Sadly there are many investment “opportunities” that are most definitely not in your best interests. Unfortunately these are not always easy to spot and it is important to have a good “fake detector” which is a polite way of putting things. Often, though not exclusively there will be a variety of investments that dress themselves up as one thing, when they are quite another. I don’t know the detail of the Icebreaker tax scandal involving members of Take That, but I suspect that they didn’t know what they were getting into… but someone did.
Too good to be true?
Invariably the sort of financial products that are prone to the excesses of the worst sort of marketing, are those that are fairly “exotic”. These often include Enterprise Investment Schemes, Venture Capital Trusts, Film Partnerships and Unregulated Collective Investment Schemes. That is not to suggest for a moment that all of these products are “duff” but clearly they need to be researched very carefully indeed.
Malcolm Gladwell in his book “Blink” which has received widespread coverage suggests that experts instinctively know when something is off. So it was with interest that I was at the very cosy Duchess Theatre last night to see Kathleen Turner and Ian McDiarmid in Bakersfield Mist, which is currently still in previews. This is a Stephen Sachs story about authenticity and centres around determining whether a painting is a real Jackson Pollock or a fake, a mere $100m at stake. It is marvellously performed by two great actors and directed by Polly Teale. The set design by Tom Piper itself breathes authenticity. Many will have seen both actors in various films, I was lucky enough to see Ian McDiarmid many years ago in Bath, at my first Shakespeare live performance. Kathleen Turner returns to London following her highly acclaimed performance in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” You will be hard pressed to find two more authentic performances which are scheduled to run until 30th August and I would rate this highly.
As in the play, one of the questions posed is being clear about motives. When assessing investments, the main motivation for an investor is whether or not the investment being proposed is likely to assist you in achieving your goals. The investment itself may have different objectives, perhaps creating a gain for the investment management team and not the investor, this is where impartial advice is crucial, but of course you need to ensure that your adviser’s motives are aligned with yours, by having one that you trust, not to mention the relevant expertise. So how is your fake detector?
Dominic Thomas: Solomons IFA