Yesterday , financial journalist and founder of the Platforum Holly Mackay, launched a new company “Boring Money”.
I like that phrase, work is boring, money is boring- there is a natural synergy there.
It’s not done to talk about either in interesting society and I imagine Holly makes for an interesting society.
As does Chris Budd, who wrote a blog recently whose idea of a pension is boringly predictable –
I’d like to put some money aside which will give me an income in my retirement.
Chris is onto his second novel, he’s as interesting as his revolutionary idea about pensions is just that, turning to what boring money can do and away from an idea that the money is in-itself interesting.
I’m not against aspiration, I went to a launch of a portfolio manager last night, the big idea was a race-fit Aston Martin around which the launch happened.
The money and the glamour came as a package. I got into the car but got stuck, I guess it was my Icarus moment.
I think people are worried when they say they are in financial services that people will think they are boring so the management of money is dressed up in fantastic terms – “wrap”, “platform” “portfolio” and “portal” are part of the mysterious vocabulary of wealth management that creates an aura of fantasy to what is a conspicuously boring process.
Doubtless, Holly – who has a capacity for the mot juste, could find the exact epithet, but I’ll use an overworked formulation – most of the jargon surrounding wealth management is “pretentious nonsense”.
Chris’ article, which you really should read, is a refreshing alternative. He describes what he wants from his savings in terms that mean something to ordinary people. When you take the jargon away, you may end up with something prosaic, but it is at least meaningful. The business of managing money does not need to be about managing money, more properly it should be about “getting the right money , to the right people at the right time”.
The periplum of financial services – involves reconnecting with this simple truth and (for most of us) leaving the fancy cars (and words) behind.
I wrote a comment on Chris’ article , saying that he’d just described CDC and I’ve been asked to write something for financial advisers on what CDC is.
I’m afraid it’s something no more interesting than what Chris wants, a way of putting money in people’s hands, when and how they need it.
You have to be very good to make that interesting and I fear- so far – the financial services industry hasn’t wanted to be that dull. But if Chris is “everyman” – and he sounds like the man down the pub to me- I wouldn’t be surprised if the rest of us catch up with him eventually.
Good luck to Holly , like my missus, she’s clever enough to make dull interesting.
Good luck to Chris , he writes the way we really feel.
Good luck to simple boring money- may it grow and find its way into our wallets/onto our phones/out of our banks – as we want it to – in the years to come.