The harsh reality of investing

The harsh reality of investing

Six years ago, $388 million of investor funds were lost in the collapse of property group Westpoint.

Since then, Westpoint has been a buzz word for the industry; a buzz word many wished they could swat away or force into history with a short burst of spray.

Last week, ASIC announced it had finalised its Westpoint legal actions in the names of nine of the Westpoint mezzanine companies that had been before the Federal Court.

The corporate regulator said the settlement of the actions would result in an additional recovery through the liquidation process of up to $67.45 million.

It said the settlement would involve an amount of $57 million being made available in the next 30 days, with the balance available to the liquidators of the relevant companies subject to a number of conditions, which are confidential.

In all, investors are expected to see a return of around $160 million to $170 million of the $388 million in losses following last week's settlement.

While the return would no doubt be considered at least something for the many shattered investors, ASIC said the total recovered funds were also subject to liquidator fees.

It's a harsh reality that investors will not only receive so little back from their initial investment, but that fees will be taken out of the pool as well.

On a positive note, those investors who are not shy of investing may find comfort in predictions made by a number of Australian fund managers and economists over the state of Australia's equity market.

Merrill Lynch Australia strategist Tim Rocks is quoted in this week's IFA cover story as stating 2011 is shaping up to be a strong year, with the firm having a target of 5500 for the S&P/ASX 200.

Greencape Capital portfolio manager David Pace agreed double-digit gains are possible.

While Fidelity Investments head of Australian equities Paul Taylor said he was quite positive on the prospects for Australian equities over the year ahead.

Perhaps finally some good will happen for the investors of Westpoint.


The harsh reality of investing
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