Saturday, May 28, 2011

28/05/11: A note on my appointment to GoldCore

As many of you have heard by now (see brief mention here) I have joined, in a non-executive capacity, the Investment Committee of GoldCore Ltd (link here).

In this capacity, I am looking forward to bringing additional expertise to the company's already rigorous and comprehensive internal processes designed to assure the quality and depth of market and product research, offered by GoldCore. In addition, I hope to be able to help the company in assuring that its core philosophy of well-diversified, client safety-focused, low cost/fee investing is consistently reflected in its research and structuring of its product offers.

Contrary to some erroneous assertions, I am not endorsing any products, nor providing any sort of investment advice. My independent opinions and views, supported by my best knowledge, error-prone sometimes, on-the-money on other occasions, will remain my own. I am stressing once again that this is a non-executive appointment.

I am on the record (in academic research and in applied analysis) in stating my views which, consistently over the years held that:
1) Diversification across asset classes (including, but not limited to precious metals) is the best risk management approach for all investors;
2) Diversification across various geographies and sectors of economies is the necessary risk management tool for structuring the investment portfolia that aim to simultaneously maximize returns and minimize risks;
3) Financial services providers should strive to deliver best suited products to their clients at a minimal possible cost to the clients;
4) Financial services should be offered on the fully legally compliant basis with all regulatory requirements and authorization requirements adhered to;
5) Regulation should strive to minimize unnecessary burden on those regulated and their clients, but provide meaningful, robust, transparent and unwavering enforcement of standards set. It should be effective, not maximal for the sake of being maximal.

If these principles are of value to some service providers in Ireland and abroad, I am happy to help. If not, I am not going to sacrifice them.

Several points worth making in relation to a couple of comments I have seen floated around:

Firstly, GoldCore provide a wide range of products as a part of their well-diversified investment offer. GoldCore philosophy is to deliver strong risk management ethos in products offered and to give investors a wide range of regulation-compliant investment products while minimising cost to investors and optimising risk-return tradeoffs inherent in any financial product.

All of the products that require regulatory approval and / or licensing offered by GoldCore are fully compliant with the Irish Financial Regulator requirements.

Secondly, the provision of precious metal product or service does not require licensing, authorisation, or registration with the Irish Central Bank and, as a result, it is not covered by the Irish Central Bank's requirements designed to protect consumers or by a statutory compensation scheme. In fact, physical purchases of commodities in general are not regulated by the Irish Central Bank, as confirmed by the Central Bank officer. This is the law of the land - no one offers investors 'Irish-regulated' sales of gold or other precious metals. Surely, no one sane enough would suggest that gold and other precious metals therefore should not be offered as an investment.

Client security in the case of precious metals investment is assured by the storage facilities where client assets are deposited. GoldCore works with the most secure storage facilities in Australia, Switzerland and the UK - as is required by the best industry-wide practices. In the current environment, these storage facilities have mechanisms to deliver security of client assets to the standards far in excess of the risk ratings attained by some European Governments, so while in the real world nothing is risk free, in my own humble opinion, and in the opinion of the majority of investors around the world, holding precious metals assets today may be safer than holding 'guaranteed' and 'regulated' government securities of some euro area Governments. (Note: please do not confuse this with an advice to buy gold at some price level or any given moment in time).

Thirdly, GoldCore are fully compliant with the Financial Regulator requirements set out for its operations. The company is listed on the Register of Investment Business Firms authorised under Section 10 of the Investment Intermediaries Act, 1995 (as amended) and Register of Investment Product Intermediaries maintained by the Central Bank of Ireland in accordance with Section 31(4) of the Investment Intermediaries Act, 1995 (as amended).

I am looking forward to working with GoldCore on providing the company with an independent, external 'sounding board' for ideas and new directions for research. GoldCore already have excellent research team and products in-house and my role is to help that team to strengthen its connections into cutting edge academic research that is being done around the world.

Note: the opinions expressed in this post are solely my own.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Garbo Speaks

Finally, comprehensible english (I wonder why.....?)