IDENTITY CRISIS

TODAY’S BLOG

IDENTITY CRISIS

Confession time, I really enjoy Ben Elton’s books. His latest publication “Identity Crisis” is both hilarious and gripping. As is often the case, he wraps some serious uncomfortable truths about the world we live in, our own hypocrisy, in a blanket of comedy. He is the equivalent of Lear’s Fool, offering deeply pertinent wise observations that make you laugh.

The novel is frankly a must read for anyone with a social media account of any description. That’s you. It is set in the very near future, Britain undergoing an identity crisis and having yet another referendum, this time about the separation of England from the UK. The motivations are unclear, except for a backlash against “latte drinking liberal London lefties” and the struggle to adjust to new realities of virtual realities, multiple and changing identities. Throw in some gender politics, a dash of religious discrimination, a pinch of disenfranchisement wrapped in the ribbons and bows of a “proud heritage” and he creates a mix that leaves Politicians running for the comfort of soundbites.

Money, Sex and Power

This of course has absolutely nothing to do with financial planning. Then again, it has everything to do with financial planning. The way that money, sex and power combine to persuade people to behave in a way that may serve their baser instincts but against what is in their own interests.

Solomons IFA Blog Identity Crisis - Ben Elton

Incoming SPAM

I am sure that if you have an email account (you must do). At some point you have had various emails that have somehow bypassed your spam filters. These may offer the promise of lucrative rewards for assisting moving money around, perhaps offer a money-making scheme or threaten to expose you for something you have done, might have done, or never have done but the fishing trip alone is enough to make you wonder. We have all heard of cyber bullying and generally assume this is something that happens to children at school, where bullies now have constant access to their prey via social (unsocial) media. Yet we all know that those three pillars of money, sex and power are more vulnerable amongst the adult population, those that possess a modicum of one or more.

You may well find yourself confounded by the changing social attitudes to gender and its new fluidity, but everyone of us has an identity that we do not wish to see trashed by the prospect of blackmail, however baseless and fake. You are in my electronic address book and I in yours. So I wonder whether you have considered what a financial planner, (or any of your professional advisers) but particularly a planner that knows all about you and your money, might compromise if placed under the duress of blackmail. Not given it much thought? No neither had I until I wondered how someone that had actually done some of the things suggested in an email might have responded differently to the threat of “exposure” in exchange of payments of Bitcoins. I simply hit delete, but I did wonder how some would respond.

Hashtag Keep It Real

We all want those that we trust to be “decent” people, we know that we are all flawed. None of us wish to expose our own. Everyone has their thing. Please know that I am not remotely interested in yours and assume the same. It is this that any blackmailer preys upon – the delusion that your private life is of any significant interest. Those possessing a grasp on reality and a healthy amount of self-awareness recognise a world in which we are all flawed. Rather than face our own failings, we live in times that crowds now gather virtually around the corpse du jour, perhaps joining the mellay. Occasionally making a Game of Thrones battle look like a Sunday picnic.

So, haven given it some thought (it is a work in progress) I would encourage everyone, you and me to ignore blackmail. We are what we are, a blackmailer only wins when we pretend to be otherwise. Accept that we have a flawed identity, own the truth.

Here is Ben Elton talking about his book.

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

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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

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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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IDENTITY CRISIS2019-05-01T11:26:18+01:00

Financial Planning in a Box

Financial Planning in a Box

It is easy to believe that the world is an unsafe place, full of people determined to do us harm or ill. We all know about the continuing extremism and acts of terror, but are increasingly aware that the answers provided by world leaders seem misguided at “best” and “just as bad” at worst. Politics is one way we tend to divide ourselves into camps of allegiance, yet this is simply one of many ways to put each other into a box, indeed perhaps your understanding of financial planning is in a box – or a certain type of box. Perhaps we could remember more about what we share alike than what differentiates us.

Tick Box Approach

Marketing is perhaps the ultimate tool for putting us all into a specific box and if this is done to identify who might benefit from a product or service, then there’s nothing that I can see that’s wrong with it. We might exclude ourselves or be excluded for good reason, the problems come when we are excluded without any valid reason. It ought to be win-win if I am excluded from the mailing list of skydiving weekly – I have no interest in skydiving and cannot believe that this would change. Those marketing skydiving courses or related products are not wasting their resources attempting to offer me great deals. That’s a win-win as far as I can tell.

Outside the Box… or how about a different box?

So, I was challenged and encouraged by a TV advert “All That We Share” from Denmark (and no I’m not on their mailing list either!). A friend shared it and it is a great reminder that the boxes we put each other in can vary enormously, yet the media (not all) and politicians (not all) seem intent on placing us into more limited, confrontational boxes. Its title might have a message for those of us that use social media too – what we share, how and to whom. Anyway, have a look for yourself.

The financial planning angle…

What has this to do with financial planning? Well very little – except to say that your financial plan should be about your life, your values and your future, not the things you think advisers want to hear (a yacht, fast car, enormous house and huge portfolio). These might have a place in your financial plan, but until we meet to discuss it, I’d rather assume nothing and wait to hear your story.

The right fit

So, when it comes to our own marketing, we are looking for people that we can help. That means – helping to improve, organise and structure what you have better, so that it works for you, saving you time, reducing anxiety and bringing about a sense of “peace of mind”. Obviously, we need paying, which means you need to have resources to do so, but its more than that – it’s also for people that are looking for a long-term professional relationship from which we can work on your plan together.

Anyhow, here is the video.

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

Financial Planning in a Box2017-01-30T13:19:14+00:00

A Day of Infamy – Alex Massie

A Day of Infamy – Alex Massie

Like any normal person, I was appalled by the murder of one of our politicians, Jo Cox, yesterday. I came across a very good piece online by Alex Massie, writing in The Spectator on this subject which he wrote yesterday. I’m not an expert in copyright and have no desire to plagiarise his content, but would simply encourage you to read it if you can.

He writes movingly and powerfully about the way the EU referendum has impacted us all. Whichever side of the debate you are on, this is one piece that is perhaps most sobering of all.

You can read the full article by clicking here.

Oh – the image I used is from the cover of 6th June, not the current one.

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

A Day of Infamy – Alex Massie2017-01-06T14:39:15+00:00

Money and Power

Solomons-financial-advisor-wimbledon-blogger

Money and Power

Perhaps my age is showing, but it is only day 6 of the new year and I am already fed up with the election campaign. I ought to be celebrating our democracy and the opportunity to hear reasoned arguments, however inevitably we seem stuck in a cycle of who will tax or cut most, the prospect of genuine change and improvement for all seems rather unlikely with the inevitable tension around money and power. Here Lies Love NT

In a more reflective moment, I remind myself that this is not a dictatorship and we at least get to vote and I don’t really think we are at the mercy of a despot who has anger issues and a twitching finger poised over an end-all button. This isn’t the case for millions of “voters” around the world who are marched off to vote for egomaniacs. This in mind, a relatively new musical to arrive via New York at the National Theatre “Here Lies Love” is based on a 2010 concept album of the same name, which gives musicals a nightclub injection. If you think that a nightclub is exclusively for the “young” perhaps think agains as, the creators Fatboy Slim (Norman Cook) is 51 and David Byrne is 62. The production has the flavour of community theatre, with the execution of high-end night club. A moving stage and audience, all combine to great effect and an entertaining, immersive experience.

Imelda Marcos

This is the story of Imelda Marcos, her rise and fall from power. Byrne and Cook wanted to explore what makes powerful people behave the way they do. I’m not so sure that this was explored terribly well, whilst displaying a delusional, drugged up Imelda, she isn’t portrayed that badly – a little bit too vanilla in Manilla – little about her excessive flamboyancy and penchant for hundreds of shoes. The story is chronological, revealing the fragility of her marriage, her inability to cope with her rags to riches story and a familar narcissism of Heads of State that seem to believe that they “give their all to their people”.

The Price of Democracy

There was little in the musical that gave me reason to believe such behaviour was understood or how to spot it in others and take precautionary action…so no tips for our elections. The world seems to have done little during the period of martial law and  assassination of the opposition including the shooting of Benigno Aquino on the steps of his ill-advised return flight to Manilla on 21 August 1983 (age 50) which you may remember. In the Philippines, the Marcos regime was eventually cast out by a peaceful protest, following a corrupt election (February 1986) against Aquino’s widow following which the public simply decided enough was enough. Marcos and his family took US advice and support then fled to Hawaii along with 24 suitcases of gold bullion and jewellery. Sadly for Imelda this took precedent over her 2,700 pairs of shoes. It is estimated that Marcos stole over $10billion from the country, much was invested into various family related businesses and Swiss accounts. The Swiss have so far returned about $684 million. So for me, this musical, whilst being entertaining does little to understand how and why power corrupts so absolutely. Indeed one might argue that the catchy tunes, flashing lights distract from the real story… but then, perhaps that’s the point.

Dominic Thomas

Money and Power2017-01-06T14:39:31+00:00
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