It’s our birthday! Happy birthday to us, etc. The lang cat is 11 today; that’s roughly the expected lifespan of one emu and you can’t knock that. I just read the birthday TCWU I did last year about going from working in a windowless basement when I started this thing to…working in a basement with one small window during the pandemic. I never thought last September I’d still be here – we are back in the office part of the time but it’s all still a long way from normal.

I’ll be honest, the last year hasn’t exactly been my favourite with family stuff, Mum’s death and the relentless and insidious pressure of the pandemic we’ve all felt. But as we head into our 12th year I do feel optimistic – the lang kittens appear to be growing up alright despite our best efforts and those of the world around them, and our little – not so little now – business is in the best shape it’s ever been. That it is so is nothing to do with me and everything to do with the superhuman efforts of the now 19 remarkable individuals who work here. To have sucked up the uncertainty and pressure of the last 18 months when we didn’t feel we could recruit in case everything stopped is a hell of a thing. Thank you to all of you – the cavalry is coming.

As well as Tom McPhail joining us a few weeks ago – place your orders for a slice of Tom now as he’s selling out fast – I’m #delighted to welcome two more new cats to the basket. Abbey Moffat joins us from Abrdn and will mainly work with Terry and Chris on keeping Platform Analyser trucking. Liz Evans joins us from GoCompare and is our first member of staff from the principality but hopefully not the last. She’ll work with Steve on creating more magic from the insane amounts of data we collect and will not sing any opera.

One more thanks on this day of cake – as ever a hearty takk to clients past and present without whom and all that. We never take it for granted. And to readers of this nonsense, and viewers of HomeGames, and our insight panel – this funny sort-of community that has grown up is one of the things I’m proudest of and something that sustains us through good times and bad. You da – insert favoured gendered or non-gendered term here.


It is written in Polson’s Sixth Precept of Content Creation that on your birthday you can push all the industry stuff down to the links. In that spirit, please be advised that today we open the fieldwork for our fourth annual omnibus study of the advice profession – State of the Adviser Nation. Last year just under 550 firms told us a bunch of stuff about their hopes, concerns, frustrations, business practices and more. The results were, as ever, fascinating and have made their way into all sorts of places you wouldn’t expect.

Last year was great but would it be moonbeams to hope to get 1,000 responses this year? Maybe, maybe. But if all the advice professionals – owner, adviser, planner, admin, paraplanner – reading this followed this link and gave us 20-30 minutes of your time we would easily get there, and much more besides.

It is a bit of a chunky monkey of a study, but we’ve put more logic into it this year so you only answer the bits that are relevant to you. We will also give all respondents a lovely, beautifully designed playback of the results, and we’ll do at least one AMA-type session for those who want to dive in a bit more.

Again – please do be awesome and let us know the state of your adviser nation here. We appreciate it bigly.


  • Just one more from us – our birthday HomeGames guest is the Living Leg End that is Steve Bee. After years of proclaiming “but that’s enough from me, here’s Steve Bee!” on interminable roadshows, I now get to ask him questions. We all know this is going to be a brilliant session, so come join here at 12.30pm or here later on the YouTubes.
  • True Potential goes in the ‘rude’ bucket for announcing its big PE deal just too late for last week’s TCWU. Still a big deal though.
  • Tatton, on the other hand, is in the much more comfortable ‘polite’ bucket for announcing its tie-up with Fintel (formerly SimplyBiz) which sees it acquire the £650m Verbatim multi-asset business.
  • And your music choice this week – as always on a birthday TCWU – is from the man who gave the lang cat its name, James Yorkston. Here’s the lovely A Very Old-Fashioned Blues.

We go again. See you next week.