s not easy to take criticism but it isn’t difficult for me to stand tall. Accept it, accept it, and you will realize how lucky I am.
The businessman, seen here in August at The Courier’s gala screening, said that as far as his concerns, he already had all of the money he needed.
A modest start: Although Mr. Best was born in poverty, he claimed that he had a wonderful childhood. Pictured as a young child, with his father and mother.
The multi-millionaire, who ominously says we have entered a global recession, adds: ‘In my opinion, you are worth what you are worth when the s*** hits the fan.
Despite ongoing issues such as the cost of living crisis, Mr Best is on course to crack the £1 billion mark next year as the value of his investments and business goes up.
He said: ‘Depending on how the market goes, by the end of next year we will be £1bn in assets. However, I am a realist and you can do both up or down as quickly.
That’s not stopped him splashing the cash while he can, with his latest purchase, a £4.5 million helicopter, coming after he turned down a £950 million offer from a hedge fund for his parks business.
He stated that ‘having too much time and too much dough are the two most dangerous things, because it makes idle hands work for the devil’.
“We can all party to much. And, although we all love ourselves, and I was shocked that I said this, it is possible for us all to work too hard.
In 2015, when he worth a paltry £200 million, Mr Best told MailOnline he didn’t ‘feel successful’.
What is success? He said, “I’m still working on stuff as much as anyone else.”
“I’m fortunate enough to be able to say that I made good decisions, but the truth is I’m quite a fool.
“I rise every morning to thank the stars for getting where I am.”
Alfie still considers himself to be frugal and has had lunch with John Major, a former Tory prime minister, and Mike Tyson. He is concerned that he may lose everything he’s worked hard for.
As a token of his humility, he turned down an offer to be on the Sunday Times Rich List for 2011.
“I don’t spend more than I can afford. Every thing I buy, from cars and homes I own to drive, is sold. He stated that he knows the true value of what he has.
“Don’t get it wrong, I do have plenty to live comfortably. However, I’ve lived through recessions and still fear being back in the same position.
“When you’ve been through difficult recessions it can change you. Although it happened 25 years ago, it still affects me.
Alfie Best (45), was born on the streetside to a poor family of gypsy parents. He is now worth many millions.
This recession occurred in the 1990s. It happened just four year after Best’s first venture, which was a Van Hire Centre and Dealer in Forest Gate.
When he was ten years old, he learned all the tricks of being a salesman. He did this as part his father’s Tarmac sales business.
“Have you ever heard the expression, “you speak as fast as a Gypsy”,? He replied.
When I was a teenager trying to make a sale with my dad, I only had thirty seconds before they closed the door. This taught me many things about being a great salesman.
After launching his first venture, Mr. Best fell into financial ruin four years later. He almost lost his entire family when he was hit with a large mortgage and the national recession.
His words were: “I’d never experienced a recession at the time and couldn’t comprehend how dire things would get.”
“Everyday that passed was an opportunity to learn something new. I could not have done it before, so I couldn’t help but draw on my past experiences. The experience was indeed soul-destroying.
According to Mr. Best, he was able to survive by the skin of his teeth. He rented out his house, increased his bank loan, and slept in his car three months while he tried desperately to improve his financial situation.
He knew that he had to look for a new job when things hit rock bottom. He saw that two of the businesses which were flourishing in the downturn were phone shops and take-out.
Port Haverigg Marina Village in Cumbria is one Wyldecrest Park permanent trailer sections around the country
Badgers Retreat Park in Richmond, North Yorkshire is another site. It’s set on 26 acres.
The young man walked in to a East Ham telephone shop, asked for a job, and then spent the next three months collecting tips.
With the loan, he opened his mobile phone company three months later. He had thirteen shops in London within 18 months.
He said, “I made the right choice at that time.” ‘I recall the exact words of my bank manager when I visited him: ‘You are an extraordinarily unorthodox businessman.’
After the business was sold, Mr. Best decided to move into commercial property. He now owns over 80 acres of industrial buildings spread throughout the country.
Emily, his wife suggested that he go back to something where he had more knowledge and experience. He decided to embark on a business in the motor home industry, buying his first one in 2001 for £1.7 million.
The business has grown steadily and Wyldecrest Parks now manages 91 mobile homes parks all across the United States.