1 in a million (or rather 1 in 45 million!) 

Debbie Harris 
Sept 2023  •  2 min read

1 in a million (or rather 1 in 45 million!)

You are more likely to be struck by lightning or attacked by a shark than winning the jackpot on the National Lottery.

Playing the lottery can be a bit of fun, especially if you have a lucky number or a favorite game. Most participants enjoy the thrill of anticipation and the possibility of winning a huge jackpot (let’s face it, most of us have a good idea of what we’d do with our winnings!)

Here at Solomon’s, we are not party poopers and if the Lottery is your ‘dabble’ into the world of improbable dreams – then that’s all good … we’re only talking about £2.00 a week for a ticket after all.

But it IS our job to challenge your financial decisions and I wonder whether you have ever thought about the impact of doing something different with that £2.00 a week … ?

If you were to save it for 50 years and were to achieve a return of 5% per year – you would have more than £23,000 in your account at the end!

Most of our clients understand the power of compounding interest and are fully onboard with the nature of long-term investing, so this example probably comes as no particular surprise – but it just goes to show that ‘a little’ can become ‘a lot’ given time and proper attention (which is a big part of what we do for our clients at Solomon’s).

Of course, the National Lottery does support lots of charitable and community causes, so your £2.00 a week isn’t entirely ‘wasted’!

1 in a million (or rather 1 in 45 million!) 2023-12-01T12:12:28+00:00

THE BIG ‘FIVE – OH’!

TODAY’S BLOG

THE BIG ‘FIVE – OH’! 

In our last edition of Spotlight (our client magazine), we had a loose theme of ‘milestones’ and some of our wonderful clients wrote about their own personal challenges and celebrations, so I’m sure that some of the content will have resonated with you.

During our planning sessions for the magazine, it was interesting to note that we talked less about ‘when’ and more about ‘what’ our own (and clients’) milestones looked like.

Whilst we make a point of celebrating ‘big’ birthdays and ‘big’ anniversaries, these aren’t necessarily the momentous occasions that mean the most to us.

For many, the milestones are educational, or career-based, or ‘stage of life’ – buying your first home, getting married, having your first child (or grandchild), clearing your mortgage, retiring, receiving care or going into a care home and of course the deaths of important loved ones.

These are the moments in our lives when we often consider all the effort it took to get there and the (often emotional) rollercoaster as we look ahead to our new ‘normal’.

That’s not to say that the traditional milestones aren’t important anymore – as one who is facing the big ‘five-oh’ later on this year, I find myself strangely serene about the aging process.

Ten years ago, the thought of becoming ‘middle-aged’ filled me with dread … but now that I’m comfortably there (!) it doesn’t bother me in the slightest.

As I reflect on my almost 50 years on this planet, I count my blessings often – my family, my health, a roof over my head, a great career. The future looks bright and I’m looking forward to doing more, seeing more and learning more.

My personal milestones are many and varied and I relish the fact that I have so many more to look forward to.

We have an ongoing conundrum here at Solomon’s – whenever we talk about ‘life is short’ there is an immediate contrast that ‘life is long’ too!

We advise clients for many decades (and often look after two or three generations of the same family) and yet through loss and grief, we know that our time here is not guaranteed. So there is always an element to our work of planning for longevity but accounting for brevity.

We cannot plan for every eventuality – our future milestones aren’t guaranteed – but we must surely seek to achieve as many of them as we can while we can.

And when I turn 50, I’ll be sure to celebrate all that I have achieved in my life to this point and embrace hope and expectation for a long and well-lived future.

Debbie Harris
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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

THE BIG ‘FIVE – OH’!2023-12-01T12:12:45+00:00

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

JUST THE FACTS?2023-12-01T12:13:21+00:00

HOW TO STOP TIME

TODAY’S BLOG

HOW TO STOP TIME

I have recently enjoyed a rather good book “How To Stop Time” by Matt Haig. The basic outline is that some people age much more slowly than the rest of us. This provides for some fascinating encounters in history, walking the streets of London from the time of Shakespeare to the present.

Matt Haig has already assembled an impressive body of work and this novel, which was published a little over a year ago is a really worthwhile investment. It is the story of Tom Hazard who at 41 has a secret that must be maintained and kept from the witch hunters of the time. Tom ages slowly – about 15 times more slowly, so whilst Tom moves from 15 to 20 years of age, his contemporaries have become 90. This makes for good fiction and a hugely enjoyable walk through history from the late 1580’s.

How to Stop Time - Matt Haig

Short-term obsessions

There are some wonderful insights about time, fear of the future and relationships. It prompted me to reflect on the main problem that we all have – being somewhat obsessed by the short-term and immediacy of “news”.  There is a great line that I shall probably use – “your nose is pressed against the canvas, you need to stand back to see the whole picture”.

Predicting the future?

As a financial planner that uses cashflow modelling, there is a danger of giving the impression that the future is predictable. There’s something of the mystic meg with her crystal ball, seeing the future… The truth is rather different – it is only predictable in its unpredictability. However, we can look to history as a great teacher. We use historical data to help shape our assumptions about the future. We get to play with the future, to alter it and reinvent scenarios, time and time again.

A client recently confessed that “the penny had dropped” for him. He was suddenly gripped by the reality that his retirement is now not so much theoretical, but all too real and getting closer by the day. Time marches on and it eventually forces us all to pay close attention. We now adapt the possible scenarios with far greater awareness of time. His experience is very normal and in practice it really doesn’t make that much difference how many times I or anyone else says – start investing early, there are always other calls for your money and the future, is… well, it’s the future, not the present.

In many respects Haig concludes that to know thyself and live a life without fear of the future is the logical conclusion for all us “mayflies”. Relationships are temporary and to be treasured. Loss of loved ones is a far harder path than the loss even of identity, let alone wealth. My job is to help you preserve yours, to start with the end in mind and to underscore your values – the people, places, things that make your life’s work worthwhile.

Time marches on, thankfully.

I enjoyed the book, here is a link to help you find it. Matt has been wonderfully honest about his struggles with depression and its also worth having a listen to his videos on the topic – reasons to stay alive. Here isn’t a bad place to start…

Oh and if you are interested, Matt Haig is currently touring the country promoting “Notes on a Nervous Planet”. Brighton at the weekend then blazing a trail up to Edinburgh for 28th April.

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

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

7 QUESTIONS, NO WAFFLE

Are we a good fit for you?

HOW TO STOP TIME2023-12-01T12:17:30+00:00

The Man in the High Castle

The Man in the High Castle

I wonder if you have heard of or seen the Amazon series “The Man in the High Castle”. The story revolves around the suggestion that WWII had a very different outcome, with Hitler and the Japanese triumphant. The world that exists, which of course centres around north America, sees present day USA divided into two between the Reich and the Japanese empire, with a slither of a neutral zone.

It seems that the reality in which our main characters are found has the potential for some almost supernatural change through film, in which our “real” version of history is an escape from the present reality. I suppose rather like a nightmare in reverse.

What if?….

The second series has concluded and so far I have been reminded that the story is essentially asking the question “What if?” In this case it’s a horrendous present reality.  Of course, seeking a financial planning angle, this reminded me of the “what if?” scenarios that I create for clients. Financial planning is essentially taking current information and extrapolating it forwards into the future, we can consider the impact of a multitude of different possibilities. These range from the more obvious, such as paying off your mortgage earlier, or making allowance for care costs, to selling a business, receiving a lump sum or heaven forbid an enormous financial crash.

Take a look at the future

Cashflow modeling, used by financial planners like me, is not the future, it is a single version of the future. We take care to make clear that this is most definitely not “the future” but a version of it. You have the opportunity to take a look and alter the reality by either changing your plans or by changing your actions today.

Much like “The Man in the High Castle” we have the opportunity to alter the future by our actions in the present.  Naturally, you will need a sense of what future you wish to have. As the series suggests, there are some people that have some fairly terrifying versions of the future that few of us would count as anything by a nightmare. Of course, with the new US President due to take office tomorrow, who knows what the future may bring….

Here’s a trailer for the Amazon series.

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 Man in the High Castle2023-12-01T12:18:55+00:00
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