When in Rome..

I recently visited Rome for the first time. It was one of those places that I have been meaning to visit but simply had never found the time. I have always had good holidays in Italy and am happy to report that Rome more than lived up to expectations.

All roads lead to Rome

Being something of a film fan, I was keen to ensure that a few of the locations used in Roman Holiday, La Dolce Vita …were included in my visit. Having studied Latin at school (which dates me) I was also interested to see the ancient sites, many of which were part of the translation exercises that I sweated through somewhat reluctantly…. the Appian Way.

The experience of Rome reminded me of the story of the man that went to Africa and saw a huge opportunity to sell shoes, given the number of people without them. Business school suggested that this could be seen two ways – an opportunity to sell shoes or evidence that most people didn’t see the need or have the desire for them. Anecdotal observation is insufficient for making any solid business plan.

Opportunity discussion forum

Today, I might suggest opportunity of such a nature exists in Rome for driving instructors, graffiti removers and retail space designers. The driving in Rome is something to be seen to be believed. Opportunity or dead horse?

Tempus Fugit MMXVI

The Budget is now just a couple of weeks away. There is plenty of opportunity for speculation as you may have gathered. There is rumour that tax relief might be axed entirely or reduced (more likely). Supposed leaks suggest that perhaps the 25% tax-free cash lump sum will be scrapped (so some are now rushing to take theirs whilst they can). However this is in the context of the option of a pension income that is not taxed. Changes to the Lifetime Allowance, Annual Allowance and the prospect of a pension ISA.…. But by doing so, this would likely require a pre and post 2016 pension regime– just to add further complexity.


The truth will not be known until some time after the Budget (not the Budget itself) which needs clarifying, checking and approval, is generally a promise, not a guarantee. Indeed assuming that anything that any Government says about pensions is “guaranteed” is best probably thought of only within the very short-term nature of a Government… the most obvious example being the “triple lock” guarantee for the State Pension.

Which reminds me again of Rome, and wondering how many in our political system or media would have survived the mouth of truth…. When it comes to pensions it would appear that many will simply be flung to the lions.


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