Nick Shaxson ■ UBS: invest in food, water and death


From the excellent weekly newsletter of the U.S. inequality-watching organisation Too Much:

“Simon Smiles, the global chief investment officer at the Swiss bank UBS, usually only ladles out advice to investors worth at least $30 million. But Smiles has just done an interview that shares a bit of what he’s telling his clients. Increasing “international pressure on banking secrecy and tax avoidance,” says Smiles, is complicating life for the ultra rich, and they’re searching for simple “certainties.” The advice from Smiles: Invest in “food, water, and death.”

The Chinese, he explains, can afford to eat more, and aging populations make funeral homes a good buy. Why water? Decaying water infrastructures need fixing fast. Many U.S. cities, Smiles points out, haven’t replaced pipes in years.

What Smiles isn’t saying: If his clients paid their taxes, infrastructures might not be decaying.”

Our emphasis added. Enough said.

Update: reader James M points us to this review of a book about wealthy investors doing just this: buying up water rights all over the world. 

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