Without them we wouldn’t be free to read this

This blog’s written on Remembrance Day.

Yesterday I blogged on “Diversification and speculation are different“. One of 696 articles published since I set this site up. I think it’s on an important subject (default DC options) but its subject matter is inconsequential when we remember that our grandfathers and great grandfathers gave up living so that we could write and read like this.

We are still exploiting the peace dividend that they created.

This was brought home to me when I read this ..

“Brilliant, insightful and invariably contrarian!”

These were the words that Saturday Nov 10th’s  London Times used as why it included www.henrytapper.com as one of its top ten financial blogs.

It’s worth remembering that in many countries, expressing contrarian views see you in prison or worse.


On a lighter note – to be spoken of in the same breath as the FT’s Alphaville, Morningstar and Times Money is a great compliment and a bit of a nonsense! This is a three year old blog and gets about 300 readers  a day, I am not a Guido Fawkes  an Aswath Damadoran or a Justin Urquhart Stewart.


On being old. Scale aside, was a special 51st birthday present – so thanks Philip Bray @nottinghamphil and thanks Mark Bridge of the Times “Serious Money” column for my prezzie. It’s odd today  to think I am closer to centenarians than the new-born.


On the Times calling  my blog  contrarian; this pulled me up – I don’t set out to disagree with people and for the most part I sort of conform (I went to the same Lord Snooty school as Justin Urquhart!). I suppose I take the view that there is not much point going to a blog to read the party line and this leads me to another thank you.


To my employers; the people who own First Actuarial and pay my wages have been pretty tolerant of my ranting and favouriting these past three years! I do not speak for them though clearly I am one of them and by not shutting me up they are making their statement. I am hoping that those who read my blog understand that an organisation that can include people like me in it shares my values. While I may not be as technically accurate as I could be (which they remind me about!), they do read what I say and encourage me to say more!


More thanks; there are others- Andy Young of tPR, Mike Orzag of TW and the many other great people who have goaded me to keep on writing what are very nearly 700 articles.


For the avoidance of doubt, I am not an actuary (as stated by the Thunderer). Nor will I ever be;-  age and alcohol have scuppered whatever (thin) chance I ever had of passing their exams!


On Actuaries; actuaries are independent, intelligent and diligent. You won’t hear me slagging off their  profession (often)! Nonetheless they don’t have a monopoly on the truth nor how to express it. My lot have recognised something of which many of its peers are in denial. The views of a company’s people are valuable in their own right, suppressing employee’s freedom to speak out goes against the grain and will prove counter-productive.

They also get the strategic imperative of the moment.

The Financial Services industry is suffering a sea-change as trust and value shifts to those who can demonstrate they speak for the consumer. Martin Lewis has made £87m  out of not being in anyone’s pocket!

The public’s thirst to get to the bottom of things and take decisions with the help of people like Martin is an amazing opportunity for those prepared to show leadership and  have the courage to stand up against received but flawed wisdom.

The value lies with those who have the balls to articulate popular sentiment.


I hope my blog, in its independence, is to some extent satiating that thirst. I hope that people reading this will flick to www.firstactuarial.co.uk once in a while, to see what we are doing for the common good.


Mark Bridge who wrote such kind things about my blog went on to quote the opening to a post about DC defaults

“more moronic thinking from the investment community showing their disconnect with the ways and means of everyday folk”

It is great to be able to say such things with freedom. For this and for much much more, my thanks extend beyond the two minutes this morning.

For those who have fallen…

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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3 Responses to Without them we wouldn’t be free to read this

  1. Love this article, Henry! Do keep on blogging and congratulations on making the Times list! All the best, Patrick

    • henry tapper says:

      Thanks Patrick!

      It’s always a pleasure to hear from you with your kind words and encouragement. I ought to have included you, Rob and Dawid and many others in my thank yous!

      I can assure you that I’ve no intention of stopping and am currently investigating the sad lot of the unadvised sub-contractors – doomed to wander in pension purgatory till April 2017!

  2. Grace Rellie says:

    Thanks for adding my post to your related articles list.

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