You’ve Been Trumped

You’ve Been Trumped

When I ask most people when they wish to retire, they tend to say “65” some say earlier than that, but certainly most say 65. So whatever one thinks of the recent election in the United States, it is worth remembering that clearly the a new top job posed no obvious concerns for either Hilary Clinton (69) and Donald Trump (70) the latter will now replace Ronald Reagan as the oldest US President elected (who was 69 in 1981 at the time). Mr Obama, for the record turned 55 in August and so would only just have qualified for the new pension freedoms here in the UK.

The unease about Mr Trump is largely due to the rather reckless and aggressive things he said as a candidate. Naturally many of these have been taken at face value and it is hard to see how he would make a worthy world leader given his apparent lack of self-control and overly inflated ego. Indeed his understanding of “hate” and “harassment” must surely be out of whack. His own words before and since the election delivered in a tone precisely the opposite to that of the actors at a New York theatre, who respectfully offered their legitimate concerns to Mr Pence, yet he took this as an affront and has repeatedly demanded an apology, something that he has not offered himself to anyone for any of his rants. However, sadly, he will be the 45th President, assuming the 70-year-old can live with the stress and legal challenges until January. He is arguably one of the least suitable people to be President, but of course history reveals a lengthy list of similar psychopathic leaders.

The Great Con Trick

Mr Trump has estimated wealth of over $3bn yet seems to have persuaded the majority of key voters that he is anti-establishment. Yet this is a man who has only once elected finally settled a fraud case about his “University” – essentially proving that justice in America is for those with cash and who can make problems disappear. If ever there was an example of the 1% “elite” getting their way and deluding the masses, this must surely be it. Perhaps the Hamilton thing was simply his way of trying to distract people from yet another example of his utter hypocrisy.

Swallowing Camels

Talking of delusional, many of his voters were conservative evangelical Christians (some not all), who by any measure must fall foul of straining a gnat to swallow a camel, turning considerably more cheek and “blind eye”, perhaps due to some sense that he represents “family values” (ironic given his background) but by which is meant… there’s one way to do this thing called life.

A Deep Sense of Inadequacy

His credentials in business are somewhat questionable, having made a fortune and lost one, with six of his businesses declared bankrupt (Chapter 11) between 1991 and 2009, all of which came about from over-borrowing. He invariably claims that business isn’t personal, though excels at telling anyone how personally talented he is. In essence Mr Trump already had a fortune and then borrowed money as a landlord to make a larger one. His high-rise Trump Tower buildings presumably provide any psychotherapist with ample material.

Pandora’s Box?

Naturally, I do not know Mr Trump personally, so I am not in a strong position to assess the information we have about him any differently from anyone else. He does not appear to be a man able to remain calm in a crisis, indeed he merely stirs and promotes phobias of those who seem to need little prompting, perhaps due to ignorance or genuinely miserable lives that need to blame anyone and anything that’s different… and I am, like others, concerned that his election “normalizes” extreme views of a very unpleasant nature.

It’s possible that he might be a decisive President and able to get things through both Congress and the Senate, now that they are “rigged” in his favour, much as they have clearly been working against the interests of Mr Obama.  His stated aims are alarming, he has surrounded himself with people who appear to also struggle with inflated egos and at this stage it is hard to see who will provide the wise counsel that he will certainly need.

Of course, quite why people voted as they did, for something different or just someone they thought was tough on TV I shall leave to the pundits to decipher. We will calmly review investments in light of information as it materializes.

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

You’ve Been Trumped2017-01-06T14:39:12+00:00

Black Mirror – Nosedive

Black Mirror – Nosedive

The new series of Black Mirror has been released (21 October 2016) on Netflix and is a bit of a cross between Tales of the Unexpected and The Twilight Zone…. Remember them? If you do, then there is a fair chance that you will have had more than your fair share of adopting new technology over the years and Black Mirror is a small leap of the imagination into a future that is almost within our reach.

Nosedive, the first episode of the new series from the writer Charlie Brooker provides plenty of food for thought for those of us that use social media. Irrespective of who you are, there is something very satisfying about having a post or tweet “liked” or “retweeted” – a sense that you are being heard. Of course for small and large business, your social media marketing strategy is all about trying to engage people, both prospective clients and existing ones. This blog is no different.

Brooker draws out attention to the insatiable underlying desire for approval that underpins this and reflects a future society (not very much in the future) where “service with a smile” and the constant demand for ratings and feedback result in desperate collective anxiety and need to fake it in order to gain approval. Not only approval, but the point-scoring system acts as the new form of societal sorting and classification of us all.

image of Lacie, the lead character practicing her smile, current score 4.243image of Lacie, the lead character practicing her smile, current score 4.243image of Lacie, the lead character practicing her smile, current score 4.243

Are you getting feedback?

I thoroughly enjoyed his take on this rather dystopian future, of a world addicted to handsets and a numbing or removing of real experiences and interactions. I’m sure that if you shop online, you now get a request for some feedback. As with many things this was intended to be for our good – a chance to engage and improve services, yet it has become so widespread it now simply feels needy, like some spoiled child constantly asking for approval.

Here at Solomons are guilty of this too. We ask for feedback and comments – and for you to share posts, tweets and so on. This is now all part of helping spread the word about the business and how we help clients, how we bring value. That said, it can become very irritating (hence we try to limit our “neediness”).

Rage against the machine

I guess this reflects the changing nature of relationships between us all and the organisations that we use. Seeing people rant online, whether about Donald Trump, Hilary Clinton, Southern Rail or Brexit is at least raw and exposing, of course great care needs to be taken, but in Nosedive, we are faced with a “sanitized” society where genuine emotion, thought or comment is parked firmly out of sight, to the point where who you are seen to be and with are more important than who you are.

At least here in 2016 we continue to help our clients verbalise and express their true values, not simply those that are deemed “acceptable”. Its funny how often I ask people when they plan to retire and they invariably say 65 – which used to be the default State pension age, as though this is an appropriate “date”. The truth is that you can “retire” whenever you want – or not at all and why here at Solomons we prefer to use the term financial freedom day – when you choose to work, not because you have to, but because you want to.

Here’s a bit about Nosedive.

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

Black Mirror – Nosedive2017-01-27T11:12:38+00:00
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