Hi everyone, Mark here.

 

If you tuned in to HomeGames last week with Petronella West of Investment Quorum, you’ll have heard Steve say that we’d do a round-up of HomeGames’ best bits this week. That was the plan, but on balance we’ve decided not to do a session this week – that’s right, you’ve got your Wednesday lunchtime back.

This is for a couple of reasons – firstly, it’s unlikely we’d top Petronella’s session from last week which led to spicy headlines like this one and this one. Secondly, while putting it together we started to believe that the best bits session was ending up as being more for our amusement than yours. That’s not a dealbreaker – HomeGames started off as a lark, more or less – but we’ve all got other fish to fry. And finally, though this isn’t the reason, both Steve and I are thick with the cold and the session would pretty much have been two tired middle-aged men with colds taking the extended rip out of Mike Barrett. Actually, come to think of it, that’s not a bad idea for a show.

Anyway, it’s time to finish HomeGames in its current incarnation, and we think last week’s session was a great swansong. It was our 74th HomeGames, which does mean we won’t make the pleasingly round number of 75, but you can’t always get what you want. The Rolling Stones taught us that.

HomeGames was a lark, but was also our way of making up for not being able to do physical events, and a way of connecting with the industry and the profession out there during lockdowns 1-3. As I said at the start of most sessions, we weren’t trying to change the world; we were just marking the middle of the week and giving you something different to do over your lunch.

Along the way, though, something remarkable happened. Audience numbers became ridiculous, especially during the dog days of lockdown 1, and guests started clamouring to come on it. Some even offered us money (no-one ever paid to be on HomeGames as even we have a sense of our own absurdity). We still told stupid jokes, mucked about and had a death metal t-shirt of the week until I ran out of storage space, but as time went on we realised we had a bit of a megaphone, so we decided to use it.

Over our 74 episodes we interviewed…

This is all very good, but the bits we’re proudest of are where we got into more difficult areas. The lang cat as a company and our insight director Steve Nelson in particular are champions of talking about mental health in the industry, and we had some remarkable sessions. Paul Feeney of Quilter was unbelievably open in talking about his experiences. Kathryn Knowles of Cura opened herself up in a way that was beyond brave. And Eddie Martin of Steve’s beloved Dunfermline Athletic gave us a whole new perspective.

We talked diversity with Mitesh Sheth of Redington and Rohan Sivajoti of NextGen Planners, politics with John Rowland of Cicero (twice) and the role of the media in our sector with Justin CashWill Robins and others.

Somewhere in there the lang cat turned 10 years old. Don’t watch that one.

Anyway, running HomeGames has been an absolute delight and for all of us involved here, it’ll be one of our fondest memories of The Great Unpleasantness. Thank you to those who took part; thank you to those who tuned in.

WHAT’S NEXT

We’re not giving up, but instead of a weekly session with one guest, we’re going to move to a monthly issues-based HomeGames session with a minimum of three guests in a round table format. Our intention is that at least one of the guests each month will be a financial planner or paraplanner, and we’ll work hard to ensure a diverse range of guests.Our first session is pencilled in for Wednesday 26 January at 12.30pm, so save the date. It’ll be on technology and integration, and will feature Wealth Wizards amongst others. As ever, no-one pays to be on it and it is completely non-commercial in nature.

We’ll be in touch in the New Year with a link to sign up. Until then, thanks again for being a part of HomeGames and do drop in to the archive from time to time – there are some brilliant moments in there.

And with that…lang cat out.