In the week that localised lockdowns tightened across the UK and Sir Cliff turned 80, financial advisers engaged in two wide-ranging debates across social media.
The first was whether to advise couples as a couple, or as individuals; the second was whether Nigel Farage’s new financial venture was dangerous or simply daft.
The debate is still out on the first, although the majority of advisers seem to be steering towards financial planning as a couple, with individual help offered when needed.
Regarding Mr Farage, the founder of the ‘Fortune and Freedom’ financial newsletter, Martin Bamford, director of client education at Guildford-based Informed Choice and a chartered financial planner, offered key points for investors to consider before following such guidance.
On his Vlog, Mr Bamford said: “Mr Farage clearly doesn’t like what he sees as the financial establishment and in typical Mr Farage style, it’s pretty much ‘divide and conquer’.
“Firstly, Mr Farage is not a financial professional. He has investment experience but that is not relevant personal finance investing experience. Trading has nothing to do with financial planning.”
This is a pertinent point. According to the Financial Conduct Authority register, Mr Nigel Paul Farage “is no longer in a role that requires regulatory approval”.
True, it states that he has never had any disciplinary or regulatory action from the FCA or Prudential Regulation Authority. But as Mr Bamford pointed out, simply providing information is NOT the same as suitable, individual advice.
Of course, Mr Farage is also a businessman, not just a politician. He is still director of Thorn In The Side Limited, which has been in the press several times over the past few years.
And while Mr Farage is promoting the idea of cryptoassets and decrying fiat currencies such as the Euro, Mr Bamford highlighted the speculative nature of making currency bets, and warned against heading into cryptocurrencies, not least because they can “lose you all their money”.
He pointed to the FCA’s recent ban on certain derivative instruments related or linked to crypto assets. “These don’t have any tangible value. Please don’t get involved in cryptoassets as a retail investor”, Mr Bamford warned.
How many people have been down this road before? Questioning the motives of all the “financial establishment” and deciding to follow a smooth-talking, unregulated individual.
“Mainstream” has been used a lot since October 2016 as a slur against the press, the regulated financial services industry and against government bodies.
This is why people who want to fall into conspiracy wormholes and believe Covid-19 Vaccines will inject tracking chips into their arms (which they tweet about from their GPS-tracked mobile phones they carry with them everywhere) are the sort of people who will follow Mr Farage and his ‘information’.
These are the people who will lose money through attempting to short fiat currencies or invest in the latest ‘winning’ investment, and will have no recourse to compensation - unless they are successful in bringing a claim under Tort in the civil courts.