Friends come through for GATA extravagantly in Toronto


By J.P. Schumacher
Top-Gold Fund, Switzerland
Monday, October 5, 2005

The management and staff of Top-Gold mourn the tragic
death of their chairman, Ferdinand Lips. He peacefully
passed away last Thursday night from complications
after routine back surgery he had three weeks ago
following his accident in the Swiss mountains this

Ferdinand Lips was born in 1931 in Zurich and had more
than 50 years of experience in banking and finance.
Until 1987 he was a managing director of Rothschild
Bank AG in Zurich and until 1998 CEO of Bank Lips AG
in Zurich. In 1993 he was No. 2 mutual fund manger
performer worldwide with his in-house Precious Metals
Fund, which gained 121 percent for the year.

In December 2000 Lips was a founding member of Lion
Capital Group AG in Zurich and he was serving on the
Board of Directors and as a senior adviser.

He had more than 30 years of experience in the gold
mining industry. In 1994 he participated in the
takeover battle for the Rand Mines Group and the
"Randgold Revolution" that changed the face of South
Africa's gold mining industry.

Lips served as non-executive director in companies
such as Randgold & Exploration Ltd. and Durban
Roodeport Deep Ltd. in Johannesburg and until 2004 as
a member of the board of Randgold Resources Ltd,
Jersey, Channel Islands. He was serving on the board
of Aflease Gold and Uranium Resources Ltd.,
Johannesburg, a junior gold and uranium company, and
as a member of the Advisory Board of J-Pacific Gold
Mines Ltd., Vancouver, and Desert Sun Mining Corp.,
Toronto. In May 2005 Lips became a member of the board
of Western Areas Ltd., Johannesburg.

Lips managed the Top-Gold Fund since inception in
February 2003 and was its chairman.

Lips wrote several articles and books on investments
and gold, including "Gold Wars", released in the
United States in 2002 and an expanded German
translation entitled "Die Gold-Verschwrung" published
in November 2003 (already in its fifth edition).

He was a founding member of the Swiss Association of
Security Analysts and a trustee of the Foundation for
the Advancement of Monetary Education (FAME) in New

He lectured widely lectured on monetary history and

My relationship with Ferdinand goes back 25 years. It
was his first book that influenced me as a young man
in 1981 to seek a career in the financial markets, the
center of the economy. It was in 1990 when I first met
him through an introduction by the famous cycle
analyst, Ian Notley. Since then our relationship grew
steadily and we became partners at Lion Capital Group
managing the Top-Gold Fund. Ferdi became my mentor and
close friend.

I remember the day back in the summer of 2000 when we
discussed the coming bull market in gold at his
favorite table at the Restaurant Kronenhalle. I was
running my own brokerage business at that time and,
when Ferdi asked me to join him as the CEO of Lion
Capital, I accepted on the spot.

During the first two years we ran into serious
difficulties with our other partners. But Ferdi never
left me and was determined to complete the mission we
were on. We started Top-Gold in February 2003 with 1
million Swiss francs out of Ferdi's own pocket. Today
Top-Gold has passed the 80 million Swiss franc mark
and has become one of the top-performing precious
metals funds globally.

Ferdi's mission was to teach the world about "sound
money" -- the economic basis for a peaceful, stable
world. This could be achieved only by a return to the
gold standard. He became known as the pope of gold."
His book "Gold Wars" was the weapon. It was translated
into German and the Japanese edition is about to be
released. Translations into French, Russian, and
Arabic are planned.

Apart from his professional accomplishments and his
vast knowledge of the history gold and its monetary
role, I will remember Ferdi as a very close friend and
gentleman by all standards. He was also the loving
father of two daughters and grandfather of two girls
who also made him very proud. He often told me that
keeping the family together was the most important
thing in life. Because family meant so much to him, he
was also a big supporter of the Pestalozzi children's
village foundation in Switzerland.

Ferdi loved life. He was fond of the arts and he loved
good food and cigars and was a connoisseur of French

In recent years we travelled the world together. Our
tips led us to Japan, Canada, South Africa, and the
Middle East. I keep a lot of good memories; we had
lots of fun. On those tips Ferdi showed great interest
in foreign cultures and their traditions. He had great
respect for the Japanese. It does not surprise me that
he built a traditional Japanese bath in his retreat in
the village of Soazza in the Swiss mountains -- a
place he recently renovated with great attention to
details with the help of the Swiss department of
conservation of monuments and historic buildings. It
was to have become his retreat and the site of his

He also built up a dialogue with the Islamic world,
speaking at the Arab Open University in Bahrain and
the Gulf Research Center.

We had a conversation with a mullah visiting a mosque
in Bahrain. We were discussing the role of gold in the
Christian and Islamic world and realized that the two
religions share an interest in that topic. This visit
strengthened his belief that the world can return to
peace only under a sound monetary system -- the gold
standard. Ferdi was determined to teach the world
about the benefits of it.

When his book was published in German, for Christmas
he sent a letter and a copy of his book to all members
of the Swiss parliament, members of the boards of the
Swiss and European central banks, and other national
economic leaders.

I am proud of being Ferdi's partner over the last five
years. Nobody will be able to replace Ferdi, but I
will do everything possible to finish his mission --
with the help of his daughter, Barbara, who is a
marketing expert. With her Ferdi developed the concept
of a monetary institute -- an organization that
teaches the world about the history of gold, the
economic and social benefits of the gold standard, and
the renewal of the gold mining industry. Its students
will be able to:

* Take courses through a network of universities.

* Have access to broad information on gold, silver,
and currencies.

* Have access to a circle of experts and exchange
information with them.

* Attend seminars with experts and leaders of the gold
and silver mining industry

Barbara and I will work hard over the next couple of
months on founding the Ferdinand Lips Monetary
Institute and finish the mission Ferdi began five
years ago. We will keep you informed about our
progress, and your help and comment for its success
are highly appreciated.

In his last years Ferdi and I had several
philosophical conversations, including conversations
about what it takes lo live a fulfilled life. His view
was that one should leave the stage better than it was
when one entered it. He meant that everyone should
make a contribution that brings civilization a step
closer to a peaceful, stable world. Mission
accomplished on all fronts, Ferdi.

Finally, I would like to share with you what he
thought about making serious money in the current bull
cycle of gold. It is an e-mail he sent to a friend and
copied to me:

"Dear -----:

"Regarding the last paragraph of your mail, I wanted
to say the following.

"Yes, I would like to make serious money in this
cycle. That is one of the reasons why I am continuing
to work. I have waited a very long time for this to
happen. In the last cycle I could not make much money,
for several reasons, though I bought gold very early.
I bought gold for the first time in February 1968 at
$35 and sold in April at $43 after the gold pool
collapsed on March 17, 1968, which incidentally is my

"On October 1, 1968, I joined Rothschild Bank in
Zurich. We were successful right from the beginning
insofar as we sold all common stocks before the crash
in 1969/70. When the Dow fell from 1,000 to 630 we
were 100 percent in cash, which then yielded 10
percent in the time short-term.

"I then started to buy gold and gold mines, including
Durban Deep under a dollar. They went above $50. That
is when I went to South Africa for the first time in
1974. I met all the top people of AngloGold and Gold

"But I did not benefit as much as I could have because
I had no money. I had a family and was young. The
biggest problem was my general manager, who was a
Keynesian and did not believe in gold. He yelled at me
when I mentioned gold for the first time. So I had a
terrible problem at the bank as he and the other
member of the management team (a yes man) were
completely against me.

"But I was highly successful in building a clientele
of about 750 million Swiss francs at the time (that
would be three times as much today), and we finally
decided that I would run a bank within the bank. This
is at least what Baron Elie de Rothschild said. I
built this clientele mostly in Germany, Austria, and
Italy and without the help of the Rothschild family.
Some of them did not travel in Germany or even fly
over Germany. You can imagine that this was not an
ideal situation. So I concentrated on socializing with
my aristocratic clients rather than on making money.

"Then in June 1975 my first wife, mother of my
daughters, died at the age of 40. After this my
interest in making money in the stock markets almost
died too.

"In 1981 I wrote my first book. It became a best
seller among professional books and was translated
into Spanish, also a best seller. I sold more books
than the famous management consultant Peter Drucker.

"But destiny treated me very well because after I sold
my bank (the 10 years I had the bank were my 10 most
difficult) I could continue a new career in the gold
mining industry.

"My start in gold mining came because Derek Strauss of
Strauss, Turnbull (afterward Socit Gnrale), a
Jewish banking family with whom I am now working in
the third generation, introduced me to Adam Fleming of
Robert Fleming in London. Adam and I became friends
and he introduced me to the Kebbles. Adam later became
chairman of Harmony Gold, owning 5 percent of the
stock. I subsequently helped the Kebble family to get
the control of Rand Mines Group (the oldest mining
group of South Africa) on the basis of which they
built their sizeable holdings during the most
difficult times for the industry. They did it all
practically from scratch.

"Now to my philosophy. I love money because it allows
me to lead a life with culture and comfort with my
daughters and grandchildren. I love art, books,
beautiful gardens, and houses, and should I ever make
a fortune, small or big, in the next five years, it is
only because it will help me accomplish one or two
projects that I feel will make me and others happy and
give me the confidence that I have led a good life
that was worth it.

"Therefore if we, you, and J.P., and others can help
each other to be successful and happy with what we are
doing, then we can say we were successful and had a
good life that was worth the effort.

"Best wishes and kindest regards,


"P.S. You notice that I did not mention women. Well,
that was probably the weakest part of my life."


J.P. Schumacher is manager of the Top-Gold Fund in
Switzerland and was Ferdinand Lips' friend and


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