Every fortnight 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.

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

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 15th of February 2017

Some might have argued that before the days of stricter regulation and compliance, the financial services industry world resembled the Wild West from time to time.

So with this theme in mind, I’d like to share with you three examples of what I see as good, bad and ugly financial planning along with other related services that I’ve witnessed during my twenty six years plus in the industry.

The Good
A good financial planner listens to their clients a lot more than they actually talk.  The old adage that we have two ears and one mouth and sh...

Does money run your life or vice versa?

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 1st of February 2017

I was challenged the other day. Thankfully not to a duel at dawn in Pinner Memorial Park. My musketry skills aren't up to 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 of a multi-billionaire genius ringing in my e...

The New Age of Retirement

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 18th of January 2017

We live in a world of constant and increasingly rapid change.

Now being in my twenty seventh year of working within the financial planning industry, I’ve noticed a big change in the way people perceive their retirement.

Reaching that lifestyle landmark where you can finally down tools and say bon voyage to the workplace (should you wish) was once the cue for many to begin ‘taking it easy’.

Join a Bowls club, buy some slippers and enjoy a rest.

But more and more I’m working with people who view 'retiring' in a very different way.

We all ...

Which end of the risk scale are you on?

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 4th of January 2017

I finished my last blog of 2016 with a quote from the investor extraordinaire Warren Buffett and I'm going to begin my first blog of 2017 with some more words of wisdom from the wise man.

‘Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing’.

Given his track record of decades of sustained 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 knows what he’s doing and obviously, the risk is greatly reduced.

It’s the same thing when planning your financial...

Are you sitting in the shade yet?

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 21st of December 2016

'Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago'.

So said American billionaire and financial wizard Warren Buffett.

And I’m not going to question the wisdom of a man whose financial seeds have predominantly grown into mighty Oak trees consistently over the years.

He’s the world’s most successful investor, with decades of experience and fondly called the Sage of Omaha. And he talks a heck of a lot of common sense.

When I saw this quote it really resonated with me and what good lifestyle financial plan...

How aviation safety can help your life soar

Posted by siteadmin on Thursday 8th of December 2016

A friend of mine was telling me about a book he’d just read and how it reminded him of something I’d said to him about lifestyle financial planning.  The book was called 'Black Box Thinking' by an award winning journalist called Matthew Syed.

The main theme of it is the importance of listening to feedback, reviewing things regularly and taking action on what’s been learned.

Syed uses the airline industry as the example of a good review process and what he calls an open culture.  When mistakes are made in aviation they cost lives usually, a...

Clinton, Tesco and How to Avoid Becoming a Victim

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 23rd of November 2016

The past month has seen the subject of email and cyber security (or lack of it) become the biggest global story as well as leading the UK’s news agenda.

Many commentators have put President Elect Donald Trump’s victory down to a late surge of support following the FBI’s new decision to investigate. And then quickly clear Hillary Clinton for using her own private email server whilst serving in office.

The investigations raised concerns on a number of levels. Firstly a trust issue where Americans were asking themselves what Clinton had to hi...

It’s not what people think it is

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 9th of November 2016

Perception is a funny thing.

Some professions are viewed under a negative light due to the actions of a few. Bankers and estate agents spring to mind.

However, I know many people who work in both of those industries who are honest, hardworking and well worth the salaries they command.

Premier League footballers are often viewed as greedy money grabbing mercenaries. Some no doubt are. But there are also plenty who give their time, support and indeed money to help good causes and charities.

I like to think the perception of the financial p...

How our Olympic heroes can help us all plan

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 26th of October 2016

Last week our Olympic heroes from the Rio Games enjoyed enormously well deserved parades through the streets of London and Manchester.

Whenever I read the stories of elite athletes, I’m always reminded about the parallels their journeys have with successful lifestyle financial planning.

The likes of Dame Sarah Storey, Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill don’t just turn up, throw on their Team GB clobber and turn into sporting gods. The hard work is done behind the scenes. Away from the spotlight, over years and years of training, preparation a...

Why you have to make a decision to make a decision

Posted by siteadmin on Tuesday 11th of October 2016

I’m a big believer in asking why.

Why have my beloved West Ham United started the Season so badly?  Why does the queue I pick in the Supermarket always seem to take the longest to serve?

Some of my whys are pretty profound even.  Why do birds suddenly appear?  OK, I’m joking now.

But seriously why do some people take action to do something and other people don’t?

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about the reasons why people seek out a financial planner.  They vary considerably but there are some motivators including looming retirement, inh...


UK News

Chancellor Philip Hammond will vow to tackle deep-seated economic challenges "head on".
The actor who played Bob Ferris in the popular BBC sitcom has died aged 79, his agent confirms.
The victims of the crash between a helicopter and light aircraft are formally identified.
UK politicians react to the resignation of President Robert Mugabe after his 37-year rule.
Thousands more cases - including violent and sexual crimes - could be affected by "manipulated" tests.