Cover of MoneyWeekmagazine issue no 444

The return of thrift

17 July 2009 / Issue 444

Who's making money from penny-pinching consumers? PLUS:

  • How cats and dogs can recession-proof your portfolio
  • Now China's blowing bubbles
  • The unlikely music mogul who despises money

Excerpt

‘Buy and hold’ won’t work

The back page of last week’s National Enquirer ran a very tempting advertisement indeed. A mystic offered to grant all the wishes of every reader. Free! You just had to fill in a form giving your personal details and listing the five things you most wanted (a specific amount of money within a specific amount of time, a new boat or house, a holiday of a lifetime or just “financial security”), send it off – with no cheques or cash enclosed – and wait.

I’m pretty sure MoneyWeek hasn’t much of a cross-over readership with the National Enquirer, but I think this proposition may remind you all of something. Yes, it’s the financial services industry. Financial advisers don’t use quite the same wish-fulfillment methods. But most make much the same promise – list your financial goals, do as they say, and a better life will appear.

But no mystic can deliver on your financial wishes. And odds are your IFA can’t either.

• Read the full editor’s letter here: ‘Buy and hold’ won’t work