Finance, Boxing and 1970
Exhausted, puffing in a room full of men, women and youngsters being drilled by the local greengrocer who runs boxing exercise classes every week locally. I’m trying desperately to reverse the effects of an ‘indulged’ Christmas and it seems that as I approach 50 getting and keeping fit has become more of a struggle. Oh well I’m luckier than some I think, born in 1970, firmly in generation X, I managed to get on the property ladder, carved out a career in the city and have seen waves of technological change first-hand.
In 1970 technology was at the forefront of our lives, embodied in such achievements as aeronautics in the shape of Concorde and the 747 Jumbo Jet. Also exposed in aerospace in the shape of the fragile and precarious Apollo 13 mission. Personal finance for the masses took the shape of building societies, the post office, premium bonds and a variety of life assurance products. Banking wasn’t something where customers felt that they were customers, banking was almost a privilege.
Jump forward 50 years and the Jumbo Jet is still going, we don’t yet have flying cars, moon exploration is being talked about again and personal finance is full of self service, robots, widgets, mobile devices, automation and customers can switch bank accounts on a whim. Open banking is being explored and implemented further increasing competition for incumbent banks. Is this Nirvana ? Unfortunately I think not!
We have pay day lenders charging thousands of % interest to those that can least afford it, we still have the unbanked, bank overdrafts are costing customers up to 40% per year at the largest of the high street banks. Banks are now looking to parents to help children get on the property ladder, with many in society feeling this is something unachievable. Pensions…we’ll talk about that another time but its not a great story either.
I’m starting this blog as I have a passion for finance and a hatred of the unnecessary complex. I’d like to highlight the issues I come across and shed light on how the ‘system’ works for and against you! I’m exploring ways in which technology can assist and in the process of launching a new service Wisely (Wisely Money Ltd) which I believe will simplify some elements of our financial lives and I’ll share the progress with you. I’ll also explore topics which may not be directly finance related but give me cause to vent in any case!
At the end of the boxing class, the youngsters skipped out of the class, the experienced strolled out and I panted loudly towards the exit. There are many of us who pant loudly when faced with the confusion that is personal finance yet however difficult, persistence is required. We’ll explore opportunities, concerns and issues here @wiselymoney.