No, not this 

Over the eighteen years that ValidPath has been operating, we have been approached by an apparently inexhaustible procession of advocates of various get-rich schemes, in the hope that we would endorse them for the use of our Members.  The lady from Harlequin went to such lengths to display her assets that I was pretty sure that I was not intended to look too closely at those that formed the substance of the investment prospectus.

All these schemes were unregulated, all of them speculative and all of them wholly illiquid.  To anyone with even a modicum of experience, they had caveat emptor written all over them in towering, neon letters.  And yet there was apparently no shortage of advisers signing up on the dotted line, often choosing to invest their own funds in schemes that even 'Brave, Bold Sir Robin' would have been justified in running away from.  It is baffling to consider the kinds of spurious attraction that apparently compels certain kinds of adviser to risk so much on such a flimsy basis.  These people are like moths to the flame, or perhaps they simply have no comprehension of the idea of consequences.  As we have taught consistently over many years, even the most tentative commitment to the FCA's TCF requirements means that we should have taken on board the importance of engineering the right kinds of financial outcomes.  Exercises in toxic speculation don't even come close to achieving that kind of objective.

Over the entire period of my work with ValidPath, we have never endorsed schemes such as this, and have actively counselled our Members to use simple, regulated, collective products, the kinds of asset-classes which can be built into testable models, where there is an abundance of volatility and performance data to work from, and where costs to the investor can be minimised.  We even have a perfectly viable Centralised Investment Proposition, researched and designed carefully over a period of 18 months, launched in 2011, and rigorously reviewed and tested every single year.  This provides any ValidPath adviser with a benchmark that is rigorous, efficient and proportionate, against which any alternatives might reasonably be compared.

On a couple of occasions, where (anonymous) advisers ventured off-piste, it invariably ended in tears for all concerned.  In fact, as one surveys the broader market for these kinds of products, it is actually quite a challenge to discern those which did actually deliver a discernible benefit for the customer, as a valid recompense for the additional risk and lack of access.

As I read the latest hoo-ha in the media, rather than feel complacent, I am just grateful that we have always insisted on the same kind of repeatable, reliable and testable approach.  Our profession will no doubt continue to pay for the fallout via the iniquitous system of FSCS levies, but no client of a ValidPath Member should ever find themselves experiencing detriment because we were complicit in making this toxic stuff available to our clients.

Kevin Moss, 25/08/2020