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.

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 ...

Keep the End in Mind

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 30th of January 2015

Last week, I made a radio appearance on Harrow Community Radio FM talking about the importance of having an exit strategy particularly when running a business.

It was great to have a chat and share my thoughts with Margo Manning who presents the station’s business show. I’ve often been told that I have the face for radio and it was good to put that to the test.

I’ve worked with numerous clients who have successfully effected an exit strategy who required advice and planning support, particularly with what to do next.

Now it’s not just ent...

Blue Monday and the Piggy Bank Principle

Posted by siteadmin on Friday 16th of January 2015

The Holiday season is now just a faded memory. But for some people the high jinks, gift shopping and partying is a hungry chicken making its way home to roost as Blue Monday is looming.

For those of you not familiar with it, Blue Monday falls mid to late January and is reportedly the most depressing day of the year.

So depressing is this date, that a mental health charity researched a formula showing why it’s such a miserable day. It’s called WTD and goes as follows:-

  • Weather - The lack of daylight and middle of winter make people feel ...

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...


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