I took no pleasure in that Bond joke. There are some things you just have to grit your teeth and get on with. And when you work in finance and someone releases a Bond film lasting nearly three hours, a bond duration joke is one of them. It’s not glamorous work, but someone has to do it.

(Still going to go and see it though).

Anyway, how are you? Got a full tank? I bet you do. Just in case. I’m reminded of the witticisms flying around during The Great Bog Roll Shortage which went something like “he panic buys, you stock up, I exhibit a rational and healthy response to perceived supply shortages”.

We love a crisis; something to get us up out our seats and instil a sense of urgency in us that cuts through the torpor and gets us queueing like the good Brits we are. Shortages are a good one, as is the prospect of banks being unable to give us our money back – really, anything that has to do with the small, everyday things that we just don’t usually think about. I swear that some of the people sitting in those petrol queues at the weekend were deeply, deeply happy.

Maybe we need a crisis in financial services again so we can grab the headlines and get people to understand the importance of the small everyday things when it comes to personal finance. As I’ve written about in Updates passim, it’s hard to manufacture a meaningful crisis: for example, the boy-who-cried-higher-rate-tax-wolf story won’t do it – that’s too rarefied.

I was keeping half a half-closed cat eye on the FCA annual meeting yesterday, wondering if anything would crop up that would bump petrol, bog-roll and Bond off the top-of-mind charts. And of course there wasn’t: we should be so lucky. But in among the stuff about LCF and Blackmore failures and the continuing death of the retirement advice suitability review was an interesting bit on crypto investing.

It turns out that 2.3m people in the UK hold crypto assets. That might not sound such a lot, but it’s about two Birminghams – imagine driving down the M6 (assuming you exhibited a rational and healthy response to perceived supply shortages) and finding two Brums where every single person was a crypto investor. That’s a thing in itself, especially when you consider that few if any advisers recommend crypto and about 2/3 of the gross flow of long-term savings and investments in the UK is intermediated. What’s even more of a thing, though, is that 12% of those 2.3m people are borrowing to invest in ether, doge, or whatever else they’ve seen on a football shirt.

This is obvious lunacy, and some people are going to find it painful, just like those poor sods who thought 12% minibonds were a good idea. But will it get folk riled up and running to low-cost, globally-diversified, auto-rebalanced, slow-and-steady multi-asset funds? No, probably not.

I don’t really hope we have a crisis, and I don’t hope people lose money. Our game is a coalition of the willing – there is no point in worrying about those who can’t or won’t engage, and we aren’t an instrument of social policy (except sometimes we are). I just like the idea of people lining up outside their local financial planning firm is all, and perhaps a news story from a nominatively determined reporter (can I suggest this one?) simulcast on all channels as disappointed folk are turned away for yet another day. “Sorry, ladies and gentlemen, we’re completely out of cashflow forecasts for today.”

DOUBLE-O LINKS

    • Our biggest research exercise of the year – State of the Adviser Nation – is live just now and we would love to hear from you if you’re an adviser, paraplanner or administrator. If you give us a bit of time, we’ll give you a full playback and maybe some other nice things too, as I explain in this wee videoYou can find the survey here – thanks in advance, and a further thanks to all who have already responded. We’re well on our way to 1,000 respondents, but still need your help.
    • We haven’t had a financial planner on HomeGames for a while, so it’s lovely to welcome Justin King CFP onto today’s session. Justin is one of the leading lights of the profession and is well worth giving a good listening to. Natalie is in the chair today – come join them both here at 12.30pm or here on our YouTube channel later.
    • It was nearly a big enough crisis but not quite…this court case will bear watching.
    • Lots of new data inside Platform Analyser – several platforms have made changes over the last couple of weeks. A good time to pop back on and re-run comparisons, or to have a play with premium access if you haven’t already or indeed join our demo tomorrow at 11am if you’ve still to take a look.
    • And your music choice this week is my favourite Bond theme tune. Is it the best one? Not sure. But it’s my favourite, as is the title sequence it came from. Here’s the late, great Chris Cornell with You Know My Name.

See you next week, maybe in a queue somewhere

Mark