Alpesh Patel’s Political Sketchbook: Race and Investing

Alpesh Patel Tuesday 13th July 2021 09:43 EDT

The racism issue should not be taking up media coverage of England’s great team performance. We should be talking about what wonderful role models they are.

I still recall 20 years ago a numpty emailed my editor at the Financial Times that my CV was too good to be true; as I took the call before dinner as a Fellow of an Oxford College. I was appointed by the PM with the FT editor to a Govt role so he could vouch.

Did someone think "surely people of his background don't get CVs like that"? You do start questioning motives with what’s going on today. I've been fortunate - been elevated by people of all colours. And try to pay it forward.

One reason I decided to be a Barrister was because in the 1980s when I made the decision I was told it was the last bastion of racism – what better challenge than that then I thought. It was after all English educated Barristers Gandhi, Jinnah, Sardar Patel and Nehru who led the greatest democratic movement in recent history and brought down the racism of Empire.

In my second profession of investing we know that the recent fastest market rally in history will not benefit black people in either the UK or US. We know this because research shows they will have less money invested in stocks. And so they will benefit less from market rises.

Wealth through investments is not about money alone. It is not about just saving and having your money work for you and not just you work for your money, but wealth through investing is choice, it is networks, it is an insurance policy – it is not having a foot on your throat – whether that foot is real or symbolic.

Or take the City – as Chair of City Hindus Network – I am well aware you are disproportionately less likely to be on the Board of a UK Plc – yet we know for instance in America, Indians at least, but not Black people, are in prominent positions.

Social mobility so often comes from education. Failings at even the age of five can set the directions of one’s life. It also comes from the desire of those in positions up the ladder to open their networks. I always on my free education investing webinars tell people to join me on LinkedIn – the professional networking tool.

We will at City Hindu Network be launching in time of lockdown more TV style interviews with role models to inspire those to achieve and succeed. As an organisation we are open to all regardless of faith, but what the US race debate shows it is incumbent on all of us in positions of privilege – including City Privilege to help others still climbing the ladder.

But there are some people who need not come to me for help. The racists shouldn’t bother applying. My goodwill and inclusivity has limits. As the PM said, go crawl back under the rock from where you came. Similarly those who so loathe themselves, their heritage, their faith, their origins that they mock others who are, for instance Hindu. The haters of Hindus need not apply. You won’t get equal treatment from me. Same goes for haters of any religion. I’ve got a limited number of years left, and being surrounded by hate is not how I choose to fill it. I will however happily look to destroy the hate filled terrorism apologists. I will not meet you with love.

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