WINNING TICKET

TODAY’S BLOG

WINNING TICKET…

You may have seen that an enormous record-breaking amount was recently won on the EuroMillions lottery. That would certainly help with the inflation on your utility bills!  It would seem that Joe and Jess Thwaite have picked up an oversized cheque for an oversized amount of £184,262,899.

Obviously suddenly winning a large sum of money is going to be life-changing despite what some may think, say or perhaps wish; there’s no doubt in my mind that life would change dramatically. The adjustment to sudden wealth is not easy. We see it in literature, history and contemporary culture. Few people are able to cope with the changes as well as they may have imagined.

I’m not convinced that it’s a good idea to even reveal in public that you have won. Life will certainly not be able to continue as it was. I don’t mean just the jobs that winners had, but many of their relationships will be altered.

Winning a large amount of money will provide a very large number of choices. Things that yesterday seemed very relevant are suddenly surpassed by a plethora of options. These, as ever, are reduced to spending, giving, saving and investing. How would YOU use £184m? As a financial planner, it’s a bit of fun to work out strategies for what could be achieved within the added complexity of tax rules and allowances.

It’s nice to dream a little about this sort of choice, but I suspect that you and I will not have the problem that the Thwaites’ now face. It’s unlikely that you’ll be worrying about the colour of your Learjet or your third Ferrari. There are countless luxury brands that would be all too keen to swap trinkets and toys for cash.

Yet we all have choices about how to use the funds that we DO have. In comparison to most of the world, here in the UK most of the population are ‘rich’. Our choices, however insignificant they may seem, are likely to be envied by billions of people around the world. We may bemoan the standard of service, waiting times or general ineptitude we receive from various organisations, but we are in fact rather lucky to be living at a point in history when we can do so.

The truth is that we all have choices about how we spend, give, save and invest, though it may not feel like we do because living in the UK is expensive. The average house in the UK was £278,000 in March 2022 according to the ONS, up 9.8% over 12 months (but slowing). London averages are an awful lot higher than this … and if you google SW20 8BT you will see that the approximate price of a residential property in Edna Road (where our office is currently located), is about three times the national average!

Our choices are therefore often governed by our location.  We have clients around the country and it is remarkable just how differently property is valued. Many have to live and work in a specific area, some do so to maintain relationships more easily, there’s a plethora of reasons, but these are choices.  Whilst you and I may never have the choice of how to use £184m, we do get to make choices each day. Money should serve, not be served; so to my mind – how it is used, deployed and shared, is rather more important than the toys I can buy with it, as nice as some of them may be.

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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

Take Survey

GET IN TOUCH

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

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

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WINNING TICKET2022-06-27T12:13:39+01:00

70 YEARS – A JUBILEE

TODAY’S BLOG

70 Years – A Jubilee

We have spent the weekend reflecting on our Queen’s 70 years of service as monarch. An achievement that none of us will see repeated, barring the awful prospect of life being extended dramatically by new medication. HRH Prince Charles is 71; a reign of 70 years would make him 141. HRH Prince William is 40 later this month and so would have to live until at least 110 and would need to become King immediately (for the maths to work).

It is an achievement of longevity. The ONS data for England implies that the average life expectancy of a female aged 96 is another 2.8 years. A male now 71 has an average 16.23 years, whereas a male age 40 has an average 43 years remaining. Mortality statistics are most definitely all about survivors and it may strike you as a little odd that someone aged 40 appears likely to not live as long as someone aged 84. This has the really awful description of ‘mortality drag’ – the statistical reality of “the older you are, the longer you live”. Evidently the Windsor family have some above average advantage of longevity, with HRH Prince Philip living to age 99.

Three Future Kings

You probably saw images of the balcony at Buckingham Palace of future monarchs ranging from age 8 to 71. I paused to reflect on the reality of this … most of us have not been in the same ‘job’ for 70 years, and none of us have been waiting for it to start for 71 years!  Most of our clients are eager to retire and thereby determine how they set the agenda for each day rather than being held to account for a daily commute, however brief. Imagine having been in training for a role for 71 years.

Irrespective of views about monarchy in 2022, I think it fair to say that we have been witness to a unique milestone, a theme that we discussed in the latest edition of Spotlight (let us know if you have not received your copy yet). In theory we know who the next three Kings will be, whether they all eventually become King is another matter entirely. As much as I like to plan and help you to do so, I am glad of uncertainty and not having a life mapped out from the cradle, with rather limiting choices.

70 years of public service is an enormously big deal. The only people that I suspect may achieve similar lengths of service in their ‘career’ are those in religious orders; and however much the State Pension is mucked around with by politicians, it’s worth noting that working for precisely half that time would entitle you to a full State Pension. You would obviously require rather more than the State Pension to run a Palace, but mercifully we don’t have to worry about that problem – although your most recent energy bill may have you wondering if you are.

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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

Take Survey

GET IN TOUCH

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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

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Take Survey

70 YEARS – A JUBILEE2022-06-08T10:56:05+01:00

MONEY IS NOT PEACE OF MIND, IT’S A CHOICE

TODAY’S BLOG

MONEY IS NOT PEACE OF MIND … IT’S A CHOICE

If you are looking for a gritty (anxiety inducing) series to binge, then Ozark on Netflix is for you. The series is about a financial adviser who drags his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks, where he must launder money to appease a drug boss. So basically it’s a show about Solomon’s! (Please note this is very clearly a joke and we are not affiliated to this fictional TV series).

I was very pleased to see how many hits (yes, I stalk this on the regular) my first blog post ‘Slow and Steady’ got a few months ago, and I’m hoping that my youthful (and often under-represented) perspective will be mildly interesting to read again …

Amusing to some I’m sure, but I’ve always used the backdrop of art mediums such as film and TV to understand more about life, and there are a huge amount of personal parallels that resonated with me whilst watching Ozark. For one, the show is filled with financial lessons and quotes that have stuck with me. One of my favourites comes from lead character Marty:Patience. Frugality. Sacrifice. When you boil it down, what do those three things have in common? Those are choices. Money is not peace of mind. Money is, at its essence that measure of a man’s choices.” For me this completely encompasses why we do what we do here at Solomon’s, and why great financial planning is so important.

Finding a good financial planner is a choice. And I truly believe it’s one of the best and often life-changing decisions you can make. Aside from the obvious differences of what Solomon’s does and what character Marty does (we aren’t laundering money, killing people, or secretly working for drug lords), we are however helping our clients invest their money wisely, something that I have begun to do myself. Perhaps I’m avidly searching for advice more often now both in ‘life’ and when it comes to my own finances, but I am acutely aware of the importance of having a financial plan.

Life isn’t always straightforward and is constantly changing, but some financial lessons are staple and vital in the long-run. Much like what happens to Marty and his family throughout each season, they are constantly having to adapt under severe life or death scenarios, and it’s eye-opening to see (although fictional) what people choose to do to save themselves financially.

CHOICES ARE ALSO WRAPPED UP IN MISTAKES – MISTAKES ARE WRAPPED UP IN CHOICES 

Advice isn’t something I take lightly. I used to despise unwarranted advice, especially in my teenage years where I probably had a chip on my shoulder and felt most lost. But as I’m getting older, it’s something I welcome with open arms, and usually ask for. Other people’s mistakes often teach the biggest life lessons, and an open mind allows the space for us to learn from one another.

I get to read and listen to clients’ stories regularly as part of my work on Spotlight (our client magazine), and we often ask ‘’If you could go back and give your 20-year old self advice, what would it be?” and the responses are always helpful and interesting. When people feel comfortable and safe enough to talk about their financial mistakes (or any mistake for that matter), I am reminded that every day is a school day.

Jemima 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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

Take Survey

GET IN TOUCH

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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

Take Survey

MONEY IS NOT PEACE OF MIND, IT’S A CHOICE2022-05-30T16:15:41+01:00

PHYSICAL HEALTH AS AN ANALOGY FOR FINANCIAL HEALTH…?

TODAY’S BLOG

PHYSICAL HEALTH AS AN ANALOGY FOR FINANCIAL HEALTH…?

Six years ago I felt a twinge in my hip and put it down to the ageing process … everything starts to hurt right?

As a precaution I went to see my GP and was diagnosed with a simple ‘Repetitive Strain Injury’. My doctor thought that the action of me getting into and out of my car was the cause (since that was when the pain was at its worst) so it was an understandable initial assessment.

So I followed her instructions about how to get in and out of the car in such a way as to not aggravate the hip joint.

Fast forward a few years and the discomfort had worsened and it was becoming more painful to climb stairs and walk for long periods.  A few years after that I wasn’t sleeping well and excruciating pain was radiating through my hip and thigh.

A visit to my GP just before the pandemic hit led to a referral and X-rays revealed that I had severe arthritis.  Delays during the pandemic meant that I wasn’t seen again for another year at which point I was referred for physio. I followed all the instructions and did all the exercises, but the writing was on the wall and I needed hip replacement surgery.

Many of you know that this took place in early May and I am currently in recovery.  The procedure was a success and I am pain-free for the first time in six years and I’m sleeping properly again!

So how did I come to the conclusion that there is an analogy here with financial planning?!

Well here’s the thing … a large proportion of the new enquiries we have received in recent years have said things like “I think I’m doing ok on my own but would like some reassurance about that” or “I know I need some help but I’m not sure what it is I really need” or “I’m not doing great and the time has come for some proper help”.

Our own efforts will only go so far – we can ‘manage’ pain (physical, psychological, financial) only up to a point.  We also convince ourselves that things will get better if we just do the right things and keep plugging away at it.

But that is not always the case – and often we find that intervention (from a professional or specialist) is the only way to stop a problem from becoming overwhelming; and in many cases remove the problem altogether.

Often new enquirers approach us a little sheepishly with an air of “I know I should have come to you sooner” … (a phrase I mumble to my GP almost every time I make an appointment)

It doesn’t matter whether you are a little late to the party – just turn up. Let us help. Use our expertise. Embrace the challenge of some uncomfortable questions. Enjoy the process of working towards being ‘pain-free’.

Our best moments at Solomon’s are when clients reach financial freedom or financial independence – where they no longer ‘walk with a limp’ and where they can sleep all night through.

That is why we do what we do and love doing it.

Debbie Harris
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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

Take Survey

GET IN TOUCH

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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

Take Survey

PHYSICAL HEALTH AS AN ANALOGY FOR FINANCIAL HEALTH…?2022-05-31T11:53:00+01:00

A SHIELD IN OUR MIDST

TODAY’S BLOG

A SHIELD IN OUR MIDST…

It’s been more than 13 years since The Royal Mint Advisory Committee opened a public competition to redesign the coins in circulation in the UK.

Of over 4,000 entries, Matthew Dent was the winner.  His design uses the Royal Shield of Arms but what I hadn’t realised until very recently is that if you fit all the coins from the 1p to the 50p together like a jigsaw, the complete shield is revealed!

Dent explained “I felt that the solution to The Royal Mint’s brief lay in a united design. United in terms of theme, execution and coverage over the surface of the coins.”

The shield icon of course is quintessentially British and in my mind is representative of providing protection and security – concepts that are not lost on me from a financial planning perspective!

I think if The Royal Mint threw open a new competition, we would probably see some slightly less traditional imagery in the submitted designs … what would you put on our coins … ?!

GET IN TOUCH

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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

Take Survey

GET IN TOUCH

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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

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A SHIELD IN OUR MIDST2022-05-31T13:49:49+01:00

WORKING IN FINANCIAL SERVICES … A CALLING?

TODAY’S BLOG

WORKING IN FINANCIAL SERVICES… A CALLING?

Normally when someone asks what I do for a living, my answer creates a knee-jerk reaction of eyes glazing over, hunching of the shoulders and the stifling of a yawn before the sarcastic comment “that sounds … thrilling” (or variations thereof!)

And I get it – to an outsider, financial services is Dull (with a capital D).  In fact, to many ‘insiders’ as well, financial services is pretty dull!  But I consider myself truly fortunate to be working in a firm like Solomon’s, with a great team of people, and a fabulous bunch of clients, doing the work that we do.

As a relatively small company, we don’t have hard lines between our roles here, which means we all get some exposure to marketing, finance, report writing, admin, client liaison, writing content, editing, checking each other, creative processes, planning, business growth.  It’s a dynamic work environment for us and it’s the absolute opposite of the toxic workplaces that grace so many threads on social media at the moment.  The team works well together as we all like and respect one another (even when we disagree).

Financial planning is not known as a caring profession (that expression seems to be reserved for medical personnel) but at Solomon’s (as a firm and as a team of individuals) – we genuinely do care about our clients and the work we do with them and for them.  It is a great pleasure and an honour when a client realises they can retire earlier than they imagined; or that they can afford to do something that had seemed out of reach; or quite simply that they can ‘stop worrying’ about some of the ‘big stuff’ like “will I run out of money?” or “what would I do financially if I lost my spouse?”.

Most of our clients have been with Solomon’s for MANY years (some are counting in decades) and we know them very well … to a point of reading an article in the news or social media that reminds us of a client (a football team winning a big event, the sale of a very old and valuable stamp, or an interesting gardening fact – you catch my drift).  We are invested in our clients’ lives (not in a stalker-ish way!) quite simply because we care what happens to them.  We care that they are separating from their spouse, we care that they have been diagnosed with a critical illness, we care that they have lost a parent (or sadly a child).

We aren’t just about the money; we aren’t just about the work; we ARE about people; we are about empathy; we are about relationship.

We are a small firm with a big heart.

Debbie Harris
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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

Take Survey

GET IN TOUCH

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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

Take Survey

WORKING IN FINANCIAL SERVICES … A CALLING?2022-04-11T14:22:42+01:00

RESCUE ME

TODAY’S BLOG

RESCUE ME…

Five months ago, my family and I finally decided (after years of discussion!) to foster a rescue dog.

Within three weeks of the decision being made, and all applications & home checks completed, we collected the lovely Bella. A 15 month old collie/greyhound mix, she had been found in a field in Romania as a 4-month old pup.  She had been in the UK with another foster family for about a year before we got her.

The first few weeks were immensely stressful – you can never be entirely prepared for this adjustment!  It took a huge amount of effort and a ton of patience to get through those early days.

Bella has ‘stranger anxiety’.  And it’s severe.  I’m not talking about ‘a bit of barking’ here; I’m talking about unadulterated terror.  It was heartbreaking to see her freaking out at the mere sight of a stranger (human or animal) passing the house or on the other side of the street.

Scroll forward a few more weeks (and a bunch of dog-training sessions later) and Bella had made huge improvements – we could see her trust in us (her ‘hoomans’) growing and she was starting to allow herself to be reassured by our reassurances.  We couldn’t let up on our efforts however and I have to be frank … it was exhausting.

Fast forward a few more months to today and she’s like a different animal.  She still has the ‘stranger anxiety’ but it’s much less fearful and much less ‘robust’!  She is happy and settled.

Now I could give you #637 reasons for NOT having a dog, but there are only two reasons for having a dog and they trump all 637 of these … hugs and love!  And Bella is all over these – she is the only dog I have ever known to enjoy having her paws massaged!  Whatever love and affection is on offer … she’ll take it!

She loves playing chase and finding random socks (from goodness only knows where); she is a cheeky, soppy girl who will be an absolutely awesome dog in her forever home.  We only have her as a foster; and we know there will be a big hole in our family when she leaves us (and the house will feel painfully quiet!).

We are still waiting for her to be re-homed and every extra day we have her is a blessing – she is so trusting; so adoring; so vulnerable.

But we started with the end in mind.  We knew it would be temporary; we knew it would be challenging; we knew it would be heartwrenching; we knew it would be worth it.

So where is the connection between my ramblings and financial planning … ?!

  1. It’s a big decision
  2. It’s a big step
  3. It’s hard work in the early days
  4. It gets easier
  5. It’s rewarding
  6. It’s absolutely worth it

And for the dog-lovers among you – here are a couple of my favourite shots of our girl …

Debbie Harris
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on our blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to us 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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

Take Survey

GET IN TOUCH

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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

Take Survey

RESCUE ME2022-03-04T15:07:56+00:00

GETTING ON THE PROPERTY LADDER

TODAY’S BLOG

GETTING YOUR FOOT ON (AND OFF) THE PROPERTY LADDER…

Despite various Government initiatives – the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme; stamp duty land tax relief; reduced deposit requirements etc – getting on the property ladder still proves to be a difficult task for the majority of young adults in the UK; and can feel almost unattainable for some.

This sometimes means that couples move in together (often prematurely) and/or live with parents for longer in order to start saving for a house deposit. There are a variety of things that can be done to help build a deposit for first time buyers under the age of 40, but the truth is that this is very marginal. In spite of what some celebratory estate agents may suggest, cutting back on trips to Starbucks is a drop in the ocean when we see property prices galloping off into the distance and out of range of anyone earning less than £80,000. Yes, rates are low, mortgage terms are longer, but often the bank of Mum and Dad or an inheritance has to save the day!

In this country, our laws generally protect the landlord as opposed to the tenant, making buying all the more desirable; yet it is almost out of reach for millennials.  The average age of first time buyers in the UK is now 34 years old which is an alarming statistic (it’s 37 if you live in London).

You know that buying a house is of course an investment, but it also represents so much more than that – a home, a stable environment, your sanctuary. Most of us would also concede that we have done relatively little to increase the value of our homes, most of the rise has been due to the demand, which is fuelled by a lack of housing stock. Most of us have actually been quite lucky rather than particularly savvy about property.

At Solomon’s, we work towards enabling our clients to achieve financial freedom. Usually that means paying off your mortgage long before you retire.  A huge milestone for anyone … effectively liberating your salary and giving you the opportunity to spend your hard-earned income on other things.

We aren’t only about helping you to invest your money (although this is obviously a large part of what we do) – on many occasions, Dominic has had to tell clients that they have reached a point where they can start spending it! (You might be surprised to hear that people are sometimes reluctant to do this; having been shackled by mortgage payments for so many years).

It is not that we are giving clients permission to spend their money (such permission is not ours to give or withhold!), rather it’s simply about reminding them of their autonomy and the power to make ‘informed choices’.

We have been told many times in the past that one of the things clients like about our service is the guidance and ‘reassurance’ we provide.  And this is indeed one of the most enjoyable parts of what we do – financial freedom is our main aim for clients and we derive great pleasure from seeing this happen.

Abigail Liddicott
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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

Take Survey

GET IN TOUCH

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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

Take Survey

GETTING ON THE PROPERTY LADDER2022-02-28T14:18:50+00:00

STORIES IN DISASTERS

TODAY’S BLOG

DISASTERS…

At the risk of sounding a little odd, I admit that I have been interested in the stories of natural and manmade disasters since I was a youngster. It wasn’t a morbid fascination for me; it was a genuine curiosity about the causes of tragic accidents and incidents. I wanted to understand how these catastrophes occurred. I wanted to learn about the ‘anatomy of disaster’

As I got a little older, other aspects of these types of events started to reveal to me how important they are in our collective history.  Time and again we see humanity triumphing over adversity and becoming stronger, better and wiser for it.

In more recent years, I have found that individual stories of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary circumstances have really resonated with me and inspired me. I have read many autobiographies from the survivors of these disasters and often the small details they remember serve to preserve not just the factual history of the event, but the human perception of the experience (it’s always about suffering but often accompanied by hope and joy).

My interest ranges from natural disasters (earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, tsunami) through to engineering and technological incidents (so-called ‘manmade’ disasters) – aircraft crashes, bridge collapses, mining cave-ins, explosions on oil rigs.

Very recently I visited the Titanic exhibition at Dock X, Canada Water and was overwhelmed by some of the artefacts on display. Not the big pieces of furniture or the heavy watertight doors from Titanic’s sister ship Olympic (impressive as they were to see!); but the tiny trinket of a victim; the shoes of a small child who had survived; the cuff links of one of the crew; the postcards that had been sent by passengers (such poignancy in the fact that the postcards arrived home, but some of the authors didn’t); the simple jewellery of a third-class woman who had ended up in the water but had been hauled into a lifeboat – she sadly died of hypothermia before the Carpathia was able to reach them.

As excited as I had been to see the exhibits, I was hit by a very illuminating thought as we made our way around the displays … it wasn’t the ‘things’ that fascinated me. It was the ‘stories’.

The personal effects preserved in this and various other exhibitions and museums around the globe are all simple symbols of lived lives and they stand alone – each piece a part of ‘the humanity of disaster’

I continue to read autobiographical work – Jim Lovell of Apollo 13 fame, Chesley Sullenberger – the pilot of US Airways Flight 1549 (the ‘Miracle on the Hudson’) and Violet Jessop (a stewardess on the Titanic) to name a few.

The stories of these lived lives never fail to inspire me and the ‘stories’ of our clients often have the same impact. I love reading the articles written by our clients and showcased in Spotlight (our client magazine) as we learn a little more about what matters to them and the things they care about. Their stories. (By the way – if Jemima has been in contact with you asking you to contribute to our next edition, I would encourage you to share ‘your story’ … each one of us has our own and they are all unique and precious).

As for the Titanic exhibition – it’s running until 20th March 2022 and is well worth a visit.

Debbie Harris
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on our blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to us 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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

Take Survey

GET IN TOUCH

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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

Take Survey

STORIES IN DISASTERS2022-02-15T13:04:16+00:00

VEGANUARY

TODAY’S BLOG

VEGANUARY

Food is such an integral part of life. I have many nostalgic memories of meals shared with friends and family, filled with laughter and storytelling. My Father was a particularly impressive cook, always experimenting with new flavours; he loved impressing people with unique dishes using unusual fruits and vegetables. When I went to university, meals at home became sacred. My favourite meal upon my return was beef stew, usually accompanied by a glass of red … the ultimate in Winter comfort food.

A few years ago I got sick and after much research looking for things that could ‘heal’ me, a lot of data suggested a vegan diet. My deep love of charcuterie boards, roast beef, steak, lasagna, cheese would make it hard to cut out – but I was also desperate to feel well again. I’d reached a place where it was difficult to work, difficult to eat and was often in and out of hospitals and doctors’ surgeries – so I took the plunge.

Following a vegan diet means not eating meat, fish, dairy or animal biproducts such as eggs, honey or gelatine. I seem to have inherited my Dad’s love of cooking, so the creative side of trying new dishes was fun, but I felt like I had to keep reading research papers to convince myself I was doing the right thing. Not eating a meal made up of meat, carbs and vegetables on the side, felt wrong, as though I would somehow be weakening my body, not strengthening it.

One thing that is important if you give up meat (vegetarians listen up!), is to take a daily B12 supplement (in liquid form) as it is an important part of helping the nerves work and without it can lead to nerve damage. I have to plan meals thoughtfully to ensure that I’m getting the right nutrients from the food I eat but, after several months of experimenting with new vegan dishes, I began to feel better. I’m not ‘healed’, but I was able to return to work, eat solid food again, and even start weaning off some of the medication I’d been put on. I’ve found new favourite meals and enjoyed taste-testing lots of different products to find replacements for the foods I ‘miss’ the most.

In all honesty I don’t think I expected changing my diet to improve my health this drastically, but here I am almost a year later with no desire to revert back. Food should be nourishing and delicious and that is very achievable on a vegan diet.

So what does this have to do with financial planning, you might well ask!?  Well, if you try and compare being physically unwell and being financially unwell (lots of debt perhaps; no clear direction; no idea what the best path is; no idea where to start; how and when should I invest…) then the analogy begins to reveal itself!

Depending on what financial problems you have, a personal plan is crucial.  A financial plan is different for everyone (although just as with physical health … there are some recurring themes).  As with physical problems, the relief from financial ‘pain’ isn’t instant – you aren’t ‘healed’ just because you have a treatment/lifestyle plan. It can take quite some time for the plan to take effect and for you to feel the benefits. As with treatments for physical ailments, sometimes you have to tweak your financial plan to ensure that you remain on track. As time goes by and the ‘treatment’ becomes habitual, you don’t even really have to work that hard at it.  In the beginning, there can feel like a long road to travel and a lot of learning to do, but once you’re on your way … it’s liberating and empowering.

This is why we do what we do (and why we love doing it!) – financial freedom and financial wellbeing are absolutely our goals for all of our clients, whatever their financial ‘ailments’ may be.

Abigail Liddicott
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on our blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to us 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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

Take Survey

GET IN TOUCH

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

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

Take Survey

VEGANUARY2022-01-25T11:55:06+00:00
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