Thursday, 1 October 2009

Blue Chip

The recent decision about the Blue Chip investment scheme comes as no real surprise. The sad feature is the naiveté of the investors, and the callous way in which so called financial advisors and lawyers failed in their duties to ensure that the Bartles (the investors) were properly advised of the risks of the transaction. The reality about the Blue Chip scheme, as with many others, is that if it looks too good to be true, then it is- and should be avoided. Many older people find themselves with a home and savings but only a small fixed income. They seek to maximise their investment, but often fall foul of the snake oil salesmen. There is some move to professionalise those who call themselves financial advisors, but of course Mr Mathias, the lawyer involved, should have known better, and is already a Law Society member. Just being qualified and in a professional body, is clearly not enough. People must become more financially aware, and there is less excuse than years ago when fewer were educated and did not have television/internet to provide easily obtainable information. The search for quality investments is difficult, and the stock market only works for the astute and lucky. Bank deposit rates are low, and finance companies have collapsed in bulk. Even investment companies like ING have had to freeze and settle up with investors. I don't know the answer myself. If I did I would be rich-and I always look at financial advisors to see if they are rich, and taking their own medicine. Perhaps the answer is to spend until you drop dead. It may be more fun that way.

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