Ann Crotty Writer-at-large

The idea that some of the meagre savings I’ve accumulated from decades of hard work — well, all right, journalism — would be poured into socially productive investments and generate halfway decent returns is very exciting. Right now most of this money is invested in equities, including equity funds, funds of funds and even funds of funds of funds. And it’s being looked after by some very serious and smart people. But, despite almost a decade of academic study and decades of business journalism it remains hard to shake off the suspicion that I’m relying on a slick and expensive global casino to protect me from an old age of penury; difficult not to suspect there are an awful lot more Steinhoffs out there than we care to think about. Or that between now and the time any cash is actually needed there will have been a worldwide reconsideration of equity valuations — one of those paradigm shifts that so often blindside the well-paid professionals in the industry — and investors may be lu...

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