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It is a little too late when you look back having lost your life savings to get it back, but anything that improves investor education and puts the spotlight on dodgy financial practices so you don't perpetuate the same mistake has got to be a positive thing.
Gareth Morgan, the well known economist/socialist has finally come back on track, pulled his finger out of his backside after his embarrassing book on so-called "global warming" and produced a book the average investor should read called After the Panic: Surviving bad investments and bad advice.
His book names collapsed companies and those individuals who are responsible for some of the finance companies that have been buried, along with nearly NZ$ 2 billion of investor money buried along with them.
I am not sure if it includes names of "financial advisers", the financial world equivalent of global warming zealots, but these individuals take a large part of the blame.
The book provides documents from said finance companies that reinforced their "stability" to the investor public while behind the scenes trusts were re-organised, bank accounts were siphoned, money was given to mistresses and tickets to Australia were purchased -my emphasis.
This excerpt from the book is but one example:
"You can have peace of mind when investing with Provincial Finance as you're dealing with an experienced, dedicated finance company," Provincial Finance said in a prospectus in 2005.
"... when you invest with Provincial Finance you'll enjoy high levels of personal service, regular, easy to understand performance reports, attention to risk, and a good rate of return over the term of your investment".
Disclosure was only the beginning of the dodgy dealing of finance companies of course, there was also the massive inter-related party lending to bolster the books, the selling of property that didn't exist, money siphoned from company accounts to pay for lavish personal expenses and a whole host of small crimes and massive mis-demeanor's.
Gareth has written a book of its time and inexperienced/experienced prospective investors alike, in any asset class, should have a read of his book, if only to see where the bodies are buried.
You can be sure though, just as some of these individuals who have participated in this financial rape of the greedy, the hapless, the elderly and the mis-advised, came out of the ashes of similar shell games from the financial collapse of the sharemarket in the 1980s, they will rise again sometime in the future to do it all again.
Gareth's book looks like another tool that investors can use to stop them from becoming financial prey, again.
Gareth Morgan Interview - One News
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