Reasons to be cheerful, one two three…I don’t know where you stand, but I’m starting to book up gig tickets for next autumn. As my oldest, wisest and best mate Alsy says, “Personally planning to gig my **** off once we can”. Words to live by.

The Update always tells the truth, and to be honest the last week or so has been brutal round our way. Not only was the lang kitten v1.0 diagnosed positive with THE PLAGUE (she’s fine and so are the rest of us; quarantine sucks), but I have seen – in ways which needn’t detain us – some of the worst that people can…ah sod it, it doesn’t matter. Suffice it to say that the capacity of people to inflict hurt on others remains depressing, if not surprising.

My favourite author is Kurt Vonnegut; has been since I was about 14. And here’s my favourite quote of his:

“Hello babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. On the outside, babies, you’ve got a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies – “God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”

So it goes.

Anyway, I don’t much feel like writing about our industry this week, and that’s OK because this is my email, not yours, and you can always unsubscribe if you don’t like what’s on the menu. But there are reasons to be cheerful, one, two, three, and one of them is the fact that in a world full of utter shysters who would like to separate good people from their money, there are some remarkable individuals who have their backs, and we call these people ‘advisers’. My good news shot this week is that the Ongoing Unpleasantness has, in the main, treated adviser firms well.

We’ve put some research out today, as a trail of our big annual advice census which we call State of the Adviser Nation because it sounds a bit like SATAN and I’m still a tr00 kvlt death metal man whether or not it’s becoming for a 46-year old.

A few stats from the 560 or so respondents…

  • 25% agreed with the statement that “we’re in a really good place; lockdown has reaffirmed where we are as a business”
  • 59% agreed with “we’re in decent shape and looking forward to the future”
  • On a scale of one to ten, where ten is very happy and one is very sad, confidence levels (judged by those scoring themselves as 8, 9 or 10) have returned to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Nearly 30% of firms think they’ll have seen their turnover rise in 2020 compared to 2019. Another 29% think it’ll be about level.

The long and the short of it is that the sector is incredibly positive. Clients have done exactly what we hoped they would do – understood how vital it is to have a trusted adviser in their corner. Firms predict their turnover will be static or better, in the main, and if you were an investor and looking for a sector that would stand firm in the face of relentless waves of Awful, then advice is where you’d bash on your wine gums.

“We are here on Earth to fart around. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.”


  • Vonnegut wrote that a ‘foma’ is a harmless untruth, which makes humanity feel better. In investment land, foma are nearly always pernicious, and that’s (sort of) the subject of HomeGames this week, with Professor Elroy Dimson. The Prof, as I won’t be calling him, is one of the foremost minds of our generation looking at long-term investment. He’s also very funny in a dry way, and he’s on HomeGames today at 12.30pm or on the YouTubes Come join – it’s already the most pre-booked session we’ve ever had.
  • This good news thing has got legs. Have a wee search on Twitter for #fpstories, and then go here to Octo and share your stories. A nice chance to promote the more inspirational side of what you do.
  • I’d have done this for £2.7m…

And your music choice this week is a slab of pure joy. You can hear Malcolm Young all the way through this. Is it preposterous that a bunch of septuagenarians are still playing rock’n’roll? Yes it is, and I couldn’t care less. Here’s Shot in the Dark from the new AC/DC record. Don’t forget to turkey nod along.

See you next week