Welcome to our 2020 Summer update. Firstly, we hope that you and your family are all well and safe and taking advantage of the lovely weather to the best of your ability. For those of your joining us for the first time, usually, our summer newsletters are packed full of our news and the crazy adventures the team has been up to, but this year has disrupted our plans somewhat, so we thought we’d share some of the things we’ve been up to behind the scenes and also what has been keeping us sane whilst navigating these unusual times.
When we sent everyone home in the middle of March and asked them to set up their desks remotely, we didn’t expect to still be working from our studies/ spare rooms/ living rooms three months later. It’s taken some adjusting and our daily team Zoom calls have kept us connected and on track, whilst our Friday evening Zoom drinks have kept us laughing and sound of mind. There have been logistical issues to overcome (such as some providers still insisting on multiple forms with wet signatures!!), but we think we’ve adapted well and we wanted to thank you for being patient with us if you experienced any teething issues or delays, and also the team for pulling together, being resourceful and going the extra mile when needed.
WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO
The disruption Margaret Wheatley refers to has enabled us to focus on some creative projects recently and we’re very proud of the results. Hopefully, you will remember the Notes on Life planner we launched at the start of lockdown. The feedback we’ve received has been very positive, so if you haven’t had a chance to complete your copy yet, give it a go and let us know how you get on!
Between meetings, Ali & Cecily have been working on a new Carrington Top Tips series. Launched this week on LinkedIn and Twitter, it’s going to be the go-to place to learn about personal finance and investing, so to find out more give them a follow at Carrington Top Tips & @CarringtonViews.
And lastly, did you catch our recent update on our ESG Portfolio – One Year On? It takes a look at how well the portfolio has done over the last 12 months and also takes a peek at some of the funds we hold within it. If you missed the email, click here to read all about it.
PRE-RETIREMENT SERVICE LAUNCH
We have recently spent time developing a new Pre-Retirement Service proposition. Although this may not be appropriate for everyone – you may have already retired or perhaps you’re just starting out on the career ladder – this service is aimed at those who are either ready to take a step back and start fully enjoying their retirement, or perhaps they want to leave the corporate world behind them and start following their passions, maybe it’s creating exotic ice-cream flavours. This service will help you make these life-changing decisions with confidence and clarity. If you would like to learn more or you think you know someone who could benefit from this service, please click here.
Firstly, we would like to say a very big Thank You to and to wish David Bentley a HAPPY RETIREMENT! Dave has been part of the team advising on mortgages for us since 2006. He was always pleased to help, no matter the request and over the years built up a following of very satisfied, and many of them return, clients. Earlier this year he made the decision that he was ready to spend more time doing the things that were important to him. So thank you again for your service and dedication to Carrington and we wish you a long and joyous retirement.
Although this means we no longer have an in-house mortgage adviser, we have an agreement in place with First Financial Mortgage Advisers, which we will tell you more about in a separate note. Should you require an introduction in the meantime, please let us know.
Back at the office, the team have not been resting on their laurels, Sophia, our senior paraplanner who heads up the CRM team, continues successfully on her journey to becoming Chartered. Not letting anything slow her down, Sophia is halfway through with 4 exams under her belt and the latest step in her qualification consisting of three pieces of written coursework to be submitted over a 12-month period. We are very proud of Sophia’s commitment and dedication and wish her the best of luck with J09! Tom, an integral member of the CRM team, successfully completed the penultimate exam in his
Financial Planning Diploma qualification and was getting ready to write the final paper when lockdown put a spanner in the works. He is now waiting to hear when he will be able to sit the exam.
And then in May, our Operations Director, Nicola celebrated 10 years at Carrington. Having joined the company initially in a temporary capacity to assist Carolyn, neither Mike nor Nicola believed she would still be here 10 years on. We’re not sure who deserves a medal more!!
Talking of medals, despite the industry awards being somewhat different this year – interviews conducted online via a panel and awards ceremonies taking place over Zoom, we are extremely honoured to have been recognised and awarded Advice Firm of the Year 2020 at the Money Marketing Awards last week. Thank you so much for all the congratulations and lovely messages we have received, they are greatly appreciated.
HOW THE TEAM HAVE BEEN KEEPING BUSY
OUR READING LIST
A bit of a mixed bag, but our lockdown reading has ranged from historic accounts of how the British Empire was formed in Empire by Niall Ferguson, to a fascinating memoir of growing up and surviving in a devout and radical family – Educated by Tara Westover, while taking in the riveting murder-mystery novel by Delia Owens – Where the Crawdads Sing, as well as the popular Normal People by Sally Rooney along the way. We also enjoyed Bryony Gordon’s candid memoir, Eat, Drink, Run, where she bravely opens up about her mental health struggles and how training for, and running the London marathon helped her deal with some of her demons, while others found the instructional Read this if you want to take great photographs by Henry Carroll, their cup of tea. If you’ve read anything good recently, please let us know as we’re always looking for our next fix.
WARNING – RISE IN CYBERCRIME
Unfortunately, COVID-19 has initiated new types of scam activity, such as scams around the sale of hand sanitiser and face masks. But there has also been a significant spike in cybercrime and investment scams.
According to the National Crime Agency (NCA), this situation is likely to continue, with criminals exploiting those made vulnerable by the pandemic (asking for upfront fees for bogus loans) and investors (offering high-return investment scams or targeting pensions) alike.
We have put together a factsheet, highlighting some of the types of scams to look out for, as well as how to protect yourself against cybercrime and what to do if you become a victim of a scam. Please click here to download the factsheet. If you can’t access it, let us know and we can email you a copy.
THE GOOD NEWS
Or at least a bit of a silver lining. The positive impact lockdown has had on our planet include clear, blue skies (sans vapour trails), cleaner water in our rivers and noticeably in the Venice canals, liberated wildlife enjoying suburban streets and reduced air pollution (CREA reported that Nitrogen Dioxide levels dropped by 40% in April compared to the same period last year, whilst particulate matter in the atmosphere was down by 10%). A little closer to home, the police reported that crime in the UK has fallen 28% since the start of lockdown. Wouldn’t it be great if we could find a way to strike a balance on an ongoing basis?
I’m certain we are all looking forward to the increasing freedom as lockdown eases. Our first professional haircut, time spent with family and friends, going to the cinema, and enjoying our favourite local again!
But while we are getting to grips with the changes our lives have taken, if there is anything we can be doing to assist you in any way, please let us know.
We look forward to hearing from you.