1951: No Questions Asked – Kress
I wonder if you have ever played the blame game? In times of trouble there are those that duck and those that walk into the light, which requires both courage and humility.  The media is still naval gazing as further revelations about the phone hacking scandal lengthen. My only surprise is that so many people are surprised. Magazines and newspapers exist to make money, no problem with that. The vast majority of revenue is generated from advertising, which has obviously reduced for a number of reasons – new media, price and significant difficulty proving it works. How much “investigative journalism” is performed on advertisers is presumably a question that is rarely asked or answered. The alternative (or more accurately vital element) is to provide the sort of news that the readership want, to my mind, this is where the boundaries have become increasingly “stretched”.
Today we have learned that a former Madoff employee has been charged with covering up the truth about the now infamous ponzi scheme. An employee of 30+ years, yesterday pleaded guilty to conspiracy, falsifying books and records, and making false filings to the SEC. Ms Pitz (you couldn’t make it up) worked with Madoff and of course this begs the question “who else knew or was involved?” (sound familiar?). The Washington Post and Huffington Post suggest that she may face up to 50 years in prison (sentencing will take place on 22nd June 2012). She is currently 53 and claims that she was not aware of the ponzi scheme – which in fairness does seem possible given that she and her husband also appear to had funds of $3m invested with Madoff, either that or she was incredibly foolish.  Mr Madoff is currently serving a 150 year prison sentence who obviously made off with billions. The SEC are meant to protect American investors and maintain fair and orderly markets. One wonders why an employee is tempted to participate in such a cover up. Perhaps a $450,000 salary might provide a partial answer, but it does seem odd for her to have her own portfolio with Madoff as well.
Asking the right questions is vital when money is involved. Headline figures, marketing speel make pretty reading but invariably do not reveal the full picture, which is of course rather more complex. A good financial planner spends time asking questions about your plans, aims and ambitions. This takes time and skill so that your real plans are clear, not simply the ones you think you should have, or those that are simply unrealistic. That is why a large part of my time is spent listening to clients, helping to draw out what it is that they really want to achieve. Part of my role is also to ask questions of product providers, fund managers and other relevant parties. The questions are rather vital.
We are a boutique firm of financial planners. We create financial plans designed to achieve a desired lifestyle. We will craft and implement your plan that will provide you with the greatest chance of accomplishing your unique goals based upon the values that you hold. Financial products are little more than the tools to achieve your required results
Call us today or visit our website for more information and to arrange a meeting