This Week in Property: The Latest News (12th November 2021)

Take a look at what our CEO Gill Fielding has to say about this week’s property news…

Stand up and be counted

There are two big stories today that caught my eye probably for different reasons to most people. There’s the mandatory vaccination issue and the Geoffrey Cox ‘sleaze’ story and in both cases my thoughts are about the personal integrity of the people involved. With the NHS vaccination issue what bothers me is that for the people who work there who won’t get the vaccination, I want to ask them ‘do you believe in the NHS’? because if they don’t which is what is implied by their refusal why do they work there? If you believe that your bosses are lying to you then I’m not sure why they continue to work there as it suggests a lack of integrity. Are these NHS people jabbing others when they won’t be jabbed themselves? That’s an interesting moral issue. Likewise with the Geoffrey Cox and other parliamentary sleaze stories, I don’t mind if people have two jobs but what I do expect is for them to have integrity and a moral compass that keeps those jobs separate and if one of those jobs is in public service then there is a duty of care and responsibility that goes with it that requires you to have integrity and be honest. And I also see it all the time in the property education world. I have to say that no-one can train or coach or mentor for Fielding Financial unless they’re already a property investor otherwise neither they nor us as an organisation have integrity. But sadly many financial education groups aren’t that honest and their trainers aren’t necessarily investors themselves. That feels wrong to me, just like an NHS nurse vaccinating people when they won’t get vaccinated themselves. I think we all need to stand up for our beliefs and our personal integrity and just do what’s right.

Put your faith in wealth

There is often a dilemma between the desire to create wealth and the morality of that. Bluntly does any God want us to make money? My personal view is that any deity would want people to be the best them they can possibly be and that includes being as rich as they can be – if that’s what they want. And I’m glad to say that I’m not alone in that view and a Christian entrepreneur, Matt Bird has set up a church based programme to back entrepreneurs. He rightly says that ‘a food parcel can sustain a person and their family for a few days, but a small business can sustain it indefinitely’. This fantastic man holds courses to help churches, their parishioners and faith driven entrepreneurs to start business and he has written widely on the subject. He explores how enterprise has a biblical footing and that wealth can foster well being if used appropriately. He also quotes many of the influential Quaker families (Cadbury and Rowntree for instance) who made significant developments in employee welfare and working conditions. It doesn’t really matter if religion is your thing or not, it’s just great to see that wealth isn’t all bad and that most wealth creators are moral and will often use their money for ‘higher’ purposes.

Covid plays with your mind!

I read this morning that 10% of people are now regretting purchases made during lockdown and they have apparently spent an average of £1,400 on such items as gaming equipment, DIY tools, home gyms, bikes, musical instruments and kitchen appliances in an effort to keep busy in lockdown. These items are now gathering dust and many are turning up at charity centres. Then yesterday I also read an article about people being financially ultra cautious and not spending anything in lockdown or intending to in the near future. So Covid has affected the minds of all humans – making some splurge financially whilst making others lock away their savings for the foreseeable future – so no change there then! Any pandemic or change or challenge won’t change your mindset about money – but you can! Having an appropriate and positive mindset about money can be an acquired skill and I wish dearly that financial controls and beliefs were taught in schools and I know that there are some small advances here but it’s not quickly enough for me. I don’t think Covid will have changed your basic behaviours with money but you can start now to get money control and maintenance programmes in place built around our financial five a day and then you’re financially resilient when the next pandemic or crisis occurs and you’ll end up spending what you have planned and have budgeted the money for. It might sound boring but it would save a lot of surplus hot tubs at the local charity shop!

Me and my big mouth

I see that Elon Musk has opened his mouth again and has claimed he will comply with a twitter poll confirming that he should sell 10% of his shares in Tesla. The sale – if completed – would generate about $21 billion and would leave him with a huge tax bill. He has promised to abide by the result of the poll where 3.5 million people took part but I wonder if he will actually do it because sometimes the public come up with crazy ideas that aren’t really appropriate. Like the time the UK public voted for the new British Polar research ship to be called Boaty McBoatface. The ‘authorities’ there overruled the vote and actually called the ship Sir David Attenborough. I wonder if Elon Musk will actually sell his shares or not particularly as it will lead to a huge personal financial cost– so watch this space but I admire his courage because when you open your mouth and declare something, it can make you step up and actually do it! So if you have an unusual idea or an objective that you want to achieve – then tell someone else and that action alone will make you more likely to achieve it because you’ve made a public commitment. I challenge you then to open your big mouth today and tell others about something that you’ve always secretly wanted to do – you never know that might just be the tipping point to you actually getting it done. Go on I dare you!

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