The Dash


Amidst all of the doom and gloom of a second wave and threat of a second national lockdown, I hope that you are able to remain positive and that you and your families are safe and well.

I was recently reminded of Linda Ellis’ poem The Dash, and remembered that we shared it with our clients a few years back. I thought that it was very relevant now given the times we find ourselves in and the work we do with our clients. You can read the poem in full here.

The Dash talks about the life of a man who has passed away, being talked about by his friend at the funeral. The friend refers to everything that he had done and achieved during his life as being represented by ‘the dash’; the space between the two dates of birth and death on his headstone.

The poem has lots of resonance outside of financial planning, of course, but it also speaks to us about what financial planning is really about and why it can be so important.

During the course of the poem, the speaker notes that what was important about the man was not what he owned, ‘the cars…the house…the cash’, but what he had done and the lives he had touched. He goes on to consider ideas of living a good life, putting things right that we know are wrong, changing how we live for the better.

There’s truth in the poem that, ultimately, your pile of cash is meaningless next to the things that you can do with it. Money is merely an enabler for things to happen and, if those things are good and lasting, they tend to have more impact on us and others than transient things we could spend the money on; a new car or house, for example.

True happiness, the poem suggests, is not about building up ‘things’, but in making sure that you have no regrets, putting wrongs right and living life the right way. Money can, of course, help to do all of those things, but it is not those things in and of itself, it is merely a way to get to the place that you want to reach.

So the next time you sit down to think about your financial planning goals, make sure that you are truly thinking about what you really want to achieve. Not increased revenue, or the next purchase, or to what accounts your money needs to be assigned; but what would genuinely make you happier; your life more fulfilled; your ‘dash’ better lived.

In other news, we know that physical and mental wellbeing are closely linked so as a company we set ourselves physical challenges to encourage and support each other in keeping well. Our latest challenge “Step it up” focused on achieving more that 8,000 steps a day with the winner being the person to achieve most steps. Not a huge goal but when you are sitting at your desk all day it’s easy to forget to build in time to exercise. This challenge had the double benefit of supporting Wells Dementia Action Alliance (WDAA) as like many charities they have been unable to hold their usual fundraising activities. This can be a very isolating and confusing time for those with Dementia so maintaining awareness is key. Any funds that we can raise along the way help to provide support for example for funding PPE for a day centre or providing MP3 players for those who are admitted to hospital make a real difference.

This initiative is being taken up by the wider community over the half term weeks when we are encouraging people to walk in their bubbles either along a designated route or in their local outdoors for more information visit

Best wishes

Damien RylettCEO

Perception of money


It’s funny how your perception of money changes as you grow older. Children and teenagers often request money instead of presents for birthdays and Christmases as, particularly from older relatives, the prospect of another Christmas jumper suddenly loses its appeal. Then, as soon as they receive this money they must go out and spend it – the cash is practically burning a hole in their pocket. However, as adults, being gifted a sum of money or receiving an inheritance can seem like a burden.

Typically, people receive an inheritance when they are 55 to 65. Many are unsure of what to do with it and if they don’t pass it to the next generation, they leave it languishing in a bank account or Cash ISA, generating little or no return. Research shows that 35% of people deposit the capital in a bank or a Cash ISA. This is despite the negligible returns available that almost certainly could see the cash lose its real value over time as a result of inflation. Another 32% spend the money, while 15% take a longer-term view and invest it. The balance 18% pay off debts.

Perhaps, their inheritance could have been gifted to the next generation, which is something that only one in five of 55 to 65-year-olds currently do! The issue of inheritance can be a thorny one but it becomes even more complicated if it has not been discussed and well planned.

The age group 55 to 65 (Baby Boomers) control most of the wealth in the UK and it is the under 45s (Millennials and Generation X) who find themselves under the most financial pressure. Former university students have an average outstanding student loan balance of £35,000 at the point they commence the first repayments. Getting on the housing ladder gets even harder to achieve as house prices have increased more than incomes in the last 30 years. In real terms, house prices have increased by 259% during this period, while wages increased by 68%. So, Millennials and Generation X face a series of difficulties in building wealth. This is due to the combined impact of rising house prices, insecure employment and higher debt (including student debt) – which limits their ability to save for retirement during core earning years.

At Brunel we have become great exponents of intergenerational wealth planning and the benefits to everyone in the family of developing a gift plan. Essentially, we can tackle some of the biggest issues around the transfer of wealth including working out how much capital you need and whether you can afford to give some to loved ones without damaging your own financial plans. We know this can be a challenge without professional advice.

We certainly like to encourage regular gifts to meet the long-term financial needs of Millennials and Generation X. By way of an example, a good first step on the intergenerational wealth transfer road could be a pension contribution on behalf of a child or grandchild. A sum of £300 monthly contributed to a pension over a 20 years period could provide a £210,000 pension pot – assuming 5%pa compound growth and net of costs assumed to be 1.5%pa). This would be a great addition to the pension pot of a 45-year-old struggling to save for retirement!

Similarly, it would be possible to generate a £40,000 lump sum for a child or grandchild by making regular savings of £276 monthly for a period of 10 years – assuming 5%pa compound growth and net of costs assumed to be 1.5%pa. This could be used to help with a property purchase deposit or to assist with education costs. The same £40,000 lump sum could be achieved over 15 years by making regular savings of £168 monthly – assuming the same growth/costs as detailed above.

I hope this provides some food for thought and would encourage you to contact your Brunel Financial Planner if you would like to discuss intergenerational wealth planning in more detail.

Peter Hill

Peter Hill

The new IronBright platform!


I am delighted to announce that on 1st November we will launch our new platform. As many of you will already be aware, this is something we have been looking to do for some time and is the latest in a number of initiatives which will enable us to continue delivering market-leading service to you. As with all areas of the service we offer, we regularly review the marketplace and with respect to platforms it has become clear that technology has moved on a lot in recent years.

This means we can now offer a more intuitive and client friendly user experience at a standard cost lower than your existing platform. We are also able to control more of the elements ourselves, taking away our reliance on third parties, which in turn reduces timescales and the potential for misunderstandings.

What exactly is a platform?
To be clear, a change of platform will not impact on the wider Financial Planning and advice service we provide, nor does it impact on the portfolios we manage for you. The platform, in this sense, is simply the administration system where the assets are actually held and where the transactions (payments in, payments out, trading etc) actually take place.

This is an exciting development for us and one that keeps us, and our clients, at the forefront of financial planning services in the UK. Under the IronBright banner, the portfolios and the platform will now go hand in hand.

Did I mention that it will also be cheaper? Modern technology translates to lower running costs which we are delighted can be passed on to our clients.

What we need from you now
By moving to more modern technology we also hope to reduce the amount of paperwork that we all have to deal with. This does however mean all communication will be done online. As such, if you have not already done so, can I ask that you please register for our secure client Personal Finance Portal so that we can keep you updated?

If you are yet to register please follow and click on the ‘Register’ button in the top right from where instructions will follow.

Unfortunately, if you are not online, I am afraid you will not be able to benefit from the new platform and will stay with the current provider at the prevailing, higher ongoing costs.

Next steps
While this is a positive move for all concerned we do want to make sure we move you over to the new platform in a deliberate and staged way rather than hitting a giant ‘GO’ button on the first day. This gives us more control over each account and so I would ask that you bear with us. You will all hear from us in the coming months confirming when your own accounts will be moved and anything we need you to do will be explained at the time.

In the meantime, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to speak to your planner.

In the community
Brunel are delighted to sponsor two excellent speakers at this year’s Wells Literary Festival. As there will be a limited number of people attending each event all the speakers will be live streamed, this is free of charge and we are pleased to share the link with you. will tell you how to sign up to attend a virtual event. The website also gives the list of all the speakers.

The events we will be sponsoring are:
Pragya Agarwal who will talk about her book Sway: Unravelling Unconscious Bias at 6pm on Tuesday 20th October.

Pragya is a prize-winning behavioural scientist, activist, writer, and freelancer. She unravels the ‘unintentional’ biases on how we communicate and perceive the world and the effect on decision-making. What are the forces that affect us all? She investigates who we are and who we want to be. Scientific, non-judgemental. ‘Cogently argued and intensely persuasive’ Waterstones.

The second speaker is Hashi Mohamed on Saturday 24th October at 3.45pm. His book is entitled People Like Us: What it Takes to Make it in Modern Britain

How does a refugee from the Somali civil war become a successful London barrister with an Oxford degree? Hashi Mohamed explores social mobility in Britain today and concludes that his story is far from typical. He offers inspirational advice to those wanting to change their circumstances and to all of us who wish to see a better modern Britain.

We hope you have the opportunity to dip into the delights of this year’s festival.

Dan Hiles
Financial Planning Manager

The most meaningful way to succeed is to help others succeed


For all of you who kindly follow our weekly updates, I am pleased to report I now have a new gold crown on my tooth and can now return to enjoying a Sunday dinner of roast pork and chew a piece of crackling without the fear of breaking my dodgy tooth. Ahh, life’s small pleasures!

So, when we embarked on producing our weekly newsletters, I wanted to find the best way for me to keep up to date with the weekly news and thus keep my articles fresh and relevant to what was happening in the current week. I had become a little weary of the poor reporting from the popular news channels so decided to subscribe to ‘The Week’. What attracted me to this publication was the feedback from a couple of famous readers – It’s the quickest way of finding out what’s been happening all over the world and The Week is the ideal paper for those who are too lazy or too busy. I am both and proud of it. Yes, I thought, that is the one for me!

6 months later I have also succumbed to subscribing to a couple of authors newsletters. I wanted to share the latest from Adam Grant who is an organisational psychologist and author. Bear with me on this! This is what caught my eye recently:

2020 has forced us to rethink many of our basic assumptions—from how we work to where kids learn to what it takes to stay healthy. Yet in our daily lives, too many of us still favour the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt.

We listen to opinions that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard. We see disagreement as a threat to our egos, rather than an opportunity to learn. We surround ourselves with people who agree with our conclusions, when we should be gravitating toward those who challenge our thought process. We need to develop the skill—and the will—to rethink our views.

This is the topic of Adam’s new book – THINK AGAIN. It focuses on how we think too much like preachers defending our sacred beliefs, prosecutors proving the other side wrong, and politicians campaigning for approval. If we thought more like scientists searching for truth, we could develop the humility to know what we do not know and the flexibility to change our minds as the world changes around us.

As you know, my better half Dr B (as she is now known) is a scientist. She warmed to the above analogy of thinking like a Scientist. For me, it made me think of two political hot potatoes – Brexit and the American election, especially when I read these 2 headlines in relation to the above:

In America – The ousted director of the office involved in developing a coronavirus vaccine has quit his post at the National Institutes of Health, charging that the Trump administration “ignores scientific expertise, overrules public health guidance and disrespects career scientists”.

Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator has hinted that Boris Johnson is willing to compromise with the EU about the contentious issue of state aid in order to land an “eminently achievable” trade deal.

For the team at Brunel, we continue to challenge our thought process; encourage new ideas and processes and evolve our financial planning and investment proposition to try and make it the best it can be.

… and finally, the death of Eddie Van Halen from throat cancer, aged 65, brings to a close one of the most colourful and lucrative sagas in American rock music. If Aerosmith was the premier US hard rock band of the 1970s, it was Van Halen who stepped into their shoes during the 80s. Formed around the Van Halen brothers, the guitarist Eddie and the drummer Alex, the band rode a tidal wave of multi-platinum albums over a 15-year period. Few other acts have come close to matching their commercially combustible mixture of spectacular and addictive rock, flamboyant stage performances and outsized personal behaviour. RIP in Eddie.

David Buchan

David Buchan
Finance Director

A Safe Pair of Hands


Goalkeepers love penalties because it is their turn to shine even though the odds are always stacked against them, but that is the beauty of sport – its uncertainty, anything can happen on the day. They can be the hero. The trouble is that too few do, in fact, become that hero.

An analysis of 286 penalty shootouts found roughly 50% of keepers leaped left, 44% leaped right and only 6% stayed in the middle. Interestingly though, the study also showed that 39% of actual kicks were struck down the middle, with the rest broadly going right and left in equal proportion. So, if nearly 40% go down the middle, why do only 6% of goalkeepers recognise that by staying put, doing nothing, will produce the best results?

The answer is probably down to “Action Bias”, which is our tendency to act even when doing nothing is better. Goalies may be keen to act to avoid regret and the recriminations of teammates – imagine Jose Mourinho’s reaction when the penalty is scored if Hugo Lloris had done nothing but stand in the middle of the goal! Doing it consistently right in one game, over the course of a season, over a career is very difficult but when nearly 40% of penalties go down the middle the game plan must surely be “be brave and stick to your guns”.

I have been reminded of this research over the past few months when colleagues and clients have asked what IronBright is doing differently to deal with the seismic events that enthral us all and what changes we are making in the portfolios to deal with the impact of the pandemic … and the answer is “nothing”. But remember that doing nothing is not the same thing as not having a plan. We do nothing that is not in our plan.

We do not try and second guess the market because crystal ball gazing and tea leaf reading skills remain out of our reach. The lion’s share of your longer term returns come from holding your asset allocation, which we reset every six months through the May and November re-balances; this is a discipline that generally means we sell high and buy low throughout the year, every year.

It has been a terrible year for many reasons but the portfolios that we look after for you are holding up very well. The FTSE All Share remains down -19.70% year to date whereas the IronBright 50 P portfolio (which reflects most client assets) is down just -2.82%. Even the racier IronBright 70 P is only down -5.13%.

When the pressure is on, we do not chase markets. We do not jump right or left if our plan is to stay still. We have strict investment disciplines that we abide by when it comes to managing your money and it has worked for you over the years that you have been kind enough to entrust your money with us.

I hope that you all remain fit and healthy and on behalf of the entire team I would like to thank you for your continued support and good humour.




Steve Brady

Life Isn’t a Dance


“The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing, because an artful life requires being prepared to meet and withstand sudden and unexpected attacks.”


Dancing is a popular metaphor for life. One must be limber and agile and go along with the music. One must feel and follow and flow with their partner. But anyone who has tried to do something difficult, where there is competition or an adversary, knows that the dancing metaphor is insufficient. Nobody ever tries to get up on stage and tackle a dancer. The dancer never gets choked out by a rival.

For a wrestler, on the other hand, adversity and the unexpected are part and parcel of what they do. Their sport is a battle, just like life. They are fighting an opponent as well as their own limitations, emotions and training.

Life, like wrestling, requires more than graceful movement. We have to undergo hard training and cultivate an indomitable will to prevail.

Life feels like one big wrestling match at the moment. Our opponent is relentless and keeps coming back with different moves. One step forward and two steps back.

It is difficult to maintain our composure and control, but we must. We must also trust our training, our habits and the tried and tested. In difficult times, we draw on our inner strength and lean on our “support team” for reassurance. We are part of your support team and are here for you if you are struggling with anything, need that reassurance or someone to lean on. If you have friends, family or colleagues who are wrestling with life at the moment, we are happy to chat.

Some of you will be aware that the Bristol team moved into new offices at the beginning of the month. Whilst the majority of the team are still working remotely, we have some physical presence on a daily basis and that is a step in the right direction.

Because we recognise that life happens and that it is a real challenge at times, we want our team to remember that life comes first. Therefore, with effect from 1st October, our offices will be closing at 4pm on a Friday. This will allow the team to start their weekend earlier and spend time with the important people in their lives or doing what matters most to them. Our offices will continue to be open 9am-5pm Monday to Thursday.

I’d like to share this short time-lapse video with you as local artist Silenthobo painted our new wall mural.

Best wishes

Damien Rylett

Lockdown Diaries – 6 months on!


It has now been 6 months since the introduction of a UK wide lockdown. My last article introduced additional easing of lockdown and just 4 weeks later we are now subject to increased restrictions! Please don’t ask me to explain the current changes to living our everyday lives as I’m as confused as you!

So, I’ll concentrate on bringing you the third and final element of the Advice Tree I first introduced to you a couple months ago. But before I do that, I have been reflecting on the interactions I have been having with clients and their families since the onset of lockdown back in March. There is no doubt that Covid-19 has impacted people in many different ways and a recent conversation with a friend reminds me that livelihoods have, in some cases, been very adversely affected as a direct consequence of the pandemic.

To explain, my friend is a very successful company executive with high earnings and associated benefits with a large UK employer. Well, he was until he was made redundant recently as a consequence of the financial impact brought about by the pandemic on the company employing him. Suddenly, he found himself out of work for the first time in his career. What’s more, he had never paid a lot of attention to his personal finances as his monthly income was more than adequate to meet his family’s normal expenditure and he was a member of the company’s Pension Scheme. Now, he has his redundancy capital payment but no regular income. He is approaching age 50 and has been a member of his company’s Pension Scheme for many years but is faced with a decision over the future of his pension benefits. He is also concerned that he has not made the most of his savings.

I shared the Advice Tree with my friend and it is fair to say that he was relieved to learn that Brunel are able to help him and his family make the best decisions for their financial future. If you have any members of your family or friends that may have suffered in a similar way, please do not hesitate to speak to your Planner to see if we can help. We would be delighted to hear from you.

Now for the final element of the Advice Tree, the Money branch.

Sequence of return risk mitigation – thus avoiding the negative impact of taking withdrawals at the wrong time. This is a pernicious risk that few investors are aware of. It can have a massive impact on how long your pension fund will last. We can help you plan and take the steps to mitigate that risk.\

Investment due diligence – There are more than 9,000 investment instruments available in the UK and we research the market on your behalf to give peace of mind that a rigorous due diligence process has been applied to the investments we recommend to you.

Risk Assessment – risk is a complex subject with many dimensions. We help you navigate and understand risk to ensure the investments we recommend meet your requirements.

Portfolio management and rebalancing – we use sophisticated tools to maximise your return for a given level of risk/risk tolerance. Rebalancing your portfolio twice each year means that your risk is managed in line with your risk tolerance and financial goals.

Tax efficiency – we use all the applicable tax reliefs and allowances available to you each year. Estimates suggest that this could boost your investment returns by 1% per year. So, on a £400,000 Portfolio that would be £4,000 per year.

I hope you have found the Advice Tree a helpful insight to the service we provide to our clients and of course to prospective clients. As always, please contact your Planner if you have any questions.

Until next time, I wish you and your family good health.

Peter Hill
Peter Hill


What is the new ‘Normal’


Looking back on my last communication, I advised we were preparing for the move to our new office in Bristol. I am pleased to say, our team of Sara, Kate and Andy have successfully completed the office refit and delivered a professional and personalized space for us to work. As the Finance Director, I am especially delighted they were bang on budget, so a big thank you to all involved.

As a taster, this is the original mural we had painted on the main wall by a young Bristol artist Wei Ong (Silent Hobo). As you can see, he has captured the Brunel and Ironbright logos in the Balloons going over the iconic Clifton Suspension Bridge. I must say, we were all ‘blown away’ by Wei’s mural. Assuming a return to face to face meetings next year, we will be delighted to meet you at our new office if you wish and show you around.

Brunel Capital Partners - Wei Ong (Silent Hobo)Whilst writing this, I am recovering from a dose of anesthetic following a trip to the dentist to have a crown fitted. It did make me think if we were returning to some normality as this work has been deferred since lockdown. On seeing my dentist fully PP’d up and advising he could only see 2 patients a day for this type of treatment, I realised we are still some way off the ‘normal’. This is reinforced by the government announcements as we see saw between the daily changes of numbers of people we can see or the daily changes to quarantine rules if we have managed to travel abroad.

So, as we move into Autumn, the never-ending Brexit negotiations are back in the news. It is clear from what we have seen in the financial markets this week, the daily news flow on deal or no deal continues to impact on the direction of the UK stockmarket and £ exchange rate. I have picked a couple of interesting articles on this subject for you to read if you so wish.

To reinforce Steve’s message last week, even with these Brexit and Covid 19 concerns, the Ironbright investment philosophy continues to follow its 3 guiding principles – Belief in the future, patience and discipline. We are optimistic and believe in long-term progress. Capital Markets work. They are far from perfect, but they do a good job of fairly pricing all available information and investor expectations about publicly traded securities. Once money is invested, patience is needed with an eye on the long term rather than what markets are doing today; and discipline, delivered through careful asset allocation, diversification and regular rebalancing of asset allocations to keep portfolios in line with the course set.

Whilst we navigate through this uncertainty, we continue to ensure your financial plans are on track and anticipate meetings will continue by Zoom or Teams. Even though it is not quite the same as a face to face meeting, I was re-assured from the feedback I had from a client meeting I held yesterday, where we had some complex scenarios to navigate, we can still deliver effectively your lifetime financial planning through a virtual meeting.

Stay healthy, safe and optimistic.

David Buchan
Finance Director

David Buchan

It’s not all bad out there…


Earlier last week the S&P 500 index (a market capitalisation-weighted index of the 500 largest US publicly traded companies) completed its fastest recovery from a Bear Market in history. At its lowest point, year to date, it was down just over 20%, but at the time of writing it is up just over 10%. It’s madness.

Anyone with half an eye on the parlous state of the world economy may agree that this is quite extraordinary. The pandemic has caused enormous pain on global businesses with dividends being slashed, companies announcing mass redundancies and recurring profits warnings from the great and the good.

Investment markets have many drivers that determine its pricing, which I will not bore you with here, but there is an adage in the industry that there are 3 things you need to know about the stockmarket:

Rule 1: “the stockmarket is not the economy”.

Rule 2: “the stockmarket is not the economy”.

And “yes” you’ve guessed it…

Rule 3: “the stockmarket is not the economy”.

Aligning the current state of the economy to the value of your portfolio just does not compute – it never has. The majority of you do not like too much excitement, which means that you invest in the IronBright 50 portfolio or in lower risk-rated ones, such as the IronBright 30 portfolio (we go up in factors of 10 to the IronBright 100 portfolio, which is entirely equity based and is a little bit racy).

The performance figures year to date are interesting because if you looked at them, you would never guess there is a global pandemic and an economic meltdown (figures since the beginning of 2020) although I grant you the FTSE still looks a little poorly:

MSCI World Index* +5.31%
IronBright 30 P -0.57%
IronBright 50 P -3.77%
FTSE All Share -20.65%

(*MSCI World Index is an index designed to track broad global equity-market performance. It is comprised of about 3000 companies from 23 developed countries and 26 emerging markets).

IronBright applies an investment strategy that includes very strict disciplines when it comes to international diversification, employing and accessing a number of fund managers, asset classes and currencies that control overall risk, and it won’t surprise you that we always remain optimistic about the future returns from the market.

We don’t gloss over the world’s problems and we are regularly reminded that the important things in life remain the health and happiness of our family and friends; money remains secondary to this but I hope that you feel reassured that IronBright continues to successfully look after your financial affairs so you free to focus on what is most important to you.

(Apologies that Lockdown Diaries has not been published for the past 2 weeks. We have experienced technical problems, which have now been resolved).

Steve Brady
Steve Brady

Lockdown Diaries


I’m not going to lie, but at times, the last four and a bit months has been a real struggle. It would be very easy for me to sit here and say that it’s been a wonderful experience but I’d be lying to you. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some real positives to come out of this situation. However, there have been down moments. A real rollercoaster of emotions.

I think it’s important to recognise that many of us have never experienced anything like it in our entire lifetimes and may never do so again. We have all had to cope with a huge amount of enforced change.

Not being able to see your family or friends when you want and give them that all important hug. Being told that you can only leave the house for limited reasons. Not being able to enjoy our hobbies and recreational activities, sports, going to the theatre or going out for a meal. Having to constantly think about distancing and wearing a face covering in public spaces. Holiday plans cancelled, home schooling, GCSEs and A-levels cancelled. Having to work from home. I should also mention that some of us will have lost friends or loved ones as a result of this crisis. I could go on and on but I think you get my point. We human beings are a resilient bunch, but come on, give us a break.

I was lucky to enjoy a family holiday in Cornwall a few weeks ago. The change of scenery, extended break and time with my family came at the perfect moment and was also a great opportunity to reflect on recent events and the future.

So this is the thing. Events happen. We can’t change the events but what we can do is choose how we react to the events. You can’t change the past. I am forever being asked “If you had your time again, would you do anything differently?” The answer is always “No”. I wouldn’t be the person I am today, with my wonderful family or business if I had chosen a different path. Yes, I’ve made plenty of mistakes and poor decisions but these are what define you as a person.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

Contrary to common belief, it wasn’t Charles Darwin who said this. It was Leon C Megginson, Professor of Management and Marketing at Louisiana State University in 1963.

I love this quote and it is this ability to react, adapt and get ourselves ahead of the curve that will see us succeed and prosper.

As a FCA regulated firm, we pay regulatory fees each year to simply just open our doors. These have increased every year since we have been in business. This year they have increased by almost 40%. Part of this fee is a levy towards the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), a fund that pays out to investors who have lost out due to being sold inappropriate products and investments. We are simply funding the mistakes and poor behaviour of other firms. Have any of our clients ever been put into an investment that has needed to be bailed out by the FSCS? No. Is it irritating that we should have to fund the scheme? Yes. Can we do anything about it? No.

What we can do is continue to develop our services for you. To make them better, more cost-effective, embrace technology to save you time and hassle and make things more secure. To ensure that your money is working harder so you have a greater chance of achieving your goals. We will continue to take care of the little details so you can get on with living life.

This brings me to the other point that struck me whilst I sat on a beach in Cornwall. The more time I spent worrying about current and past events, the less I enjoyed the moment, the less present I was.

Without getting too deep or philosophical, I have often asked myself “What is my purpose?” “What is the point of all of this?” From a pure biological or scientific basis one could argue it is to simply reproduce. If you are a frog, then that’s great. But we are humans, the most developed and intelligent species on the planet. It’s up to us to find purpose and then design a life around it.

We are not here for long, so why don’t we do something worthwhile and enjoy it while we are here. Although a massive cliché, time really does fly. They are clichés for reasons as they are often true. It doesn’t seem like two minutes ago that my three boys were babies. My eldest Isaac is now 16, starting A-levels and it won’t be long before he is gone.

Someone once said to me me that life was not a rehearsal. You only get one crack at this.

So what is it that I want to do? How do I want to live the rest of my life? What contribution do I want to make? What is my legacy? What do I need to do to ensure that I am fulfilled and happy?

All questions I have been asking myself and questions we can help you answer if you have found yourself asking them too.

As comprehensive, lifestyle financial planners, not only can we facilitate these wider discussions but also help you arrange your finances so you can get on with living your life without the fear of running out of money or your plans getting derailed by events you cannot control.

I’d be really interested to hear if any of you have been thinking along similar lines. If you have, drop me a line or get in touch with your planner.

Life is not a rehearsal.

Best wishes.

Damien Rylett
Chief Executive Officer

Damien Rylett

Brunel Capital Partners is a sister company of Pilgrim Financial Planning