BETTER NOT CALL SAUL

TODAY’S BLOG

SELLING TRUTH YOU WANT TO HEAR

One of the TV series I enjoy is a spin off from Breaking Bad – Better Call Saul, which you can find on Netflix. In simple terms it is the story of James “Jimmy” McGill who is the younger wayward sibling of two brothers. Regularly in trouble, Jimmy is nothing like his responsible, pedantic brother Charles who is a very successful lawyer. Despite their differences, Jimmy is close to his brother, tending to a peculiar illness which is debilitating.

Jimmy is a low-level conman, who has a talent for spotting a fool and parting him from his money as most confidence tricksters do. His observational skills and self-confidence combined with a malleable relationship with rules are the perfect combination for selling a different version of truth, a lie that people want to believe. It becomes apparent to him that perhaps being a lawyer requires a similar skill set. Most believe that lawyers are crooks with a Degree and Jimmy can smell opportunity.

The numerous series chart his misdemeanours, and these run parallel to the mirroring characters of the drug world. Instead of law firms and partners, read gangs and cartel all pushing the same freedom fix, but with grave penalties for error.

Better Call Saul - Netflix

TO WHAT PURPOSE?

The series raises lots of relevant questions – fundamentally what is our purpose? Who is Jimmy? Why is he endowed with the skills he has and how could these be put to more rewarding, purposeful use. We witness him genuinely attempt to do good, to remove or reduce harm, to expose corruption and to protect the vulnerable, yet his efforts are met with the resistance of indifference and judgement that prevents him from straying outside of his box. A societal box that others have placed him in. This is of course particularly timely as we all consider the challenges that face anyone that is genuinely interested in equality, justice and fairness.

It isn’t often that I would encourage you to pay attention to someone that is essentially a corrupt lawyer, but there are many valuable insights to be found. These are as basic as understanding the mechanics of a scam, hiding in plain sight and how to find hidden fees. However we also have to face the reality of understanding depth, capacity, risk and the difference between problems and trouble.

Many of the problems that Jimmy faces are problems that many of us may experience at some point – whether that’s the importance of a Will, care costs, business partnerships, deals and the value of what we provide to others. However at its heart of the story is the strength and weaknesses of relationships – whether that’s between siblings, employers, family or friends. Jimmy is largely making decisions in reaction to those relationships, as are others. Every character has a story but as ever, being able to see the solutions to your own problems is often aided by an impartial other.

One of the lessons I have been reminded of this week, today in fact, is that as a planner, I help provide objectivity and accountability – helping clients keep on track with their stated values and plans for a great life. Jimmy could have had a very different story if someone had shown him how his skills could be applied, if he had received the right support and encouragement. It may not have been as dramatic (and worthy of a TV series) but it would certainly have ensured prosperity in the fullest sense of the word.

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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BETTER NOT CALL SAUL2020-06-02T16:17:08+01:00

The Eye of Truth – Mindhorn

The Eye of Truth – Mindhorn

It seems that we are living in a time of “alternative facts” of course we aren’t it is merely that certain politicians and business leaders wish us to believe their point of view rather than reality. So perhaps there is a certain sense of good timing for a bionic eye that enables truth to be seen. However, as with most things, the irony in this instance, is that the possessor of the bionic eye, (Mindhorn) is blind to his own shortcomings.

Mindhorn is a new comedy about a TV actor “Richard Thorncroft” (Julian Barratt) playing a detective “Mindhorn” in the 1980s. Now many years later, the type cast, washed up actor is struggling to maintain his dignity in a world that has forgotten him. He is rescued by a serial killer; whose own delusions mean that he believes that Mindhorn is real. As a result, reluctantly the local Police call in Mindhorn for one last performance to entrap the villain.

Bodie & Doyle meet Steve Austin and Knight Rider

Being comedic, this has the potential to be a rip take of any and every TV detective since Bodie and Doyle at CI5 with references as broad as the lapels. How one man is stuck in the past of his glory days and failing to embrace the present, or indeed the uncomfortable truth of reality. Sadly, the film, like many, has all of its best bits in the trailer. There are some funny moments, but this is a fairly tame affair which could have been so much better, despite being rammed with an impressive collection of actors, who all must have also thought that the concept was good, but the final delivery…. Hmm. Take comfort in the fact that there are as many twists as there are in a straight piece of wood, which certainly could not describe the acting, but recycled pulp is probably not far off the truth about the script.

Former Glories

On occasion, we all meet people that are an echo of their former greatness. Whilst I can accept that with age limitations do apply, particularly the laws of physics! It seems such a missed opportunity to not live fully irrespective of age. I’m sure that like me, you meet many that do. Retirement can seem like a fairly scary subject for some people. What on earth will they do with their time? Just endless rounds of golf and bridge? Well, I can assure you that the retirees that I advise all have very active lives, in fact most are more active than ever before. I’d argue that retirement is nothing to fear at all – infirmity however, well, that’s a different thing entirely.

A Vibrant Retirement

So any financial plan, should really be set up for a full and vibrant retirement, one that reflects what you wish to do and how you intend to spend your time. Of course things may change over time and for some, infirmity may become an unwelcome compatriot, so some thought also needs to be given to the “what if?” of this prospect…. Which may or may not occur.After all, even the Duke of Edinburgh has only just annoucned that he will “retire” later this year – and he’s 96 in a few weeks time! Financial planning is very much about taking a look into the future and making some changes now, if you don’t like what you see (albeit with loads of assumptions). It is never a sense of constantly trying to restart the glory days like Mindhorn. There are some things that need to grow, some that need to die and some that simply need to be tried.

Here’s the trailer for Mindhorn. It makes a compelling pitch as a comedy, but sadly lacked the final punchline.

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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The Eye of Truth – Mindhorn2017-05-09T14:00:34+01:00

Julieta

Julieta

One of my favourite Directors, Pedro Almodóvar has a new movie out. Julieta. As ever it is a sumptuous, pithy film that uncovers the dark and deep dysfunctions within various relationships. Julieta is the story of a woman ravaged by guilt, though the sort that is taught rather than deserved. We see a modern sophisticated woman thrown into reflection due to a chance meeting with a friend of her daughter uncovering a history that needs re-visitation.

Not being Spanish or Catholic, it is hard to fully grasp the deeply imbedded cultural dynamic that is evident in much of Almodóvar’s work. Shakespeare would probably grin at his use of timing, misunderstanding and the communion of words without understanding, the essence of dysfunction within any or perhaps every family or relationship.

Your Canvas

I don’t wish to give the story away, it is worthy of 1 hour 39 minutes of your time if simply to remind us all that honesty is a vital element of a healthy relationship, not simply with others but also with ourselves. The lack of honesty and the inability of those closest to provide the environment for its great unmasking, creates the dramatic tension that shapes the path that this and many other stories run.

When I am seeing clients, there have been numerous times, when it is clear to me and to the client, that nobody seems to have asked the important questions… “Who are you?” and “What are you doing here?” which I mean in the deepest sense I can muster. The answers to these questions are of course not as easy to provide, invariably requiring a life-long sojourn or a form of Socratic scrutiny. This is a journey that both Julieta and her daughter Antia embark upon but without possessing the facts or reliable confessional support.

How we all ponder our deepest reflections needs considerable care, Narcissus didn’t do so well in this regard, which is why a.n.other is so important in the process of discovering and why as a financial planner, my role is not to grant wishes or paint canvases of colourful dreams but to help find the corners of what it is that you value, to help provide a form and shape that has sufficient meaning to be a life well spent. The money part… well, that’s just the tools to get it done.

Here’s 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

Julieta2017-02-02T13:28:06+00:00

So where are our blindspots?

So where are our blind spots?

The new movie Spotlight is both horrific and brilliant. It is in the same genre as “All The President’s Men” but is about the story of a local community that ignored the child abuse in their midst at the hands of the local catholic church. The collective blind spot on many levels in all walks of life.

Whilst the story is fascinating and a triumph of investigative journalism, the subject matter is of course alarming. Yet whilst we may be disturbed by the, frankly deliberate corruption, there isn’t the typical easy solution of laying the blame squarely at one person or institution. There is very much a sense of collective failure to act on the seemingly obvious.

Don’t misunderstand me, clearly the perpetrators are responsible for their horrendous actions, but the film also exposes the problems of a culture that doesn’t wish to rock the boat if “best interests” are to be served.

A Painful Truth

The great sadness of the film is the damage that is done by the abusers, who largely appear to continue their unrepentant behaviour. Yet of course, whilst this is set in Boston, the uncomfortable truth is that most abuse does not happen in the church, it happens in homes, across the country in alarming numbers…. in our own villages, towns and streets. Yet, I imagine that few of us are confronted by this reality, perhaps I’m wrong.

The truth is often painful which is of course why we generally wish to avoid it. It is easier to believe that abusers damage a small number of people and get caught. The truth is perhaps rather different. The issue of child abuse is of course incredibly delicate, but the mechanics of our ability to see or confront the truth applies to all aspects of life. Our relationship with immigrants, our foreign policy, our sale of weapons to hideous regimes, our spending habits and addictions.

Having a financial plan that is based around your own values will to some degree reflect your ability to face and handle the “truth”. Financial planners are not magicians, we cannot make pain go away, we can help identify your values and goals and build a plan around them, but we cannot cheat death or illness or disaster. We can insure against them. I wonder sometimes if some people do not have a financial plan, because of a reluctance to hear or see the truth of their current situation as any decent planner will be suggesting some changes to behaviours, which may be uncomfortable. The truth is that we all feel like this at times, but at some point, recognise that the truth is far better than denial.

The movie is now out here in the UK and has some great performances, here is the official 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

So where are our blindspots?2017-02-02T13:40:43+00:00
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