TWENTY-ONE

TODAY’S BLOG

TWENTY-ONE

We have turned twenty-one. We are still here and growing again as I outlined in my last post. One of the many aspects of my work that I really love is the constant learning and improving. Whilst learning new things often seems a little frightening, a little bit of time and perhaps a lot of work can  provide a reassuring perspective.

It is tempting at anniversaries to do a lot of looking back at what has been achieved. However today I was introduced to a fairly stark image – no, not the usual pictures of backtracking ministers or inept politicians – a reminder that life is very, very short.

TEMPUS FUGIT – OUR CONSTANT

The author, Tim Urban (really?) continues to use and develop his basic visual tool to explore other ideas, but these all stem from the same basic idea of measuring life in different types of units, rather than perhaps monetary ones. A good financial planner will have discussed this notion to some extent with you – trying to help you appreciate that life is short and you may not get to do all the things you say you would like to do because time runs out. This is fundamental to any good financial plan in terms of knowing how much is enough. I’m not meaning “just enough” but enough.

The graphic shows a human life to age 90. For many humans, this will be longer than they actually live, for some it will not be nearly long enough. Tim spends time reflecting on things he does with his time and then tries to estimate how much he has done and how much he has left. It helps him to focus on what is important to him.

I wonder what you think? Its easy to get started with your own life in weeks, but its also rather daunting when you see how much time remains… hopefully. So I’m likely to adapt this idea to help you think about what’s actually important in your life and what you definitely don’t want to run out of time for. Anyway, the place to start is where you are now… and then cross out everything before or mark it as completed…. I’m available to discuss.

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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TWENTY-ONE2020-08-19T16:53:32+01:00

WHAT WOULD YOU GIVE TO GO BACK IN TIME?

TODAY’S BLOG

WHAT WOULD YOU GIVE TO GO BACK IN TIME?

The concept of time is something that we all like to play around with. We recall memories, sometimes embellished, some highly accurate and others somewhat muddled. We encounter the present with our baggage and sense of identity based on the past and have hopes for our future.

To travel through time is what we all do, on a daily basis, yet to time-travel, well that is something for the writers of science fiction. As we all know, there would be some significant advantages to be gained if we could “correct” our own actions and perhaps those of others in the past. The chance to have another, better attempt at anything with the advantage of hindsight is the fuel of regrets and if only…

Time flies, The Old Bakery, Solomons IFA

Do we ever learn?

History is a great teacher, it is in many respects the best way we can apply “hindsight”. Yet we so readily ignore its lessons. Human behaviour has not really altered much over the years. We are having to adapt to new things all the time, but our nature seems slow to learn. The repetitive nature of war, division and “inhumanity” are sadly familiar. We don’t seem to learn.

Long-term thinking

The same is true of investing. We don’t learn very easily. Investing in equities (shares) has been proven time and again to provide the most likely way of increasing wealth above the rate of inflation. Looking at any long-term horizon, when considering the total returns (increase in capital value and income paid out by way of dividends) there is ample evidence to hold the very firm belief that over time, years and decades, equities are the obvious choice.

I can already hear you thinking “but…” and that’s what I have come to appreciate. We are not built for investing. Human nature has been built around the very useful instinct to flee at the sight of threat. This is helpful in a world of beasts and the beastly, but not in the sophisticated world of long-term equity investment. Every sign or signal of “downturn” is met with fear and panic. Pundits and journalists alike are designed to be storytellers, having something to say is better than the alternative. We hear “billions wiped off the market” yet we never hear “billions wiped on the market”. The news is skewed, we thrive on drama. Yet this passes and is arguably a vital aspect of equity markets, which always recover. Always. The crash comes, recovery comes, repeat, but we never seem to learn. Human nature is not our friend when it comes to successful investing. It is utterly inept.

These days the better part of my skill set is employed to remind you not to blow up your own financial plan. Indeed, it is to prevent you from doing so, which means confronting your own worst enemy… you. Some days will be very difficult. A 50% fall in markets is huge, but it will recover, not if, but when. The only measure for success with your financial planning is whether you reach your goals, not those of others. This is your story.

As for time travelling, there is a decent little series on Netflix called “The Umbrella Academy” which has some interesting ideas. Here is the trailer for the series.

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.

=

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.

=

WHAT WOULD YOU GIVE TO GO BACK IN TIME?2019-03-06T10:57:21+00:00

Arrival in Time

Arrival in Time

“There are days that define your story beyond your life, like the day they arrived”. Arrival, tells the story of an alien arrival (I’m not giving anything away). The film itself will likely get your grey matter working hard grappling with the concept of time. This is a very different alien movie, unlike any other that I have seen as it challenges the concept of time…well ok Interstellar did this too… and perhaps a little like the HG Wells story, but different in that it proposes time as non-linear.

Time as an image

As a financial planner, we use cashflow modelling in a very linear application. The present, perhaps a nod to the past, but a plan for the future. The result is translated into an illuminating image, which clients find very helpful indeed. Yet it is linear, which is of course it’s limitation. A great financial planning meeting will attempt to address questions about whether some of the plans in the future can be brought further forward, perhaps much more into the present. Never-the-less it is still a linear experience.

Life is a journey… and some

The movie Arrival is not really about aliens. It’s about communication and about being able to develop the adage “life is a journey, not a destination”. One that we play with in this site. Many people find financial services jargon to be fairly alienating. Communication is not something that our sector has done terribly well in the past. The film seems to ask the question whether we would change the image, if our life was reduced to a single image, with all its joys, but with all its pains. One might argue that there is something almost deity-like in this understanding of time and it is rather different from our more linear rational explanation. This might be viewed by the fairly expected traditional male approach of binary thinking, as often displayed in our world, with the “if you aren’t for us, you must be against us” rationale. This is given character in the usual full military display and response to anything different or other worldly. It takes a female linguist (Louise, played by Amy Adams) to have the humility and wisdom to listen and comprehend the message provided by the Heptapods.

Lessons from Arrival

Financial planning looks at the future and adjusts the present to have a better chance of reaching the one you want. Arrival, is more accepting of what is, when it was, is or will be, but all at the same time. Time is not linear. So, from a financial planning perspective, the movie doesn’t teach us a lot other than to remind us to listen to what is being communicated and attempting to avoid the binary choice mentality that is rarely constructive. However, the idea of being able to visualise and create an image of your life for you to see, well that’s very much an aspect of proper cashflow modelling, which is all about conveying your choices about the future visually.

If you haven’t seen it yet, here is the trailer for Arrival. I enjoyed it a lot.

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

Arrival in Time2017-02-08T12:46:26+00:00
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