Born in Warrington Lancashire England, a good working class town of steel wire and chemicals, we were taught basically that the more you want something, the less likely you are to get it.
The wonder of life is that we are often surprised by those we least expect to be surprised by and disappointed by those that we help or assist the most.
The lesson is surely that some people are naturally appreciative, even of the minutest help, and others would not thank you if you carried them on your back throughout their entire life.
When one of my young teenage sons asks if we are heading for World War 3, due to the unexplained number of plane crashes and the half-hearted ‘muscle flexing of a small Russian man in Ukraine, I know that the ’24 Hour’ News industry has possibly over played its hand.
The comforting thing is that the markets are acting far more maturely, which contrasts with the PE ratio doom merchants. When a market is turning from bull to bear it starts to show signs of schizophrenia and every piece of bad news will drive it down, little will make it rise and there is a collective sense of impending doom. That is a mind-set much displayed by a number of South African radio pundits at the moment, but it does not seem to have purchase where it matters most, namely within the US stock exchanges.
The worlds markets are at their highest levels in history, or at least they are as I write this column. So without repeating the usual rhetoric of the radio, tv and newspaper doom merchants what does this mean to us, the people who advise the general population?
If you are sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for me to solve the most burning question of the last six months, namely ‘should we go into the markets at these high levels or stay out?’ then please do one of two things, (a) prepare to be disappointed or (b) make a cup of tea and prepare to hear just another man’s opinion.
When is a contract not a contract, when does acting in a fit and proper manner not apply, and when does acting in a fit and proper manner still lead to debarment?
I will allow you to mull over that thought for a while and then put you out of your misery, or possibly cause you some more!
We are all working in the same industry “financial services”, but one would have to be a fool, or at the very best naïve, to think that following FAIS and the huge changes that have occurred in South African financial markets we are now all operating on a level playing field. Life is never “fair” or “equitable”, we can just hope to make things better and we must admit that we have now come quite a distance over a relatively short period of time.
It is they say twenty times harder to win a new client than it is to keep an existing client, I believe that 100%.
So why is it that people continue to make the same mistakes and why do many find it hard to deliver on promises even when they are being paid to deliver a service? There is in South Africa a sad truth that many people who offer a service think they are the one’s doing their “Customers and Clients” a favour, how totally misguided can they be, do they seriously think that they are the only provider available?
The more that things change the more that they seemingly stay the same.
I am not a political animal at all, but it never ceases to amaze me just how hypocritical people can be about “today’s political situation” when comparing it with the past. Politicians and other self-serving types have rose gardens full of glasses and they only ever see what suits them, at any particular moment.
Any existing government can be improved, the world is never perfect and you can never please all the people all of the time. The human race has apparently been a work in progress for several million years, according to Dr Leakey and Charles Darwin anyway.
The G & C’s as they are known at Warwick have not only become a necessity they are a part of our everyday life. Warwick adheres to the highest standards of compliance and regulatory adherence, in fact I would say it goes way beyond the norm for a company of its size.
Financial Services, is by its very definition in the 21st century, one of the most regulated industries on the planet and so it should be after all its participants are responsible for the safe keeping and growth of its clients investments and needs. Our regulator in SA has made great strides forward over the last twenty years but remains underfunded and unable to properly police what is a vast number of registered authorised “Financial Services Providers”.
The speed with which these annual year end articles come around is becoming quite scary, if one blinks another year has been ticked off and bagged.
2012 will be remembered by many for a multitude of different reasons, but for me it was a year of great events and milestones. First of all I was married, yes “management” decided it was time that I made a commitment and when “management” decide, then “I do”. It was also the year that I celebrated the big five zero, yes I turned an age that I still don’t even consider my Mum and Dad to be, an age that only headmasters, politicians and surgeons should aspire to.
Whenever we enter a New Year there are always discussions about a new or changed way of living, resolutions are made and more often than not broken, diets, smoking, drinking, exercise all become brief hot topics as we choose to cease or increase any one of these hollow intents. Then gradually we settle down, we start writing and referring to the correct year, we stop having to say happy New Year (in my opinion it should be illegal to say “Happy New Year” after the 10th January!).
Life returns to normal and we find that we are pretty much the same people living the same life as we lived in the previous month, back in that other country now known as “last year”. This year, however, I have made one financial services commitment that will not change and by making it now and backing it up with the required funding, I know it will be a reality, it’s not exactly a “hot” or “sexy” topic, but it is crucial!