Here at The Evidence-Based Investor, we love reading letters from top City fund managers, and this is one of our favourites. It was originally published in Money Marketing and is republished here with kind permission.
Dear valued client,
Buy gold. On second thoughts, maybe don’t buy gold. In fact, buy just the right amount of gold. Enough to line, but not fill, a swimming pool; that’s why they call it a ‘rainy day’ fund. At least we think that’s why they do. Look, we investment managers all know that gold goes up when markets go down. Except when it doesn’t. But we can’t possibly know when that is. Or why that is. So it’s best not to worry about it.
Thanks for checking in with us about your pension and savings, by the way. We were just about to reach out to you, actually. Promise. With markets as they are, we know you will be understandably nervous about your money. But please spare a thought for those less fortunate at the moment too. We are working incredibly hard to return our bonuses to pre-crisis levels. For the benefit of our clients, we are keeping a level head through the storm, and refraining from using all caps in our communications, despite the fact they are clearly justified right now.
Put it this way: how would you feel if you had to predict what two squabbling septuagenarians were going to do with a fragile economy? It’s like when your two least-favourite aunts claim the other one spiked the brandy at Christmas: you can’t trust either, and someone’s certainly guilty of something, you just can’t fathom what.
Given the current shortage of political sanity, we believe that current valuations are out of line with the fundamentals of a civilised society, and we continue to short the commodity. The value of yachts, we fear, is similarly inflated, and we expect to make divestment decisions on behalf of our staff – I mean, customers – imminently. We would also like to take this opportunity to reaffirm our neutral rating on the concepts of diversity, the environment, corporate governance and racial equality. Having discovered that Covid is not in fact a concentrated index of 19 stocks, but a global contagion, we are awaiting further data before revising any holdings we may have previously tried to acquire.
The point we’re trying to make is, literally no one knows where to put your cash at the moment. Sorry. Our nice watches tell us the time, not the future. Our cars may be fast, but not fast enough to take us all the way back to the 1950s, where things were a lot simpler. We’ve got loads of hypotheses, but sod all ideas. Find out more in our appropriately named Long-Short fund.
If you remain unhappy with the performance of your funds, under current regulations we must remind you that you have the right to complain, but not the duty to do so. Mis-Selling, we are informed, is not a beauty pageant winner but occasionally a real thing. Our Compliance department can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org. We really are trying our hardest. Unlike your money, which is clearly very lazy. Remember: we’ve given you online access so you can see quite how badly it’s doing in real time. If you are particularly struggling, we suggest you take advantage of a ‘free’ pension review. In fact, we insist that you have one. If you wish to opt out, please respond to this message in the next ten seconds.
How we make money is a lot like jazz: if you don’t know, you ain’t never gonna know. Essentially, we can sell you the cake and eat it too. At least you’ve got cake though, right? What we bake into it is our business. At the end of the day, we both have more cake than we would have got otherwise, so what’s all the fuss about? It has something to do with cells in Mauritius and Cyprus, we are reliably informed by Compliance, who are currently on vacation in one of said jurisdictions. The reason we charge so much is because all of that requires ‘expertise’. And, believe us, it is just so complex you really do need to see an expert. Just like us. And not any of those other, totally fake experts, doing very much the same thing in a very similar way, but much cheaper.
If the glowing and totally not-scripted testimonials from our suspiciously attractive and definitely-not-actor clients aren’t enough to reassure you, we don’t know what is.
Stay safe. Stay invested. Save lives (and livelihoods).
Your friendly neighbourhood fund manager
If you’ve not visited us for a while here are some articles you may have missed:
CONTENT FOR ADVICE FIRMS
Through our partners at Regis Media, TEBI provides a wide range of content for financial advice and planning firms. The material is designed to help educate clients and to engage with prospects.
As well as exclusive content, we also offer pre-produced videos, eGuides and articles which explain how investing works and the valuable role that a good financial adviser can play.
Picture: Alev Takil via Unsplash