How Things Change

This picture takes me back a few years. Most of you will recognise what it is although maybe some of our younger readers may struggle.

To times when youngsters of my age (then not now!), collected records by the barrowload and played them at the highest volume possible much to the great annoyance of parents who generally thought the music was atrocious and the state of the bands scruffy.

Now all my music collection is on my iPhone and can be added to or deleted at will.

30 years age when I went into financial services, the Footsie 100 Share index was around 1700. Today, its around 7000. If you had invested, say £1,000 30 years ago, today your £1,000 would be worth around £4,000.

What will it perhaps be in 2050?

If you’d like a chat about investing and what might be suitable for you, give us a call. We’d love to hear from you.

ps Just in case you don’t know, its a record turntable for use in the days before CDs and Tapes! But you knew that, didn’t you?

The Butterfly Effect

I’ve been looking out my window this morning and “The Butterfly Effect” came to mind.

The term comes from the suggestion that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in South America could affect the weather on the other side of the world, meaning that the tiniest influence on one part of a system can have a huge effect on another part.

Butterfly, Insect, Animal, Wing, Nature
The Butterfly Effect Perhaps?

In the case of today, maybe it was only a small butterfly, but the wind and rain, although not cyclonic, was certainly blowing a gale and the rain torrential.

Taken more broadly, the butterfly effect is a way of describing how, unless all factors can be accounted for, large systems like the weather remain impossible to predict with total accuracy because there are too many unknown variables to track.

Could the same be said for Financial Markets?

If you would like a chat, drop us an email. We love to hear from you.

Merry Christmas

Well that’s another year over.

And a tumultuous one its been, too.  Not just for ABFM but the country as a whole.

The Brexit negotiations seem to have taken up most of the front pages of the papers and despite all the travels between London and Brussels, we seem no nearer to a solution that is acceptable to all, not least our MPs.  Among many other events, heavy snow fell in February and caused disruption across much of the UK (and caused me to grow a beard because I couldn’t get to work and I remained unshaven for 5 days!) plus we had a Royal wedding in May.

ABFM moved office on the 22nd August and we strengthened our team with the addition of Katy who joined our staff in October.

I travelled to London in November to attend a Conference about Ethical and Socially Responsible Investment and found it to be most enlightening.  Ethical and Socially Responsible Investment has become an important part of our business and it was a valuable trip in that respect.

Once again, I attended the Million Dollar Round Table Conference in North America which was attended by over 14,000 Advisers from all over the world.  Disappointingly only half a Dozen or so attended from Scotland and I was the only practising Financial Adviser from the West of Scotland.

Later today, we have the pleasure of joining our old neighbours, the Vintage Malt Whisky Company, for Christmas Lunch in a local restaurant.  I imagine a few drams will be consumed over the course of the Lunch, but everyone will retain a degree of sobriety I am sure.

May I take this opportunity of wishing all my readers a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.



Westerton Male Voice Choir’s Christmas Concert

Up until now all my blogs have been about financial services with a bit of motivation thrown in midweek.

Today I thought, it would be nice to change the topic somewhat by making mention of the Westerton Male Voice Choir, (of which I am a member) and the Choir’s Christmas Concert which took place last Thursday and Friday in New Kilpatrick Parish Church, Bearsden in front of 600 fans (well – that’s what I like to think of them!).

From my point of view, it was a great night and really, really enjoyable. From John Rutter’s “For the Beauty of the Earth” to Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus”, the 55 strong Choir gave their all and received fantastic applause from the assembled masses (!).

In between, we performed the really beautiful and thought provoking “Thankful”, written by Carole Bayer Sager (among others) and recently performed by Josh Groban, and reached out to the kids with songs like “When Santa got stuck up the Chimney”.

Myself and my fellow choristers are grateful, not just for the fantastic attendance but also for their generosity for their charitable donations  to our Chosen Charity, Prostate Scotland.  Thank you one and all.


National Minimum Wage Rates

Just a note to remind you that new rates for the National Minimum Wage (NMW) and National Living Wage (NLW) apply from the 1st April.

From the 1st April 2018, the following hourly rates will apply

  • NLW rate for workers aged 25 and over – £7.83
  • The main rate for workers ages 21-24 – £7.38
  • The 18 – 20 rate – £5.90
  • The 16 – 17 rate for workers above school leaving age but under 18
  • the apprentice rate* – £3.70

*for apprentices under 19, or 19 or over and in the 1st year of their apprenticeship

Remember there are no exemptions from paying the NMW on the grounds of the size of the business.