Six months ago the UK went into lockdown in an attempt to stave off the murderous Covid-19 virus; Spanish Flu wreaked its havoc more than a century earlier and there was no experience to call upon in dealing with a hideous global pandemic.


Understandably people were frightened and wanted answers; Thomas Jefferson is credited with asserting that ‘knowledge is power’ but the public were clamouring for information that didn’t exist and feeling powerless and vulnerable.

The daily briefings intended to assuage people’s fears turned into a sideshow with ‘the science’ very often at odds with some pretty callow and unconvincing politicians. There were no facts to impart, everyone was learning on the hoof and that largely remains the case as the quest for a vaccine continues.

So, cometh the hour and all that, who was going to stick their chin out, dust off Teddy Roosevelt’s ‘It’s not the critic that counts’ and declare ‘we don’t have all the answers, but if we bally well pull together, we can beat this thing’.

Nobody, unfortunately; Boris was gravely ill and the GBP was fed a string of insipid and largely meaningless slogans.  ‘Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives’ became ‘stay alert, control the virus, save lives’ and via a dozen variations is currently ‘hands, face, space’.

Whether they are rules or laws can be debated in socially distanced groups of no more than six, from two households – in a pub if you like – but only until 10pm; or without restrictions on a plane.

Matt Lucas brilliantly lampooned the situation with his video in May, and still I don’t think we’re any the wiser.


One of the few positives to emerge from the crisis has been that people have turned to DIY investing as never before. Brokers and platforms have reported record levels of business, particularly among young investors. One of the benefits most often quoted by DIY investors is a sense of control and empowerment – reason enough to choose self-reliance over uncertain state provision.

Building long-term wealth requires access to education and timely information and DIY Investor launched six years ago to enable people to take personal financial control in the way that is now happening.

And in its determination to attract and engage with existing and fledgling investors, the asset management industry has had to create a new normal to ensure that its clients have access to the high quality, credible and transparent information they require to make informed investment decisions.

If Aretha were to pose the question now, everybody’s zoomin’ everybody else; rogue facial hair and strategically place academic tomes may have replaced glitzy awards ceremonies, but what really matters is that fund managers and other providers are doing a good job in ensuring that they deliver the information investors crucially need, often in an interactive way.

And just today we are reminded why that is important; Wellesley Finance, founded by the 8th Earl Cowley, has applied for a CVA; if agreed, ordinary savers and investors holding £30m of its unsecured mini-bond will receive 1p in the £.

The ‘Sage of Monticello’ knew a thing or two; let’s be careful out there.

Click to read DIY Investor Magazine 25



Leave a Reply