Conference Time

I was on conference in Birmingham this week… no not for the Conservative party.  A much more trustworthy bunch – “my institute” – the CISI or Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment. I have been attending this for a number of years now and always manage to find several useful and practical things that I can do to improve how we help clients, be that improved technical skills, evolving technology or “simply” better practice management.

This year I was particularly struck by some of the issues raised by Dr Moira Somers, a clinical neuropsychologist from Canada. In essence she helped explain why all of us are guilty of not doing things that are good for us. In this context why, clients do not do some of the things that we advise or require them to do so that we can help them better. Things in their interests but simply get put off again and again.

That Thing You Don’t Do…

Two things that readily came to my mind. Getting clients to draw up their Wills and Lasting Power of Attorney. Admittedly this is a fairly morbid subject. The professional advice and implementation costs are not insignificant. The importance of having these in place can never be overstated by anyone that has experienced not having them when required. Like everyone else, there are things in my life that I don’t get around to. We might call this self-defeating behaviour. Hopefully I now have some thoughts about new strategies I might employ to encourage “adherence” … but I guess time will tell if these are effective.

No Will, No Way

Dr Somers explained that In Canada, 70% of people do not have a Will (audience audible drawing of breath). Here in the UK I have little reason to believe that it is much better. After a quick bit of research, it would seem that in London 59% of adults do not have a Will. This is not as bad as Glasgow where the rate rises to 70%.  As the life expectancy in Glasgow is far lower than it is in London, I would encourage Glaswegians to accept the challenge to beat London in this statistic alone.

Not Enough For A Boiler Room Scam

Basic money skills – such as budgeting and saving are at very poor levels in the UK. One statistic mentioned was put in stark terms. Most people in Britain do not have enough cash in their bank to replace their boiler, should it fail this winter. They would have to borrow and go into debt. The UK is not unique in this regard. Our clients are of course people who do save or have done so and are better at acting for their benefit (and that of their family). However, most of us could probably improve our handling of money, so that it is not wasted or simply frittered away. Every good financial plan starts with the end in mind, but also the reality of today, how money is spent and used now. The cost of lifestyle is vital to understand when attempting to maintain and protect 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