This Week in Property: The Latest News (26th November 2021)

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

It’s a celebrity… really?

It’s reality TV season: Bake Off is just finishing: Strictly is nearing its final and the latest bunch of celebrities have now gone into a Welsh castle. But what is weird is that we call these programmes ‘reality’ TV shows because there’s nothing real about any of it; we don’t normally bake under strict time pressure, we don’t rehearse the rhumba for 12 hours a day or lie in a coffin of snakes, so I wonder why we call them reality shows in the first place. But I guess for the participants it’s their reality at the time and I can confirm that as a participant myself of a reality show (The Secret Millionaire) that you become totally engrossed whilst making the programme and it does become your reality. In fact for me I struggled to shake off the new reality after making the programme when I got back home and to an extent I didn’t want to.  That might seem strange but in making the programme I was taken back to my start in life, in the east end of London and into poverty and it just reminded me of how far I had come and how money had changed my life – and had changed my reality. It was also incredibly liberating because I knew when I made that programme that I knew the ‘secret’ if you like of money making and knew that I need never be poor again because making money is a formula that I could repeat at any time and from any gutter. So yes reality shows are real for the participants and demonstrate to us all that we can change our reality in a heartbeat if we had to – sadly most people decide not to and would rather sit on the sofa watching other people eat bakes and bugs. Wouldn’t it be lovely if the reality TV season now became the reality changing season for us all and every autumn we all changed our lives for the better?

To care or not to care…..

Boris Johnson has had a weirder week than normal maybe impacted by the weirdness of going to Peppa Pig land but I don’t think Peppa Pig has to worry about her care when she becomes old. Nor does she appear to have put £86k by in order to pay for it like the rest of us are being asked to do. The social care provisions are that if you have savings or assets (including a house) of over £100k you have to contribute a maximum of £86k to your social care and the change this week is that any council support payments won’t count towards that £86k.  It’s a difficult issue: we all get old and many of us need care and support when we do but who pays for that? Is it a right of a person within a free economy or should we ask people to support themselves? But then what do we do about a safety net for those who can’t look after themselves. As a caring community I hope that we’d always look after our elderly but say if that doesn’t happen what do we do? My view is that everyone needs to take responsibility for their money and provide for themselves throughout their life and I know from personal experience that personal financial provision is possible if you start early enough and apply a few basic financial lessons to life. Then we wouldn’t need complicated social care provisions and rules and we’d all be safer in the knowledge that we were going to be cared for. We need to teach those simple rules in schools and to all who need them – including Peppa Pig.


I’ve just been listening to our local radio and there was a local councillor on there talking about a rental issue for tenants and apparently the tenants involved were sent a letter that required some action. Sadly not all the tenants opened the letter and confusion has arisen and the councillor just could not under any circumstances understand why people don’t open their post and couldn’t accept that people wouldn’t always open a letter. Well I have I got news for him – that’s COMMON! I’ve seen so many people damage their credit file because they didn’t open their post and hadn’t seen a bill or a reminder and in the main there’s two reasons why people don’t open post: it’s either they can’t be bothered or they’re scared of what they might find. Fear stops people doing all sorts of ‘normal’ things and for people with money issues, letters might contain more news they can’t handle so they ignore the envelope and consequently get themselves deeper into trouble. Opening post might seem such a simple thing for many people but for many others it’s a challenge and the local councillor ought to accept that – fear holds people back form many of the simple tasks in life and he shouldn’t underestimate that.


I’m doing my regular slot on the local radio today where I talk about money saving and money making and I’ve done this slot for about 12 years now – all with the same broad principle. It may come as a shock to some that there is only one secret to either saving money or making money and that’s this – prepare yourself – it’s to spend less and to invest more. And that’s it! it’s a bit like losing weight – the only real way is to eat less junk and do more exercise. Both are simple but people overcomplicate it because of their emotional views and beliefs. Whenever I’m talking about money I will always get someone come and ask me ‘but what’s the real secret to being rich ’? and I’m afraid there isn’t one. People who aren’t wealthy always think that there’s some special trick that they just haven’t yet found – well sorry but there isn’t. The real secret to being wealthy is to spend less and invest more. That investing may be complicated or it may be simple that’s a choice but the principle is the same. The reason people don’t accept that simple truth is that they probably don’t believe in themselves or that it’s possible for them so they don’t take any action and they make sure that it doesn’t happen. So if you’re looking for the big secret to financial freedom, it might be closer than you think – look within!

Gratitude day…

Of course the sad news all over the papers today is the terrible news of the deaths of 27 people in a boat in the Channel as they were trying to get to the UK. I don’t know their personal circumstances and I don’t want to comment on any political stance but what stirs me is that these people are prepared to risk their lives in order to get to the UK and that’s because the UK is a wonderful, free and liberated country with masses of financial opportunity and personal stability. We have been fortunate enough to have been born in such a wonderful country and sometimes I think we don’t appreciate that. In comparison to much of the worlds population we live in a magical world and that’s mainly why they want to come here and risk their lives to do so. Whatever we think about that situation and the people involved it is a stark reminder of how lucky we are and I’d like us all to remember that and have a sense of gratitude today out of respect for those 27 lives lost.

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