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HOW TO READ YOUR VALUATION STATEMENT

TODAY’S BLOG

HOW TO READ YOUR VALUATION STATEMENT

If you have an investment, you will receive a valuation every 3 months, on a quarterly basis. These tend to be issued to the 5th of January, April, July, and October in-line with the tax year end. Your statement will show various items, the elements that I want you to focus on understanding are the fund, the units and the price.

The Fund ABC

The Fund. You will see the names of funds, these start with the name of the investment company and then followed by the name of the fund itself. This tells you where and probably what the fund is investing. By way of example. I will consider the Dimensional UK Smaller Companies Inc Fund.

A – The Investment Group

The first bit of any fund name is the name of the investment group, this may sound obvious, but as many names are unfamiliar or get altered due to mergers it is important to state the obvious. In my example, “Dimensional” is the name of the investment company.

B – The Sector

In my example, this fund is invested into UK Smaller companies, a specific sector of the UK stockmarket. This is investing in shares in companies in the UK that are deemed “small” which really means not the top 350 biggest companies in the UK. It does not mean a little local business.

C – The Unit Type

Most funds also show “Inc” or “Acc” at the end, this reveals if the fund is paying out any income (dividends) – hence “Inc”. Alternatively, “Acc” (accumulation units) whether they are automatically re-invested within the fund. Generally speaking we use “income” funds because this makes life easier for everyone to track income for capital gains calculations. The income can be re-invested within your portfolio or paid out to you, the investor. This varies depending on the product type and strategy required.

Unique Identifier

Every fund has its own reference number, to make life deliberately complicated there are several different unique numbers for a fund “SEDOL” or “ISIN” are perhaps the most well used. This is nothing more than a way of locating the specific fund. All funds now have their own summary fact sheet, now called a Key Information Investor Document or KIID. How the financial world loves its acronyms.

Where and what the fund is invested into is a deliberate selection, designed to form part of your overall portfolio. The fund itself may be thought of as “high risk” (or “low risk”) but as part of a larger portfolio is designed to provide a combined risk for the entire portfolio.

Units

On your statement you will probably then see the number of units. Think of this the quantity of your holding in the fund, which can run to several decimal places. This is what you hold, or what you have bought – units in the fund. These amounts will therefore only alter if you have added more money (bought more units). They might reduce for the opposite reason – you have withdrawn money or units were sold to pay charges.

Price

Typically, the next column will be the price of the units on a specific day. Please note that the price changes each day and reflects the end of day value of all of the holdings within the fund. So in our example of the UK Smaller Companies Fund, this would be the value of all the equities (shares) held in UK Smaller companies at the end of the day. These are listed on global stockmarkets.

Value (or valuation)

This is typically the next column and is the sum of the number of units that you own in a fund, multiplied by the value.

Dimensional UK Smaller Companies Inc 46.694 units at £28.38 per unit is worth £1,325.18. In short: 46.694 x £28.38 = £1,325.18.

Your valuation is therefore a snapshot of the value of your funds on a specific day. It has happened, today’s value will be different. Having quarterly valuations really means that you have 4 days in the year of information.

Think Twice

When you look at your statement you may well compare it against a previous one. You might see changes in the funds held (if we have advised any) or changes in the units – even if no new money has gone in (due to a rebalance or re-invested income). You may observe that some of the values have fallen or risen. This reflects the fund and the market at the time.

It is tempting to think that funds that are worth less must be doing badly. This is not necessarily the case, in fact its highly unlikely to be true. It is merely the current value, not a reflection on the fund, which is selected specifically for its cost, reliability and the way it combines with your other holdings. Think of each fund as a parts of a car, you don’t have all engine or only tyres, it is put together deliberately to produce a longer term overall performance, designed with decades in mind, not days or quarters. In practice the different bits are asset classes – types of liquid investments that can be priced reliably on regulated global markets.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

SOLOMON’S FINANCIAL PLANNING APP

Our free powerful new Finance & Tax app.
To get started download and use password – solomons

   

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

SOLOMON’S FINANCIAL PLANNING APP

Our free powerful new Finance & Tax app.
To get started download and use password – solomons

   

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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HOW TO READ YOUR VALUATION STATEMENT2019-02-08T07:00:50+01:00

THE F-WORD

TODAY’S BLOG

THE F WORD

The F-word in my world is fees. Today we received news that the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has increased its “levy” on financial advisers to a whopping £516m which is a hefty increase on the £468m previously.

There are many reasons for the increase, but the main one is that many investors have been duped into moving their pension into a SIPP (a Self-Invested Personal Pension). There is nothing wrong with a SIPP in principle, it is just another pension wrapper and the vast majority are perfectly good, indeed arguably rather brilliant. However, it’s also what is inside.

A SIPP can hold lots of investments, remember in 2005 Gordon Brown opening the way and then back-tracking on allowing people to put a private residence in a SIPP (thank goodness!). The “Self-Invested” bit of the SIPP really is an opening to put anything into a pension that “qualifies”. Anyway, some “advisers” have encouraged people to use all manner of weird investments, everything from storage pods, to teak farms in Thailand, car parking spaces to any hairbrained idea. These are “unregulated” investments – clue on the tin.

Solomons IFA Blog: Sorry to bother you

The backstop agreement

These investors have a genuine grievance for bad advice. Well… more scamming than advice. Therefore, they can turn to the FSCS, who in turn “approaches” (demands) payment from the rest of us upright advisers to cover the cost of the miscreants that peddle this rubbish. There are about 5,300 adviser firms in the UK, one or two huge ones and the rest are small businesses. The bill is shared between us (feel free to do the sums). In short that means we cannot keep stomaching the lion-share of a bill for which we are not culpable and so it is reflected in our charges to clients. Hardly a fair system, indeed, like others it is miserable and broken.

Look inside

For the record we arrange SIPPS for our clients, with proper SIPP companies and ONLY hold regulated investments within them. You hold properly listed funds which are composed of shares and bonds of great companies of the world.

If you are a client with a SIPP arranged through us, do not panic, all that’s in your pension is good stuff (unless you mucked around with it or “gave the keys” to another adviser). I recently took on a client who has a SIPP, but his adviser put some awful stuff in it. We have been able to unpick some of it, but not all. Totally unnecessary, unhelpful and illiquid.

Cold Calling Ban – Stop them at the gate

As a final note, anyone (you don’t know) that calls or emails you out of the blue is breaking the law – NO COLD CALLING. Some of you helped us with this initiative, started by another decent adviser (Darren Cooke) in Derbyshire and this eventually became law on Wednesday 9th January 2019. So hopefully this will reduce cold calling (I’m not naive enough to assume it will end). Some interesting issues about cold calling, greed, ethnicity and capitalism were raised in the film “Sorry to bother you”..  it went a little off point and lost its potential purpose, well that’s what I thought. Here is the trailer, it raised some interesting questions. WARNING: its rude.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

SOLOMON’S FINANCIAL PLANNING APP

Our free powerful new Finance & Tax app.
To get started download and use password – solomons

   

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

=

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

SOLOMON’S FINANCIAL PLANNING APP

Our free powerful new Finance & Tax app.
To get started download and use password – solomons

   

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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THE F-WORD2019-01-31T17:56:06+01:00

IS IT TIME TO SELL MY INVESTMENTS?

TODAY’S BLOG

IS IT TIME TO SELL MY INVESTMENTS?

Politics has exposed how deeply entrenched our beliefs become. Irrespective of facts, truth or common sense, good judgement seems in woefully short-supply. The irony is that a lack of supply may shortly become something we all experience, due the Government’s lack of progress, direction or any plan for the impending self-harm of Brexit.

Fear not, I am not going to discuss Brexit and the impacts of it on your portfolio (the truth is that nobody knows, so why pretend to). What I can speak to is the poor behaviour that investors get lulled into due to their belief system.

The Uncomfortable Truth

We all have a belief system, for some it is a clearly defined religion, for others a life mantra, business process, political persuasion and so on. We all have them. Most of our beliefs are frankly, built upon the flimsiest of evidence, yet we hold onto them as though they are the original stones containing the ten commandments.

The prevailing belief in the world of investment is that common sense, fused with some research and useful information enables some individuals the ability and capacity to beat the market. Please do not misunderstand me. It is possible to out-perform the market; indeed each day half do, the other half don’t. This happens on a daily basis. Some will outperform over the short-term, a quarter, a year, perhaps 3 or even 5. However, the number of investors that can consistently outperform the market year on year is a very small number and one that diminishes each day.

SOLOMONS IFA BLOG - VICE

There would be days like these..

It is so difficult to outperform the market consistently that it is impossible to tell if this is mere luck or skill, the statistical chance is so small. Yet at times like these, despite all the evidence, people believe that they are able to correctly predict not only when to not invest and exit “the market” but also to perfectly time a return to it. The other unspoken belief is that this outwits all other investors.

Beware: Men in suits 

Despite what all the marketing you see by fund managers and their impressive statistics, beating the market is not easy to achieve. Some will ignore this advice because of a belief that it is “utter nonsense” – the mere inference that what they believe is wrong is too much to cope with. Others will take the view that this time is different, we can see the storm. This time is different – just like every other time. In other words, it is no different at all. May I remind you that everyone has a 100% track record of correct decisions when it comes to hindsight…yes we all saw the dotcom, the credit crunch and the subsequent bull runs….

The more you attempt to manipulate reality to suit your version of the future, the more you will end up attempting to correct the mistakes of the past in the future. It will become your new present reality, living with the discomforting truths that you simply would not face and continue to deny. Denial is an incredibly powerful force and leads to all manner of woes.

However, if you really are not content to live with a globally diversified portfolio of the worlds businesses (equities) mixed with some of the plodding IOUs (fixed income) from the more stable Governments and businesses on earth, then feel free to take on the world.

If you want returns without “risk” you are looking in the wrong places, always. Life is a risk, most, if not all of your decisions contain risk, you have merely formed a system of beliefs around them that enable you to cope with those risks and see them differently. We all do.

Select your vices carefully…

Your portfolio is designed with decades in mind, not days – at least not measurement in the next 30, 90 or 365. It is time to ask yourself what you believe. Be warned, we have often been asked to believe lies. A topical reminder comes in the form of the new film “Vice” starring Christian Bale as Dick Cheney. He and his sidekick, George W Bush, convinced our Prime Minister who subsequently convinced our Parliament that they had “evidence” about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Sadly this duplicity resulted in thousands of lost lives, the vast majority of which were “innocent” born in the wrong place at the wrong time.  We continue to live with and pay for those mistakes….

The one thing I can predict is that if you do see the film, I imagine that your views about Dick Cheney and your beliefs will probably not change – whatever your political persuasion or will you perhaps disarm me of mine?

Here is the trailer for the film “Vice” which is currently playing at cinemas.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

SOLOMON’S FINANCIAL PLANNING APP

Our free powerful new Finance & Tax app.
To get started download and use password – solomons

   

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

=

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

SOLOMON’S FINANCIAL PLANNING APP

Our free powerful new Finance & Tax app.
To get started download and use password – solomons

   

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

=

IS IT TIME TO SELL MY INVESTMENTS?2019-01-29T10:36:45+01:00

NOW WE’RE TALKING

TODAY’S BLOG

NOW WE’RE TALKING

The end of the tax year is only a few weeks away, the latest online edition of Talking Money is available for you to read and we think you should download our app. Its a really useful bit of kit to hold on your smartphone or tablet. You can access it for free from your usual app shop (apple or android) simply search for “My IFA” and when you locate a rather dull grey icon of  of a fella that looks like he may be an outline from the mafia, download and use the password SOLOMONS.

We have created a short video which explains a few of the many features, one I use quite a lot is the mileage tracker which helps me accurately record business miles, but there are loads of features and calculators.

Here is the video of our app

Have a quick look at this video, let me know what you think.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

SOLOMON’S FINANCIAL PLANNING APP

Our free powerful new Finance & Tax app.
To get started download and use password – solomons

   

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

=

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

SOLOMON’S FINANCIAL PLANNING APP

Our free powerful new Finance & Tax app.
To get started download and use password – solomons

   

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

=

NOW WE’RE TALKING2019-01-22T11:13:34+01:00

ANOTHER FINE MESS

TODAY’S BLOG

ANOTHER FINE MESS

New movie Stan and Ollie is a real treat to those who have an affection for Laurel and Hardy. What could have been “another fine mess” was a moving tribute to one of the ground-breaking comedy double acts of cinematic history. As a child, in the 1970s I watched their films often on a Saturday morning on the 3-channel television. Whilst the cars were a bit odd and shot in black and white, they didn’t seem particularly dated, at least no more than others – as the television diet for children also included a fair amount of black and white 1950s American syndicated shows like Whirlybirds, Champion the Wonder Horse, Flash Gordon, Zorro and Lassie.

I have to admit I had reservations about the film but Steve Coogan’s performance or perhaps impression of Stan Laurel was fantastic. John C Reilly also provides an impressive performance of Oliver Hardy. The movie itself is charming and shouldn’t disappoint any fans. It reveals a deep friendship between the pair and provides an insight into their working partnership and some of its difficulties. Notably the different manner in which they approached their contracts at work and the way money should be handled.

SOLOMONS IFA - STAN AND OLLIE MOVIE REVIEW FOR BLOG

Wrong end of the contract

Mr Hardy seemed to have something of a gambling habit, it isn’t clear from the story if this was problematic, but it is inferred. What I had not realised was that unlike the movie stars of today, they were employees of Hal Roach. He was a ground-breaking film maker of the day, but also a shrewd businessman. there was no bonus scheme or royalties and if a film failed or succeeded, they were paid the same. Laurel was clearly more financially astute, demanding that his contract be properly revised, Hardy’s contract still had time to run. The contracts were deliberately established this way by Roach, precisely to prevent them from negotiating together. Hardy seems not to have appreciated the implications and also lacked the courage to stand up to Roach, perhaps (I don’t know) because his gambling required the certainty of a regular income, not least to provide for his 3 ex-wives.

Here today, gone tomorrow 

Laurel and Hardy movies were shown around the world and Roach made them shoot each in several major European languages. They were coached and read from out-of-sight blackboards, phonetically, all to maximise revenue for Roach. Laurel and Hardy were consequently never financially secure, at least not by today’s Hollywood standards. The movie picks up at the end of their career, when they are mainly forgotten and having to earn a crust. Many are surprised that they are not retired, but this is a case of having to work.

Genius at work? 

As much as Laurel and Hardy loved their work and working together, clearly, as a financial planner, the aim is to ensure that you have the choice about whether to work or not. Retirement is a poor word; a better phrase is “financial Freedom Day” – the day you choose to work because you want to rather than have to.

In any partnership, speaking the same language and having shared goals is vital to financial wellbeing. Your financial planning really doesn’t need to be comedic, it is your life’s work so invest in the right counsel with a proper financial planner.

Here is the trailer. I’m confident it will make you smile.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

SOLOMON’S FINANCIAL PLANNING APP

Our free powerful new Finance & Tax app.
To get started download and use password – solomons

   

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

=

GET IN TOUCH

Solomon’s Independent Financial Advisers
The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

info@solomonsifa.co.uk    Call – 020 8542 8084

SOLOMON’S FINANCIAL PLANNING APP

Our free powerful new Finance & Tax app.
To get started download and use password – solomons

   

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

=

ANOTHER FINE MESS2019-01-21T21:16:18+01:00

THE BESPOKE SMALL BUSINESS

THE BESPOKE SMALL BUSINESS

Richard Bullock set up Barn 6 Furniture in 1996 and has grown his business over the last 22 years. He specialises in high end furniture often working with designers and architects on a complete refit of a home, office or retail space. I went to visit him at his impressive new workshop in Letchworth.

There are many challenges running a small business, but to date Richard has steered his firm through some challenging times in a field where price, quality and craftsmanship are terms used glibly by most.

As we worked on Richard’s financial planning one of the things that occurred to me was the full meaning of bespoke. A wry smile stretched across his face as he explained that one of the largest challenges in his work is getting clients to think about what they want. “Invariably people come with ideas and want to look through a brochure to pick something that they would like, but there is no brochure, we have a portfolio of work of what we have done, but each piece is different”. The penny finally drops that the client can have what they want, in any material, subject of course of the reality of their budget. He loves working with the end client, helping them to achieve the results that they are looking for.

R Bullock Owner Barn 6 Solomons IFA interview - a Bespoke Business

Bespoke Marketing

This struggle resonated with me. How on earth do I tell others about our service? One that is about creating bespoke financial plans, as unique as the imagination of our clients, yet with many similarities and using tools that are far from unique. If you want a pension or an ISA, you can simply buy one from a selective list – much like you can buy a kitchen. For many this will be perfectly acceptable, living with the imperfections and irritations of an off-the-shelf solution. However, for the sort of people that we work with – who want something that reflects them and their own lifestyle with a very personal touch, the key ingredients are time and skill.

Master of the Craft

A new build lecture theatre for Worcester College, Oxford, that Richard was extensively involved in was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize 2018 and he also won a Wood Award 2018. He also created a huge moving table and light tower for a London architecture practice to display models of their buildings at the world-famous Venice Biennale for Architecture

Gone Sailing…

As a business owner that walks his talk, Richard also renovated a Sadler 32 from a near wreck, which he now sails on his own, giving him a much-needed change of scenery. He mainly sails on the east coast and sometimes races in the “Round the Island” race against 1600 other boats with the help of his brother and one of his two sons. When he eventually retires, he would love to do more sailing and have a bigger adventure. Hopefully, that’s something that we will help him achieve sooner rather than later.

If you would like anything bespoke for your office, home or business, perhaps Richard could help you. You can reach him at www.Barn6.co.uk or call 01582 467557.

Here is a short video we made about Barn 6.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

Email me
THE BESPOKE SMALL BUSINESS2019-01-17T11:01:58+01:00

FAT CAT FRIDAY

FAT CAT FRIDAY

Happy New Year to you… just four days into the year and an intriguing email headline grabbed my attention. Fat Cat Friday, which succeeded in gaining my attention as I had not heard the term before.

It seems that Friday 4th January is the point at which many CEOs of FTSE100 companies will pass the average earnings of most people in the UK – on day 4 of 365. Recent research by CIPD found that the average FTSE100 CEO earns £1,020 per hour, with a package worth nearly £4m. According to the ONS the median weekly earnings for a full-time worker in the UK was £569 a week (£29,588 a year) in 2018. When the hourly rate is worked backwards, by lunchtime today, the typical CEO would have already earned more than the median full-time employee.

SOLOMONS IFA BLOG POST

Playing Footsie

All of us (those with any investments at all) are likely to have holdings in FTSE100 companies. It would be incredibly rare not to hold any investment without some of it in FTSE100 companies. There is growing concern about the remuneration of CEOs, who often appear to be rewarded irrespective of success or failure.  To provide some context, 2018 was a bad year for investors – the FTSE100 opened in January on 7,648.10 and closed on 31 December at 6,728.13 a fall of 12%. That said, a 12% fall is normal in historical terms, it is certainly within the range of expectations that any investor ought to have. Of course, I have not made allowance for income (dividends) which is a share of profits which was also paid to owners of the shares in the UK’s largest businesses.

The FTSE100 itself was an index launched in 1984, back then a business needed to be worth £100m+ to be listed in the Index, in 2018 it was more like £4bn. However, by February 2018 only 29 of the original companies were still part of the index. These are enormous companies, employing over 6.8m employees between them on a global basis. Even if Brexit ever happens, some 70% of business revenues are generated from outside of the UK. The UK remains the place to list a business.

I’m not suggesting that CEOs deserve to be rewarded such huge sums and neither would I want to infer that these 100 or so people are personally responsible for 6.8m jobs, there are genuine issues about fair and proper remuneration. The issues of inequality and the vast differences between the top and bottom (or even middle – which is what the median is) is an uncomfortable truth. Investors have the power to vote on remuneration and many FTSE100 AGMs simply miss the opportunity to give this some serious consideration.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

Email me
FAT CAT FRIDAY2019-01-17T11:03:20+01:00

CHRISTMAS BELLS ARE RINGING…

CHRISTMAS BELLS ARE RINGING

There are moments during every Christmas when something is captured that seems to remind me of the optimism that Christmas can bring. This is no small feat as each year brings a tendency to be ever more cynical and exasperated by the lack of progress our world makes in terms of living peacefully with one another. It seems that each year the numbers sleeping rough on the streets of London become ever greater and the yet ever more anaesthetising my conscience. The recent death of a homeless man outside Parliament is taken as a fact that is almost un-shocking.

One such moment, occurred last night at the National Theatre. A truly mesmerising production of “A Christmas Carol”. Transported back to Victorian London, we gather around the streets of London. The Old Vic is reconfigured once again for an immersive experience and a truly wonderful set of paths chosen, doors opened or closed and the ever-calling chimes of time. We are confronted by a belligerent Mr Scrooge, played by Stephen Tompkinson. We all know the story of course, yet this production manages to capture something fresh and important, an echo of the past for present and our future.

SOLOMONS IFA - THE OLD VIC A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Time and timeless

The performances are moving and heart-warming, despite the progress we have made as a society the same ills are evident. The words are as apt today as they were when Dickens wrote them. The story seemed to continue once we left, walking through the half-lit empty cobbled backstreets of Waterloo, under the arch of Cornwall Road where a soup kitchen was in full flow. How to find joy and pleasure in all things – something that the reformed Mr Scrooge achieves.

Lighting your path

Whatever life throws at us, however the next few months take shape, there will be dark moments. But we shall be here, holding a torch to the path that you have chosen, helping lead you to your chosen destination. Your portfolio may take a knock or two, it has already, but it is set on firm and timeless principles, designed for your story, not the latest news story, set in harmony with your values. We are all the sum of our choices, let us make good ones together.

As for the show, I would encourage you to get along to see it, tickets are still available and its a great show for your entire family.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

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CHRISTMAS BELLS ARE RINGING…2019-01-17T11:04:20+01:00

THE INVENTION CONVENTION OF CHRISTMAS

THE INVENTION CONVENTION OF CHRISTMAS

Christmas is nearly here and despite all of the preparation and expense, most of us will probably forget most of it, save a few carefully selected memories (good or bad). For some I imagine it will a story of how their Christmas was delayed or ruined by drones at Gatwick, for others it will be a particular gift, meeting with a friend or family member, or perhaps an event. Our memory, as we all know, is wonderfully selective.

Any good financial plan has to begin with understanding where money has been going. This is the account of “now” and can be a fairly depressing experience. Most people spend much more than they realise on things that in hindsight seem rather unnecessary. One of the categories of spending we ask clients to assess is their giving, both in terms of charitable giving (for tax planning) and money spent on gifts. There is invariably a link between the size of your circle of friends and family and how much this is.

Christmas – past, present and future…

I do not intend to turn you into some Dickensian character, like Mr Scrooge. However, as you enjoy Christmas this year, be mindful of how much the experience of celebrating this day has cost. The “day” of course tends to be rather more than 24 hours and likely begins when you buy (or rent) your tree. I enjoy the theatre and seeing friends and family. We tend to have a family trip to a show (perhaps more than one). In fact, there is a lot of “stuff” that we do that is an extra expense, precisely because… well… it’s Christmas.

The warm glow of honesty

All I ask is that you reflect on how much you really spend. This is not a value judgement, simply a call to be honest with your finances. If we are unable to accurately account for a day in the year, ok perhaps the “season” then we may well be fudging other numbers. It is tempting to say this is unique, but behaviours tend to be patterns. We all have limited resources and when earning money is no longer happening, for whatever reason, the harsh reality of living within budget or running out of money is the cold shower that will wake us from the warm haze of denial.

If we really want a good financial plan, we need to begin with honesty about where, when and how we spend money.

We know that many of the things we do today to celebrate Christmas have less to do with the birth of Jesus. The movie “The Man Who Invented Christmas” may help identify how much our Christmas celebrations have altered. Here is the trailer. I wish you a very happy Christmas.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

Email me
THE INVENTION CONVENTION OF CHRISTMAS2019-01-17T11:06:25+01:00

DON’T LEAVE ME THIS WAY

DON’T LEAVE ME THIS WAY

The death of a loved one is one of life’s great traumas. The sudden and unexpected loss of someone that you care deeply for is something that creates waves of grief that alter over time but may never end. The essence of the human condition involves coming to terms with death in life. The stuff of poetry.

We know that one day our time will come. We prepare for the expected arriving unexpectedly. Those that have a family, a partner, a liability or a business would all be wise to prepare and plan. I often wonder why it is that so few of us are able to talk about this prospect clearly with those that are immediately impacted.

Solomons IFA blog review of Widows.

Talking isn’t enough

Talking about such events and scenarios is hugely valuable with the advantage of hindsight, but talking is rarely enough, taking action and implementing suitable arrangements to ensure that things go as planned is priceless. This is the what clients often mean when they describe having a sense of “peace of mind”.

The Widow’s Mite… 

When things are not discussed and little if any action is taken, life can be so much harder and of course raises mixed feelings about the one that has died, not having to struggle with the consequences. The new film by Steve McQueen “Widows” is based on this problem. A gang of criminals are killed and leave their families without any financial security. Worse than this they owe money to some ruthless men. The widows are forced to plot a course for their own survival. This may be an extreme situation, few people are really going to be left having to commit crime to survive, but many are left in positions that could have so easily been secure. Money offers choice, it offers security in the form of the number of options available. It is not security itself and of course doesn’t replace anyone.

As a movie, Widows is marketed as a film about women taking back control. There’s some degree of truth in this, it is certainly a reflection of aspects of life in the US today. Certainly, the scenes of trigger happy Police and the gun purchase fair all seem rather poignant. However, there was way too much room on the screen for relatively inconsequential male characters – notably Jack Mulligan played by Colin Farrell, it is also pretty violent, be warned.

Here is the trailer for the new film Widows.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

Email me
DON’T LEAVE ME THIS WAY2019-01-17T11:08:12+01:00