Investing in 2009
An address to the Naval, Military and Air Force Club of South Australia (Inc) by Jeremy Cooper, Deputy Chairman, ASIC on Wednesday, 11 March 2009, Adelaide.
Thank you for inviting me to come and speak to you today.
I have been the Deputy Chairman of ASIC since 2004. My focus at ASIC is on retail investors, their super, their financial advisers and stopping illegal schemes and scams. I think it is fair to say that the last year has probably been the most challenging yet, but I will reserve judgment for 2009.
Famous American investor Warren Buffett, has described the last year as a year when 'investors of all stripes were left bloodied and confused, much as if they were small birds that had strayed into a badminton game.' His legendary investment company, Berkshire Hathaway, has reported its worst results in history (reporting a 96% fall in quarterly profit last week) showing us that all investors have suffered in this market. This suggests to me that investing is more of an art than a science.
Today, I would like to give you a flavour of what I have seen over the past year from the perspective of the regulator and comment on a few key things that you will have been reading about in the press.