Tag Archives: Alpesh Patel

Leadership and Authenticity Lessons From PM Cameron to Miliband

When it comes to leadership, the quote ‘If you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made’, is often attributed to former Labour PM Blair. Good leaders need to be authentic, but what does that mean? Here is a masterclass on authenticity and leadership which Ed Miliband could well take from PM Cameron. In fact, I’d go as far as saying that Ed really needs to sack his media advisors – they’re from another age.

  1. Authenticity is Passion, Mirroring is Important; Being Your True Self

In the UK election, the widespread view has been that once the PM rolled up his sleeves, killed the tie and started speaking with energy and passion, he was all of a sudden much more captivating. Is this fake? No, it is the PM being his true self — unconstrained by suit, tie and the uniform of Westminster. It is only when you let a leader ‘be him/herself’ that you find out if they are fake or the real thing. PM Cameron started winning, hands down, once he’d come out as the ‘real him’, showing that he does care about the people, not just power.

The public are very good at spotting authenticity. It’s probably an evolutionary trait for self-protection. And they are very good at it when they have a face to face comparison they can make, as in the recent TV debates in the UK between the political party leaders. Of course, sometimes we are duped, for a short time (‘tricky Dicky’ managed to dupe the American public for a while, but not when up against Kennedy). Passion is authenticity, it is caring, it is being liked by your audience (who are there because they care). So the rolled up sleeves and no tie helps to show passion and mirrors the audience more closely. 

  1. Not too much passion

When Hillary Clinton during her failed election campaign pretty much started crying because of her love of America, that didn’t work in her favour. Passion from a leader – yes! — but not to the point of weakness. When Miliband was asked by Jeremy Paxman in a TV debate if he ‘was tough enough to be PM’, the Labour leader struggled to bury the idea that he is weak and soft and not up to the job. Phrases such as ‘heck yes, I’m tough enough’ didn’t ring true. In fact, off camera, Paxman could be heard asking: ‘are you alright Ed?’ His attempt at passion came across too much like he was going to cry. Sitting back, calm and in control, can be the way to go when passion might suggest weakness. Miliband got it wrong. He wasn’t being authentic, he was trying to be authentic.

Miliband should have learnt from the former Labour leader. When Gordon Brown, who is widely considered a poor communicator, was fighting against Scottish Independence in the referendum vote, many said he ‘saved the Union’. Unleashed from the constraints of office you saw what made him a successful politician – a man who genuinely cared, speaking with care. Just the right amount.

  1. Authenticity is focus

Sitting in a room listening to Bill Clinton speak, I truly felt he was addressing me personally. Speaking to me. Looking at me. Genuinely interested in me. Ever spoken to someone at a party and they start looking over your shoulder? He didn’t do that. Ever been to an event where someone has a point to make, and just talks at the audience. Clinton doesn’t do that. The UK PM in the latest TV debates came across as genuinely addressing the person and their concerns when asked questions by the audience. Some people, as the PM said, were never going to be convinced, but the polls showed he ‘won’ the debate. Miliband spent too much time trying to affect the mannerisms of a father figure, asking for the person’s name and thanking them for the question. It worked 8 years ago, now it doesn’t. He needs to sack his media people. They’re from a time machine.

  1. Not too much focus

When Ed Miliband in the first of the TV debates in answering audience questions started staring into the TV cameras the tweets that followed gave instant feedback that the strategy looked contrived and insincere. He was trying to fake sincerity, too much like Labour PM Blair. Indeed, in a TV satire about the UK elections, his chief campaign manager is portrayed as an American; the point being you have to be genuine, not aping the cultural norms of another culture or ticking off a list. You have to be yourself, what got you where you are to begin with. Once you need to change to get further, you’re in trouble.

  1. What do you do when you’re telling the truth but you’re not believed?

As a former barrister, this was an issue I could expect to face in every case. The answer is two-fold: emotion and reason. The best example of this in the TV debates was when the PM was told ‘Conservatives are not trusted with the NHS’. What does he say? He cannot say, ‘please believe me’.

When the Labour leader was asked ‘Labour cannot be trusted with the economy’ his response was simply ‘you can’. That doesn’t work. What worked for the PM was emotion and reason perfectly combined. He told the specific story (and stories work best) of his disabled child and the NHS treatment he received. You can’t fake that. You feel the reason and the emotion. It’s authentic. Either Labour were underprepared or negligent. But I don’t remember the Labour leader’s answer.


Alpesh Patel is CEO of a UK Asset Management Company investing in Global businesses. He is a Board Member of the UK India Business Council and a former Financial Times columnist and Bloomberg TV presenter on global investing – as well as the author of 18 books on investing.

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We’re the New Conservatives, by Alpesh Patel

The Conservative Party is not the party of your parents. Look again, closely. It may well be undergoing the shift that Labour went through that kept Labour in power for 13 years. If you’re confused, don’t be: you’re just a New Conservative.

 

Old Conservative (Perception, at least) New Conservative Strategy of New Conservatives
Lower taxes on the richest Increases taxes on the richest through targeting anti-avoidance by individuals and multinationals The richest are few in number, probably don’t vote in the UK (companies like Starbucks definitely don’t) and it’s the right thing to do
Raise taxes on the lowest income, because they don’t vote for you Raise the tax allowance on the lowest income Have them aspire, and work and their spending will have GDP benefits which reduces need for public spending
Cut the public sector to avoid crowding out of the private sector as a matter of ideology Austerity to cut debt to stop wasteful public spending on debt interest Avoid waste
Restrict immigration because they take our jobs Quality immigrants very welcome who add to GDP Grow the economy so more tax take
Encourage home ownership and share ownership Same Property ownership makes people less reliant on the State
Help big business Help small business, watch and fine errant big business Jobs are created by small businesses. Big businesses can derail economic growth and job creation and mean more people become reliant on the State
Tradition family roles We need more women in business, politics, public life Women are a huge potential source of economic growth, tax revenues and less reliance on the State and public spending
Society ‘does not exist’ Volunteerism Less reliance on the State and public spending
Strong state, in defence and in crime – ideology driven Hard data shows a stick is not always as effective as a carrot – influenced by Centre for Social Justice Public spending is often wasted if we do not use data to change how we do things, from public diplomacy and international aid, to prisons and crime policy, and get better results than in the old way of doing things.
Environment comes second to growth. Our voters are in green belts. Environment matters because we are patriotic about this green and pleasant land Everyone is more green now. Our voters are still in green belts. Our economy can grow regardless. It’s the right thing to do.
NHS is full of waste The NHS needs more spending as a cherished institution An aging population votes Conservative and needs healthcare provision.

 

So how is it different? How are they different to Labour?

  1. New Conservatives, like old Conservatives, fundamentally want a smaller role for the State. They remain in favour of trusting individuals with personal choices, and more people aspiring to create jobs and wealth, so there is less reliance on the State. It is unfair for Conservatives that those who work and pay tax should have it taken from them by the State.
  2. Labour believes more in reliance on the State. It may be couched in the language of fairness, too; for them, it is unfair that those who can work and pay tax do not for those who need it, and it is the role of the State to be the conduit.

What about the old ideologies?

What happened to worker rights, power of unions, lower tax, more public spending, the family unit, defence spending? None of these are cleavages in this election. The new issues are:

  1. Is Britain sending the signal it is open for business?
  2. Will lower tax bring in more or less money?
  3. How much borrowing is bad? Should we fix the deficit whilst the going is good or use it to make the going better quicker?

 


Alpesh Patel is CEO of a UK Asset Management Company investing in Global businesses. He is a Board Member of the UK India Business Council and a former Financial Times columnist and Bloomberg TV presenter on global investing – as well as the author of 18 books on investing.

With Thanks To Mr Obama, by Alpesh Patel

What would inspiration sound like if we loosened our ties, rolled up our sleeves and showed some real energy and passion? Well, I guess Americans do that best, so with some ideas from Mr Obama – this is what it would sound like.

In one week, you can choose policies that create new jobs, and grow this economy from the bottom-up so that everyone has a chance to succeed; from the CEO to the secretary and the caretaker; from the factory owner to the men and women who work on its floor.

In one week, you can put an end to the politics that would divide a nation just to win an election; that tries to pit region against region, city against town, Scot against English; that asks us to fear at a time when we need hope.

In one week, at this defining moment in British history, you can give this country the continuity we need.

Five years ago, we were in the middle of the worst economic crisis since WWII. Hundreds of thousands of workers had lost their jobs this year. Businesses and families couldn’t get credit. Home values were falling. Pensions were disappearing. Wages were lower than they’d been in a decade, at a time when the cost of groceries, fuel and University had never been higher.

At a moment like that, the last thing we could have afforded was four or five more years of the tired, old theory that says when we are in a hole we should keep digging, when there is no more money, we should go to the IMF and beg for more, in the hope that more debt means economic growth by some miracle.

The job is not yet finished. You don’t turn out the lights just as soon as it’s begun to dawn. It’s not change you need when the alternative is more debts payments to overseas lenders. It’s not change you need when the alternative is borrow, borrow, borrow to spend, spend, spend.

It’s not change when the alternative does not give tax breaks to the poorest. It’s not change when you had the chance a decade ago and you didn’t clamp down on the banks, and all those with their hands in the cookie-jar. That’s not change.

Not this time. Not this year. Not when so much is at stake. Some are worried about losing an election, but your leaders should be worried about Britons who are losing their homes, and their jobs, and their life savings.

The question in this election is not “Are you better off than you were five years ago?” We know the answer to that – yes. The real question is, “Will this country be even better off five years from now?”

Remember, we still have the most talented, most productive workers of any country on Earth. We’re still home to innovation and technology, colleges and universities that are the envy of the world. Some of the biggest ideas in history have come from our small businesses and our research facilities. So there’s no reason we should throw all of that away.

What we have lost in the great recession cannot be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits alone. Each of us has a role to play. Each of us has a responsibility to work hard and look after ourselves and our families, and each of us has a responsibility to our fellow citizens. That’s what’s been lost – our sense of common purpose, of higher purpose. And that’s what we need to restore right now.

To all those campaigning in this final week, I ask only this of you – on the days where you feel so tired you can’t think of uttering another word to the people, think of those who need you. When those who oppose you have you down, reach deep and fight back harder.

Don’t believe for a second this election is over. Don’t think for a minute that opposition to continuity concedes. We have to work like our future depends on it in this last week, because it does.

In one week, we can choose an economy that rewards work and creates new jobs and fuels prosperity from the bottom-up.

In one week, we can choose to invest in health care for our families, and education for our kids, and renewable energy for our future.

In one week, we can choose hope over fear, unity over division, the promise of continued growth over reversal.

In one week, we can come together as one nation, and one people, and once more choose our better history.

(With thanks to Mr Obama)


Alpesh Patel is CEO of a UK Asset Management Company investing in Global businesses. He is a Board Member of the UK India Business Council and a former Financial Times columnist and Bloomberg TV presenter on global investing – as well as the author of 18 books on investing.

Promises are one thing, but who do you trust?

‘Look, things are better now — let us come in and spend the money, and then let the Conservatives come back and clean up the mess if you want. They won’t spend, because they’re rich — they don’t need state money, so let us spend it, we’re good at spending.’

That, to me, is fundamentally Labour’s pitch to the electorate.

Deficit talk doesn’t win elections. People relate to what’s in their pockets, not what’s in the nation’s pocket. And people want hope. Those two things win all democratic elections – money and hope. Simple.

The Conservative message, to be winning, has to be: by lowering taxes and by spending more on many services, we put more money in working and middle class pockets. We were able to do this thanks to a growing economy and because of extra taxes on the super-rich. For this reason, we are credible on our promises about the economy.

On that note, by the way — credibility — let’s talk about the deficit for a moment.

The financial crisis did not create the budget deficit. The trend was well in place before then, under Labour. But don’t get me wrong: financial crises, such as in 1990, do create deficits. It’s just that the one under the last Labour government was deeper than ever before, and we could see it happening long before the financial crisis actually hit. The financial crisis simply shrouded Labour’s mismanagement (ever rising deficits in a growing economy).

But surely, you might say, Labour, too, are able to create budget surpluses? And let’s not be too unfair: Labour can create budget surpluses (but what’s more likely is that they can benefit from a trend created by the previous government). See the data below. The big problem is that they lose control of spending – again the data below shows it. (Source ONS, image by Guardian).

Well before the 2007/8 global crash, the budget was running a huge deficit. Sure, the Conservatives, too, ran a deficit in the 1980s – but that was after inheriting an economy in shambles in 1979 (from Labour).

The data below shows it. My worry is that people will say, ‘let’s get Labour’s give-aways for 5 years, then have the Conservatives clean it up.’ Labour get to be ‘good cop’ and the Conservatives ‘bad cop’.

 image001 (1)

So why are deficits bad? How do they mean less money in working class and middle class pockets?

1) Government spending needs borrowing to fund it, and that means more spending on interest payments, and ultimately less money eventually for spending on things like roads, hospitals, and sharper cuts later. Sure, we won’t end up like Greece — but you get the idea.

2) public spending crowds out the private sector, which tends to be more efficient at running business. Every Government project is a project that the private sector won’t be in on. And that’s fine if you believe in nationalisation. But Britain doesn’t have a good experience with nationalisation. Civil servants should not run business — small businesses should, and they create jobs by doing it. This process of ‘crowding out’ leads to lower growth because the state does not turn out profits the way the private sector does – that’s why we, in Britain, believe in capitalism and not socialism.

And 3) big deficits means a weakening pound, so our imports become more expensive, and the cost of living increases – that hurts working classes in particular, because food and fuel prices rise.

Tax increases, then, become inevitable. The reason Labour traditionally is not trusted with the economy is because people did not trust that their taxes would stay low. The Conservatives became the trusted party of lower tax. Credibility. And the credibility issue is that, under Labour, deficits balloon, even without financial crisis.

Promises are one thing, but who do you trust? Who is credible? Who delivers on your hope for more money in your pocket?


Alpesh Patel is CEO of a UK Asset Management Company investing in Global businesses. He is a Board Member of the UK India Business Council and a former Financial Times columnist and Bloomberg TV presenter on global investing – as well as the author of 18 books on investing.

Remind Me, Ed: Where is Blair’s Company Domiciled?

Need advice about offshore tax dodgers? Better talk to Tony first, Ed. He’s earned more than any British PM in history. Come to think of it: he’s probably made more than all of them put together.

I like the Mail headline the most: ‘Insatiable greed of Blair Inc: In the week he pledged £106,000 to Labour, a devastating book pierces the wall of secrecy around Blair’s murky – and morally dubious – money-making empire.’

Look, Ed — none of us, Tory or not, have a problem with people paying their fair share of tax from money earned in Britain. The reason we’ve (Labour or Tory) not made money earned abroad taxable is because there are double-tax treaties, benefiting Britain (now, why don’t you get rid of those Ed, since you’re busy showing how tough you are?).

If you want to be a hardnosed socialist and start a real class war, what about Blair’s offshore companies? Why aren’t you planning to make those illegal?

Ed, I wish I could force every non-dom to stay in Britain whilst I tax them on their global income. Seriously, they’re not mates of mine, or donors of mine. But you know what the problem is, Ed? In making this policy, as some of these rich people will leave Britain, we may net-net be worse off from a tax perspective. Of course, Labour have never worried about making Britain worse off, as long as the class war is alive and well – and yes, Ed, we do recall the 1970s.

By the way: I now get why Tony got rid of clause 4. Here’s a reminder, Ed, in case you forgot, of what clause 4 of the Labour constitution says: To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.’

You see, I’d have no problem if you planned to tax the rich until the pips squeaked, so you could just plain give the money to the workers – at least you’d be true to your ethos. But that’s not what you, the Party of 2-Jags Prescott, wants. What you want is to create the illusion that there is a class war going on in Britain. What you want is to crawl into number 10 on the coat tails of the SNP. But once you’re in you’ll just keep the money to yourself, just as Blair has shown us.

What worries me about you, Ed, is that at least the last Labour Party was ‘New’ – you know, Tory-light, pro-business (I mean, look at its Messiah). But you, Ed, you remind me of the Labour Government before that one – yes, the 1974-1979 one – and it’s funny to think, that that really was the last time, before Tony’s arrival, that the British people trusted you (it takes a generation to forget, clearly). And I just don’t like Labour class wars.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge Tony his wealth. His office is next to my Hedge Fund – yes, you know, those Mayfair Hedge Funds you dislike (you really should do your research, Ed), and he’s a good neighbour. In fact, I admire his business acumen. Then again, I don’t hate the rich… I hope to be as rich as Tony one day – and yes, Tony, a Labour donor, is richer than a Mayfair Hedge Fund manager. I just won’t pretend to be a socialist when I am that rich. By the way: when is Tony going to out himself as Tory?

The Tories, because they actually work with employers, entrepreneurs, understand you have to balance the tax with attracting the people to the country. The thing about rich people in Britain is, they don’t use our benefits. Yes, they use our health care – but guess what – private healthcare. They use our roads (well, their chauffeurs do) and they pay… road tax; they employ our people (the bloody cheek), shop in our stores (okay, Harrods anyway, which surprisingly pays corporation tax in the UK!), and when they pay even a tiny proportion of their money in tax, it’s still a heck of a lot more than you or I do, Ed, and probably more than Tony, too – so I’d just as soon not get rid of them. You see Ed, you don’t get business, the wealth creators, and how money is made – you do get class warfare though. That’s why sooner, or later, you will mess up the economy.

So Ed, let me leave you with this: don’t simply stop at non-dom status! Just ban rich people generally – that’ll get you the vote of the good working classes. By the way, I’m working class. We businessmen, we work, too, you know.


Alpesh Patel is CEO of a UK Asset Management Company investing in Global businesses. He is a Board Member of the UK India Business Council and a former Financial Times columnist and Bloomberg TV presenter on global investing – as well as the author of 18 books on investing.

Ed hates me (and just about every other business owner, too)

Dear Tony – before you start banging on about Europe and about what’s good for business – maybe you should consider having a word with Ed, first?

In the TV debates, Ed Miliband blamed hedge fund managers for pretty much everything (and Nigel Farage blamed immigrants for… well, yes, everything). It’s in Labour’s blood to dislike us hedge fund managers, private equity manager and, indeed, all business owners who aspire to get on in life without Government hand-outs.

I used to clean toilets, 10 years before I started a hedge fund. Yes, our office is in Mayfair. As a child in Armley, at a state school, I saw ‘Mayfair’ on the Monopoly board and I aspired.

What’s wrong with aspiring, Ed? I achieved, too. But like most ‘successful’ people, I remember poverty and know I am lucky and I, like every hedge fund manager and private equity manager, do all they can to help those in need. But we can’t do that if we don’t aspire. We can’t do that if we can’t build our businesses. In fact, why should we bother if our own Prime Minister and Government hates us?

You hate us because you think we’re rich. Well, I’m not. I’m a small business owner. And there is nothing wrong with aspiring, with being a small business owner. And you know what we hedge fund and private equity fund managers do? We get our rich friends to donate money to charities, we get banks like Barclays to do it.

Yes, some want to create wealth. But we don’t sit at night looking at it, and then laugh at the rest of society. We help others. You don’t have a monopoly on being caring — in fact, I’m not sure you even have a claim at all, Ed.

When you demonise hedge fund managers, you demonise small business owners, and all people who aspire. What Ed and Labour don’t like is people who are not dependent on the state. They don’t want us hedge fund managers supporting the homeless, or widows, or orphans – they want to do it exclusively through tax and spend – so their votes are guaranteed.

If the Tories don’t have a landslide it’s because there are too many people dependent on Labour. I don’t want to be dependent on you, Ed.

And mine is a British company, too. It earns money from foreigners by investing abroad and brings profits back to Britain. I live in Britain. You demonise me, Ed, and you demonise Britons. I don’t dodge tax. I dodge how much I pay foreign governments by making sure as much as possible comes to Britain, back to where I and my company are resident –where I can use the money. But that’s too subtle to understand. Instead YOU make me want to become non-resident – remember the ‘will the last person to leave the country, turn off the lights’ headline in 1997 – that’s how you divide society.

Yes, there are some rich, greedy tax dodging people. There are also a lazy few who refuse to work at all. Neither deserve our sympathy.

But sooner or later, Ed, with your spending and demonising small business owners, you will run out of other people’s money to spend. Remember it is us, the entrepreneurs who create the companies, that pay the corporation tax, that employ the people that pay the income tax, that pay the national insurance. Without us the job creators, the business owners, you run out of the other people’s money you are so keen to spend.

And yes, it is true you will never be able to tax us enough — you could tax me a wealth tax and take 99% of my money and I still would be better off than the average person. But that’s why I help charitable causes, and those like me do the same. We don’t need you to tell us our social responsibilities – we don’t need Government in every aspect of our choices.


Alpesh Patel is CEO of a UK Asset Management Company investing in Global businesses. He is a Board Member of the UK India Business Council and a former Financial Times columnist and Bloomberg TV presenter on global investing – as well as the author of 18 books on investing.

Labour Gets Business…Just Look at Blair

As 100 business leaders openly declare that they back the Conservatives, let’s make one thing clear: Labour understand business, too. I mean, look at how good a businessman Tony Blair is. This might just the problem with their brand of socialism – it’s straight out of Animal Farm. Champagne socialism, two-Jags Prescott socialism. And if you think I’m unfair calling it ‘socialism’ – well, last Thursday, Ed Miliband himself called it a party of Democratic Socialism.

But back to Blair – the image is of ‘I’ll help you, just help me get in power, then I’ll help myself.’ They don’t want the rest of us to aspire, they want us to be dependent. That’s why they need to spend, so we get addicted to their promise of benefits without work, payments without effort. Who wouldn’t want to elect someone making such promises?!

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s race for cash since leaving office in 2007, with an opaque network of financial interests that stretch from the United Arab Emirates to Kazakhstan to America, has raised suspicions and various sections of the political establishment believe everything might not be above board.

This is Labour.

He reportedly signed a fresh contract with UAE’s foreign ministry during the end of 2014. Using his exalted position as former Prime Minister, and the connections and network acquired during his time in office, Mr Blair has built an intricate empire simply on the basis of advising foreign Governments and large corporations. The latest country to fall under his sphere of influence is Serbia, a country Britain bombed on Mr Blair’s order in 1999 during the Kosovo war. But that was war, this is business, and Mr Blair apparently has no qualms about it.

This is the democratic socialism of Labour.

It is, however, when Labour does this to damage national interests that it really starts to bother me.

I’ve been monitoring a pattern between UAE, the Labour party of the UK, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. I located every comment in Parliament over the past two years mentioning ‘Qatar’, and one thing became clear to me: when it comes to Qatar – a very important British ally in the war on terror — Labour has been leading a critical charge, not only against the country itself, but also against Britain for forging this alliance.

Former British PM Tony Blair, interestingly, appears to be part of the whole web. The former PM has sold his political and economic expertise to two countries, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, via his fledgling private consultancy firm and is seen as catering to UAE’s global interests. ‘”Blair is a paid employee of Abu Dhabi because of his Mubadala contract,” said Christopher Davidson, a Gulf expert at Durham University, to The Guardian. “He should not be regarded as representing UK national interests.”’

Attacks by Labour in Parliament on one of the Britain’s closest allies, Qatar, in a region where we need them the most smacks of them being puppets to a bigger puppet master and against British interests.

This is Democratic Socialism. This is Labour.


Alpesh Patel is CEO of a UK Asset Management Company investing in Global businesses. He is a Board Member of the UK India Business Council and a former Financial Times columnist and Bloomberg TV presenter on global investing – as well as the author of 18 books on investing.

Alpesh Patel: What Wins Elections?

Will you be better off, with more money in your pocket, under a Conservative or a Labour Government?

Alpesh Patel has the answer.


British companies are worth more now than they have ever been. The oil price is at its lowest since 2009. And house prices, an asset for many, are rising.

Of course — rising asset prices are a double edged sword. Those who aren’t asset owners miss out on the wealth it generates. But I daresay it’s better to have those prices rising and the prospect of joining the asset owning classes than asset prices falling and wealth being depleted. Wealth is created by owning assets wCapthich rise in price. First we want asset prices rising — next we must ensure you can afford to own them.

To be able to afford to own those assets, you need a higher income. How do we make that possible? By creating more jobs, lowering taxation on the lowest earners, and taking more money – their fair share – from banks and others making massive profits. (But not so much that we remove their capacity to raise wages for their employees.)

It’s simple. And as for Government — to spend on one off jobs and one off benefits which do not create a sustainable source of income is fool’s gold: a short term unsustainable boost from spending, but not from investing. You decide which party is most likely to deliver on the simple truths above.

When I was a politics student at university, I was fortunate enough to have 1 to 1 tutorials with probably the leading specialist in general elections of the past 60 years – David Butler. David knew everyone from Winston Churchill to every PM since. He also knew that the best predictor of elections was not personalities, it wasn’t even issues such as immigration. Until the 1980s it was class. Then it was interest rates. Why? Because those things underlined one thing – the money in your pocket. We actually vote on the whole based on
whether we feel we will be better off.

In the 1980s I, as a school child, bought into privatisation stocks. In
the 1990s, I bought my first home. Owning assets which rise in price made me want to vote in a direction which benefited me. When my corporation tax rate went down, I felt the same. It’s a simple truth easily forgotten.

But what about social justice? And Defence? Education? NHS? All these things are important. But even with these it all comes down to: will you be better off? Sadly, people tend not to vote altruistically – at least that’s what the voting data suggests.

So are we not a society? Do we not care for each other? Heck yes we are – but I want to give money from my own pocket, from having more income myself and I want to be able to choose the causes I support – and, again, it comes down to my having more money in my pocket.

The question to ask yourself now is:

1.        Do you own an asset – a home, a stock owning pension?
2.        Do you own a company paying corporation tax?
3.        Are you on low income and so hoping for tax exemption?
4.        Are you hoping to be an asset owner?

When you answer the above you should find the answer to how to vote. I know what I think.

Alpesh Patel


Alpesh Patel is CEO of a UK Asset Management Company investing in Global businesses. He is a Board Member of the UK India Business Council and a former Financial Times columnist and Bloomberg TV presenter on global investing – as well as the author of 18 books on investing.