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The sooner the guarantee goes the better

Monday, February 8th 2010, 8:22AM 2 Comments

by Philip Macalister

Finance companies is the theme I was am going to start the year with. Originally I toyed with the idea that maybe we should rename the survivors in this sector. Instead of calling them finance companies – such a tainted name now – that we could call them something like non-bank deposit takers. Not a particularly eloquent name, I must admit. Then I thought about it a little more and figured that’s the role of a PR guru, rather than me. Instead I have warmly welcomed the moves by some finance companies of offering non-guaranteed product to the market. So far only Marac and PGG Wrightson have done so, but others, I hear, will follow soon. It’s good for a number of reasons. Firstly it shows you how much the guarantee really costs. This is something like 100 basis points. To my way of thinking it is far better the investor gets this rather than the government. It also makes investors and advisers return to basics and think about the risk reward equation. It’s been too easy just to say take the company with the highest guaranteed rate. Who needs an adviser to do that? Advisers and investors should be researching any company they plan to invest in before giving them their money. It doesn’t matter if it is a finance company, a managed fund or a listed share. Do the research. The challenge for advisers though is they have to start doing some work rather than take the easy option of saying to clients, take the guaranteed product. At some stage the guarantee will go. The sooner the better as it just distorts the market, and encourages laziness.
« Hanover is dead; Long live the House of FarmersIn bricks and mortar we (will still) trust »

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Comments from our readers

On 8 February 2010 at 3:25 pm Independent Observer said:
Hey Phil - this reads more like an observation about the research skills of financial advisers (...and perhaps the entire financial services industry????) than the future of financial-company-guarantees.

I remain of the belief that in excess of 95% of financial advisers are unable / unwilling to conduct meaningful research on the myriad of investment options. When combined with the sub-standard array of research options, this leaves a miniscule value proposition for the advisory community to collect fees for...
On 9 February 2010 at 10:17 am roger said:
What a stupid article. How many people have lost their savings in the last few years by chasing that extra 1% from finance companies? The only reason Marac is not bust is because their parent company managed to get away a massive rights issue. Their shareholders, rather than depositors,were the losers.
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