Value versus cost and why you should be careful with Dining Tables

Posted by siteadmin on Wednesday 16th March 2016.

If you’ve opened this email within moments of it getting sent then like me, you’ll be aware that George Osborne will be announcing his Budget within the next hour or so.  If you've opened it later, you'll know what he's announced.

I’ve written this blog prior to the Budget. But one thing I can predict with a degree of certainty is that there will be a few surprises. There always is with at least one rabbit sprung from the chancellor’s hat.

The Budget is a time when many of us have a think about what stuff costs. Am I better or worse off is the most common question?

A similar question usually springs to the minds of people considering financial planning. Theirs is more along the lines of ‘does the cost of the service represent good value?’

By comparison, financial planning can sometimes be difficult to quantify because it's not tangible. And generally, people haven't had any experience before so they have nothing to compare it to.

When you visit a furniture showroom to look for a dining table you can instantly see if it fits what you're looking for and whether you view it as value.  Simply, there will be a price tag tied to the table and then you have the ability to touch it. You can then smell it if you wish as you might want to check if it's oak or ash and you could even taste it if that's what you like to do!

My point is that the price tag tied to the table tells you exactly what it will cost and you're able to make a pretty snap judgement based on what you see, feel and smell.

Having been contacted by a prospective client, we have an initial meeting to see whether we're able to help and for the prospective client to see what they like and hear in terms of our philosophies and how we work. What I then explain is how the process will unfold over time and why it's important for them to understand this even as an outline.

Why? Because as we take each stage at time and allow for the relationship to build, we're delving deep into someone's life and what they want where money is the facilitator for them to live the life they want. As a result and because the financial planning process is intangible, they sometimes need to take a blind leap of faith and test it step by step to see what this financial planning thing is really about.

At this stage, some people get it straight away and want to proceed and some want to go away and think about it.

As I’ve said many times before whether they use me or someone else, having got past first base and made the decision that they need help, the thing I urge is that they take action of some sort from thereon. Doing nothing is a bad option.

There is an alternative, going down the DIY road.

But will this make your life easier? Will it actually save you money by the time you’ve factored in the amount of time you’ve spent and the stress involved? Will you actually do it? How do you know the companies involved in your decisions are good ones?

And the big question, will doing it yourself actually help (or hinder) you plan to live the kind of life you want?

I genuinely believe that engaging with the financial planning process provides unquestionable added value, especially when compared to the DIY option.

Thanks to all of you who kindly donated to my stint in ‘prison’ in aid of St Luke’s Hospice last Friday.

The event, which saw me and several others thrown in a police cell for an hour or so, was great fun and raised thousands for the organisation which does so much great work within our community.

I'm a great fan of the original Sweeney and I asked the Officers present to make it authentic in true Jack Regan and George Carter style, which they made a touch too realistic!