Category: News and Updates – Pension

Care Fees Planning


Welcome to another in this series – 1000 words that will help you solve a financial matter, simply and without any fuss. For more information please pop over to  

I am Richard Smith and I’ve spent more than thirty years providing hands on and personal advice to people like you. 

I now own and manage a financial education business – that teaches you the truth about modern money. How it works and how to make it work for you.

Care Fees – Care Fees Planning 

Since the 2014 Care Act most of you have either been worried about the implications of the new rules around funding for care or trying to do something about it.  

The reality is much of what you think you can do won’t work, and it’s fairly certain that most of the ‘solutions’ you will be sold won’t work either. 

The state has organised the system to ensure that there is an overriding responsibility on local Government to provide for those that need looking after.

There are two areas of importance. 

  1. Not being able to care for yourself due to illness 
  2. Not being to care for yourself because of age/infirmity

In the first instance (broadly) the NHS picks up the costs under the Continuing Care regime.   

In the second, you the individual are expected to pick up your own costs in the same way as you have done over your working life.

Your own assets will be used to cover the costs of your care until these have been reduced to £23,250 (19/20 figures). 

Overwhelmingly the thing that concerns most people is that all of your assets will be used up to fund care in later life and this is a real danger. Thing is, most people needing care really are the end of their lives – sorry, not meaning to sound harsh but that is the reality according to the statistics.

Because of this fear,  there are many solutions in the marketplace that just don’t work. If you like the words care fees scams – then this is what they are. 

If you are offered one of these as possible solutions read my note on each one. 

  • Property/Probate Protection Trusts –  they don’t work. Don’t waste your money. 
  • Giving Away Assets – very unlikely  to work
  • Transferring Ownership – No, not ever.

None of these are new things and the Government has quite rightly made sure none of them work – to protect the UK Taxpayer.  

The facts around long term care needs (from Age UK) indicate that the average time spent in a care home is around two years and the average cost is around £50,000 per year, around 3% of the over 65 population ends up needing care and of these majority are women.  

You need to remember that planning away a liability is hard but you do have some choices. 

Here are my top tips. 

If you or your parent looks likely to need care be prepared to spend time solving the problem, it will take hours to get it moving forward. 

Getting an assessment from your Local Authority  (LA) is pretty straightforward but could take a few hours for them to carry it out and a few weeks for an appointment. Make sure you get your personal financial situation in order before the meeting. At least three months bank statements, details of pensions, valuations of investments or homes.  

Social services are always happy to let you do the work, they are often very busy so are normally pleased to do so. Make sure you ask them for help, allow them to get involved.

 If you are trying to deal with this as a child of the person needing care – it’s a time-consuming paper chase. Really.  

You should allocate specific time to dealing with it (put it in the diary) and treat it as work that needs doing or you will find you lunging from crisis to crisis with it. 

Hospital staff, including social services within the NHS rarely take notes at the patient’s bedside. There is often a gap between a patient’s real needs and their notes. 

Put a power of attorney in place sooner rather than later.  

Review all Estate Planning and update yourself, especially if you are a widower/widow as the taxman relies on your having certain records in order to claim certain allowances.

Don’t give away assets/wrap up your main home in any kind of trust – it won’t work and you will end up spending thousands. It is likely that any giveaway will be tested by the LA, and if found against you, the potential beneficiaries of that asset will end up having to pay the costs of your care, and this is enforceable by the local County Court.  2014 Care Act.

If it looks likely you will need some form of care home, then make sure you are assessed for Continuing Care at the very first instance. Social services will wriggle and refuse – they always do – make sure you get the assessment done. 

If you are ‘self funding’ paying for your own care costs then you will qualify for Attendance Allowance  make sure you submit a claim. 

The LA – Local Authority has an obligation to provide funding for your care under the 2014 Care Act. They may wriggle and a squirm and may even forget to mention it. But they do, make sure you ask the questions. 

The LA also has the right to ask you to cover the costs of your care but you do not have to sell your home now. The costs of your can be recovered by the LA at a later don’t. 

Moral here is don’t be panicked into selling a house. 

Consider all the other options before a home, in-home care, with stair lifts and cleaners these can be a life saver. 

In order to qualify for formal NHS funded Continuing Care there needs to be substantial health element – this means you are likely to be in a Nursing Home and less likely to be in a Care Home.  

Pension income continues until death so this will help with fees overall. If a person can’t fund their own care – then the LA will put a charge on any pension income, deduct the costs of care and refund the rest. 

981  words. 

I hope you found this helpful. It is based on my thirty years of financial planning and ten years of dealing with my own parents situation.  

Richard – MoneyTrainers for personal, hands on help with this area of planning. 

Long Time Dead – What Are You Waiting For.

“One of the most perilous illusions is that your real life has not yet begun, that your present existence is a mere prelude to some idyllic future. This idyll is a mirage that will fade as you approach, revealing the prelude you hurried through was, in fact, the one to your death.”  

I think this is originally written by Steve Burch – if you know who originally wrote it please let me know. 

It resonated with me so much I thought I’d break it down and see if I could get it to make more sense. 

The illusion that your real life has not yet begun. This seems to be the default setting for most of us. Waiting for that one thing, the thing that changes everything. You and I always seem to be waiting to be there, just in the right place. Richard Wilkins (The Ministry of Inspiration) talks a whole lot about being there – he even has badges made that say “I’m there as a reminder that there is no there, we are already there and it’s here.  

You can’t keep waiting for the moment, the right relationship, the right client. As hunter-gatherers long understood, if you want to eat today it will involve you being uncomfortable, you will have to get out there, take some action. Get on and do stuff if you really want to eat today.  

You and I can’t keep waiting, ffs – none of us find our feet for the first twenty years, one-fifth of your total life if you are lucky. Waiting to be there is not an option. You’ll only end up waiting for death, until death.  

Your present existence is a mere prelude to some idyllic futureThis life is not a trial, we don’t get to come back here again, it’s a once-only chance to do something or nothing. This is your choice now. Your future has not been built yet. It’s less about setting goals and hoping. It is about setting your path and starting to walk. 

This idyll is a mirage that will fade as you approachwhatever you think you were approaching it will fade into nothing, will never be seen again. Only it’s not even a mirage. If your horoscope in the Daily Mail tells you today – that it’s over, you’ve fucked it up, you’ve squandered time and you’ll never get it back – and the decisions you make now will determine your future. You’d read it and think – really. Is that what’s happened? Because that is what we do, we don’t want to think about it, it’s far too painful to think, to even consider what you’ve wasted.

That Coffee you have traded twenty minutes of your life for will be cold and undrinkable in a few minutes (cold coffee is devils spawn). Don’t trade your life for stuff that will not benefit you in the short, medium or long term. That bit of your life, you’ve just traded for stuff or spent arguing with a bureaucratic masturbator (think Local Government official, parking attendant – those that get off on enforcing petty rules – it’s also a Mark Fisher term) that time has gone, never to come back.  Literally wasted.

Write your own horoscope, it’s not written in the stars – it’s a written in your head.  

Revealing the prelude you hurried through was, in fact, the one to your death. Life is a terminal illness. No one leaves this place alive (Foo Fighters). There is no coming back, the rush to complete meaningless tasks ensure that only your legacy gets to survive, your stuff, your money just cannot be taken with you.  

Your prelude, the madness is being good at shit stuff, the madness is thinking it will all be alright. It’s never alright you are gonna fucking die and you will not come back. We only have now, we only have today and the future, it needs to be managed, thought about,  it needs a plan and then you need to take action to work that plan. None of this complicated. 

No one cares about you, no one is coming to save you – the White Knight is not coming down the road to save you, to sweep you up. No lottery win, no loving partner, no friends or family – it’s all down to you and you are dying.  

If you want to be epic then go do epic shit. You are gonna die soon and no one gives a fuck. Not now not ever.  

Make the call, create the sales letter, create a product while your chance still exists. 



PS A shit storm is coming, they always do. Both of mine have started with health and ended up as a right financial mess. I got good at this stuff by actually living it myself. Please don’t wait for your own shit storm – they are not nice – but your horoscope is saying the shit storm will happen unless you make a different plan.  

Please reread and promise me you won’t wait 

Inspired by Johnny Truant


My Longest Post Ever  

“You can do it, you are much better than a frog and frogs are fucking brilliant – which makes you, fucking’ awesome. You are a complex and a very lucky collection of atoms – that will go on to do great things – if only you’d accept that change is coming whether you like it or not.” 

Two Money Rules That Will Change Your Life

For most of us, there is an endless chase for money. To get enough, to have enough invested, to provide ourselves with the financial security  – so that we don’t have to work again, or don’t have to struggle again.  

Your finances are no different from the rest of your life. Get your car serviced, so it holds its value and is as reliable as it can be. Don’t drink huge quantities of alcohol and eat shit food – eventually, something inside your body will break because of it and you’ll be left with health problems that will stay with your until death – which of course will arrive sooner because of your health. 

Everything in your life is about responding to potential events that may or may not happen. You are either doing something to prevent an even happening – proactive action. Or you are not. The passive no action, zen like people will be forced into action at some point because that is how life is. You can only be in the moment inside your own head, outside of that a whole world of stuff is moving, and it’s rarely neutral. Stuff happens and we all need to react or accept the consequences.  

Of course, I am not saying that we should be on the offensive all of the time, that we should be like the proverbial coiled spring – ready to react at a moments notice – but you will need to aware of change and preparation for what is coming.  

With that in mind, there are two things you’ll will need to adhere to. A couple of fundamentals, cornerstones to this whole thing.

One I’ve said before – spend less than you earn and invest the rest. This simply means making sure that your income is greater than your spending. You will either need to earn more than you spend or spend less than you earn. Read that again, let it sink in. 

The second fundamental is always invest in/work towards sources of income.  

The more sources of income you have the more secure your financial future will be (might as well say financial and mental future – it’s not possible to have good mental health, living in poverty, really it’s not). 

If you have a business, then investing in stock – provides a future income return, you’ll sell the stock at a profit, future income is assured. If you are investing conventionally, then investing in income funds or income-producing assets (low charge ones preferably) means that income is paid to you on a regular basis, once this income is paid, like once your stock is sold. Means you have something useable given back to you, you have hoovered real money from the market place.

In the case of a sale of stock – profit.nd the case of an investment product, income paid cannot be taken away. It’s yours, value has passed from one to another and now you have control of it.  No matter what happens to the investment markets, the income paid is in your bank and can now be used to work hard once again for you and no one else.  It should be working for you until you spend it.

The more money you have working for you – the sooner you will be able to claim independence from the work/pay/spend existence.  

Provided you get these two things right then you make your money work for you and then you can start to move to becoming the independent person you need to be, you can start to live and work on your terms.

Get in touch when you are ready to get a wriggle on with some of this.

That Voice In Your Head – Money and Me.

I am more than a little obsessed with my inner voice. Not sure when I was first aware of it or when I ever started to think that I could not control it. Realistically I would have been in my mid-thirties, perhaps when my son was born – life-changing event for me and his mother.  

I had always thought that personal development, growing inside was something that others faffed around with – not for me, far to namby. Far too woo-woo. Like most things in life, there was a  trigger, when something changed, a new way of looking at everything. 

In my forties I wondered about the power of the mind, how could old ladies lift cars to release trapped children – feats of strength that were very unusual and of course beyond knowledge. How could hip operations be done without any form of pain relief on a wide-awake patient, and then Alma Kante, who in 2014 sang through surgery. There is something else going on here.  

I then started to read and make up my own mind about stuff, who was that voice in my head, how can I hear it,  why can’t I taste my own tongue, why do I hear that voice, why is it very softly spoken when it’s being positive and screaming when negative.  This caused me to dig a bit deeper into the madness.  

Now. I am not a scientist, just interested in what makes me tick. I arrived at a conclusion that my voice was very similar to the voice in my kids, my wife and friends. Actually everyone I met had this inner thing.  

Those that respond to the voice end up depressed, as serial killers, perhaps uber-successful or just plain boring. Yet there are those that were boring murderers, but learned how to manage it – change their responses to it – that is what interests me more than anything.  

I had arrived at the conclusion that my voice is there to protect me, to keep me alive. It’s childish, and often wrong. But it seems to serve some purpose.  

Let me tell you what I now know about it.  

It’s not me, it’s not even part of me. See, your tongue is the centre of your world up until you are able to interpret the world using other tools. That’s why children put everything in their mouths – it’s why we developed taste that means water is always neutral to our palate – we can immediately tell if something is wrong with water. It’s why you gag when you smell rotten meat, sick or sewage.  It’s why poisons often taste bitter and nasty to us, and why Chilli seeds taste hot to us and not to birds – the Chilli has developed seeds that will be carried by birds – a lot further than they would by humans.   

Now, there is a reason you can’t taste your own tongue, it’s neutral to you. But you can hear that inner voice, as though it’s something separate to you – something that’s there but not you. My thinking is – if it was you- you wouldn’t be able to hear it.  Which means it’s not you and you can happily treat it as third party.  

It is probably there to guide and assist, to provide some pointers, some things to be aware of, something that needs to be done. But that’s about it. Letting it make decisions, to stop you from doing stuff, to hold you back.  

It’s not you, it doesn’t fully understand and should be ignored much of the time.  

It’s the one thing that most of the people I’ve worked with over the years don’t get, don’t understand. They think becoming financially free is something for others, something that most will never achieve, they think that it’s complicated, that it’s just not possible.  

Evidence is that all over the world we see millionaires and billionaires arriving all of the time – that’s the truth, not the voice in your head. 

Ready to get a shift on with this money stuff. Get my Money Course it’s free

Money – The Inner Game – The Romans

So What Did The Romans Do For Us? 

Of course, most of you will recognise that as a line from Monty Python’s  – Life of Brian and the scene where a group of men are discussing the struggle against the Roman empire and doing their very best to find an angle to ‘really hate the Romans’ – but only really finding positives. 

Fact is the Romans did work out a lot of stuff. Like how to make really hard concrete for the foundations of buildings, then the drains, the public administration of large areas of land and people.  

They left a large legacy, some of which is not as positive as they would have hoped but one that contains lots of useful pointers for modern life.  

Some of their writings have been preserved and of course, that brings me to the Stoics, the Roman philosophers that tried to give us some answers to life and some tools to use. Remember life was short in Roman times, and few people survived much after fifty.  

It was about ten years ago when I first started to become interested in some of these lessons. I was in the middle of writing a few words for someone’s funeral and I remembered the word stoic, that started my initial interest

With that in mind, and with some focus from me, it was Epictetus wrote few lines about “protecting your own good” Ryan Holiday in his book The Daily Stoic interpreted this as “protecting your own flame”.  

For me, this put in a nutshell what I had been trying to explain for years – inside of us there something that needs preserving, needs to be protected and kept alight (or alive) at all costs. Many of us don’t identify it until it is too late, some of us find out what it is and don’t even recognise it and for others they find it and focus on it. 

They make it brighter and brighter until it eventually dies – as humans we do all eventually die – life really is a terminal illness. 

On the way to brightness everything changes, us, the world, opinions and actions. This thing inside of us – once discovered becomes the thing that brings us everything we desire from life. 

There is little from the outside that can bring us true happiness, the emotion of being at peace knowing what you are doing is truly engaging, truly your best work is you finding the flame, once found you need to tend it over years, it is the one thing you and I need to do consistently.   

To help with keeping that flame alight is knowing how this money thing works and making sure whatever money you have is working hard for you, it brings you freedom to focus on it. It’s not about the money, it’s not about achieving true wealth but is all about having enough for you to become free enough to focus that which truly matters.

Sure my money principles may well end up making you richer than your wildest dreams, the problem is most of the stupidly rich people I’ve met are arseholes and miserable with it. Very few have a true focus on their internal flames.   

Knowing how to make your money work for you and understanding how that will help you keep your flame alight is one of the most important things you can have and do.  It’s not complicated, there are only a few rules to it.  

But, for a few moments think of all you could be and do, if you could take your nose off the grindstone for a day, a week or a month. You’d be amazed and the happiest you’d ever been.  

We can thank the Romans for some of these ideas and much of our modern way of life and don’t forget to include all of this inner game stuff – look after your flame – and remember it was the Romans who worked it out first. 

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Pension Select Committee – My Response

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Pensions – Pension Planning – Don’t Buy The Hype.

The pensions industry lobby’s central Government hard for more pensions. Every change of Government means we get further changes to pensions, more legislation, different treatment, some minor alteration. 

The industry loves all of this because it mystifies pensions, makes them more complex in the eyes of you – the consumer. In fact an entire industry lives off the back of you not understanding what is going on, not having the 10,000 hours to become proficient in understanding your own money, your own pension. 

And then there is the option of a personal pension, defined benefit, defined contribution, Stakeholder, Auto Enrolment, drawdown, Sipp. The list it seems is endless and not all of them apply to you. 

With that in mind we have a situation with pensions, the thing that is designed to support you in the longest holiday of your life, but the thing that seems more out of sync than ever.  

The tax breaks offered from pensions are not what they seem, Gordon Brown and his tax raid on pensions a few years back seemed to be the last straw, if you are a basic rate taxpayer then pensions are tax neutral at best.  

See, you do get tax relief on your contributions – but your final pension is taxed when you draw on it. It’s likely that your final pension pot will be larger at the end than when you started it – meaning the amount of tax taken from your pension will be more than the Government gave you tax relief. You didn’t read that in the sales blurb did you? 

It’s also likely that as a higher rate taxpayer now and benefiting from higher rate tax relief on your pension contribution you will be taxed at a lower rate when you draw on your pension. So, pensions seem to make a bit more sense for you.  

If you don’t pay into a pension it’s likely you will also miss out on your employer’s contribution and or if you are lucky enough to work for a Government department you may have a final salary pension scheme – which is very valuable.  

Before you rush to invest in a pension and before you consider your options there are a few things to bear in mind. 

Any tax relief offered by pensions will either be lost in charges, pensions are not managed for free or clawed back as taxation when you finally draw on your pension. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can invest for free (not anywhere) but it does mean that you’ll lose the flexibility to move your money – pensions can’t be moved like a current account. And the provider levies charges from now until then – whenever then is.  

Some Options 

You can invest tax free buy using your Individual Savings Account (ISA)  allowance every year (£20,000 as I write) and your Capital Gains Tax allowance is £12,000 (19/20) which means you can invest £100,000 and get 12% growth on that investment virtually tax free add the ISA allowance and £120k tax free is the final sum available to you. Of course, it could be more. 

When comparing pension savings, you need to consider the following. 

Cash paid into a pension is held until retirement. From age 55 currently. You have no access to it; you can decide where to invest but you can’t get access to it. Charges will be deducted every month on most funds. 

So let’s compare that with the options. 

You have the option of reducing the debt of your Student Loan, current interest rates on these could be as high as 5.4% (Feb 2020) for those of you classed as higher earners.  Average pension fund returns (6% before product charges meaning you’ll need to get at least 4.4% return on your pension fund at a 1% charge to be better off).  

Note. 1% charge. Be lucky if you have one this low. Also 4.4% return, below average – but then so are half of the UK’s pensions funds. 

Perhaps, if you have credit card or personal loan debt you could reduce this instead of paying further into a pension. Average Credit Card interest in the UK is around 20% pa. Personal loans around 8%. Both are substantially higher than the 6% long term average (before charges) pension fund performance. A sure win for reducing debt. 

You could also reduce your mortgage to nil or save a deposit for a house (renting long term is more expensive than home ownership) if you are in business then putting your ‘pension contributions’ into stock for sale, means you could be getting a 20% return this week instead of a return inside your pension fund. Both of which are likely to prove better than pensions.  

Bottom line here is you have options, pensions are not the panacea, the one thing you should consider.  There are lots of options. One is inflexible, constantly being fiddled with by Governments. The others, fully in your control and that makes financial sense.  

I’ll leave that with you.  

Want some more? My free course is here

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All Successful Businesses Do This – same applies to people.

You may have noticed that people with wealth are all around us, there are millionaires being added to the population all of the time. Some businesses are more profitable than others. You can even compare identical businesses that are managed by individuals and get two answers about how good that business is – with one complaining it’s never been good and the other stating that business has never been as good as it is today. 

There are a couple of things you’ll notice about this. If others have managed to become wealthy, become financially independent, why can’t you? And, the information a business needs in order to become profitable and easy is out there, either in books or on the internet, possibly even on TV programmes like the Apprentice and Dragons Den all of which provide a fairly high level of guidance and help, provided you listen. 

On an individual basis people like Warren Buffett, born into pretty humble life, certainly not what you and I would call wealthy. The likes of Duncan Bannantyne (love him or loathe him) from the streets of Glasgow shortly after the war. Both are examples of ordinary people becoming wealthy beyond their own wildest dreams simply by following a handful of processes – what I call principles.  

These processes can be followed by anyone. Of course, I couldn’t promise you riches beyond your wildest dreams just buy following the processes but I can assure you if you follow the rules you’ll be much better off than by not following them. Those of you lucky enough to continue learning, adding to your own skills will find the same principles one of the best places to start. The rest is up to you. 

There are no get rich quick schemes that work, sure you may bump into a few people who’ll explain there are – snake-oil salespeople have been around since the time of Jesus – a bit like the Bitcoin resellers of today. There are few if any of these schemes that ever work – because they don’t use the money principles that rule in the game of wealth.  

So what is it that successful businesses (people) do that makes the difference in the end? 

  1. Keep an eye on profit. Spend less than you earn, focus on cashflow. 
  1. Look after what you have. Customers, existing investments, relationships. 
  1. Always focus on the 20% of things that work best for you and avoid spending any time on the 80% of things that don’t make a difference. 
  1. Always invest for income, if your business is buying in stock for resale, make sure they are priced for profit. If you are investing your own money in stocks and shares, make sure they are income producing. Capital growth means that you are hoping to sell that share, at some stage in the future, at a higher price than you have just paid for it.  

Becoming wealthy, having a great business is as simple as following a few principles – the Golden Rules as I call them. Provided you do, then some form of financial success is guaranteed, sure you may not end up ‘richer than God’ but you will end up in a position that is far better than the one you are now.  

 By the way, I’ve met God, he’s a divorce lawyer in London. 

When you are ready to get a shimmy on with some of this money stuff, get in touch. Or at least get access to the ‘free money training’ in the link below.  

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Pension Selection Committee – That Told Them

Money, life – change it.

You don’t have to live like it, indeed life really isn’t like that anymore. Jobs for life have sadly gone, the security of jobs has long gone and if you are waiting for Government to change things for you – let me ask, how is that working out so far for you? 

My idea behind this is to show you how you can get your personal finances in order in a really short period of time – like 90 days.  I not trying to be all ‘salesy’ when I say that, to show and explain that if you follow some simple steps, the principles as I call them, free up some of that ‘negative mindset’ and you can move your financial life forward  –  take a little action and then things will start to change for you.  

One of the big lessons I’ve learned is this – spend a pound today and it never comes back to you. It is lost forever, gone and never to be seen by you again. It’s off building the capitalist system and will work for someone else in the future.  This is money that you’ll probably have traded part of your life for (worked for it) and it’s something you should understand before we move on, once spent money never comes back, its value is transferred. 

As soon as you start to consider your money as a valuable resource that should spend all of its time working for you instead of you working for it – then everything starts to change.  

I hear all the time people moaning that they don’t understand it, just can’t work it out, how confusing money really is. In part this is what the ‘money industry’ has done to you, the banks and advisers are all tied up in this money business – as soon as you the consumer starts to understand that there is a different way, a clearer way of really understanding this whole money thing – without the advisers and banks getting involved – their business is over and you and I are in control.  How will that be? Thanks for reading – that’s my goal. 

We trade our time (our most important resource) for money, that we then either squander it or pass it on to specialist adviser or organisation and hope they will be able to manage it better than us. Well that is mad and the evidence is overwhelming that they don’t, every business whether they are a bank of finance specialist are there for one reason – to make profits offering services – profits from your money. With that in mind, here is the question that I ask all of the time. 

“If the financial advice industry had the answers to solving the long term problem of making money work them – you’d never get in to see one, you would be lining up for months waiting for an appointment – they don’t have the answers all they have is hope, that is what they are selling. If advisers could make money work properly, they’d do it for themselves first and retire at 35 – instead, they are all still working.” It’s the same reason truly wealthy people ignore things like pensions, why the likes of Warren Buffet doesn’t rely on advice in order to make his money work for him.  He just learns what he needs to know – then does it.

When you start to see your money as a valuable resource that just needs to be working for you instead of working for someone else everything changes. The little things, the cost of a coffee, for example, could be as high as forty minutes of work if you are working for minimum wage.  

That money will never come back to work for you again and you will never, ever get the time back that is now gone forever. 

January 2020

Money – it’s a long term thing.

When I was growing up [1970’s] you either had to be a movie or tv star or have inherited wealth – I don’t remember business being a thing. Of course, I am sure that’s not right, there is plenty of evidence to suggest and support that there were business owners that made money during this period (Alan Sugar seems to be one).

Instant riches could be had by winning the Football Pools – 8 score draws from ten seemed to ring a bell – never really understood gambling. Now, we have the National Lottery – something like a 58 million to one chance of you not winning – yet still, people play in the hope of a big win.

Those that do win big, don’t tend to hang on to it for long – with three to five years of living the high life – before it’s all spent. It was the same with the football pools all those years ago.

Instant riches seem to vanish as quickly as they arrive, and there is a reason for that. Money needs to be managed, having money is a responsibility, it takes time to learn how to work with it and how to get it working for you.

When you can have anything you want, there is a human tendency to have whatever you want and to have that now.

For most of us the only thing that holds us back is the lack of cash, a quick win would seem to solve that problem overnight. Result, drink, drugs and unhappiness soon follow. That is the pattern and our history is littered with stories about people becoming wealthy and losing it very quickly.

Fact is, money – having a lot of money is a burden of a kind.

Also, the fact is not having money is a burden of a kind – only I suggest that not having any money is more of a burden than having it. I don’t know – without some perspective, it’s hard to work out which is the worst (Christina Onanis, her bio was called ‘all the pain money can buy, which seems to indicate that money is not always a positive thing).

With that in mind, and based on my experience with money and managing it for clients is this.

Bad money habits creep up on you – you could be a millionaire but if you overspend for any period of time you will soon end up in the poor house.

Spending hard-earned money on stuff that goes down in value is one sure way to the poor house – stuff is tech, cars, partying – none of this goes up and value and you have to trade your life in order to obtain them (it’s called work).

Your money must work for you, a sure-fire way to end up unhappy is to invest in things that don’t pay you an income. Markets fall and rise, there is no real way to time your purchase of an investment and it’s future performance is always out of your control – if you buy shares in Microsoft today – you are hoping you are able to sell them back to the market for a higher price at some stage in the future.

Reality is, all of this takes good habits, discipline and knowledge of money principles.

This is what I teach over here at along with a number of happiness principles – that one day will be taught in all schools.

When you are ready, get on my email list for updates and news along with discounted products and events.

Until next time.


PS You Can Borrow My Brain – One Stop To End Financial Madness

August 2019 – Podcast in the Park.

State of the markets

Brexit, recession, trade wars.


If you have cash invested you can

Buy on the dips

Invest for income

Invest with the lowest charges

Always have cash on hand.

Buy Cheap 

Invest for Income

Income Paid                                    Re Invest

Spend less than you earn.

FIRE Movement

Would you work 80 hours per week in order to retire at 40? That’s one solution.

What about an extra 13 hours per week? If you do your income will increase by a further 30% or so. Sure, if you are working two jobs already then you may need to think about alternatives to working harder – working smarter.

Getting new skills, find the time to watch Youtube videos, to look up stuff online, the more you know the more you are worth.

Possible September

80/20 – this is an important rule

Basically, in terms of becoming wealthy at some point in the future, in order to be free, have freedom from work you need to do a number of things.

Get your money working for you – it accelerates the process – you only have so much time to work and earn – that’s why making money work is so powerful.

Next ignore all the information you are told about investing and making money – there are only a small number of things you need to do, need to be aware of in the scheme of 80/20  only 20% of things you think are important are.

Everywhere where you look you are told what. What you should invest in, how you should manage your money – you are told the why is important – the reason most of you are told this is simple marketing. 

For most financial advisory businesses you are told to invest – because thats good for them, they enjoy a small percentage of your investment for ever – thats how their businesses are worth so much. That is not the right way to become wealthy. You will never be rich while someone else is taking a slice of your income/capital.

In the case of pensions the provider and the advisory firm will get paid from the time the plan starts until death  – in many instances.

The why is always – at some point you want to stop working and enjoy your cash.

Fact is within 80/20 there are some answers.

  1. You only need to focus on a couple of small thing, easily understood and manageable things  in order to transform your financial life.

Invest for income, make money work for you – you can’t spend capital which is why income is important. hold money in cash first, invest when the market has dipped, invest in low charge flexible products – etf’s and tracker funds. Invest for the long term, reduce/manage debt/ use tax allowances.

  1. Ignore the complexity or those things you don’t understand.

Many things in financial planning are complicated, Inheritance tax, tax planning, capital gains tax – complicated offshore rules – these are the many complicated things you don’t need to be aware of  – for now. 

If you are looking to genuinely start making your money work hard for you then focus on the things you can control and ignore those you can’t.