With reference to Roger Harris and his reply (seemingly on behalf of Skandia) with regard to with-profits funds, not only did Mr Harris miss Brian of Skandia's letter but he also missed my own article on why with-profits funds can and do outperform other funds.
Like many readers and correspondents together with market analysts and the FSA, attention is only drawn to investors. With-profits bonds is the example used.
My remarks are primarily aimed at savers. That is, the majority of people in this country. You do not need the silk tongue of a so-called investment manager to look after their meagre offerings but a reliable and assured source of long-term funding, giving them security, guarantees and certainty.
The letter that was published reads as if Roger Harris is a banker. He cites 80 per cent of with-profits funds invested in equities. Tell me what the majority of managed funds, stockmarket Isas, Peps and other frippery are invested in. What other investment medium undergoes an annual review by a third party to establish whether there are enough assets to cover liabilities. Seemingly nothing that Mr Harris would recommend.
The media have a lot to answer for but they are spurred on by people with the dubious mental agility of a certified financial planner or robust investment manager (who is likely to have just lost his clients over 30 per cent of their hard-earned wealth) just looking for his trail fees.
What else but history are you going to look at, Mr Harris, or are you a clairvoyant to boot?
You may suspect that the markets are going down but they might just surprise you.I was around in 1972/1974 and the market went from 1,500 to 147 on the FTSE 100 index and, yes, the world has changed. There are more know it alls, more self-seeking regulators, more unqualified comm-entators, in fact, more people who really ought to do more research before opening their mouths and dumping the public, who demand their integrity, into yet another quagmire of misinformation.
With-profits funds may not be perfect but Mr Harris's monologue did little to persuade me that he knows of anything else that serves the public better, past, present or future.
Chartered insurance practitioner
O'Halloran & Co,