CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING

TODAY’S BLOG

CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING

Whatever your view about coronavirus, I would prefer to trust explaining and treatment of any virus to a properly qualified medical expert rather than a member of Parliament. The focus on deaths is purely one measure of the virus, nothing more. As yet there is no (or very little) data about the long-term impact of the virus on individuals. A life lesson I learned many years ago is that investors over-estimate the short-term and under-estimate the long-term. That is true of everyone, not simply investors. We have short, flawed memories.

As for covid, many suffer ongoing symptoms months (currently known as long covid) after first contracting the illness. To measure the danger of virus based purely on deaths is rather like measuring road traffic deaths and concluding that they are low.

A NEW GREEN CROSS CODE FOR HEALTH

In 2018 in the whole of Britain 1,784 people were killed in reported road traffic accidents, yet there were 25,511 (14x) seriously injured casualties and a further 133,302 (74x) slightly injured casualties. Focus on the number that died out of a population of about 66.27million does not mean that just because “only” 0.003% died none of us should wear seatbelts or observe the highway code.

The uncomfortable truth is that we do not yet know the long-term (or even short-term) impact of covid on public health. We hope and look forward to a vaccine. However as with road accidents, there are a great (vast) number of people that will be impacted with poorer health.

SOLOMONS IFA - MORNING WALK IN THE FOG

BEYOND HEADLINES

In a related theme I noticed a fairly stark statement by a local politician. “10,000 deaths a year in London from air pollution”. Let me be clear, I am not a climate change denier, but I didn’t believe the statement. Instinctively it didn’t feel right. So I checked. In London (inner and outer) there are about 50,000 deaths a year in total. That’s everything from infant mortality, “old age”, cancer, road deaths, murder, suicide – the works. There is no way that 20% of those are due to air pollution. Everyone dies in the end.

IN A HAZE

Certainly you may notice the air quality in London being poor or awful at times, there is room for improvement (always). However, this is to forget the context. Take the Great Smog 5-9 December 1952. Estimates at the time were that 4,000 people died as a direct result, with 100,000 made ill, some of them very seriously indeed. Actions were taken to improve the quality of London air and have been ever since. The number of deaths registered in London has fallen enormously over the years. I have found data to 1966, some 14 years after the Great Smog there were 87,991 deaths (London) in 1966 some 5 years later this has reduced to 84,990 in 1971. Thereafter each subsequent decade later the numbers reduce. By 2011 the number had fallen to 46,685. Last year the figure stood at 49,007. Admittedly increased since 2011, but then so has the population from about 47.9m in 1966 (England and Wales) to 57.4m by 2014.

PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE

Data always requires a context and this invariably requires looking back. The main problem with financial planning is that we look forwards, often forgetting how far we have come. It is important to remember what things were like, this provides confidence that the future is hopeful. As for wondering if financial planning is important, think back to your own childhood and the cost of a stamp – look it up (if you were born before decimilisation you will have to convert imperial). One of the basics of financial planning is to keep your spending power rising or at least equal to inflation so that you can still afford your lifestyle, fear of the future is likely to be your worst enemy. Do not under-estimate the future or forget the past.

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

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CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING2020-09-15T16:22:39+01:00

ENGINEERING THE FIGURES

TODAY’S BLOG

ENGINEERING THE FIGURES

There are many good things about social media, but I do get fed up with some of the narratives thrown around that, in my opinion, casually have an agenda. One topic that often gathers some traction is that of the property market. Most of us discuss the ludicrous price of buying a home at some time, some make much of their skill to invest in property, which is often rather more to do with luck than skill. However I have become very tired of the media holding out examples of some young people who got onto the property ladder and in so doing imply that others only have themselves to blame for their inability to do so.

DISTILLING THE TRUTH

I came across a couple of examples in the last few days. One involved a 28-year old whose father bought him a bottle of 18-year old Macallan whisky on the day of his birth and then every birthday thereafter. The headline suggested that this enabled Matthew Robinson to buy his first home. The virtues of foresight by his father and personal resistance of temptation netting the result of £40,000 worth of whisky. It’s a lovely idea and nothing wrong with it at all as a gift. I have some questions though.

UK Property

IN GOOD SPIRITS

Firstly, the whisky has not actually been sold yet and no home has been purchased. This deposit was not actually the hard work of Matthew but of his father. The only thing Matthew has done is follow his fathers instructions not to consume it. I wonder how it was stored, I suspect that the 28 bottles have not followed Matthew away to University or any other place he may have lived, they probably remained at his parents home (I am guessing). As a gift it’s a lovely one, as an investment…. Well, there are obvious risks – which no proper investment portfolio would have – concentrated risk and the past, current and future risk of total wipe out. I could literally destroy a portfolio of whisky in minutes. I could not do the same for any investment portfolio.

ROOM WITH A VIEW – TUNNEL VISION VIA BOX

Then there was the case of Jessica Leung who at 29 managed to buy a property worth £450,000 in Bristol, right opposite IBK Brunel’s the SS Great Britain. This, the headlines suggest was done by moving home to save rent and cancelling her gym membership. It turns out that Jessica was able to put down a £90,000 deposit, pay stamp duty and raise a mortgage of £360,000 on her own salary. It turns out that 30% of the deposit was from her father (£27,000) and “family savings” of £53,000 together with her own £10,000 make £90,000. In fact, Jessica had saved £10,000 not really £90,000. An engineering of “I saved the deposit” feat that Mr Brunel might marvel at. Given that she would likely require an income of £90,000 to borrow £360,000 then to be blunt she might have saved rather more.

Do not misunderstand me. I am not berating Matthew or Jessica or indeed their parents. To my mind these stories have rather more to do with making other young people feel inadequate and relieving the sense of guilt (we did absolutely nothing to benefit from property price rises)  that the rest of us have from time to time, when we recognise how hard it is. The truth is that the parents were instrumental in raising the deposits in both instances. These sorts of mixed messages are rife – a few months ago young people were chastised for buying lunch at Pret, now they are being told to do so in order to keep it open. The messages are all to do with supporting those in power who clearly have a lot vested in maintaining the property-owning class precisely as it is.

Rather obviously I work with clients to help them become financially independent and many parents want to help their children as these did. However, pretending that because some can that it is just a matter of personal disciplined saving by the young adult is utter twaddle. I expect nothing to change.

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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ENGINEERING THE FIGURES2020-09-07T15:28:05+01:00

HOW PERSONAL IS PERSONAL BANKING?

TODAY’S BLOG

HOW PERSONAL IS PERSONAL BANKING?

We all know (I think) that the days of the traditional bank manager are long gone, these days banks dress their offering with “personal banking” (as though it has been anything else before!). This is meant to be the main reason for staying with your traditional bank (and most will have done so since their teens) as opposed to using a new bank – a disruptor.

It seems to me that there is a significant degree of lip service paid to the idea of personal banking. You may have the luxury of perhaps having the name and email address of your “relationship manager” but there are some inherent problems. Each new year brings the prospect of yet another letter explaining that my personal relationship manager has altered… again. The best of intentions is re-established. I would not like to guess at how many “clients” these relationship managers have responsibility for – but let us assume it is way too many to have time to form any that are meaningful.

THE BANK

A RELATIONSHIP YOU SAY?

Today I was emailed by my personal relationship manager about the latest (standardised) investment offering that they have. Apart from not being a good offer, but a very similar (yet still more expensive) cost to a proper advised investment, it was a bit of a pity that nobody had thought to ask what I did for a living. This is a bank that I have been with for 4 decades.

I will not bother naming the Bank – they are all much the same. You will recall that in the past most mis-selling scandals were directly to do with poorly trained and badly incentivised advisers within Banks. The gaping hole of adequate planning and saving for the future has been noted for many years. The regulator is hoping for the Banks to fill some of that with algorithms and rather good bits of IT plugging the rest. Financial planners generally deal with people that are already engaged with planning ahead or have recently started to do so – and there are not that many of us anyway – about 24,000 for a population of around 66m.

NOT ON THE HIGH STREET

I suspect that the Banks will continue to disappoint. Heck you cannot even rely on them to be on your local high street if you should ever need to “pop in”. Imagine how difficult this is for elderly people that have little appetite for the internet or online banking and are not able to easily get to their new nearest branch. Personal it most certainly is not, hopeful yes, but I also suspect the outcomes are also predictable.

WE CAN DO ALL THIS BETTER

If you are someone with a few hundred thousand in cash, then of course the Investment Banks are now interested in you, but you will quickly discover that to them personal means treating you to sports events and corporate hospitality in exchange for some over the top fees. We can arrange investments better; we can arrange cash savings accounts better. Personal is what we do because what we do is all about your plan.

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

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HOW PERSONAL IS PERSONAL BANKING?2020-07-22T11:30:47+01:00

SAY CHEESE…

TODAY’S BLOG

SAY CHEESE

The markets have been interesting, the bull market has come to an end, or so it would seem. In the investment world the opposite of a bull market isn’t a cow market – but a bear market. You know this, or course and this is nothing more than a chance for me to simply muck around with words that are bovine or market related. Farmer’s market anyone?

ORGANIC WELSH CHEESE TO YOUR DOOR

Whenever I come across something rather good, I like to share it with friends. How about a rather good box of organic Welsh cheeses. The farmers over at Calon-Wen are at the forefront of improvements in farming – a truly amazing fusion of ancient customs and the latest technology.

As you are probably locked in at the moment, perhaps struggling to get an online delivery – well why not take a moment to order yourself a box of cheese. Calon-Wen is a cooperative of 14 family farmers in Wales and they can deliver you a box of cheese without too much fuss.

No, I’m not on a commission – but I do love cheese, small business and the countryside.

NO BULL

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

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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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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

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WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

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SAY CHEESE…2020-04-20T15:14:54+01:00

PLANNING TO GET OUT AFTER THIS

TODAY’S BLOG

PLANNING TO GET OUT AFTER THIS

So, you – just like me, are in lockdown, perhaps going a little stir-crazy and wishing you could be out and about? Well perhaps the additional time at home provides a moment or two for some serious reflection about what is important to you.

One of the items on most people’s bucket list, irrespective of age or political opinion, is a desire to travel. Not to rack up the miles, but to experience life in a different part of the world, a different culture. We are all experiencing something new at the moment, but once this is over, (and it will be) will you have time to recollect what was important to you?

VIETNAM TRIP

TIME TO DREAM IN COLOUR

How about supporting a small travel business? arguably one of the most impacted sectors of COVID19. A travel business that provides a highly tailored, ethical travel experience? No need for endless searching online, let them know your requirements and budget and they will put some ideas and an itinerary together for you. Perhaps a special or significant birthday, or celebration of a major personal event or perhaps one last big family trip.

How about South America, Central America or South East Asia? There is a huge opportunity to create an amazing experience in the very near future. Have a look at their website to get your own creative ideas going, why not dust off an old world atlas, if you have one, or just google one – and have a think about where you would like to visit. This is time to be bold, to dream and plan in colour. A visit to Mayan ruins, carribean beaches, the Panama canal, rainforests, scuba dive, snorkle, visit a coffee plantation or rum distillery….How about the Golden Triangle, Kandy, Ho Chi Minh  city, go elephant trekking, check out some temples… We all know life is brief, but few of us live as though it is. Now is a great opportunity to craft a truly unique travel experience.

Give the team at Revealed a call on 01932 424252 or send an email to enquires@revealedtravel.co.uk

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

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To get started download and use password – solomons

   

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

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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

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To get started download and use password – solomons

   

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

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PLANNING TO GET OUT AFTER THIS2020-04-08T15:33:20+01:00

JUST THE FACTS?

TODAY’S BLOG

JUST THE FACTS

One of the big electronic billboards that I pass on the way to and from the office has an advert for a London radio station with the strapline “Just The Facts – Headlines Every 20 Minutes”. I’m not against facts, quite the reverse, however they are never in isolation (unlike many of us now).

The facts are truths, but they always require a context. We know this of course, but in an age of constant bombardment of anything either audio, visual or both we are so assaulted by a stream of imagery that we are often left to engage with it in its rawest and poorest form – without a context.

We are all deeply concerned, alarmed and bewildered at some of the scenes we have witnessed lately, particularly in the supermarkets. Then of course there are the stock markets where the same panic has been rife. The incredible thing about this is the speed at which society seems to implode.

YOUTH GROUP 2007

DO YOU BELIEVE WHAT YOU SEE?

However, as of right now, I wonder if my last sentence is even vaguely true. Society has not imploded, people that I interact with on social media, peers, clients, industry bods, anyone, all seem to have the same bewilderment. They also have the same determination to do what they can to help each other, the exact opposite of the majority of the images we see.

I SEE ALIVE PEOPLE

I am a huge believer in people, in my time I spent many years leading youthwork in my free time. The thing I like about young people is that your input has fairly prompt results and they have a longer future (hopefully) ahead of them. Whilst for a teenager, everything feels like an eternity, it’s all over within a few years. The picture above was taken in the summer of 2007, (that’s me in the corner on the phone) when we took part of the youth group to a festival. Two of them are both due to get married this summer. We’ve been invited but sadly one, perhaps both of them might need to rearrange or adjust their plans given the current pandemic. I’m sure that is disappointing, frustrating and possibly expensive, but they are robust and happy together, more focused on the years ahead together than on the first official day…

COMMUNITY RESPONSES

The road I live on has just started a WhatsApp group. It goes without saying that some of the residents had never heard of WhatsApp. We moved to the area nearly 4 years ago and know a handful of people around us, but suddenly we have all been introduced to each other. Call me sentimental, but I think that’s rather a good thing – the premise has been to help those most impacted and vulnerable with shopping and so forth, but I dare say it will be rather more far reaching.

ALL IS NOT LOST – LOOK AHEAD

So, the markets have fallen. We have all “lost money” (we have not lost money, the value of the assets we own has temporarily reduced – that is all). This is uncomfortable, I don’t wish to understate the problems, but there are already lots of positive and encouraging signs – you just need to look in the right places.

I’m here, still minding the fort and building the bridges and looking forward to tomorrow.  Feel free to get in touch, comment, ask a question, pick up the phone or ask for an online meeting. I will do my best for you.

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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JUST THE FACTS?2020-03-20T17:05:57+00:00

FEELING OVERWHELMED?

TODAY’S BLOG

FEELING OVERWHELMED?

We were all once a teenager. We are all aware of how awkward the transition can feel from childhood to adulthood, indeed in many respects I might suggest that it’s a lifetime’s transition. Heck, I can still feel not quite myself when I attend an event where I may not know m/any people, all that small talk… There are things that many of us would prefer not to have to deal with, but have to because we are, at least nominally, “responsible adults”, like getting your tax return done on time or setting a budget for the year ahead.

Not Quite As You Hoped?

One of the many adult things we all have to grapple with is that life can be quiet disappointing, at times it is far from what we hoped for. As 2019 ended, perhaps you, like me, took stock of the year or decade and weren’t quite as content with the result as you had hoped. Contentment – that’s a challenge isn’t it… Yet as adults, hope is often what we are left to cling to, whilst taking the necessary actions to control the few things that we can actually control.

New Year, New Decade, Go Again…

Its January 2020. Another decade has closed and a new one opened. Will we take the necessary steps to ensure that this one is better than the last? One that we make decisions for our own good and hopefully for the good of others too. Will we grapple with some of those rather awkward behaviours and beliefs that have sometimes thwarted our progress towards better?

Most people I know no longer make new year resolutions, at this point in life they are largely aware of their own tendencies and see little point in pretending that this time it will be different. That’s not to say that changes are not attempted, simply not set by a calendar.

Dear Evan Hansen

Dear Evan Hansen

On Friday I saw the musical “Dear Evan Hansen”. It’s a new musical with an American genre of singing, the name of which I have yet to learn. Sliding notes, somewhere between singing and speaking at times. It’s difficult to sing and perfect for the cracking voiced teenagers that are the protagonists.

For those of you that have had or have teenagers, some of the story may feel familiar. Perhaps some will resonate with the sense of needing a map to navigate the changing relationship. The awkward non-conversations around the family dining table.

Sometimes life sucks. Despair is very real. Our children and peers (and we too) are inundated with images of the “perfect life” that is right in front of our noses. Envy never had a better incubator; the gap is both closer and ever further away. The sense of futility that some feel is palpable. Little wonder many feel powerless and disillusioned. When it’s our own children, we don’t so much need a map as to read the signs, as uncomfortable as they may be.

Of course, this happens to other people doesn’t it…. Never around our own dining tables… how about when we hear stories about fantastic investment portfolios, holidays, model students and everyone living their dreams? I’m not “having a go” or trying to make anyone feel uncomfortable, simply making the point that all of us confront embellished, edited versions of others, which can make us feel insecure.

You Are Not Alone

Most of us have resources and support structures to help us through dark days. Many do not. This exaggerates the sense of aloneness and sadly for 6,509 people in the UK in 2018 the sense of despair was too great, resulting in suicide. It seems that men aged between 45-49 are the most likely to take their own lives. Thankfully a small proportion of the 541,589 deaths in England and Wales. However, what is surprising is that suicide is the leading reason for death for males and females from ages 5-34.

On social media I often see teenagers being criticised and twenty-somethings described as snowflakes. I hope that most of this is simply thoughtless, which would aptly describe most of the content. However, if we dismiss voices of despair with terms like “buck up” or “pull yourself together” we miss what is going on, perhaps to our great cost.

We seem comfortable with the idea that small children are sponges, soaking up and regurgitating all that they see, hear and experience. Yet we seem unwilling to acknowledge that teenagers are another reflection, perhaps lacking the right words, but manifesting clear signs that something isn’t right.

We may wish to dismiss adolescence as hypersensitive, exaggerated emotions caused by the swirling mass of hormones in a state of change. There’s a partial truth, but the sense of being alone and without any apparent hope also reveals the state of our own communities.

Your Messenger Account

If we model “success” as having, owning and gaining, for those that don’t the disconnection can be a lethal combination. So perhaps when a well-meaning friend recounts tales of how wonderfully their portfolio has performed and it leaves you feeling uneasy, remember your goals are not theirs, a different purpose is at play, one based on your values.

My goal is to help clients think about the life they want, not simply the satisfactory version of a holiday brochure. What are you passionate about? What makes you tick? What is uniquely you? Where is your voice? And what do you have to say? How can I help build the financial architecture around you to make that a reality? Can we find that together?

Here’s the promotional video for Dear Evan Hansen. You can also find out about the show and order tickets using this link.

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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FEELING OVERWHELMED?2020-01-20T11:29:33+00:00

TWENTY MINUTES THAT MAY CHANGE YOUR DAY…

TODAY’S BLOG

WHEN I FAIL TO THINK CONSCIOUSLY

I decided not to interrupt your summer with further blog posts. We all want time off and need a little space. The new term has started, its already mid-September and we have, here in the UK, been experiencing some degree of “chaos” within “Government”. Frustration on social media has reached the point where I’ve actually deleted the Twitter app from my phone (again).

This morning I was walking the dog with my wife and she posed a question that stayed with me as I later drove to to the office in Raynes Park. “Do you feel regulated?” this had nothing to do with my day/life job and the field I operate in, but my emotional state. On our walk we had been discussing various topics, not uncommonly there was a sense that I get unhelpfully agitated by unfairness, greed, lies, deceit and corruption. Unhelpful in the sense that my choice of “expressive words” detract any empathy that any other participant within the discussion may have with and for the problem. I can be right but deeply wrong at the same time. She was quite right to bring this to my attention, its a pity that it is not new information to me, but then we have been married for 28 years. I am a slow learner I guess…

SOME HELPFUL THOUGHTS FROM DAVID FOSTER WALLACE

Rather than get bogged down with me in my internal world, may I encourage you to set aside 20 minutes to listen to a recording of David Foster Wallace. It is a recording of a speech that he gave in 2005 to graduating students at Kenyon College, a liberal arts college in Ohio. I know right, 20 minutes isn’t so easy to set aside. However, I found it hugely helpful with the daily adult struggle of managing our responses to the world around us. You may have heard it before, I hadn’t. I wanted to pass it on. The speech is cut into two recordings.

Here is the first.

Here is the second…. enjoy your day.

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

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To get started download and use password – solomons

   

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

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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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TWENTY MINUTES THAT MAY CHANGE YOUR DAY…2019-10-15T18:39:52+01:00

AMELIE – LIFE IN A SNAP

TODAY’S BLOG

AMELIE -LIFE IN A SNAP

I wonder if you were charmed by the Audrey Tautou in the 2001 movie “Amelie”. A charming and original love story. The story was reconstructed as a musical and had a run on Broadway in 2017, it has now arrived and touring Britain and is playing at Wimbledon where I saw it play to a full house the other evening. By the time, you read this it will have moved on with its tour (details here).

It was an enjoyable evening, the warmth and joy of the original film were very much present and also offering some creative originality of its own within the stage format. In its current form, it lacks any big numbers, you probably would struggle to recall any of the tunes within a few hours. Some of the higher notes left me wincing as the discord of the storyline was reflected in the music. The performances were all strong and make a great opportunity for actors that are also musicians, or vice versa.

AMELIE THE MUSICAL - PAMELA RAITH PHOTOGRAPHY - SOLOMONS IFA BLOG

Life in a box

So, to the financial planning angle. Amelie’s world view is interrupted by the discovery of a small tin box which is full of a childhood collection of mementos. These have been carefully hidden for years and she makes it her mission to return these to the owner. The impact of reuniting the two and the insight attained provide the motivation for her to engage more within the lives of those around her. She finds charming ways to reimagine or even re-see what is before her. There is a segment where she takes the hand of a blind man and leads him along the streets of Paris, describing the sights before them.

Eyes to see 

Financial planning can sometimes be a little like this. In the process of planning well for the future, we need to be able to discuss and visualise it to some extent. Your future, like mine and everyone else’s is not written yet, you have some degree of choice about how it looks. You bring your baggage from the past and this will shape your outlook for the future. Amelie reminds us not to judge, to see people not as the sum of their frustrations, anxieties and losses but as essentially good dreamers that have lost touch with some or all of their hope about the future.

The risk of living 

We are all made differently and want for different things. I have yet to meet anyone that does not want to retain their dignity and independence. We know that when life is compressed to a footnote, the memory is that of relationships – how we lived, not what we earned, bought or when or where we lived. Amelie’s world view enables her to see things differently, to bring the joy to the mundane and to nudge people out of the fog of their own phobias, anxieties and pain. Of course, she is merely doing what she knows she needs for herself and has to face the same risks as everyone else.

The Bucket List – just seau…

Financial planning is little more than taking action to afford the lifestyle you want to have. This may be “big or small”. Importantly it is defined by you. We have been talking this through within our marketing meetings and felt we needed to help a little with this process. We have begun to work on ideas for a “bucket list” and will develop this idea further. In truth, it is likely to contain few genuinely original ideas, but it may hopefully act as a reminder to each of us that time doesn’t wait. If you have any suggestions for the bucket list please get in touch.

Sorry, I could not resist adding the trailer for the film…

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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AMELIE – LIFE IN A SNAP2019-05-24T09:13:55+01:00

IDENTITY CRISIS

TODAY’S BLOG

IDENTITY CRISIS

Confession time, I really enjoy Ben Elton’s books. His latest publication “Identity Crisis” is both hilarious and gripping. As is often the case, he wraps some serious uncomfortable truths about the world we live in, our own hypocrisy, in a blanket of comedy. He is the equivalent of Lear’s Fool, offering deeply pertinent wise observations that make you laugh.

The novel is frankly a must read for anyone with a social media account of any description. That’s you. It is set in the very near future, Britain undergoing an identity crisis and having yet another referendum, this time about the separation of England from the UK. The motivations are unclear, except for a backlash against “latte drinking liberal London lefties” and the struggle to adjust to new realities of virtual realities, multiple and changing identities. Throw in some gender politics, a dash of religious discrimination, a pinch of disenfranchisement wrapped in the ribbons and bows of a “proud heritage” and he creates a mix that leaves Politicians running for the comfort of soundbites.

Money, Sex and Power

This of course has absolutely nothing to do with financial planning. Then again, it has everything to do with financial planning. The way that money, sex and power combine to persuade people to behave in a way that may serve their baser instincts but against what is in their own interests.

Solomons IFA Blog Identity Crisis - Ben Elton

Incoming SPAM

I am sure that if you have an email account (you must do). At some point you have had various emails that have somehow bypassed your spam filters. These may offer the promise of lucrative rewards for assisting moving money around, perhaps offer a money-making scheme or threaten to expose you for something you have done, might have done, or never have done but the fishing trip alone is enough to make you wonder. We have all heard of cyber bullying and generally assume this is something that happens to children at school, where bullies now have constant access to their prey via social (unsocial) media. Yet we all know that those three pillars of money, sex and power are more vulnerable amongst the adult population, those that possess a modicum of one or more.

You may well find yourself confounded by the changing social attitudes to gender and its new fluidity, but everyone of us has an identity that we do not wish to see trashed by the prospect of blackmail, however baseless and fake. You are in my electronic address book and I in yours. So I wonder whether you have considered what a financial planner, (or any of your professional advisers) but particularly a planner that knows all about you and your money, might compromise if placed under the duress of blackmail. Not given it much thought? No neither had I until I wondered how someone that had actually done some of the things suggested in an email might have responded differently to the threat of “exposure” in exchange of payments of Bitcoins. I simply hit delete, but I did wonder how some would respond.

Hashtag Keep It Real

We all want those that we trust to be “decent” people, we know that we are all flawed. None of us wish to expose our own. Everyone has their thing. Please know that I am not remotely interested in yours and assume the same. It is this that any blackmailer preys upon – the delusion that your private life is of any significant interest. Those possessing a grasp on reality and a healthy amount of self-awareness recognise a world in which we are all flawed. Rather than face our own failings, we live in times that crowds now gather virtually around the corpse du jour, perhaps joining the mellay. Occasionally making a Game of Thrones battle look like a Sunday picnic.

So, haven given it some thought (it is a work in progress) I would encourage everyone, you and me to ignore blackmail. We are what we are, a blackmailer only wins when we pretend to be otherwise. Accept that we have a flawed identity, own the truth.

Here is Ben Elton talking about his book.

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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IDENTITY CRISIS2019-05-01T11:26:18+01:00