Tuesday 13 January 2004

The curse of the blogger

Yesterday I criticised the head of Standard Life. Today he has resigned!
STANDARD Life chief executive Iain Lumsden today quit after 36 years with the Edinburgh-based finance giant as the group announced a strategic review of its operations.

He stood down as the life and pensions firm admitted it may have to consider demutualisation to strengthen its financial position.

I do hope that Standard Life survives as an independent entity - it is, I believe, Edinburgh's largest private sector employer. Standard's problems stem from remaining highly exposed to the stock market throughout the big declines of last year. I was a Standard Life policyholder until not too long ago. Being a student of the Austrian School of Economics, I switched out of the with-profits fund (linked to the stock market) into their cash fund at the end of 2001 and thus avoided the bonus cuts that followed. More recently I cashed in the policy. I cannot accept any responsibility for giving investment advice but I believe that the markets are still far too overvalued. Except for gold and silver of course.