Mission Impossible – Fallout

Mission Impossible – Fallout

The latest in the Mission Impossible series is now doing the summer blockbuster rounds in cinemas across the country. The six-film series has had a mixed reception over the 12 years since the first film directed by Brian de Palma. Known for its over-the-top stunts all 6 films cost a combined $828million. The return to date, with the latest film only just having opened is now in excess of $2.9billion. That’s a payback that would make most villains happy and as predictable as shots of Tom Cruise running, speeding on a motorbike, hanging to an aircraft, climbing or jumping.

This latest film is arguably the best, with a gripping, tense tale of a plot to save the world from three suitcase sized nuclear bombs. There are motorbike and boat chases across beautiful Paris, the standard Tom Cruise run across London, from St Pauls to the Tate (though why he didn’t use the millennium bridge is a mystery). Finally, a helicopter sequence over Kashmir, all in pursuit of (spoiler alert – perhaps the most obvious double agent in movie history) August Walker played by Superman himself, Henry Cavill. Note Mr Cavill is 35 and 1.85m, Mr Cruise is now 56 and 1.7m and managing to defy age in the way that LA residents do.

Mission Accomplished

Despite the obvious implausibility with this type of movie, its undeniably gripping for all 147 minutes. Throw in a few jokes and pepper with a cast (Rebecca Ferguson, Alec Baldwin, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Sean Harris, Angela Bassett, and Michelle Monaghan) that fill magazines, then it’s a fairly safe bet that this latest movie will be a hit. How they get London, Paris or Berlin to close down for some of the sequences is beyond me, but kudos to whoever pulled that off.

Who To Trust

As with all things IMF, there are questions posed about who can be trusted, aligned interests and then stakes so high that results are more important than methods. This is perhaps what investors feel when confronted by the choice of an IFA, restricted adviser, financial planner, wealth manager or stockbroker. It is possible that they can work well together, but in my experience,  to do so, interests don’t simply need to be aligned, but all need to clearly understand that the client brief is the mission – nothing more, nothing less. Where this becomes impossible is when there is no plan, simply to “manage money” or arrange a financial product. This leaves plenty of scope for other interests to take hold and leave the client with a deep sense of mistrust.

Your Mission…

As financial planners, it is my belief that the regulator is largely right about transparency, revealing details to expose truth. The problem is that many will continue to find a loophole, work an angle or simply misdirect and in my opinion, trust is earned by keeping promises, not by providing information. As I knuckle down to writing yet another hefty report and wish that everyone could be happy with a short, clear and well-presented message that then self-destructs after 5 seconds, this is not my reality, or yours.  I imagine that writing a report for Ethan Hunt, with all the possible scenarios of things that have been considered, the costs, options and possible risks, it may run to rather more pages than any report I have prepared to date… so a small comfort for those of us that prefer to cut to the chase – getting on with achieving the mission – yours, should we choose to accept it.

Here is the trailer.

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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Mission Impossible – Fallout2018-07-31T12:19:47+01:00

The Internal Fight and Behavioural Finance

The Internal Fight and Behavioural Finance

There has been lots written in recent years about behavioural finance, in a nutshell this seeks to understand the reasons why investors (private and professional) behave the way they do, when invariably this produces very poor results. We all (hopefully) know that when it comes to investing you aim to buy low and sell high, of course this is not easy, particular in a world overloaded with information and noise. The struggle most investors have is essentially with themselves.

Perhaps this tension is reflected in recent films. There is a branch of investment theory that believes in looking for social signs that provide an investment advantage. Some take the hem line of dresses to reflect the direction of shares, the number of goals, the types of films… all essentially on the belief that more general “confidence” or lack of are displayed. Of course most theories hold a modicum of truth to even raise your attention, but as a long-term process, invariably amount to little more than highly spurious claims.

Over-confidence and Bad Behaviour?

Yet investors continue to display habits that are costly, panic and over confidence being two key elements. Investors find it very difficult to be dispassionate about their money, most believing that they are equipped sufficiently with common sense, market information of plain “insight” that provides advantage. The truth is rather different.

If you are persuaded that the big blockbuster movies are any indication of current sentiments, then perhaps the action-hero genre is worth consideration. As opposed to the usual theme of saving the world with the “good guy” we are presented with “Batman versus Superman: Dawn of Justice”, “Deadpool”, “Captain America: Civil War” and “Suicide Squad”. All reflecting concern about the assumptions we make about heroes and those we empower. Indeed also examining the conflict between friends, allies and team-mates when they disagree over the degree of Machiavellian behaviour required – ends justifying the means. Of course the deeper reflection is that we are ourselves each character, at war with ourselves. Something investors would do well to remember in the heat of trouble and why a rational, dispassionate, long-term, evidence based, sustainable investment approach is what we believe will ultimately protect and serve.

I’m hoping to put some posts together about the basics of behavioural finance, but in the meantime if you are struggling to see the enemy within, perhaps a trip to the movies may be helpful. Of course one might make the case that the current political backdrop and decisions being posed to us here in the UK are also reflected in film. We shall see quite how sensationalist, nationalistic and competitive our media become over the summer, an EU referendum, US Presidential campaign and ample national sporting events.

Here’s the trailer for the latest Captain America film “Civil War”. The Marvel franchise is very much alive to the complexity of character.

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 Internal Fight and Behavioural Finance2017-02-02T13:34:39+00:00
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