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Twice monthly 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 my Fitness Instructor Taught me about Financial Planning

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 9th of October 2015

I attended a conference recently where high profile figures from the financial world shared their thoughts with colleagues from the industry.

One of the speakers was a financial journalist called Paul Lewis who presents the Money Box show on BBC Radio 4.

Now Mr Lewis isn't shy of making bold or even controversial statements. But one thing I'd heard him say at another conference not long before really irritated me as I think it’s just plain wrong.  Indeed, I challenged him during the Q&A and you could say that we in effect agreed to disagre...


Don’t put your eggs all in one basket

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 25th of September 2015

The language of the financial world can be daunting for people on the outside looking in.

The money management industry does have a reputation for using terminology and phrases which to the average layperson read like gobbledegook.

I’ve always strived to explain money matters in a simple, accessible way which everyone can understand.

In fact, I have a good friend who I often use as a testing board. He’s bright and successful but not versed in the world of finance, its language and nuances. Plus, he asks a lot of questions.

It’s almost a ...


University - A New Challenge

Posted by siteadmin on Thursday 10th of September 2015

I’ve spoken before about how life events change people’s approach to financial planning and money management.

One of the biggest events in a person’s life is happening to thousands of young people this very month.

Heading off to university is a big deal and not just for the teenagers heading there. For parents it’s something which changes their lives also.

I speak from personal experience as both of my kids, Sophie and Ben, have been there, done that and got the graduation photos.

I’ve also spoken with several clients who have gone throu...


Keep Calm and Carry on my old China

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 28th of August 2015

Over the weekend I received a call and an email from two separate clients with one thing on their minds. China.

The concerns about the wider Chinese economy along with the reduction in their prospects for growth spooked the financial markets and these clients wanted to know what we should do.

The simple answer is nothing. ‘Nothing,’ I hear you cry? Yes that’s right.

Both individuals wanted reassurance that what was happening thousands of miles away wouldn't affect their lifestyles closer to home.

The markets are reactive but the general ...


Life changes so Plan Properly

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 14th of August 2015

I was recently approached by a chap in his early 40s who knew me, whose circumstances and reasons for enquiring were a classic example of why people come to us. It’s often a life changing event which prompts people to seek out financial planning guidance.

This chap called me asking whether we sourced life and critical illness insurance cover and if we could improve on what he had.

The answer was yes to both questions. Then it was my turn to start asking questions as part of the process is for me to find out as much as possible about the si...


The Importance of Plan B, C, D .....

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 31st of July 2015

A couple of incidents happened to me over the last fortnight which really brought home the importance of having back up plans and taking precautions. Both happened whilst I was enjoying my big passion in life - Motorsport.

Firstly, I had a bit of an 'incident' whilst running some kart practice a couple of weeks ago.

Basically, I was running rather quick and where on one particular corner I was deliberately running wide on the exit. On this occasion I ran too wide and clattered into the tyre wall at what we think was around 30 MPH.  I may ...


Ties ARE not Optional There Lewis!

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 17th of July 2015

When we launched this blog nearly eleven months ago I explained my attitude towards wearing ties.

I like to think of myself as an informal, open, friendly kind of guy and my take on tie wearing reflects this.

I only wear them when the situation dictates, not as a matter of routine. It’s fair to say an invite to watch the Wimbledon Men’s Final would be such a situation when I’d be willing to toe the line and wear a tie.

Unlike Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton who was refused entry from the Royal Box and declined the offer of the t...


Tribute to Innocence

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 3rd of July 2015

The nation has held a minute’s silence in memory of the innocent people killed by a loan wolf terrorist in Tunisia one week ago.

The savagery of the attack while people simply relaxed on holiday and enjoying themselves under perfect blue skies is beyond comprehension.

On Tuesday next week our minds will again be focussed on the innocent victims of acts of terror as the nation remembers the tenth anniversary of the July 7th bombings.

I can clearly remember the day the attacks on London happened. Just twenty four hours before I had been in ...


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...


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