I have gone early this year and thought with the festive period nearly upon us I would provide a few thoughts on 2020 and some hopes for 2021. The year started with the huge obstacle of having to resign from a successful career I had built up with a very steady financial advice practice. This wasn’t a snap decision by any stretch of the imagination and had involved extensive preparation work before the day arrived. Having to tell someone I respected and had really enjoyed working with for over a decade wasn’t easy but to his credit my subsequent notice period was handled like an adult.

During my notice period a trip to London ensued to have an FCA interview which was intense and weirdly enjoyable. The upshot being we successfully launched a new Financial Planning and Investment Management business gaining approval on April 20th

Rumbling away in the background during the early months was this new potential bump in the road called Covid 19. At first it was brushed aside by many but as March progressed the severity of the situation seemed to really hit home and resulted in a national lockdown. The first month of this was business prep but once approval was received, we had to learn to work and cope with a very strange environment.

Many people suggested our timing was the worst it could be, to the contrary I believe we were very fortunate, and the lockdown helped our business get off the ground and make a great start. Not only could we keep business and personal costs to a minimum, but we also had a captive audience and were able to speak to many people without the need to spend hours in the car.

Away from the business, home life was extremely tough during the first lockdown. Having three children three and under meant entertainment was constantly required and therefore time to devote to family and work was a tough balancing act. Things eased somewhat with the opening of nurseries in June. Not only did this provide some freedom to work but was essential for my three-year-old who, I believe, was really starting to suffer from the captivity of being locked indoors with two parents trying to work and look after young twins.

My biggest hobby throughout my life has been sport, I have really missed participating and watching live sport. Whilst I have been able to get out on my bike at times this hasn’t compensated for the lack of live sport this year.

The remainder of 2020 has again been mixed; business has continued to power on. We took residence of an office in September and welcomed our first staff member on the same day. At home, the lack of entertainment for the children remains an issue and weekends are tough; our three children want constant activity to keep their active minds engaged and there are only so many cold visits to the park we can endure at the weekend.

As I write this, we have seen the start of the rollout of a mass vaccination program. I live in hope that 2021 will see more vaccinations and successful ones at that. We can then try and return to some sort of normality seeing family and friends regularly and getting back to live sport to take us away from the stresses and strains of everyday life.

2020 has been amazing yet challenging and I am sure 2021 will throw up some further surprises……..

Thanks for reading and