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DIY investment workshop

With a little bit of technical savvy, can the layman make a return on his investments? Or is this a field for experts alone? Economist John Kay helps Max Hastings manage his money

By John Kay   February 2011

THE PROBLEM

Max Hastings: In 1982, keen to save for the future, I asked my fashionable accountant to recommend a pension scheme. He put me into Target Life and I was so innocent I didn’t even realise he took a commission. It was, of course, one of the worst performing schemes.

I got a new financial adviser in the 1990s who put my pension fund in the hands of another manager, who handled it appallingly. In 2001 I implored my adviser to ensure that I was not exposed to dotcoms, which she said she did, but when the collapse…

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