AS SAFE AS HOUSES…

TODAY’S BLOG

AS SAFE AS HOUSES

I am not really sure what the reason is, but most people trust their own bank. I guess that a degree of trust has to be there in order for you to agree to bank with them. However, there is a huge amount of inertia when it comes to banking. I don’t know if it is still the case but not so long ago a bank customer was more likely to leave their marriage than the leave the bank.

On 8 July 2021 the regulator concluded yet another investigation and disciplinary action against the Bank with the horse (again). This is prone to jokes about stable doors and a few about the long face. This time house insurance sales. Those awkward hassle reminder letters that tell you its time to renew.

I’m stretching a little, but I am basing my own assumptions on the statements made by the FCA. Long story short, loyal customers were not getting deals they thought were good and there was never any real attempt to compare just how wonderful the cost of insurance was against others. This all happened a few years ago… back in 2017 the home insurance market of 18 million policies and 12.29% of those with Lloyds Bank General Insurance. I make that about 2.2m policies. The premiums paid to Lloyds amounted to a tidy £713m… so that’s an average premium of about £336.

LONG FACE ABOUT FINE

BOLTING THE STABLE DOOR

In fairness to Lloyds they have already repaid customers £13.5m. The FCA have fined Lloyds £90,688,400 due to the misleading renewal and marketing literature, of which there were over 9m “renewal communications” between January 2009 and November 2017. So the problem went on for 8 years and its nearly 5 years after period concerned that a fine has been issued. There really is something about stables, horses and bolting here isn’t there?

Is it just me or is this about 2.2m polices sold each year since 2009… 12 years of premiums or about £8,556m for a £90m fine. It’s about 1% of premiums over those 12 years. Fair enough I am extrapolating the data, but I doubt its far off.

May I make a suggestion? Do not use your Bank for your insurance, or indeed anything other than banking. We see this sort of stuff on a regular basis, yet people remain loyal to their Banks. Use an insurance broker who will assess the market. I use Richard Hiscox at 1Stop. The main advantage is that price competition is part of the issue, the other is whether claims themselves ever get paid out easily with minimal fuss. This experience is something most of us have little of (thankfully) but an insurance broker sees this stuff every single week.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

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

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The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

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Call – 020 8542 8084

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AS SAFE AS HOUSES…2021-07-09T18:04:28+01:00

THE JOURNEY TO TRUST

TODAY’S BLOG

THE JOURNEY TO TRUST

I don’t remember where I heard it, learned it or read it, but a phrase that has stuck with me for a very long time is “trust is earned”. Throughout the course of a normal week, month or year I meet with various new potential clients. Sadly, many people have had a pretty bad experience of financial services, either directly themselves or through pieced together information from someone significant in their lives.

I was reminded this morning of this and how trust is something that evolves over time by keeping promises, often not the big things, but the little things – replying to a call, being clear about expectations, costs and so on.

I have a large black and white picture in the waiting area of the office. It is a still from the 1953 movie Roman Holiday. You will probably know it, starring Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck and Eddie Albert. As a reminder, it’s the tale of a Princess called Ann, (Hepburn) who escapes her royal duties and meets up, unwittingly with two reporters, Joe Bradley (Peck) and Irving Radovich (Albert) who know precisely who she is and have the prospect of a career-making scoop on their hands. After a night on the town (and who wouldn’t in Rome!) being a romantic comedy, the princess naturally falls for Bradley, but is he simply using his charms to get what he wants?

ROMAN HOLIDAY - JOURNEY TO TRUST

CAPTURE A MOMENT

The still is of the moment that the princess is now back in her familiar Royal duties greeting guests and is faced with Bradley, instantly realising that her world might be overturned depending on whether Bradley is worthy of her trust. It is a moment of realisation of what it at stake, whose interests will be served?

To my mind when financial planning is done properly, you reveal a lot about who you are. You will know that we talk about your past experiences, your hopes for the future and your present reality. Understanding your values, verbalising them along with revealing past “mistakes” is very exposing. You have to trust that I and my team will handle this with care.

So, when we get back to the office, notice the large black and white picture and remember that anything that relates to “who you are” is strictly confidential.

As an aside, the film has an interesting back story. The screenplay was written by Dalton Trumbo who was a blacklisted writer in Hollywood at the time because of the ridiculous politics of McCarthyism. The screenplay, won the Oscar in 1954 and like many other blacklisted writers, a pseudonym was used or another writer “fronted”. It wasn’t until 1992 that the Academy finally acknowledged Trumbo and with the Oscar presented posthumously to his widow. Trumbo’s story itself was made into an excellent film in 2015.

Here are the two trailers, both films available but not showing at a cinema. Trailers with 62 years between them.

Roman Holiday 1953

and Trumbo 2015

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

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

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THE JOURNEY TO TRUST2021-07-05T16:17:18+01:00

AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH

TODAY’S BLOG

AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH

Following a recent move, I find myself living relatively close to the lovely area of Box Hill, just one of many areas of natural beauty that the Surrey Hills have to offer. Naturally, I decided to climb this vast (in my eyes) hill armed with my new-found affinity for going on walks, borne out of the depths of multiple National lockdowns – I’m sure that many of you will relate.

With some effort (made harder by my choice to climb in a practically vertical fashion up the 275 large steps to the summit instead of one of the rather more gentle inclines available), I made it to the top of the hill. I sampled the magnificent views and treated myself to a coffee – I felt that I’d earned it. I thought that the hard part was done.

Alas, I was wrong. My descent back down the hill was treacherous beyond imagination, leading to more than a few dicey moments and a poignant feeling of regret at my frankly dreadful choice of footwear. I lived to walk another day, though I’m sure that it was touch and go there for a moment!

As many of you already understand, accumulation of wealth is the growing of capital through various different means, most commonly saving and investing. We’ll call this ‘the climb’. This is the process involved in a financial plan that often comes to mind first and without doubt takes hard work, discipline and a detailed plan in order to reach any goals discussed at the outset. You would not be blamed for placing the greatest amount of importance on this stage. But what about decumulation?

In contrast, decumulation of wealth is the direct opposite of accumulation – utilising your capital (sometimes referred to as ‘spending down’) to cater for any one person’s particular needs, most often in retirement. We’ll call this ‘the descent’. This sounds like a wonderful situation to be in, and it is, but there are many potential pitfalls that one could fall into without proper thought and planning. Enter your financial planner. To ensure that you use the assets that you have worked so hard to accumulate over many years in the best, most efficient way possible – in order to allow you to continue to live the life you want to live – for us here at Solomon’s, that is what financial planning is all about.

So it’s important to remember that there are at least two sides to every hill – and any good climber will tell you how important it is to plan for traversing the other side. The descent can require as much consideration as the climb.

Daniel 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 Dominic 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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AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH2021-05-13T15:44:55+01:00

EROTICISM AND FANTASY IN YOUR FINANCIAL PLAN

TODAY’S BLOG

EROTICISM & FANTASY? IS THIS ANOTHER CLICKBAIT TITLE?

Whilst some of you are new to the blog and proper financial planning, many of you are aware that financial planning, when done well, is not really about money. Its about you. Your values, your hopes and your lifestyle.

In 2020 most of us took a battering, a year unlike any we had known. Whilst we greeted 2021 with the relief that 2020 was over, we have come to realise that things are far from normal and that there is much that keeps us living with a deep sense of frustration and perhaps fear. As the UK passed 100,000 covid deaths, we recognise another rather depressing landmark.

The restrictions of the pandemic have not been easy, exposing the pressures in our lives and creating new ones. Whether you are married or single, many have found relationships and normal aspects of life to be under pressures that they never imagined. Working from home has its benefits, but the confinement isn’t always helpful. Perhaps your home is empty, perhaps it is rammed full of people, attention and connection has been ruptured. Not being able to hug or kiss friends and family, to enjoy the normality of human interactions has reminded us of who and what is important.

Eroticism and fantasy

THE IMPACT OF LOCKDOWN

In February and March we all paid the price of investing with exaggerated market volatility, this was mercifully short-lived. It was also within our financial expectations, these things happen, regularly. The cause may be different, but the impact is not. The Government has been spending and it would seem handing out large sums of money to friends, this will have to be repaid by you and me, but what about the price our relationships have paid?

You may now be thinking to yourself, hang on, a financial planner has nothing to do with my relationships, where is this going? Let me cut to the chase. Money is often cited as a major cause of relationship breakdown. I don’t really believe it is. Not having enough or using it how you would like to can be. However, its deeper and more than that – it’s about your expectations which are a concoction of past experiences (“good” and “bad”) and your hopes for the future fused in the present.

Our hopes have been challenged and many have struggled with a sense of the future, particularly for young people. The magnitude of the stress on our wellbeing is significant. We have had many delights and joys removed and we have had to do the work of imagining, finding, creating and trying new ones. The loss of hope can be overwhelming, devastating, flattening and in many cases final.

REGAINING “EROTICISM AND FANTASY” 

So, I am going to offer you another real challenge. In our culture, we have little or no education about relationships – in all forms. That’s not to say that we aren’t blasted with messages about them, that is constant, but rarely does intimacy in its broadest sense get discussed. Irrespective of whether you are in a relationship or not, have a look at some of the work by Esther Perel (an expert!).Yes, I am even going to suggest you do pay attention to her work on the erotic, (a word neither of us expected me to use in a financial blog!) a term that she uses broadly. In fact I am going to suggest that you invest (I use the word quite deliberately) all of 46 minutes watching her webcast on YouTube “How Eroticism and Fantasy Can Help You Embrace A New Year”. Now there is a title to frighten you right? …

Perhaps to put your mind at ease, Esther playfully uses the term erotic when “creativity” is the word that resonates. Her talk is about life, not about sex. I appreciate that this may evoke mixed feelings within you, but my intention is simply to offer some access to meaningful hope. Hope and optimism are the oxygen of investors and financial planning.

Don’t worry, I am not going to go any further with this, other than to say that if a financial plan is simply about money, it isn’t really your plan, its probably someone else’s. Your plans are unique to you and I know that at the heart of them is relationship and a sense of connectedness. Remember the redemption of Mr Scrooge just a month ago?

With my very best intentions, I challenge/encourage you to watch… If I have overstepped the mark, accept my apologies, if it’s helpful let me know. You need to start the video at 1:30 – it was a livestream broadcast.

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

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The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

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Call – 020 8542 8084

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The Old Bakery, 2D Edna Road, Raynes Park, London, SW20 8BT

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EROTICISM AND FANTASY IN YOUR FINANCIAL PLAN2021-01-28T13:27:19+00:00

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

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

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

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GET IN TOUCH

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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

Email – 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

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

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

Email – 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

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

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

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

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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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

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

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

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

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.

=

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

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

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

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

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
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