23 August 2013

Famous Football Coach picks wrong Financial Adviser - loses £10 Million

Sven Goran Eriksson may hate the man that he claims lost him £10 million. Another warning to all investors to carefully vet any adviser they do business with.

21 August 2013

Broker versus Adviser

Investors are often not aware that their investment adviser is to all intents and purposes a salesman who earns a commission (often euphemistically called a 'bonus') that depends on the amount and type of 'investment products' he sells to the customer. Such an 'adviser' has to be seen as a broker. Investors are urged to ask any adviser how he is paid and if his firm gets any commission or other rewards from the fund managers or products he recommends.

20 August 2013

Online Trading or Brain Surgery?

The proliferation of online trading sites and investing apps for use on the go pose a dangerous temptation to over-trade one's portfolio. As we said before, trying to be a successful day-trader is as difficult as becoming a good brain surgeon. Unless you are willing to dedicate the time and effort to either of the two activities you will not be successful - and even damage your financial well-being.

11 August 2013

Alternative Investments for the Masses? - Treat with Extra Caution

When promoters of 'Private' Equity funds start waxing lyrical about the opportunities to invest in such vehicles that may soon be offered to the average individual investor one has to raise a word of caution. It is already difficult enough for investors to assess risk and rewards in 'traditional' asset classes such as bonds and equities. But 'alternative' assets such as Private Equity, Hedge Funds or Infrastructure Funds - while offering advantages and diversification on paper - are less transparent and usually come with higher management charges than their more mundane peers.

9 August 2013

Is my Adviser 'Independent' or 'Restricted'?

That is the question investors in the UK must ask themselves since advisers were banned from receiving commission for selling products at the beginning of 2013. While this reform (known as Retail Distribution Review) may help investors understand how much they pay for financial advice the changes can be confusing for customers that do not spend their whole time studying the intricacies of new regulations that even market professionals and their lawyers find difficult to interpret. One could also ask why reforms that are supposed to be beneficial for British investors are not also introduced in other jurisdictions.

6 August 2013

Integrity in Fund Management

"...from the investor's point of view, the integrity of their fund manager is an essential matter of interest, but one which remains extraordinarily difficult to measure or to judge." (Financial Times, 'The temptation of the fund managers' by Jonathan Davis).