Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Aberdeen Asset Management: shares flying high in the friendly astral sky!

Right, Aberdeen. What's going on with that firm?

Well, Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen, has been telling anyone who will listen that the firm has hit record highs in profits and assets under management. Apparently, he is seeing strong inflows into equities. Aberdeen shares are at 145.8 pence now. (The price might have changed since I tapped that shit into my laptop. You know how these things change, don't you? I'm sure you're a man or a woman or a hermaphrodite of the world). Flying high!

I have been speaking to Mr Gilbert. This is what he told me: 'Mikey, our shares are flying high! (Marty, man, in the friendly astral sky, I presume?) Where else, Mikey? Where else? (How do you do it, man? In these evil times, how do you do it?) Mike, the secret is: you've got to have faith. (Faith in Big Herb?) In Big Herb. In Ganesh the elephant god. And the ghosts of the dead financiers. All that crowd. (But you've got to believe in yourself as well.) Of course. That goes without saying. I believe in myself. I know that when the going gets tough, I have the strength to keep moving on. I learnt that in the desert. Never stop! Never look back! And - never, never, never, never, never fall down and roll around in the sand, crying your little eyes out until there are no rivers of tears left to cry. (But you can roll around in the sand for relaxation purposes, surely.) Michael, there's nothing wrong with that at all. If business is good, if the money is coming in, there is no harm in taking some time out to roll around in the sand. (And you've done this, yeah, Marty?) Sure, I've done it. I know how to let my hair down. But the point I'm making is, you shouldn't do it out of despair. (Well, no.) I've known men, good men, who have lost a bit of money, then lost their minds. They go into the desert to escape. And no one ever hears from them again. (That's sad.) It is sad, Michael. It is very sad. They just roll away, for days and months and years. Rolling, rolling, rolling. And if they burn at all, they burn up. Reduced to ashes. "I once knew a madman who thought the end of the world had come. He was a painter - and engraver. I had a great fondness for him. I used to go and see him, in the asylum. I'd take him by the hand and drag him to the window. Look! There! All that rising corn! And there! Look! The sails of the herring fleet! All that loveliness! He'd snatch away his hand and go back into his corner. Appalled. All he had seen was ashes." (There's a lesson in that for all of us, Marty.) Yes. Are we to look at their ashes, swirling in the desert wind? Or should we look away? Shouldn't we focus on the desert sun, astral sun, giver of life? (Yes, we should.) I know we should, Michael. Those sad desert rollers only have themselves to blame. We will not pay them any attention. Let them roll to oblivion. We will not miss them.'

Mr Gilbert talks a lot of sense, don't you think?