Are you sure you should be doing that?

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Don't take on gunslingers

A client raised an important point some weeks ago: when he decides to sell or switch his holdings in a collective investment (e.g. an insurance bond or pension), the company wants to receive the authorisation in writing, by which time it could be too late. The traders can act straight away, on the price they see on their screens.

Paul Lamont echoes this in SafeHaven:

The Wall Street Firms will know if the Ambac deal fails long before investors. We commented last April: "As the editor of The Commercial and Financial Chronicle in November of 1929 reported on the Great Crash, 'the crowd didn't sell, they got sold out.' The trading desks of the Wall Street Firms will cash out as the panic develops, the lady in Omaha will be stuck on the phone with a busy signal... To avoid this, investors should be moving now to financially healthy institutions and buying U.S. Treasury Bills."

You can't outdraw the fast hand, but you can get out of town when you hear he's coming.

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