If you can see the dreams of men and women,
That rest upon your promise firmly made;
If you can watch them work for fair-earned wages,
Then watch the strength of promise slowly fade;
If, watching, you can ask yourself hard questions
And, answering, resolve to face the truth
That in your hands, there lies the hope of thousands –
Of Old and Young, of Middle-Aged and Youth; 


If you remember Time that you’ve invested,
Recall the sweat and tears that freely flowed
As hour by hour, you built a world-class venture
Rich of assets; And of debt? Little owed;
If, now, you see those circumstances changing,
(The factors squarely out of your control);
If gilt-edged yields, inexorably falling
Make pension parts out-sum the corporate whole; 


If you can grasp that ALL hangs in the balance
And ALL depends how fickle markets move,
If you can see the die you’ve rolled is loaded,
And loaded dice have just one point to prove;
If you can stand and make the tough decision
To walk with half your winnings still intact,
If you can act while others pray for mercy,
Or, failing that, they bet the farm on black; 


If you can meet with Low Rates, High Inflation
And treat their sly malevolence with scorn,
Reallocate your assets shrewdly, safely,
Tread only the paths you know another’s worn;
If you can face The Pensions Regulator,
And hold his stare because your hedging’s done,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll save your Plan my son! 

(With sincere apologies to R. Kipling)

[Please note that all opinions expressed in this blog are the author’s own and do not constitute investment advice.  Click here for full disclaimer]


Author: Dawid Konotey-Ahulu

I spend my life trying to find better ways to do things. For my clients (pension funds) that pretty much involves challenging the status quo at just about every turn. I left Merrill Lynch in 2006 because I listened to my clients. They questioned the model and told me there had to be a better way. They were right. Wisdom of the Crowd. I am the co-founder of two companies: Mallowstreet (FB for the pensions industry) and Redington ("know your kung fu" consulting for the pensions industry).