Jul 18

Get off the Pedastal

As you get older you begin a process of becoming slightly more cynical. No longer do you jump out of frying pans into fires or run around with that stupid bull in a china shop, or was it in a shop in china?

No, we expect the unexpected and we laugh in the face of face value! So it comes as absolutely no surprise when the bastions, we held up on such high pedestals in our youth, crash down around our ears in a sickeningly normal, human and disappointingly ordinary way!

When a builder quotes on your home improvement, you expect a few bumps in the road and the price never matches that original. But when a government, such as the one in the UK, spends years researching and professionally pricing the world’s greatest sporting event, namely the Olympics, you would expect some accuracy. You would think that the bank of actuaries utilized (by the way they, actuaries, are the guys who found accountancy too exciting!) and the massive additional resources at hand would produce a fairly accurate budget, yes?

Crash, that’s another pedestal falling! Not only did they get the quote wrong by a couple of billion pounds they basically forgot to budget anything for security other than three Bobbies, one bike and an Alsatian called Fritz!

But wait, and this is an absolute corker that just beggars believe, these financial genii (that’s plural for clever clogs) forgot to add something else VAT. Yes the men from the Treasury, as they so incorrectly call themselves forgot to add their own creation VAT, to the numbers and as that is 17.5% in the UK it’s a bit of a whopper!

Then there is the government heads that went all green on us and have promoted bio-fuel as the future while just forgetting that while we may get to work on zero emissions we would need to use 30% of all our food producing capacity to grow the corn that makes the fuel!

How about the Spanish who have seen 50% of all estate agents lose their jobs (don’t go there Ian!) and house prices fall 30%. Why? Well because they built more houses than England, Germany, France and Italy combined without finding out if anyone actually wanted them!

Then there is Eskom, no not even getting into that and 2010! That’s the year that a three week soccer competition uses a bunch of stadiums in SA that may never be used again, don’t worry I am only joking on that one I do think 2010 will be great fun …. but for 3 weeks!

The point of this is what?  Well basically if our esteemed governments backed by legions of experts, forecasters and number crunches can get it wrong then guess what, so can you!

Take advice and if you can then get a second opinion! Do not run head long into an Investment decision and do not be baffled and bamboozled by fancy ads and claims that are almost too good to be true, because if it appears that way it almost certainly is!

Stop, take a breath and talk to someone qualified and please never ever EVER forget, always add the VAT on top!

Ian Kilbride is Chairman of Warwick Private Wealth, The Constantia Valley Association and The Kids Foundation www.iankilbride.com

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