Cover of MoneyWeek magazine issue no 480

Obama's tonic

2 April 2010 / Issue 480

Why health reform will boost Big Pharma...


  • Why Murdoch's big online gamble will fail
  • How China's Henry Ford snared Volvo
  • Bad news for US bonds – the banks are buying


‘The client is a cash cow’

A few weeks ago I interviewed Angus Tulloch of First State. Angus is an excellent manager with a long history of impressive investment performance. He’s also, as he puts it himself, an Asiaphile, and is sure that over the long term anyone invested in the Asia Pacific region will end up pleased with the result. We talked about how that might – or might not – happen and I’ve edited it all for subscribers in this week’s magazine. I hope you find it inter-esting.

One thing we discussed that I didn’t put in the transcript was the nature of the financial services industry’s responsibilities towards the general public – both moral and financial. First State has its managers adhere to their own Hippocratic Oath for asset managers.

This includes such promises as “I will treat my clients at all times as I would wish to be treated”; “I will not forget in my search for returns that the primary risk faced by my clients is losing their capital”; and “I will not allow the pursuit of personal gain to cloud my fiduciary role.”

It is simple stuff. But seeing it written down so clearly is a nasty reminder of just how few financial institutions adhere to any kind of socially acceptable behaviour when it comes to their clients.

Look at the cash Isa business. We’ve been complaining for a long time about the tricks used to cheat consumers out of reasonable rates of interest…

• Read the full editor’s letter here:
‘The client is a cash cow’