Where does the time go?

Where does all the time go?

It’s the holiday season. All being well in a couple of days I will be poolside, reflecting on the year so far and what I still need to do, (being a couple of things that readily come to mind) and no doubt I will wonder, yet again “where does all the time go?”

Holidays are a little like landmarks in time. My daughters often use holidays as a reminder for helping us recall when other things happened, for example, a recent question about our aging cat (who went to move in with the neighbours when the dog arrived) was answered by recalling where we were and what else was going on when we picked him up… all referenced by our family holiday of that year.

So this week I will be reflecting on the a small milestone. It will be 16 years since I formally received permission from the regulator to open the doors at Solomons. Sixteen years. It seems that I have endured rather longer than the regulator, which is in its third revision or Doctor Who like regeneration in the same period.

Taking Stock

I hope that this doesn’t sound twee, but I really enjoy helping my clients. I love real stories and helping clients plot new ones – or rather the life that they want in the future. Of course I don’t make it happen – they (you) do that. However I have the opportunity to prompt thought, vision and help clarify it, occasionally acting as a type of permission-giver due to being able to demonstrate what would happen if…

That’s what I love about financial planning. Like most people, I find financial products rather dull and invariably remain sceptical and suspicious of the wider workings of the financial services industry, which resulted in the formation of the company and the business model of transparent charges and a “level playing-field” approach.

It is with some degree of surprise that I read my trade press suggesting a further 22% of advisers will close within the next year because more changes to commission are coming or feared. The change being that it will be turned off…. yet this is what we did 16 years ago.

Woodstock …. or out in the Wilderness

At the weekend I attended “Wilderness” a festival held in Oxfordshire. It was my first visit (its fifth year) and having been to quite a number of different festivals over the years, it was interesting to experience the evidently more affluent middle-class approach. I was struck by the irony of it being located near Woodstock  and connotations with the east-coast American hippy counter-culture festival started in 1969 of the same name. What was once counter-cultural has become both “fashionable” and highly commoditized over the last 46 years. Sadly I missed the V&A museum’s take on this observation, which is true of many, if not all festivals, not simply Wilderness, who have by far the best on-site food (I admit to indulging in a superb banquet fit for a King at the Hix on-site restaurant and the odd glass of champagne at the Lauren-Perrier orangery) all of which you won’t find at your typical summer festival. Nobody dared mention the phrase champagne socialism too loudly.

Anyway, one of the talks/seminars I attended was called “State of the Nation” hosted by Jolyon Rubinstein which raised questions about business, stock markets and economics. Despite festival attire, many of those attending are probably the sort of people (of all ages) that seek out financial advice, yet few seemed to really appreciate how much financial services eeks out of their wealth in charges…. something that I hope is evidently clear to our clients  and why I set out 16 years ago to be transparent and use low-cost investing techniques. I guess it is good that finally others are waking up to better understanding of economics, wealth and planning. As many festival revellers seemed to come from the London area, perhaps rethinking or dare I say even re-imagining financial planning resides within striking distance of Wimbledon…. and we’ve been walking the talk – living it for some time.

What Wilderness has done is to break into the imagination of those more right of centre, higher earners, who are also desperately aware of the unfairness of the “system” and have found some comfort in various, albeit expensive forms of alternative…. a sure sign for hope.

Do share this with your friends..

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