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Past versus the Present

Your Argyle Financial Bulletin for September 2017

Dear Client,

A conversation about life today.

When we recently joined some friends to celebrate what we had initially anticipated would be a normal anniversary, the event somewhat unexpectedly turned into a 'think tank' on just how bad things seem to be around the globe in 2017.

Self-confessed optimists

Apart from the obvious (eg. Brexit) there were extended conversations about the possibility of a looming recession, about robots taking away jobs... and about children having a lower standard of living than their parents. We struggled slightly with certain views expressed, as we are self-confessed optimists, who can occasionally be irritated by those who appear to view everything in the past through rose tinted spectacles.

Apparently, recent surveys suggest that today's youngsters feel it may have been preferable to grow-up during the era when their parents were children. However “be careful what you wish for" is the adage that comes to mind... recalling the trauma of obtaining a mortgage in the 60's... or the 15% interest rates (and 20% inflation) that characterised much of the 70's and 80's.

Now versus Then

Have we also forgotten how poorly women were treated when it came to financial matters… with an automatic presumption that males were always the bread-winner and main priority.

Notwithstanding that summers were warmer (and longer perhaps) and it always snowed at Christmas (it seemed) we actually feel that life today is better in numerous other ways. Despite concerns about the NHS, which have always been omnipresent of course, the fact remains that we are living longer and healthier lives… our children are better educated as a rule... and technology has provided us all with a broader view on the world as a whole.

Consider for example, how food shopping has been transformed from a period of frequent scarcities, into a period which presents us with endless variety and choice… and yes, better value.

Of course, longer lives need to be funded (after we stop earning) and the cost of social care, should we require it, can be daunting. Yet, we will solve these problems and our lives will continue improving, as we adapt to these and many other challenges.

Empowerment and tolerance

The almost over-whelming increase in information made available via the internet has empowered people the world over and is constantly changing attitudes towards established institutions. Traditional media has become more partisan, often hysterical, in the battle for our attention and we could all be forgiven for forming an impression that Armageddon is at hand… on a weekly basis.

The future is bright

On Brexit, it will inevitably happen, but we will ultimately adapt to whatever circumstances result and eventually, the economic turmoil brought about by the banks (pre-2008) will be sorted too.

On terrorism, that will sadly continue to disrupt our lives for some considerable time but in the end, as with all acts of terror through the ages, it cannot and will not succeed in its twisted objectives.

We are now a far more tolerant society regarding our approach to race, sexual orientation, sexual equality and religious beliefs... and continuing to improve by the day. That is not to say that we still don't have some way to go, in terms of understanding and addressing social inequality but, overall momentum is in a positive direction. A little reflection on the advances and progress which have been made in almost every aspect of humanity over the past fifty years can reassure us… the future remains bright.

Apologies to those of you who may have expected some financial commentary this month but, it is worth bearing in mind that financial matters do not exist in isolation, they are affected by numerous events taking place around us on a daily basis.

Jean’s Charity Walk

Jean's Charity Walk

Finally, we would like to thank everyone who supported Jean in her recent Thames Path (16 Bridges) Challenge... which we are very happy to report that she completed successfully.

Please remember...

We encourage you to pick-up the phone (or Skype us) if you would like to discuss any matters further.


Phil Melville & Jean MacIntyre

Financial Planning

Don't delay... it's never too soon to act.
Whether it's planning your children's or grandchildren's Further Education, arranging mortgages or life cover or assessing your pension provision - please chat with us to discuss what options may be best for you.

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Please use 01442 842538 to contact us with any queries regarding this correspondence, or if you have any other matter which you would like to discuss, you can also email us at

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