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.

Why planning pays dividends

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 2nd of January 2015

Looking back, 2014 was a good year. We moved offices, been busier than ever and look forward to the future with confidence.

I really like this time of year as it gives me an opportunity to reflect and more importantly to plan ahead. I’ve often been called organised, some might even say a control freak (particularly my dear wife).

The need to plan and be prepared stems back to my early working days. I started my working life as an apprentice at my Dad’s pre-press graphics business.

I’ve never forgotten what Dave Best, the Studio Manager wh...

Making a Positive Statement

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 12th of December 2014

The big news in the financial world was last week’s Autumn Statement from the Chancellor, George Osborne.

It contained a host of really progressive ideas. The headline grabbers relating to the changes to Stamp Duty and the way ISAs (or NISAs as they are now known) are implemented.

I don’t have the space in this blog to go over the changes in detail but I’m happy to have an informal chat to go over them with anyone interested in finding out more.

And next year is going to be a particularly busy one for the financial world as more changes c...

Congratulations, commitment and partnerships

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 28th of November 2014

I’m writing this just twenty four hours after Lewis Hamilton sealed his place in history by becoming the first British driver to win the Formula One World Championship more than once since Sir Jackie Stewart over four decades ago.

Motorsport is my big passion. It has been since I was a young teenager although it had caught my interest at an even younger age, particularly with my Scalextric. There’s just something about the sport that resonates with me. I really can’t put my finger on it. It might be the challenge (and yes there are many whe...

To share is to enjoy

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 14th of November 2014

It’s been a really busy start to the month.  Along with running Essentially Financial and juggling family commitments, I’m still squeezing in consultancy work and volunteering.

I’m writing this blog today just before I head off to give a talk to staff from the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).

The topic of my presentation is based around the question - What is Financial Planning?

When you ask people as to whether they know what a Financial Adviser does, the answer tends to be yes.   When you pose the same question about financial plann...

Have I got News for you

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 31st of October 2014

Ebola, unsettled financial markets and the UK government being hit with a £1.7 billion bill from Brussels. All stories which have topped the news agenda recently.

Not exactly reasons to be cheerful that’s for sure. But my take on all of these and much more is to use the popular ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ motto.

Financial markets are reactive and just like an anxious thoroughbred horse, they can get spooked very easily from time to time. Sometimes without reasonable foundation.

More importantly, any dramatic fall in stock markets is seen as ...

Size isn't Everything and the Power of Perception

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 17th of October 2014

We all know about the power of a placebo. The magic pill which supposedly cures all ills.

Numerous studies have shown the impact a placebo can have on making people feel better. This is despite them having no medicinal or physical benefits at all.

You benefit from it because you’re told it’ll do you the world of good and therefore your perception of it is positive.

In the world of financial planning perception can also be a powerful thing.

I’ve had clients say that they feel less apprehensive about visiting a High Street bank when dealin...

Scotland decides, local businesses unite and the sun bed beckons

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 3rd of October 2014

So the dust has settled on the decision by Scottish voters to remain a part of the United Kingdom.

Prior to and since the referendum I’ve been asked several times by people what does it mean for the money markets?

Well the financial world loves stability and now that the decision has been made to stay united, the union share prices have been positive and the pound surged.

Had the vote gone the other way then that would have had a big, harder to predict effect on the UK economy. However, no change has been greeted as good news in the finan...

Why no tie?

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 19th of September 2014

I’m a father of two, a motorsports fan and a financial planner with an office in the lovely Middlesex village of Pinner.

Over the next few months I’ll be sharing my thoughts, observations and ideas about the importance of planning your finances for life and my general musings.

If you are wondering why the blog is called ‘Ties are optional’ let me shed some light on it for you.

I’ve been a financial planner for nearly twenty five years and during that time the industry has changed a heck of a lot.

We’ve had the internet speed everything u...


UK News

Douglas Ross quits the government as more than 35 Conservative MPs call for Dominic Cummings to go.
Early May bank holiday delays mean the true death figures are likely to have been even lower.
Remdesivir shortens recovery time by about four days, research suggests.
Shops in England will start to reopen next week, but will customers return or stick to online ordering?
The supercar maker and Formula 1 team plans to layoff 25% of its workforce, the vast majority in the UK.