I noted in social media last week that a fight broke out in the balcony of the Lyttleton Theatre between two male members of the audience at the end of a performance of Julie. I already had a ticket booked, but of course wondered, whether it was something about the play…

I can report that the acting was rather good, (Vanessa Kirby and Eric Kofi Abrefa to name two key performances) but to be blunt, this was a play that I simply did not care for. The dialogue was awful and reminded me of various unpleasant characters. It was meant to be reworking of August Strindberg’s play Miss Julie, but it felt dated and done before, many times before, but rather better.

The basic background premise is one of a sense of being trapped by circumstance. In this case rich it-girl with the traumatic experience of being the first to find her mother following her suicide. We can only guess why, but mine is that the mother also felt trapped in a life of luxury, lacking any meaning or any significant connection with her obviously wealthy, materially successful but invariably absent husband. The resulting wealth used as the justification for a lack of presence. The price of “success” and the excesses are its ongoing punishment.

Held in Trust

Julie, who has no money of her own, because it is held in Trust “because she is irresponsible with it”. She certainly is irresponsible, but whether this came before or after the Trust fund is one of the few talking points. I’m not a fan of Trusts (a bit odd for a financial planner to admit) but living from someone else’s money rarely has a good outcome and to put it bluntly, those that do best are the legal advisors, all (mainly) to avoid the clutches of a divorcing spouse, which from my point of view merely sets up the prospect of not living with the consequences of actions. A Trust might be a suitable metaphor for many elements of the play, the lack of trust between parent and adult child, the lack of trust between a self-serving man and a woman. The lack of real trust between a socialite and her maid… I could go on. Trust is quickly sacrificed for pleasure, or perhaps relief from the trappings of situation.

Do You Trust the Trustee Savings Bank?

So, who to trust? What is the price of trust and should you ever trust anyone? The truth is that we all must, being human we will be failed, but not trusting makes for miserable existence, albeit possibly right in a few instances.  Trusting any adviser is hard, trusting someone else with your money is one of the most difficult realities. Consider the recent muck up at TSB – Trustee Savings Bank, an utter fiasco. Advisers and the financial services industry must do an awful lot to shift the default setting of “mistrust”. Yet when it comes to your financial planning, this is what you need to remove. Any decent adviser will build trust over the years, by keeping promises, doing what they said they would do, looking after all your financial “stuff” and communicating in plain words.

A Problem of Wealth

One of the natural problems of having a significant amount of wealth, is that it tends to attract the wrong people, like bees to a honeypot. The opening scene of Julie reveals a birthday party composed of people that she neither knows nor likes, friends they are not. We can all probably think of people that have been parted from their money by their acquaintances.

Never underestimate the positive power of a proper financial fiduciary. Its not simply what we do, its also what we do not do, which includes not putting a hand in the till – or in this case the blender.

Here’s a promotional video from the National Theatre for Julie.

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