In January 1981 I made a career change to financial services, which makes this month my 35th anniversary. Now that either makes me old and fusty or gives me gravitas, depending on your view point.
Several significant things have not changed in that time:
- There are still far too few women in key roles
- Attitudes to property ownership
- Lack of financial awareness
- On the other hand much has changed in my world:
- The banks are no longer the first port of call for financial advice
- Ethical and Socially Responsible Investments have entered the main stream
- Qualifications are a requirement for all financial advisers
- Continuous Professional Development is essential
- Pensions have been liberated from many of the restrictions and charges
- We are all living longer
- Medical advancements mean much earlier diagnoses
- The UK Government is cutting back on disability benefits
- Share holder power means we can hold Boards to account
- Energy is no longer totally in the hands of the big utilities
- We all rely on the World Wide Web
- Social Media
- China as a giant economic driver
Perhaps the things that are yet to change will be even more startling when they happen.
Remember the thought “if Lehman Brothers had been Lehman Sisters, the crash may never have happened”
The bursting of the property bubble was predictable and should teach us a lesson
A basic understanding of cash flow and a bit less dependency on someone else, whether parents, partners or the state is empowering.