The Delicatessen v The Supermarket – where do you shop for your finances?

Think of the delicatessen, the smell of the meats, the allure of the cheeses, pots of olives, some fine pate and wine perhaps, a crusty artisan loaf.  I bet your mouth is watering already at the sights, sounds, aromas and feelings which arise!

The delicatessen, that wonderful experience where you leave with exactly what you wanted, just the right amount, tailored perfectly for your needs.  No waste, good quality, they have taken the time to talk to you, to understand what it is that you really want, making your luncheon or dinner party all the more special.  Your friends are amazed by the quality, you enjoy yourself, primarily, because you have no anxiety about the food on offer, no compromises, and none of the frantic behaviours which plague so many occasions.  What you have, is right for your party, and only your party, it is a bespoke meal, made to your wishes, and what is more, the experience of buying it was rather relaxed and jolly.

This is a far cry from what you may find in supermarkets, where, whilst there may be aisle upon aisle of choice, you have to build the meal yourself, asking yourself does everything really go with everything else? What about the quality? You can’t think, music pumping out, children hanging off shopping trolleys, CDs being sold alongside hedge trimmers, alongside muffins – SO MUCH INFORMATION NOISE. At last you reach the till, and then comes the Gerry Cottle Challenge of trying to juggle all of your shopping into the bags and trolley before the enthusiastic checkout person sends your goods crashing to the floor. Hardly the best way to set up a relaxing chilled our dinner party!

There really is no reason why your financial experiences should not be the same as shopping at the delicatessen as opposed to the supermarket. Continue reading “The Delicatessen v The Supermarket – where do you shop for your finances?”

Making sure your financial planner is not just a bag handler …

Can you remember the last time you went on holiday and arrived at the airport ?

In some places, the concierge meet you at the airport working on your behalf, making you feel important, at ease, as if they care – OK, you may well have paid a little more for this service, but you feel comfortable that all of your luggage is being taken care of.  Those precious items, expensive perfume, gifts, expensive cases, what-ever, are being treated with care.  You will get to your destination, with the minimum of discomfort because everything is in line with your expectations and aims.  Admittedly, not many of us plan to have items smashed or broken in our luggage, but often it is not unexpected.  When you arrive at the hotel, the bags are taken our room, so that you can focus on enjoying a much looked forward to spell of relaxation and enjoyment, without the worry, or labour, of dealing with the luggage.  Magically, it all arrives in perfect working order, and you go about the business of the holiday – the whole thing we have been focussing on.

OR ….

You do it on a budget, saving yourself a few quid to DIY, or see what happens when you get there. Continue reading “Making sure your financial planner is not just a bag handler …”

Free Financial Advice is usually worth exactly what you paid for it. Here’s why

In the article, the journalist says “…free advice is usually worth exactly what you paid for it…”  which may not be necessarily so.

In financial planning, free advice (albeit sometimes well intended) can frequently take you further away from where you want to be, putting you in a more precarious or risky position than  you were before. Continue reading “Free Financial Advice is usually worth exactly what you paid for it. Here’s why”

Do clients want their advisers to guess what is best for them, or help them find the best way ?

A recent FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) report (mainly centred around the issues of a standardised fact-find  -the gathering of client information), ‘acknowledged’ that the length of the fact-find process can act as a potential barrier to the consumer seeking advice.

What the report does not say is how long this lengthy, arduous task of explaining what are the most important things in your life and how they may impact on your financial outlook for the rest of your life actually takes. Continue reading “Do clients want their advisers to guess what is best for them, or help them find the best way ?”

What is a financial life plan ?

Here is a questions often asked – what is a financial life plan, and why would I need that as opposed to a financial plan?  

More and more consumers are understanding that there is a difference between the old way of financial advice (selling as many products as possible) and financial planning (where recommendations are able to demonstrate that they are relevant and appropriate for the long term).

So where is Financial Life Planning different? Continue reading “What is a financial life plan ?”

Cruising or Paddling Your Own Canoe ? That is the difference between pensions!

There is much talk at the moment around transferring pension benefits from Defined Benefit (Final Salary) schemes – especially in the wake of the British Steele pension issue.  It is a hugely complex area, one which requires high levels of care and consideration, and it is not just the financial issues to consider, it is a whole different way of planning around your pension and life. Continue reading “Cruising or Paddling Your Own Canoe ? That is the difference between pensions!”

Is the financial advice experience negative or positive?

A question I have been mulling over – ‘is financial advice negative or positive’ – or is it aimed to create negative feelings, then solve them with overly positive predictions or scenarios, or actually, should it be to create positive feelings, then stay sensibly grounded, aware of what could happen (negative scenarios)? Continue reading “Is the financial advice experience negative or positive?”

Can you recognise the vicious cycle of money worries?

There is a vicious cycle combining money and mental health  – quite simply, worrying (about money in this case) makes mental health worse, and poor mental health, makes managing (money in this instance) harder.

Although we are taking money as the example here, the example can be extended to many areas – just substitute money for ‘work’, ‘relationships’, ‘health’  and many more.  In particular though, the money cycle is one which can have a self-destructive path which is far more challenging to escape from. Continue reading “Can you recognise the vicious cycle of money worries?”

How to fix a terrible money habit in one month

At our ‘Serenity On Tour’ seminars (which spanned  the UK covering Cornwall, London, Lincoln and North Wales), one of the presenters asked these questions …

  1. How much money do you have on you right now?
  2. How much money did you spend last month?
  3. How much money will you spend next month?

Not many attendees knew the answer to the first question, less to the second, and less again to the third. The point behind the exercise, was that if you do not know what you are going to spend next month, then how on earth will you know what you will spend in retirement? Continue reading “How to fix a terrible money habit in one month”