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 will the Inheritance Tax Changes Mean to Your Family?

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 12th of April 2017

At the start of April we saw a very important change to the Inheritance Tax rules.

It is called the Residential Nil Rate Band (RNRB) and if you believed some sections of the media, it can cost and/or save you hundreds of thousands of pounds (depending on which newspaper you read).

I read one article which claimed the changes were a £1 Million Government giveaway. To clarify, they most certainly aren’t.

The RNRB is a complex piece of legislation which at first glance gives a bigger tax allowance to people when they pass on their residentia...

My Wife, BMXs and Taking Action

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 29th of March 2017

Later this year my wife Caroline and I celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary.  Next month, she's also 50.

To mark the first of these momentous occasions, she asked me to set her some challenges.  How romantic I hear you cry!

The challenges include an abseil 230 ft down the ArcelorMittal Orbit, riding the Olympic BMX Track, Hydrospeeding the rapids and water skiing a slalom.

So far she's successfully completed the water ski slalom (bearing in mind that she's only skied once before well over ten years ago with the objective being to get ro...

Trust, Understanding and Mechanics

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 15th of March 2017

My last blog focused on what I share in common with Tom Cruise. No seriously it did.

I wrote about how a client told me that I reminded him of Tom Cruise. Well a character the American actor famously played called Jerry Maguire actually. Maguire was a sports agent who built great rapport and long term relationships with his clients.

I took that comparison as a very big compliment, and my client assures me that’s exactly how it was meant.

As promised in the last blog, I’ll expand on why I believe that good financial planning is all about t...

Why I’m just like Tom Cruise (or so some say)

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 1st of March 2017

I was told the other day that I reminded someone of Tom Cruise. Yes that Tom Cruise, the famous actor. Handsome, a multi-millionaire and one of the most recognisable people on Planet Earth. Rather apt in Oscar week I thought.

Mrs C assures me however that I'm nothing like him, so what was my client thinking of when he made the comparison?

There’s a film Cruise starred in some twenty years ago called Jerry Maguire. It’s about a sports agent who worked for a large global agency but had a crisis of conscience, got the sack and struck out on h...

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...


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