The Trouble With…

The Trouble With…

It seems impossible not to feel a sense of despair sometimes when you see, read or hear the news. When there are atrocities on our own streets or we see yet further mindless violence in countries with whom we have deep and long connections, the sense of despair is palpable. However bad or inept the reporting, I remain thankful that I live here in the UK.

I’m not alone in thinking that the man currently elected as President of the United States is simply not fit for the task. He is out of his depth and displays his evident lack on a daily basis. We have come, (well…I have) to expect very little from him.

Viva Espana?

Spain on the other hand, is a country that most of us know almost as well and the US. Our language barrier is possibly helpful as we tend not to make too many assumptions about each other. Yet I am struggling to understand what goes through the mind of a policeman in the Spanish Civil Guard who appears to enjoy stamping, beating and fighting anyone he deems to be “opposition”. The images that have crossed a multitude of screens are truly horrifying. Whilst the vote for independence may be “illegal” it is clear that a very significant proportion of those living in Catalonia do not wish to remain part of Spain.

Splitting Heirs

As an Englishman and a British citizen, I’m aware of the calls for devolution of power and potential independence of Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and perhaps Cornwall. This is unsettling to my sense of what is “normal” but of course the history of our own union is relatively recent and things were different before, much as they were in Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Prussia and so on… borders change. We do not keep the peace by pretending that all is well. We do so by listening to the perspective of the other. As in a marriage that reaches the point of irreconcilable differences, we need to acknowledge that sadly (perhaps) the best course of action is to separate and ultimately to agree to the new legal state of all parties concerned. This will have some genuine difficulties, just like a divorce, the division of resources and accounting for what belongs to who is painful. Those of you that have been through a divorce will understand this more pertinently than those that have not.

Head of State or State of Mind?

The suggestion that “the law” is to be upheld as though it is never altered based upon real experience is nonsense. The law is formed from experience and always evolves to reflect the changing nature of society. When a Monarch, President or Prime Minister fails to grasp the sense of unfairness felt by “their own people” preferring to support aggressive legitimised bullies, it seems to me only right to call them to account.

Ceteris Paribus

What has this to do with financial planning? We make assumptions about the future all the time. The biggest ones are those we don’t even verbalise – such as a relationship lasting. At my annual Institute’s Conference, last week, I expressed this view and to be honest, it didn’t seem to “land” with the small group that I was with. We talk of risk – typically investment risk, but also political and economic risk, occasionally the risk of health or redundancy, but rarely the risk of relationships ending. It is the elephant in the room with all couples, do we talk about the risk of irreconcilable differences?

I’m reminded of the saying “the pessimist complains about the wind, the optimist expects it to change, the realist adjusts the sails“.

Feedback welcome, but not for a debate on the issues of Scottish Independence or devolution, or even what’s going on “abroad”. We can only control a very small number of things, but our ability to face up to our assumptions is one of them. For the record, I “love” Britain, Spain, the US but I prefer human dignity over any flag.

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

The Trouble With…2023-12-01T12:18:24+00:00

Anti-social media?

I haven’t posted anything to the blog for a couple of weeks, largely because I was on holiday and taking a rest in southern France. However, whilst I was on my break I had the misfortune to come across a “troll” one of those people in life that seem to spend a lot of time moaning at everyone and anything in a fairly mean-spirited fashion (this one had even been convicted for her trolling activities). It wasn’t that big a deal, I deflected the conversation (or rather actively chose to ignore the insults). Anyone that knows me will appreciate some obvious erroneous statements in the rant. You can have a look for yourself on twitter feed, but frankly I am sure you have better things to do.

Anyhow, it got me wondering if I had made a mistake in my use of social media. Now, I do understand that it isn’t everyone’s “cup of tea” but perhaps if you are reading this, it is more likely to be yours. Yes a lot of what goes on in social media world is inane, but then that could be said of “real life” too. My take on this has been to embrace it as a tool to help people that I work with and for, whilst letting others know that I exist and perhaps could help them too. As my work can be pretty “up close and personal” these days I only work with people I like, in fact I make it a rule. This is a two way street of course. So in fairness, presumably clients or potential clients want rather more from me than the glossy marketing that every other financial firm produces by the  bucket load (especially the ones most focussed on your money and not you). So in the interests of giving a fair reflection I tweet and post as me and not as corporate identity man. Perhaps a mistake, but frankly who knows? I don’t hold myself out as an expert in many aspects of life, financial planning yes, but not in most other areas, but I do have an opinion and I’m old enough to know that I can change it. The Myers Briggs types have me as an ENTJ… perhaps its changed a bit since I did mine, but in short, I do a lot of my thinking and thought forming out loud with collaboration of others…. which does not mean that I cannot be self-reflective.

My troll experience caused me to pause and reflect further. Firstly am I wasting my time? Is this helping anyone? Are my views nothing more than more noise? or does it genuinely help clients see that, surprise surprise, I am a person, say some daft things as well as insightful things. The jury’s still out, but a piece I read this morning suggests that I’m on the right lines, so I will persist. However if you think I’m nuts or need some helpful suggestions, then I’m listening to you. Honestly.

For the record, I had a lovely holiday in southern France, the weather was perfect. I managed to finally get to see the hairpin bend at Monaco and take a stroll along the seafront at Cannes, there are some fantastic medieval towns and the region seems to be rammed with artists, of course the food and wine were excellent – particularly a lovely little restaurant in Valbonne called “le Bistrot du Sommelier” which is worth a visit if you are ever in Valbonne.

Dominic Thomas Solomons IFA

Anti-social media?2023-12-01T12:23:51+00:00
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