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.

Don’t Believe EVERYTHING You Read

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 19th of June 2015

It’s now almost three months since the much heralded Pension Freedoms legislation took effect introduced by George Osborne.

As predicted by me and others in the financial industry we’re now hearing and seeing reports in the media from confused, concerned and angry people who are keen to experience the ‘freedom’ of accessing their pension pots.

I must admit some of the coverage has left me feeling the same because it is so often wide of the mark and wrongly is giving the industry a bad name.

Just a few of these claims in the media include:...

Ros the Boss gets my Seal of Approval

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 5th of June 2015

Not every ministerial appointment made by the Government is greeted with a cheer. Some are met with derision, bemusement and cynicism.

However, when I heard the news that Baroness Ros Altmann had been made Pensions Minister last month the decision filled me with confidence.

Why? Well put simply, Ros knows what she is doing and what she will be talking about and making big decisions on.

Having worked in the pensions industry for decades she is not a career politician but someone who has worked hard, learned the ropes from the first rungs o...

Don't take us for Granted

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 22nd of May 2015

So it’s a fortnight since we headed to the polls and ended up with the result which shocked the nation.

To be honest I breathed a sigh of relief at the news. Not because it was a majority victory for the Conservatives but that it brought clarity to a situation which looked like being very uncertain and very unclear.

A hung Parliament along with potentially an extremely long drawn out process of forming a coalition government would have had a negative effect on the financial markets.

Boy oh boy did the pollsters get it wrong.  As did the L...

I need to make an Appointment with the Doctor!

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 8th of May 2015

I’m writing this being bleary eyed having watched the election results coming in late into the night.

It’s been a very good night for the Conservatives and the SNP, a horror show for Labour and a nightmare on Downing Street for the Liberal Democrats.

Regardless of the colour one follows, the financial world likes clarity and such results bring good news as one thing the markets despise is uncertainty.  Assuming things remain as projected (at the time of writing), our political picture now seems to be a lot clearer rather than some had pred...

The Difference between Cost and Value, Savile Row Style

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 24th of April 2015

I was asked the other day by a client if they could get financial planning from someone else for less than I charge.

As questions go, this one had a Paxman like directness but I was more than happy to answer it and to share my thoughts on this with you all.

The truthful answer is yes. There are financial planners out there who charge lower fees but I always ask people to make the comparison between cost and value.

Here’s a quick example. You buy a Savile Row handmade shirt for £100. You feel great in it. It’s tailored for you and you only...

Reason to be Cheerful

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 10th of April 2015

I love this time of year. Longer, lighter, warmer days, the heating can be switched off for six months and there’s a sense of optimism around brought on by the positive change in the weather.

I walked through Pinner Memorial Park with my wife and Bailey our Yorkshire Terrier at the weekend and it was a delight to see that the flowers were starting to bloom. As gardeners will know, Spring is the season of growth. It is also a great time for people to take stock of their finances and check that things are going in the right direction.

It’s n...

Pension Freedoms and an Open Season for Scammers?

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 27th of March 2015

We are now only days away from significant changes into the way people can access their pensions.

On Monday April 6th the Government introduces the new world of Pension Freedoms, the biggest change to this part of the financial service industry in decades.

I discussed this in my last blog but it needs revisiting as I’m concerned about the potential for scammers to prey on people who don’t realise the full picture.

As an example, people with a pension pot of up to £50,000 are able to take decisions without the requirement of using a profes...

When DIY can be VERY costly

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 13th of March 2015

We are just three weeks away from some huge changes to the way people can access their pensions.

On April 6th, new legislation comes into place which allows people significantly more choice with what they do with their pension pot.

When the announcement was made in last year’s budget, I took the view that it was certainly something which could be a vote winner. If I’m not mistaken, there’s an election pretty soon!

Without getting technical, there are lots of positives the changes bring but there are also a heck of a lot of possible pitfal...

A week like Novak Djokovic

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 27th of February 2015

As regular readers of this blog will know, I’m a bit obsessive when it comes to planning. Not just financial planning but preparation and staying organised in general.

I was asked the other day by a friend what do I do every day?

That’s an easy question as I have a structure for my working days which runs across the week to allocate all the things I need to do.

Certain days are allocated to ‘stuff’ by which I mean anything that doesn't involve me working directly with clients.

Those days involve me writing my regular columns and blogs, k...

The Art of Listening

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 13th of February 2015

For the hopeless romantics it’s that time of year when love is in the air.

But for the cynical amongst us it’s the time of the year when shops go into overdrive selling all manner of heart shaped, cupid themed, lovey dovey ‘stuff’. A kind of commercial emotional blackmail I guess.

People have differing views about Valentine’s Day. Some love it, some hate it. But one thing those for and against have in common is everyone loves to be listened to.

Think about it! When was the last time you were having a conversation and felt that the person ...


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