HOW TO STOP TIME

TODAY’S BLOG

HOW TO STOP TIME

I have recently enjoyed a rather good book “How To Stop Time” by Matt Haig. The basic outline is that some people age much more slowly than the rest of us. This provides for some fascinating encounters in history, walking the streets of London from the time of Shakespeare to the present.

Matt Haig has already assembled an impressive body of work and this novel, which was published a little over a year ago is a really worthwhile investment. It is the story of Tom Hazard who at 41 has a secret that must be maintained and kept from the witch hunters of the time. Tom ages slowly – about 15 times more slowly, so whilst Tom moves from 15 to 20 years of age, his contemporaries have become 90. This makes for good fiction and a hugely enjoyable walk through history from the late 1580’s.

How to Stop Time - Matt Haig

Short-term obsessions

There are some wonderful insights about time, fear of the future and relationships. It prompted me to reflect on the main problem that we all have – being somewhat obsessed by the short-term and immediacy of “news”.  There is a great line that I shall probably use – “your nose is pressed against the canvas, you need to stand back to see the whole picture”.

Predicting the future?

As a financial planner that uses cashflow modelling, there is a danger of giving the impression that the future is predictable. There’s something of the mystic meg with her crystal ball, seeing the future… The truth is rather different – it is only predictable in its unpredictability. However, we can look to history as a great teacher. We use historical data to help shape our assumptions about the future. We get to play with the future, to alter it and reinvent scenarios, time and time again.

A client recently confessed that “the penny had dropped” for him. He was suddenly gripped by the reality that his retirement is now not so much theoretical, but all too real and getting closer by the day. Time marches on and it eventually forces us all to pay close attention. We now adapt the possible scenarios with far greater awareness of time. His experience is very normal and in practice it really doesn’t make that much difference how many times I or anyone else says – start investing early, there are always other calls for your money and the future, is… well, it’s the future, not the present.

In many respects Haig concludes that to know thyself and live a life without fear of the future is the logical conclusion for all us “mayflies”. Relationships are temporary and to be treasured. Loss of loved ones is a far harder path than the loss even of identity, let alone wealth. My job is to help you preserve yours, to start with the end in mind and to underscore your values – the people, places, things that make your life’s work worthwhile.

Time marches on, thankfully.

I enjoyed the book, here is a link to help you find it. Matt has been wonderfully honest about his struggles with depression and its also worth having a listen to his videos on the topic – reasons to stay alive. Here isn’t a bad place to start…

Oh and if you are interested, Matt Haig is currently touring the country promoting “Notes on a Nervous Planet”. Brighton at the weekend then blazing a trail up to Edinburgh for 28th April.

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

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

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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

   

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HOW TO STOP TIME2019-03-28T19:56:41+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

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

CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?

CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?

One of the movies that I enjoyed at the BFI London Film Festival was “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”. You may remember the story about an American biography writer who, was a fairly difficult person to be around. Most of us are aware of the difficulties in earning a living as a writer. Some do exceedingly well, most struggle to repeat the success of one or two notable works.

Lee Israel is one such author, having published a couple of biographies, writers block or creative inertia sets in. Inevitably the reality of paying bills becomes increasingly harder. Her management of stress (or lack of) resulted in having nobody to turn to for comfort or encouragement. Aside from a cat, social connections are as sparse as the flow of words on the blank page that stares back at her. She happens upon Jack Hock, (Richard E Grant) an Englishman surfing the bars and streets of New York. He becomes her only confidant and accomplice.

Solomons IFA review Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Finders Keepers?

Opportunity presents itself whilst doing research, she finds a letter hidden within the pages of a library book. Hoping nobody has noticed and applying “finders-keepers” she takes it. The letter is sold to pay her rent. The idea takes hold that personalised letters from deceased authors and actors are collectable. Israel has a genuine talent for understanding character and replicating their voice. She sets about forging letters and selling them to dealers, who invariably lack the motivation to have the letters authenticated. They appear to be what they probably could not be, yet money changes hands, because money talks. This eventually evolves into stealing genuine letters and replacing them with forgeries.

Research and Evidence 

Eventually the FBI close in on Israel, hence how her story is known. There is little to suggest that this is a criminal mastermind or indeed a particularly tenacious investigation by the FBI, who seem sufficiently inept as to tip her off that they will be examining her apartment, enabling Israel to dispose of all evidence of her wrongdoing.

Financial Fraud 

You may have a perspective on this sort of criminal act, forgery. Yet again, this is an example of what people will do under the wrong pressures. However, it is also evident that people are often persuaded by appearances and rarely look beneath. This is particularly pertinent in most financial fraud. The temptation of market beating returns or guarantees, when a closer inspection will reveal something altogether different. The regulator does its best to prevent financial fraud, but of course this is all part of the human condition, to play upon the duplicity or naivety of others. Fraud is something that we are constantly checking, but many are duped. As we are now in the season of keeping warm inside, if you or your friends are discussing the latest fantastic offering, please remember this – and ask for proper, regulated advice.

I enjoyed the movie, which stars Melissa McCarthy providing a really sharp portrayal of Lee Israel and Richard E Grant as Jack Hock. Here is the trailer.

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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CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?2018-10-31T14:09:00+01:00

FIRST MAN

TODAY’S BLOG

FIRST MAN

The new film about Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, is a compelling story. Next year will be the 50th anniversary of the moon landing in 1969. The world was gripped by faint black and white images streamed around the world from another one. I do not remember the event, I was a few months old enjoying an ice cream on a visit to my grandparents. There’s even footage to prove it – though its lack of sound exposes the gap between widespread technology of the day compared to NASA.

I’ve grown up being fascinated by space, a product of my time and childhood posters of the Americans on the moon. This new movie is the story of Armstrong, much of which I did not know. The advantage of cinematic technology is that the audience are taken on the ride which feels very realistic. We ride up on Gemini and Apollo with deafening sounds of rockets, fire and metal. We can only marvel at the courage of anyone that has boldly gone where no one has gone before. Every experience new and unique, full of thousands of “what if’s”. I am only able to applaud the sort of courage I lack and the genius of the engineers, mathematicians and scientists involved.

The Sea of Tranquility

This is also the story of a family, one that isn’t terribly good at communicating. Their own inability to communicate well is echoed by the silence of space and the sea of tranquillity. We witness this through tragedy, but it is the constant silence of the background noise.

Financial planning is all about your story. You and I may not make history, but we certainly impact those that know us. Good communication in any relationship is a major element of its success. Yet many struggle to express their feelings and hopes when it comes to money. Couples have their own backgrounds that inform their own decisions and these are rarely always complimentary. Much is unsaid. Yet for any financial plan to achieve the results that you want, communication is all. This is far more complex than simply helping you get from A to B.

History in the Making

Your financial plan might be unique, but you don’t have to be the test pilot for the tools that help you. You can rely on timeless principles of investment markets and ancient realities – all things will pass. Today is tomorrow’s history. As with the skill set deployed by Armstrong, some is art, some is science and some is intuition. The issues for all of us to understand are the real risks that we run and the importance of a stress-tested plan. You may not have the need, desire or resources to get to the moon, but wherever you want to go, understanding what horizon you are looking at and what the compass is telling you are vital.

Here is the trailer… one thing that I noticed during the film was the music. It has a very familiar tune. You may remember that Mr Gosling starred in LA LA LAND which almost won the Best Picture OSCAR by mistake, against… well Moonlight. Just saying…

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

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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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FIRST MAN2018-10-18T17:35:47+01:00

AMERICAN ANIMALS

American Animals

The trailer to this movie gave me the impression that it was a fairly typical heist story, but with children dressed as old men. In reality this is a really rather wonderful story, but unfortunately displays the insight lacking from many of those involved.

The opening credits quickly open your eyes to the very real encounter that you are about to witness, followed by the introduction of the characters concerned. This is indeed a true story of four young University students who yearn for something more than the mediocrity of their circumstances. We are introduced to various people, who all fail to see beyond the external world that these young men offered and projected. Parents left wondering rather desperately why their sons could ever make such decisions. This is Ferris Bueller on speed.

This is the perfect conversation starter for those that do not sit well with the suggestion that everyone is special and cuts deep into the delusion of the American Dream. A slumber from which many may never wake and one whose end is denoted by a President signalling its end yet rather ironically perpetuating the delusion that its failure can somehow be resurrected, having to make America Great Again. The problem with any dream is that at some point you have to wake up and face reality. I’m not against dreaming – quite the opposite in fact, we need to dream, but we also need to plan and act, not simply wish. If you have children that are about to head off to University, spare a thought for this collection of A-graders. Young men who have “made it” to the promised land of a good University, doing a good course that provides good prospects.

A Small Nagging Thought…

Whilst on the campus library tour, art student Spencer Reinhard (Barry Keoghan) is taken with a rare book of 435 paintings “Birds of America” by John James Audubon. The fact that it is both beautiful and valuable, yet displayed so humbly in the library provides a nagging thought and an opportunity.

He relays his discovery to his friend, athlete Warren Lipka (Evan Peters) who is certainly one of those friends that never has “parental permission” which is perhaps precisely why Reinhard befriends him. Lipka becomes fascinated with the idea of stealing the book, being that it is so valuable and so minimally guarded. All that stands in their way is a good plan, a librarian and a single locked door.

To Feel Truly Alive

At one point in the film Warren Lipka says “You’re taught your entire life that what you do matters and that you’re special. And that, there are things you can point towards that would… which’ll show that you’re special, that show you’re different, when, in all reality, those things… don’t matter. And you’re not special.” This was his opportunity to “live”, not to get rich quick, but to feel the adrenaline of being alive in a world that to that point had been scheduled point, by point, event by event, stage by stage.

Their plan continues to meet no insurmountable obstacle, so whilst expecting it to be derailed by something that they simply could not overcome, they creep ever closer to the realisation that a well-designed and executed plan reaches its stated goal. Their inevitable downfall was only due to a lack of detail in their plan, not that it was a bad one. This is of course (finally!) my moment to mention that a financial plan is best crafted by someone that understands the requirements, the detail and can help you to verbalise and clarify your goal, one that is hopefully based upon your values, not simply acquired value. The “Why?” of your plan is just as important as the plan itself.

What if?…

There is little doubt that for Reinhard, Lipka, Borsuk and Allen, this experience was probably one of the most heightened and significant of their lives. It is what they will be remembered for by those that do not know them. It may even be only how they remember each other. What is certain, is their remorse, but had they actually had a better plan, perhaps things would have been rather different. Obviously, I am not condoning theft, merely that a plan for the life you want may taste bitter unless you check the detail and implement it as outlined. How is your “What If?”

Here is the trailer for the film which is on general release from 7 September 2018.

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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AMERICAN ANIMALS2018-09-24T17:18:14+01:00

THREE DECADES OF RETIREMENT

Three Decades of Retirement

Three decades of retirement is the prospect that many people face if you believe that longevity is improving in general. That’s three decades to live off your investments, pensions and savings combined with any other forms of income from your State Pension and perhaps an employer’s final salary (defined benefit) pension which typically begin payments at 60, 65 or 67.

Three decades is a long time, with a lot of living to be done. To put this into perspective, it is now 2018, 30 years ago was 1988, which frankly does not seem that long ago does it? You remember 1988. It was the year the SDP merged with the Liberals, Margaret Thatcher became the longest serving PM and Comic Relief was launched. Nurses went on strike over pay. Red Nose Day raised £15m within a month the £1 note became obsolete and the Chancellor of the day Nigel Lawson cut the basic rate of tax to just 25%.

If you are into your sport, well Liverpool were beaten in the FA Cup final by Wimbledon. Graeme Hick scored a record 405 runs in a county match. Sandy Lyle won the US Masters. “Gaza” became the first £2m footballer moving from Newcastle to Spurs. The Seoul Olympics saw Team GB win 5 gold medals (hockey, swimming, rowing, shooting and sailing).

Released in 1987, Faith was the top selling album of 1988.

Another year, just like any other…

As with every year, it had its share of horror and disaster, Piper Alpha, Pan Am 103 exploding over Lockerbie, killing 207 people and a train crash at Clapham Junction killed 35 people. Edwina Currie managed to create an egg crisis. British films released included “Buster”, “A Fish Called Wanda” and “A Handful of Dust”. Michael Douglas won best actor for his role in “Wall Street” ad “The Last Emperor” picked up a stack of awards. Kylie Minogue started her pop career with “I Should Be So Lucky” (she was) and life was “Perfect” for Fairground Attraction. I was one of 80,000 at Wembley for the “Free Nelson Mandela Concert” and his 70th birthday. He was still imprisoned (not released until 1990).

Then and Now

If you are over the age of 40 this may jog a few memories of 30 years ago. The UK population was   about 56m today its about 66.5m. There were about 55,000 first-time graduates, now the number is around 414,000. The Bank of England’s base rate began 1988 at 8.37% but ended at 12.87% (yesterday the Bank increased the rate from 0.50% to 0.75% and some got worried). The FTSE100 closed the year at 1,793 yesterday it closed at 7,575 and that excludes all income from dividends over 30 years. A 10-year UK Government Bond paid about 9.79% in 1988, today around 1.23%. In short equities have gone up, Bonds have gone down. £100 in 1988 would need to be £260.44 in 2018 simply to be “worth” the same because of inflation. That’s an average rate of about 3.24%, in short, the value of your pound has more than halved.

Multiple Choices, Make them Count

This is history, a version of it. If you are now in your mid 40s or older, this is time spent. Who knows how long any of us have left but making the most of life and getting our money to last, whatever it brings is the prospect that you face. We work with clients taking a long-term perspective of life and money. We regularly review progress and make adjustments to ensure that your financial planning remains on course. Change is the constant that we all live with, but many investment principles are timeless, knowing what to adjust is probably more important than knowing you need to.

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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THREE DECADES OF RETIREMENT2018-09-25T09:58:19+01:00

Mission Impossible – Fallout

Mission Impossible – Fallout

The latest in the Mission Impossible series is now doing the summer blockbuster rounds in cinemas across the country. The six-film series has had a mixed reception over the 12 years since the first film directed by Brian de Palma. Known for its over-the-top stunts all 6 films cost a combined $828million. The return to date, with the latest film only just having opened is now in excess of $2.9billion. That’s a payback that would make most villains happy and as predictable as shots of Tom Cruise running, speeding on a motorbike, hanging to an aircraft, climbing or jumping.

This latest film is arguably the best, with a gripping, tense tale of a plot to save the world from three suitcase sized nuclear bombs. There are motorbike and boat chases across beautiful Paris, the standard Tom Cruise run across London, from St Pauls to the Tate (though why he didn’t use the millennium bridge is a mystery). Finally, a helicopter sequence over Kashmir, all in pursuit of (spoiler alert – perhaps the most obvious double agent in movie history) August Walker played by Superman himself, Henry Cavill. Note Mr Cavill is 35 and 1.85m, Mr Cruise is now 56 and 1.7m and managing to defy age in the way that LA residents do.

Mission Accomplished

Despite the obvious implausibility with this type of movie, its undeniably gripping for all 147 minutes. Throw in a few jokes and pepper with a cast (Rebecca Ferguson, Alec Baldwin, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Angela Bassett, and Michelle Monaghan) that fill magazines, then it’s a fairly safe bet that this latest movie will be a hit. How they get London, Paris or Berlin to close down for some of the sequences is beyond me, but kudos to whoever pulled that off.

Who To Trust

As with all things IMF, there are questions posed about who can be trusted, aligned interests and then stakes so high that results are more important than methods. This is perhaps what investors feel when confronted by the choice of an IFA, restricted adviser, financial planner, wealth manager or stockbroker. It is possible that they can work well together, but in my experience,  to do so, interests don’t simply need to be aligned, but all need to clearly understand that the client brief is the mission – nothing more, nothing less. Where this becomes impossible is when there is no plan, simply to “manage money” or arrange a financial product. This leaves plenty of scope for other interests to take hold and leave the client with a deep sense of mistrust.

Your Mission…

As financial planners, it is my belief that the regulator is largely right about transparency, revealing details to expose truth. The problem is that many will continue to find a loophole, work an angle or simply misdirect and in my opinion, trust is earned by keeping promises, not by providing information. As I knuckle down to writing yet another hefty report and wish that everyone could be happy with a short, clear and well-presented message that then self-destructs after 5 seconds, this is not my reality, or yours.  I imagine that writing a report for Ethan Hunt, with all the possible scenarios of things that have been considered, the costs, options and possible risks, it may run to rather more pages than any report I have prepared to date… so a small comfort for those of us that prefer to cut to the chase – getting on with achieving the mission – yours, should we choose to accept it.

Here is the trailer.

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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Mission Impossible – Fallout2018-07-31T12:19:47+01:00

On Chesil Beach

On Chesil Beach

The new film On Chesil Beach of the book by Ian McEwan is now in cinemas. It will perhaps bring back some memories for anyone that married in the 1960s, with the period captured wonderfully. Set primarily in 1962, it is the story of a newly-wed couple Edward (Billy Howle) and Florence (Saoirse Ronan) who discover that they are unprepared for the intimacy of marriage.

At the time of the story, the “sexual revolution” of the 1960s had barely begun, indeed Penguin Books had only recently (November 1960) won their case to publish Lady Chatterley’s Lover. Despite the reality of millions of daily lives, Britain was generally rather poor at sex education. Edward and Florence lack any real understanding of each other intimately. The church would of course argue that a lifetime of marriage would gradually facilitate intimacy, whilst such an answer for many is workable, where trauma and intimacy collide, there is little comfort in glib answers. Florence offers a different option, one that Edward simply cannot face.

Sweet Sorrow?

Spoiler alert – the marriage does not last the day and is annulled. Unlike the book, we do not follow the characters much beyond the moment of decision on Chesil Beach. Decisions are made, tempers are lost, and parting was not a sweet sorrow.

In our contemporary society, relationships now take various forms, it was not until 1973 that the Matrimonial Causes Act made the case for divorce clear (beyond annulment). This despite all our somewhat hypocritical history about personal conduct in aspects of sexual intimacy and marriage. Henry VIII managed to get what he wanted and created the Church of England as a consequence. The law is flexible for those with power, as perhaps you noticed in the recent BBC dramatization about Jeremy Thorpe (A Very English Scandal).

Life can be Messy

The problem with most financial planning is that real life tends to get in the way and muck things up. Life is not nice, neat straight lines, well not for most. We might wish that everything was very each to model, but the truth is that it is of course complex, nuanced and on occasion vexing. One of the most significant aspects that will impact your financial planning will be your marital status. Any change in this will create an obvious need to review your plans, yet many don’t see past the Form E (financial statement required for a divorce) and to be blunt, I’m always surprised that lawyers do not wish all sides to undergo some basic (or complex) financial assessment with proper cashflow modelling for their new scenarios. Perhaps few have experienced the benefit of this.

In any event, life is messy. Sometimes we all need to make changes that we did not expect. This might be marriage, divorce, redundancy, addictions, debt… and so on, a plethora of possibilities that were not expected. So, I tend to get a little, well, dismissive of advisers who think that a cashflow plan is the done deal – the future is mapped out, life is now a beach…. I would be quick to point out the massive advantage of cashflow planning, we use it for all our clients, but it does have its short-comings and like anything else, garbage in, garbage out, but reading a forecasted future as anything other than an option would be unwise at best. We may all crave certainty, but there is none when it comes to living life. I advise all clients that the plan is not set in stone, it will be wrong, but it is today a very good guess about he future, based upon sensible assumptions that need regular reviewing.

The Unvarnished Truth

It is not a crime to admit things need to be changed. That your plans must alter, that is normal. What is a crime (in a sense) is pretending that everything is ok when it isn’t. You may never have a Chesil Beach moment, but may I propose that a relationship with a financial planner, requires honesty and the ability to listen, discuss and think together.

On Chesil Beach is now in cinemas, here is the trailer. I enjoyed the film, beautifully shot and poignant storytelling 7/10.

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 to get in touch
On Chesil Beach2018-06-04T14:45:19+01:00

Flying Solo

Flying Solo

The new prequel-offshoot has finally landed in the UK. Solo is the backstory of Han Solo who together with Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, changed the face of sci-fi movies over 40 years ago. This is the new story of how Han became Solo.

The ancient writers used to use the creative license of “deus ex machina” where a story could be moved along, and plot flaws salvaged by the introduction of a person or thing appearing suddenly. As with all things sci-fi, the genre itself is of course open to almost any possibility, but time travel, lightspeed are all part of the backdrop.

At the very end of the movie, we are presented with a deus ex machina, where a character previously presumed dead from a prequel to the original series, is back, very much “alive”. For those that care, (and boy some Star Wars fans are particularly “protective”) this tends to mess with the timeline, or at least appears to. Let’s just say the character is half the one he was and likely to make a return at some point should the money require it.

Your Story, Your Timeline

In the real world of financial planning, we do not get the opportunity to radically alter your timeline. We will help you to consider your story and your future carefully, revealing when some of your goals can be achieved or if they are simply unrealistic. In short, we present multiple versions of a future that is yet to happen. Sadly, we cannot adjust the past, we cannot start the investment and savings plan that you should have started all those years ago. We cannot set up financial protection now that you have been diagnosed with something dreadful.

As we look forward with a new hope, it is flimsy unless some action is taken, some plans implemented, stuff gets done. The only way to address the future is to face it in the present, with the lessons from the past. What might they be? Invest in a diversified portfolio of equities, ideally within some form of tax reducing wrapper, become a part-owner of the best companies on planet earth.

As for Solo – well its ok, I enjoyed it, “not as good as the original” but it was a solid 6/10. Chewbacca’s standard roar/growl response probably nails it.

Here’s the trailer. Warning: contains lots of British actors.

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 to get in touch
Flying Solo2018-05-25T12:41:38+01:00