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Under the title of 'Ties are optional', Les Conway shares his thoughts about what’s going on in the World and how it can affect and impact your lifestyle and finances.  Feel free to sign up here to subscribe to receive.

What on earth do you have to worry about?

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 4th of March 2020

In this follow-on article explaining as to what lifestyle financial planning is, I’m focusing on the many things we have to think about as our life cycles unfold.

Just imagine there’s you contemplating life one day and feeling that everything’s going well.  What on earth do you have to worry about?

Well how about:-

  • Your job
  • Retirement
  • Death
  • Sickness
  • Weddings
  • Holidays
  • Pension
  • Children

These are just some the things that go through the minds of most people.  In many cases, some of these are capable of causing real stress and wor...


Lifestyle Financial Planning - Breaking it down

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 5th of February 2020

Having frequently been asked what lifestyle financial planning actually is, I intend to fully break it down and cover in detail over the coming months.
 
Kicking things off, the starting point without doubt is that clarity is key.
 
As you know, I wear glasses. If I didn’t and pretended that I could see because my vanity and appearance were more important, I’d be missing out on so much that I’d be unable to experience the world to its fullest.
 
Comparatively, in financial planning terms, we need to know what we have now, ideally what we’d e...


A Milestone

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 8th of January 2020

2020, a new year and a new decade.
 
This year will mark the tenth anniversary of Essentially Financial where back in the early part of 2010, I made the decision to go it alone.  The brief being to do things differently, by focusing on helping guide people on their lifetime journey through the ever-changing cycles of life.  And ensuring that they achieved the things they wanted to achieve, whether it be driven by things that are good, or perhaps not so good.
 
More so for me though, it was a personal lifestyle change.
 
It could be argued an...


My Financial Planning Philosophy

Posted by siteadmin on Tuesday 3rd of December 2019

I seem to be getting more philosophical as I get older.  And that’s led me to mull over some of life’s big questions.
 
Why are we here? What’s the meaning of life?  And why is it that I always seem to pick the slowest moving queue in the supermarket?
 
Seriously though, a question that I find a lot of people I talk to struggle with is what does lifestyle financial planning really mean?
 
At first glance it could seem that it’s all about money.  It’s not.  It’s about what you do with it and how it works for you that counts.  It’s the feeling...


Start with Why

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 6th of November 2019

The headline for this article is inspired by a book from an American author called Simon Sinek and turns some well-established thinking upside down.
 
To cut a long story short, he says that it’s more important to discover why you are doing something rather than simply going straight into what it is that you want to do.
 
He illustrates his point using examples from Apple. At the core (pardon the pun) of what Apple set out to achieve, they wanted to make life simpler, more portable and entertaining for their customers.
 
iTunes was an exampl...


Trust, Understanding and Mechanics

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 2nd of October 2019

I believe that good lifestyle financial planning is all about the depth of the relationship built between individuals.
 
One of the most profound things I learned at the start of my career was that you must listen far more than you talk.  Even with people I’ve worked with for years, I listen considerably more than I speak.
 
By punctuating the listening approach with thoughtful questioning, a picture is created of what people’s objectives, goals, ambitions, fears and hopes are.  These change as time elapses and is why it’s so important to ke...


Does money run your life?

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 4th of September 2019

I was challenged the other day.  Thankfully not to a duel at dawn in the nearby Park as my pistol shooting isn't up too much these days.  No, the gauntlet thrown at my feet was to describe what I do in no more than six words.
 
Apparently, this idea had come about when a five-year-old asked one of Google’s founders what he did for a job.  His reply (considering his empire spans some of the most complex technology on the planet) was genius - ‘I help people find things quickly’.
 
So, with those words ringing in my ears here’s my succinct desc...


Managing risks

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 7th of August 2019

One of my favourite quotes is from the American investing legend Warren Buffett.  The Sage of Omaha as he’s been dubbed due to his financial wisdom said, ‘Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing’.
 
Given his track record of decades of success, he’s not someone I’m going to argue with.  He invests billions into businesses, which could be viewed as a very risky thing to do.  But he clearly knows what he’s doing and so the risk is as a result, greatly reduced.
 
It’s the same thing when planning your financial future.
 
Over the twenty-e...


The Biggest Money Mistakes You Can Make

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 3rd of July 2019

We’ve all spent too much on something that turned out to be overpriced rubbish.  Or letting a screaming bargain pass us by, only to be snapped up by someone else.
 
But these following two examples of mistakes involving money might make you feel a little better about buying those shoes you never wore.
 
Back in 1961, Dick Rowe of Decca Records turned down the chance to sign a band from Liverpool called The Beatles.  His rationale was that ‘guitar groups are going out of fashion.’ The rest as they say is history.  In this case, the cost to De...


The Good, The Bad and The Ugly ......of Financial Planning

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 5th of June 2019

Some people might have argued that before the days of stricter regulation and compliance the financial services industry world resembled the Wild West.  There were certainly a lot of cowboys around in those now thankfully distant days.
 
Staying on the Wild West theme, I’d like to share with you what I think are three examples of good, bad and ugly financial planning and related services that I’ve come across in my twenty eight years in the industry.
 
The Good 
 
A good financial planner listens to their clients a lot more than they talk. Also by...

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