Personal finance guru Alan Steel, a prominent anti-vaxxer, has died after a month-long battle with Covid-19.
The 74-year-old man’s death last Wednesday came after he was hospitalized with the virus. Hours before he was put on a ventilator, he had told his friends to “keep their fingers crossed.”
Mr Steel had frequently retweeted anti-vaccine opinions on Twitter since the start of the pandemic.
A few days before he fell ill, he had reposted erroneous information about Covid and the vaccine to 3,753 subscribers.
Personal finance guru Alan Steel, a prominent anti-vaxxer, has died after a month-long battle with Covid-19. The 74-year-old man’s death last Wednesday came after he was hospitalized with the virus. A few hours before being placed on a respirator, he had told his friends to “keep their fingers crossed”
The Covid skeptic slammed Boris Johnson’s wife Carrie for urging pregnant women to receive the jab. Sharing an article on Ms Johnson’s advice, he wrote: “FFS”.
He linked other articles to a report on vaccine deaths posted by a conspiracy theorist website, as well as telling friends to listen to videos that “this is not a pandemic of unvaccinated “. Mr. Steel was also against masks and lockdowns.
In the financial services industry, he was best known for pioneering the issues at Equitable Life, where the insurer’s policyholders lost billions of pounds in savings.
Hailed as a crusader within the industry, he started Alan Steel Asset Management in his hometown of Linlithgow in West Lothian in 1975. At a rented desk in a rented room, he told interviewers that a landline was his only companion.
The Scotsman – dubbed the ‘Golden Balls of Steel’ – quickly made a name for himself in the industry, with his company managing over £ 1 billion in client assets.
As a self-proclaimed “natural opposite”, Steel was a regular commentator in the press and became known among his peers for his appreciation of Spanish red wine.
Covid skeptic Mr Steel has slammed Boris Johnson’s wife Carrie for urging pregnant women to receive the jab. Sharing an article on Ms Johnson’s advice, he wrote: “FFS”
When asked what his life was like outside of financial services, he replied, “Family, music, my moothie [harmonica], Ibiza, red wine and Oliphant pies. ‘
In a poignant message last month, he posted on Twitter: “You may be wondering why I have been so silent. For almost two weeks, I fought a losing battle against Covid.
“I have been on oxygen in the hospital ever since. Transition to intensive care today. It’s a nasty disease. I cross my fingers to get out.
It is understood that Mr. Steel responded well to treatment first before his condition deteriorated.
Steve Forbes, Managing Director of Alan Steel Asset Management, said yesterday: “He was a unique character and a genius, there is no doubt about it, but he was also a great visionary.
“He is now with his beloved and wise Grannie McKay and will have a new audience for his multitude of jokes and stories. I also know that the hole that exists in our lives right now following his passing will be filled with happy memories over time.
A close friend, John Allison, added: “Alan has always remained totally loyal to his working class education, but unknown to most, he was also a significant financial benefactor and behind the scenes he provided great financial support. at many local institutions and events.
“The financial services industry has traditionally been very light on characters and legends – Sadly Alan Steel could turn out to be the last of them.”
Mr. Steel is survived by his wife Fran, son Malcolm and daughter Catherine.
Tragic stubbornness of a colossus
A personal tribute from JEFF PRESTRIGE
Alan Steel was a rarity in the financial services industry: an advisor who passionately championed the investor’s cause, even if that meant clashing with some of the industry’s largest and most contentious battalions.
He was a colossus: charming, charismatic and arrogant.
I first met him when I was personal finance editor at The Sunday Telegraph in the 1990s. He began to feed me with a series of stories that passed the pages of money. from the banal to the sublime.
“Alan Steel was a rarity in the financial services industry: an advisor who was a passionate advocate for the investor’s cause, even if that meant clashing with some of the biggest – and most contentious – battalions in the industry. He was a colossus: charming, charismatic and arrogant ‘
For example, he was skeptical of Equitable Life’s financial strength long before the insurer hit the buffers at the end of 2000. Indeed, he was so scathing that Equitable threatened to destroy its business as a financial advisor. flourishing unless it is silent.
He did, but – as has often happened – Alan was ultimately right as Equitable fell apart.
Alan continued to tell me stories after I left the ship for The Mail on Sunday. His opinions were always frank and readers liked him. Some have become clients of his Linlithgow-based firm, Alan Steel Asset Management.
What I will always be grateful for is the retirement advice he gave my parents before my father retired.
Alan sought the most suitable retirement pension on their behalf. The result was the purchase of an annuity that will continue in the event of Dad’s death, providing lasting financial security for Mum. For over four years – Dad passed away in May 2017 – Mum benefited from Alan’s financial expertise (cheers, Alan).
Sadly, we fell out over ousted fund manager Neil Woodford. He thought I was too critical of Woodford following the suspension of his multibillion pound investment fund in 2019 and angry that I did not give him a platform to defend the former guru of the ‘investment. It ended with Alan saying he would never speak to me again. He was true to his word.
His stubbornness was a strength, but so was his Achilles heel. He never thought he was wrong, even when he was, like with Woodford.
Much more tragically, he was a staunch anti-vaccine supporter and it was ultimately Covid that claimed his life. I will miss him, along with the endless bottles of Rioja that we happily shared.