FIRST MAN

TODAY’S BLOG

FIRST MAN

The new film about Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, is a compelling story. Next year will be the 50th anniversary of the moon landing in 1969. The world was gripped by faint black and white images streamed around the world from another one. I do not remember the event, I was a few months old enjoying an ice cream on a visit to my grandparents. There’s even footage to prove it – though its lack of sound exposes the gap between widespread technology of the day compared to NASA.

I’ve grown up being fascinated by space, a product of my time and childhood posters of the Americans on the moon. This new movie is the story of Armstrong, much of which I did not know. The advantage of cinematic technology is that the audience are taken on the ride which feels very realistic. We ride up on Gemini and Apollo with deafening sounds of rockets, fire and metal. We can only marvel at the courage of anyone that has boldly gone where no one has gone before. Every experience new and unique, full of thousands of “what if’s”. I am only able to applaud the sort of courage I lack and the genius of the engineers, mathematicians and scientists involved.

The Sea of Tranquility

This is also the story of a family, one that isn’t terribly good at communicating. Their own inability to communicate well is echoed by the silence of space and the sea of tranquillity. We witness this through tragedy, but it is the constant silence of the background noise.

Financial planning is all about your story. You and I may not make history, but we certainly impact those that know us. Good communication in any relationship is a major element of its success. Yet many struggle to express their feelings and hopes when it comes to money. Couples have their own backgrounds that inform their own decisions and these are rarely always complimentary. Much is unsaid. Yet for any financial plan to achieve the results that you want, communication is all. This is far more complex than simply helping you get from A to B.

History in the Making

Your financial plan might be unique, but you don’t have to be the test pilot for the tools that help you. You can rely on timeless principles of investment markets and ancient realities – all things will pass. Today is tomorrow’s history. As with the skill set deployed by Armstrong, some is art, some is science and some is intuition. The issues for all of us to understand are the real risks that we run and the importance of a stress-tested plan. You may not have the need, desire or resources to get to the moon, but wherever you want to go, understanding what horizon you are looking at and what the compass is telling you are vital.

Here is the trailer… one thing that I noticed during the film was the music. It has a very familiar tune. You may remember that Mr Gosling starred in LA LA LAND which almost won the Best Picture OSCAR by mistake, against… well Moonlight. Just saying…

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

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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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

WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT

If you would like a no-nonsense one page document explaining what financial planning is all about please enter your email here.

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FIRST MAN2018-10-18T17:35:47+01:00

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures

Most of the work that I do for clients is behind the scenes… if you like our own hidden figures. Whether this is monitoring the performance of portfolios and reviewing asset allocations along with investment costs, these are aspects that fall into the “under the bonnet” category.

Getting the numbers accurate is something that we attempt in the knowledge that failure is almost certain. There are too many variables and too many unpredictable factors. We make assumptions, reasonable ones and review them – frequently. This is of course in relation to the future, not the present or indeed the past. Being precise is not an easy task, made ever harder when the rules are constantly and needlessly altered by the Government of the day… or week. Behind the scenes we are checking and reviewing, trying to ensure that your financial plan remains on track. We run test scenarios, but ultimately a plan is nothing without the risk of becoming a reality through implementation.

Inside NASA

I was intrigued initially by the title of the new film “Hidden Figures” and then realised that it was about mathematicians at NASA. In particular black, female mathematicians and their vital contribution to NASA space exploration and the moon landing.

We Three Queens

It is hard to comprehend the segregation that was widespread in America. Yet sadly, it has become increasingly apparent that America continues to struggle with an undercurrent of racism. Hidden Figures is a wonderful movie, telling the story of three women in particular, Katherine Johnson (Taraji Henson); Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae). Frankly, these three shame my own mathematical abilities, but I guess that at least financial planning isn’t rocket science. They were true pioneers and wonderful examples of determination, despite obstacles designed to deliberately impede, thwart and oppress.

Robo-Advice

There are messages within the story beyond that of challenging racist attitudes. These women faced the constant threat of being made redundant due to the advances in technology. Today the device that you are reading this from probably has more computing power than Apollo 11 enjoyed. The challenge of technology replacing people, is a real one. In every field there is the prospect of computers doing the work more effectively. In my field, we call it robo-advice. Some are very concerned for their future.

Being right, Being present, Being human

It seems to me, that most of us enjoy and appreciate the advantages of technology, yet still prefer to deal with a real person. Being right isn’t the same as being present, or being able to dialogue thoughtfully. The problems seem to arise when we treat each other as less than people, inhuman, something that Johnson, Vaughan and Jackson fought against with enormous courage and dignity.

Here is the trailer. I think it’s my favourite of this year’s short-list for Best Picture. The audience at the local Wimbledon Odeon cheered and clapped, not something that happens regularly. Perhaps because, for me, it reveals both the worst and the best of America.

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

Hidden Figures2017-02-20T15:53:17+00:00
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