A shorter Update from me this week, mainly because instead of writing it last night like I normally do, I was up late ending myself with laughter at coverage of the House of Commons.

All this uncertainty makes me think more than ever about the value of having someone who can give the longer term view. I’m reminded – well, of many things including Monty Python in the last 24 hours – of that bit at the end of Men In Black where the perspective zooms back out and it turns out we live on a marble in the marble bag of some intergalactic marble-playing beings.

When we zoom out for clients and refocus on goals, it probably doesn’t matter whether Jacob sits up or whether Ken is still in the party or whether Jeremy gets his way. That’s what financial planning is all about.

But it does make the stories we tell as an industry ever more important. I’ve been thinking about storytelling a lot after seeing Stephen Fry do his Mythos cycle at the Edinburgh Festival the week before last (it was amazing, you should go if you get the chance). The Greeks knew how to do this stuff properly.

Christopher Booker says there are only ever seven basic plots. He might be right. I just can’t decide if we’re on Voyage and Return, Overcoming The Monster, or Rags to Riches just now.

We’ve grown used to relatively smooth sailing. I’ve said this before, but virtually every investment solution we use with clients – DFM MPS, adviser-created models, multi-asset funds, multimanager funds – have all been created within the last ten years.

I wonder how often we say to clients that when the more difficult times come – and come they will – that we aren’t going to save them from a journey to the underworld. They will experience it, and it won’t be nice. But their story doesn’t end there, and if a story is well-managed then it ends in redemption. Maybe.


Last week we asked you to help us with rating platforms; that’s us getting you to tell us your stories. We’ve had a great response – thank you for the hundreds of ratings done already – but we are insatiable and want more. That’s a story in itself.

So if you work in an adviser firm or a paraplanning firm we would really love to hear from you as part of our 2019 Adviser Platform Ratings  It takes no more than 2 minutes per platform, and it’s anonymous.

Thank you in advance. Here’s the link once again.


  •  I wrote about asset management consolidation last week, and it turns out someone was listening. Big story (ha!) with Premier and Miton merging just broke today.
  • More scuttlebutt on what’s happening with the Zurich platform here from Jack Gilbert: Widows and Aegon? We’ll see.
  • And we’ll be telling some stories at the DeadX Talks event in London on 14 November. We still have some tickets available, which is an intolerable state of affairs. Please help us rectify this forthwith.
  • And your music choice this week is inspired by recent events. Please lose your stuff to You Can’t Always Get What You Want immediately.

See you next week