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.

=

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.

=

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.

=

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.

=

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

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.

=

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.

=

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.

=

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.

=

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

THE LEGACY CONVERSATION

TODAY’S BLOG

THE LEGACY CONVERSATION

As we age many of us wonder what our legacy will be. There will of course be a huge number of different responses, but perhaps in essence it might boil down to how our story is retold and therefore how we are remembered.

Over the years we have been encouraging clients to think about their legacy and to create a storybook of photographs that is nicely printed as a keepsake. These days due to the continued advancement of printing technology, the cost of printing one-off books (or more likely less than ten) is very inexpensive, yet it provides something of great worth to those you leave behind.

If your interest is at all peaked, it will likely be thwarted by the voice inside your head screaming that you simply do not have time to get such a project done properly, it will have to be done later. You are going to have to trust me on this…. Do it anyway. Even if the finished item isn’t quite as Photoshop perfect as you would wish, it is better to have something assembled that perhaps could be improved later.

None of us know how long we have, we all hope for a long, healthy life with the time to do the things that we deem to be valuable. The reality is often different. Here is a little video which promotes the same idea. There are lots of solutions, but just make a start. If you want a basic template of ideas, get in touch – email me for a template.

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.

=

THE LEGACY CONVERSATION2019-02-21T11:04:12+00:00

FAT CAT FRIDAY

FAT CAT FRIDAY

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

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

SOLOMONS IFA BLOG POST

Playing Footsie

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

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

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

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

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

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

MONEY OFFERS OPPORTUNITY

MONEY OFFERS OPPORTUNITY

For some people the answer to almost any question is money. Whilst I would not underestimate its power, money is simply a method of exchange. In the most part having money means having choices and more opportunities. This doesn’t mean that those without it have no choices or no opportunities, but quite obviously they are much more limited.

Money is the oil in a system to get things done. However as is also pretty evident, possessing a lot of wealth does not really mean that more opportunities are taken, indeed choices might appear to become more limited, falling into social expectations about what to buy, possess, retain whilst protecting with ever more complex security.

SOLOMONS IFA REVIEW BLOG BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE

CRIMINAL INTENT

There are always those that are willing to extract your money from you. This week I had yet another person confide in me that they were victims of a financial scam and felt too ashamed or embarrassed to admit it to others. Most of us, of course, work hard for our earnings, we don’t steel of kill for it. That said, one of the myths that I grew up with was that hard work pays. This is quite obviously not true. Plenty of people work hard or long hours and are not well paid, existing just above the bread-line, hence the need to work long hours. There are others that simply work in a way that by no measure appears “hard” yet are rewarded or remunerated very handsomely. This is of course simply another of life’s “welcome to adulthood” lessons.

DESPERATE TIMES AND DESPERATE MEASURES

Those with very few opportunities, that possess the right skills at the right time can have their lives improved enormously by some helpful cash. One of the few common agreements about the Chancellor’s Budget is an unsaid one… we all would like to keep or get a bit more.

Take Darlene Sweet, a singer is living hand to mouth, gig-to-gig, struggling to get by and desperate for a moment, a lucky break. It’s all about the books you read, the places you visit and the people you meet… right? Well for Darlene, she happened to check into a hotel (the El Royale) near Lake Tahoe, on the border with Nevada and California… but the other guests, staff and hotel are not all that they appear to be.

The latest movie “Bad Times at the El Royale” by director Drew Goddard plays with our sense of security, individuality and ability to adapt to new information. What people will do to protect their own interests, how they respond to extortion and how easily manipulated most of us are. A bad night for the guests, made worse with the arrival of Billy Lee, a knock off of Charles Manson, duping followers with half-truths about money, power and corruption, explaining choice whilst amassing greater wealth and abusing the power he has over those that trust him. The proverbial thief in the night…

Here’s the trailer for the new movie. There was a fair bit of disagreement within my family about whether the movie is any good, I found it quite gripping and delightfully shot – with scenes reminiscent of Nighthawks by Hopper. My daughter however felt it dragged, the acting was poor and the entire thing overly simplistic…

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
MONEY OFFERS OPPORTUNITY2019-08-19T15:34:15+01:00

WHEN MONEY TALKS AND WE DON’T

WHEN MONEY TALKS AND WE DON’T

The lack of money will test anyone and has a tendency to play havoc with relationships. This is explored in the new movie “Wildlife” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Carey Mulligan and new, rising star Ed Oxenbould. Set in the late 1950s at the crossroads of domestic politics in the US, we enter the world of an aspirational family. Jerry and Jeanette Brinson are shackled by their class background and struggling with compromises between their traditional upbringing and the reality of life as they experience it.

Jerry loses his job which seems to be something of a familiar story, this forces them to confront how the family might realistically pull together, meaning Jeanette would need to find work. Their son Joe helps out too, by finding after school work. Whilst the lack of money may be the catalyst, the sad reality is that the Brinson’s are not good communicators, each having flaws that make things worse rather than any better. Their dysfunction is played out before Joe, who struggles to comprehend how his once seemingly nice, normal family life becomes a chaotic lonely environment.

SOLOMONS IFA: MONEY STRESS IN WILDLIFE

Fighting the Bonfire of our Vanities

Whilst set in the late 1950s and early 1960s, there are of course parallels for today. The lack of work in parts of any country turns it into a wasteland with few signs of hope. Whilst it is undeniably true that the percentage of people in poverty is reducing, this does not mean that life is easy or even good for many people. It is precisely this lack of hope, the desire to blame anyone or anything different, that certain politicians will take advantage of. The sense of shame in being poor and the anxiety that it produces cannot be overstated. Jeanette will trade her dignity for security. Jerry will dice with death just to demonstrate his contempt for his lot. Joe, meanwhile (a boomer) is caught in the crossfire, trying to make sense of the gap between child and adult and what becoming a man might mean for him.

You get one lifetime but another shot at honesty

One of the biggest assumptions that financial plans make is that a couple remains together. Sadly, this can often be a mistake. That’s not to say that divorce or separation are a “sad” thing, it can be healing and of course healthier. What I mean is that the self-awareness required to allow for this or make provision for it is often lacking. The assumptions being made about investment returns or taxes are frankly small beer when it comes to division of assets and the implications for all.

Here’s 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

Email me to get in touch
WHEN MONEY TALKS AND WE DON’T2019-08-19T15:26:00+01:00

A STAR IS BORN

A Star Is Born

The latest reworking of A Star Is Born is currently showing in cinemas. The tale is familiar partly because it is simply a remake and partly because this is familiar Hollywood ground. It is difficult to not be cynical about the simple commercialism of this remake, directed by and starring Bradley Cooper and muse de jour Lady Gaga. These two are already global stars in their respective fields, so there was always a high chance of ker-ching at the box office.

There is nothing terribly wrong with the film. I had low expectations and so was relieved that it wasn’t as bad as I feared. Cooper is good as an actor, though heavy handed in direction and at 2 hours 15 it is about 45 minutes too long. If he is to repeat this role, he needs to learn the art of editing. Despite the screen time characterisation is thin – which is probably being kind. Certainly, this is yet another story about an alcoholic with money. The temporary relief of a woman to love and inspire him to better behaviour is insufficient.

Power Chord

Lady Gaga can certainly sing and this element of her performance is powerful. Watching her however, you were always conscious that this is Lady Gaga – which is not the purpose of film. Jackson Maine (Cooper) is towards the end of his country music career (really?) and drunkenly happens upon Ally (Gaga) who is performing at a drag club after her shift as a waitress. The only female to do so. He is enthralled and within 24 hours has written a song for her which they perform as a duet without any rehearsal. This from a man that is apparently nearly deaf and mainly drunk.

Instant World Fame

A video of this new encounter goes viral and Ally is immediately touring the world with Jack, from Arizona to Glastonbury. The depth and soulfulness of Ally’s songs is her appeal, yet a new English manager (Rafi Gavron) presumably a shade of Cowell, basically shapes her into a pop-tastic dancing pop-ster much like Gaga herself. The supposedly feisty Ally complies without any significant artistic difference. An almost out of body performance on Saturday Night Live which is really Gaga being Gaga. Yet this is nothing like the Ally we were all quite blown away by. Inconsistency aside, her success immediately casts Jack into the shadows where he swiftly finds substances to abuse.

The story could have moved in various directions but failed to explore the backstory of the main characters. There is no help other than the usual Betty Ford type clinic, yet nothing to get under the skin of why. We are told that alcoholism is a disease. It isn’t, it’s simply yet another way of coping with trauma.  The Hollywood problem is really one where nobody has the courage to say “no”.

Are We There Yet?

Admittedly, the story is meant to be partly about ambition, but the Vegas style marriage of a bad idea holds little to convince an audience that this is a deep connection, more one of convenience. We know and probably don’t care that much if Ally and Jack are just another 3-minute track on the playlist of life. The timeframe of the story shifts along at the pace of someone trying to fit in filming between pop tours, yet drags with the numbness of a long-haul coach ride.

We learn nothing new about fame, fortune, alcoholism or ambition, but there’s a soundtrack in it.

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
A STAR IS BORN2018-10-05T14:17:15+01:00