2018 Newsletter September

Time for the Autumn Newsletter


What an extra ordinary year so far


We have all experienced unusual weather, winter became summer with no spring then summer turned tropical.
Our local farmers have been challenged as has Rupert, who hates snow because he needs to have his fur defrosted and dried after every outdoor adventure. The same fur coat that made him uncomfortable in the extreme hear.

Business has been extraordinary, as the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) message is waking people up to the possibilities of making money and making a difference in this world.   It is however a worrying sign when the likes of Barclays Bank join in.

In order to engage with the ESG message its necessary to fully understand it, know how to question the investment managers and care about the issues in the first place.

I cannot remember ever meeting a Barclays employee who shared my ethical views but maybe times and people have changed!

I have timed this newsletter to be delivered during Good Money Week (29th September to 5th October).
This year more of the the national newspapers are expected to publish supportive articles, which is excellent news. The concept of using money for good has been around for over a hundred years, you invest for the good of yours or someone else’s community.

An investment not charity.

After delivering client advice for 37 years, suddenly the dark side of my chosen profession has given way, helped by regulation, into the light, as more in financial services see good and not just profit.

I am delighted to hear that the Millennials already buy into it, understand that we need to build a sustainable future.


Annuities, although unfashionable, can still play a part in providing a guaranteed income, given the right circumstances; in particular when someone has a lifestyle that suggests a shortened life or is suffering from a life limiting illness.

It is important to ensure that every client has a guaranteed income that is sufficient for the essentials, using annuities we can take away the uncertainties.

Sometimes we find that a client has a pension that could be enhanced if the provider knew their medical history.

Could we help someone you know to achieve a better retirement income?


A side effect of the digital age or has it just made it easier to steal?

Mary’s story: Mary became a client when she was 85 and newly widowed. Her solicitor asked me to call to deal with her investments and savings.   Her previously active and varied life had come to a holt, as she believed that the widow’s pension, half of her husband’s would be insufficient.

Mary continued as a client from January 2002 to her death in 2010 but the final two years were lonely and difficult for her. She was becoming less able and as a result stopped attending evening events. She became increasingly vulnerable to scammers.

She rang me one day to tell me about winning a large sum of money and would I call to invest it for her?   She had photographs of other winners, which convinced her it was a reality. It was only necessary for her to send a small donation and details of her bank account before the prize was handed over.

At the meeting in her home I checked her bank statement and found that she had a series of direct debits, allowing the scammers to milk her account, none of which were large enough to be spotted by her bank.

My next two hours were spent on the telephone to the fraud department at NatWest. I had stopped the fraud. The bank had reinstated the account, but the client was very unhappy because she had been enjoying the telephone calls.

The incident also explained why she had 22 quotations for a new roof, each one provided by “a nice young man” who sat and drank tea with her.

Enjoy the Autumn and I look forward to our next meeting