‘The big education for me is that civilisation is fragile and can be destroyed in a heartbeat' - Jeremy Brade, former peacekeeper in Sarajevo.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Is your financial adviser a charlatan?

It seems the experts now agree with my guess that the economic doldrums may continue until at least early 2010, a considerable change from their more sanguine assessment a year ago.

Unlike them, I was warning my clients about US indebtedness in the 90s; about the '98 Far East crash; about the late-bubble tech enthusiasm of '99; and have generally spent the last 10 years or so cautioning clients against making substantial investments. And I first said 2010 in January (in one of my Ol' Blue Eyes farewells - I keep making comebacks because I can't shut up when I hear what "experts" say).

The real difference is, I'm not rich; I simply can't understand it.

I may retrain in astrology. It's less regulated and I can't remember an astrologer being successfully sued. Here's a sample:

ALL SIGNS: house prices will continue to trend downwards in real terms, but because homeowners don't like accepting a loss on their personal real-estate speculation (I've long said that anything you treat as an investment will behave like one), much of the slide will be achieved by long-term stagnation.

Meanwhile, the good news is that to be a contrarian now means to keep your powder dry while looking for promising targets. I wonder, for example, whether a punt into carefully-selected construction firms might prove lucrative in the long run?

That is, unless we manage to deport the people who've come here illegally and start to apply geonomic principles to land use, in which case we'll find out that we have no such thing as a housing shortage in the UK.


Anonymous said...

optimists make money during the good times but lose it all in the bad times. pessimists make no money during the good times and even less during the bad times. if you let emotion get in the way of investment decisions, you can't make money.

Sackerson said...

The clients who listened and got into cash AT THE TIMES I SUGGESTED, made money. I estimate my wife was c. 50% better off by the time she took her pension benefits.

Yes, you could make more as a day trader, if your call are right, but my clients aren't the gambling kind.

And I'm not a pessimist, just a bear waiting to become a bull but frustrated by interference from governments and central banks.

Sackerson said...

... like this, for example: http://londonbanker.blogspot.com/2008/08/china-threatens-to-raze-house-of-cards.html

Does anyone imagine the Chinese incapable of economic warfare?

I said I thought it would start after the Olympics - but didn't expect the attitude quite so promptly afterwards.