Fate. I've been pondering how odd fate is with a client today.
A few years ago I found a very used car on the internet, on sale from someone a long, long way away.
I paid for it, picked it up and drove it home.
Except I didn't, It broke down. I called roadside assistance who made the whole thing worse, in fact, it sort of fell apart.
I was slightly fussed about this, it was towed back to the seller who got his local garage to take a look. A few days later it was fixed.
When I went to pick it up for the second time, the garage owner was opening his post and fuming. His [deleted expletive] accountant had managed to file his accounts late, had given him an unexpectedly large tax bill and doubled his fees for the privilege.
What's a chap to do ?
I picked up a new client that day and have looked after him ever since.
And during this crisis we've been speaking regularly about how to best plot his way through it. He has challenges, but he'll survive and thrive again. I like to think I've helped a little bit, he is immensely grateful.
So what was it that made me choose that particular car ? What was it that made it breakdown ? Why, out of all the days that I could have chosen to pick it up, was it the very day his accountant hacked him off so badly ? And if he's going to change advisers, why choose one 300 miles away having only met him a couple of times ?
We came to the conclusion that he must have a guardian angel trying to point him to a good accountant...
Remember, if you have 'missed' any previous editions, they can be found at
What are my positives today:-:
1. Better careers advice is available now than I ever had
Facebook users can view this here
I'll summarise for those. who don't do Facebook. It's a comparison of skills with the job best suited.
Maths + Problem solving = Engineer
Maths + OCD = Accountant
OCD + No heart = HR
Problem solving + People skills = Management
People skills + good at drinking = Sales
No heart + good at drinking = Lawyer
Good at all of the above = Comedian
Thanks to Henry for sharing that. The debate we're having now is whether, when one's focus in life changes that is a result of your true nature coming through or a reaction to circumstances that clients put you in !
2. Inheritance tax exemption for emergency workers exists
It has long been the case that military personnel killed on active duty do not have inheritance tax levied on their Estates.
That makes sense - just think of the conflict of interest otherwise !
In 2015 that was extended to emergency service personnel - which we all understood to be 'blue light' workers plus emergency responders, including volunteers. But going forward, with the sad number of NHS deaths it is expected that the exemptions will go further . Whilst the law doesn't go as far as we might hope, I think a couple of test cases and the Daily Mail behind it will get this extended.
3.Today wasn't quite as long a day as yesterday was
This is the tale of a day that went on too long.
I was out for a walk yesterday evening, I'd left Lizzie and Charly cooking for themselves. I got a text saying 'We've eaten, plates in dishwasher, garden watered'
So I responded with a reminder of something that often gets overlooked by teenagers - "Have you fed the dogs?'
A puzzled silence (can you get those on texts ?) ensued, then'Aren't they with you ?' Doh !
What have I been talking to clients about today ?
Cyber-security. Sort of following on from last night's little tale of woe, I've had a couple of conversations today from people worried that the world has got more vulnerable. The usual defences of 'this email request seems odd, so I'll ignore it' have subtly changed to 'this e-mail request is no more odd than the things going on in the world are, so I'll action it'. It's worth reminding ourselves that the bad guys are still out there, and unlike us , they've always worked from home so this is normal for them. It will do no harm reminding colleagues of that.
The other point of interest is company cars- will there still be a benefit in kind on employees where the employee couldn't drive it because of lockdown ? The answer is 'yes' because the car benefit is based on 'availability'. The car being available creates the benefit in kind, even though the employee might not be able to drive. HMRC are quite clear on this - there has even been a case of a benefit in kind being upheld where the employee had lost their driving licence. The car was still' available'
Until tomorrow, stay safe, stay positive
The tale of the Ermine moth (Ed 44). In three short days the little blighters have completely stripped this hedgerow - there's hardly a leaf left !