1966: Carry on Screaming – Thomas

There are days when I’m very much “in the zone” and then there are days like today, when I am thwarted by incompetence. Financial planners rely on good information, the tired phrase “garbage in, garbage out” very much applies within financial planning. It is important that information is accurate. I have been working for a client that is due to reach a milestone birthday next week. We have made repeated requests to his pension company (a well-known Multi-national) for accurate information about what his funds are worth and what their options are for him. I need this in order to do a thorough job, frankly a proper one, assessing all his available options. So it is “disappointing” (one word for it) when we are told conflicting information and sent inaccurate details. This is not for a theoretical analysis, but is vital for something that will happen next week (we have been requesting information for months).

Sadly, its not possible to simply “move on” and dismiss their incompetence, the pension concerned is fairly old (ok very old) and has all sorts of very good “bells and whistles” involving guaranteed annuity rates, which when compared against the market are considerably better (double). So it’s no good me losing my patience and moving on to another option, we need the information. The client of course is simply looking forward to the funds – his pension, which is entirely reasonable, but will be disappointed when they don’t materialise on his birthday because of the delays outside of our control. I would like to think that in this technology based world, that this sort of mess could be easily avoided, but sadly the company concerned cannot even send a fax out on the same day…. hey presto an email to my inbox from a research company asking about annuities…. will I spare my wrath? As a financial planner that attempts to make sure money arrives in the right form, right amount, right place, right time it is deeply disappointing to be at the mercy of product provider incompetence. Sadly, real life experience of service is not regarded as a terribly good way of assessing the most suitable product, so we persist… again…. whilst I carry on screaming.
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