We respect the fact that we are looking after other people’s – our clients’ – money. We know it’s hard-earned and we know they are relying on it and us for their retirement and for the important occasions in their livers, like paying for their kids’ weddings and helping them with house deposits. So, we’re careful with it. That doesn’t mean we shy away from equities, far from it, but it does mean that we do thorough due diligence on everything in which we invest. I’ve spent a large part of my professional life keeping clients out of dumb and in many cases fraudulent investments. The Ostrich Farming Corporation was one I nixed in my DBS days along with Imperial Consolidated. Both were total frauds. A lot of my job at DBS involved white-listing or black-listing investment products and funds. Getting it right was crucial, because with 4000 advisers in the field, DBS was moving billions.
Since setting up West Riding, I’ve nixed Arch Cru, Connaught and most notably LCF amongst others. None of our clients have been in any of the scams, scandals or disasters that have beset the financial services profession and the investing public. We have also warned our clients off participating in tax evasion schemes that have since gone wrong, including warning our media clients against participating in the film partnership schemes pitched to them by supposed ‘specialists’ Read about them here
We also warned other advisers against using schemes that sought to disguise remuneration e.g., contractors’ fees, as non-repayable loans. We anticipated the dangers of these years ago. HMRC has since voided these schemes and those who have participated are now facing ruinous tax penalties: Read more here
The bottom line is that we don’t do mad stuff. If we would not invest our own money into a given product or funds, or our parents’ money, or our children’s money, we certainly shall not invest our clients’ money. Likewise, if we would not use a tax mitigation scheme ourselves, we shall not recommend it to clients. Read more here