What do you dream of? Wake up!
For some people, last year seemed like a weird dream, for other people it was more of a nightmare. The most unlikely American businessman is set to take presidential office later this month, the implications of the UK Brexit vote are still no clearer, and sadly some of the greatest entertainers of our time are rocking the golden gates.
On the flip side, the Juno space craft reached Jupiter, Leicester City defied 5000-1 odds to win the Premier League and we welcomed nine new colleagues to our Thorntons Investments team.
2016 was certainly a year of ups and downs. We saw triumphs, and an unparalleled level of upset.
Our lives are put into context by the images we see on our TV news channels far too regularly.
The challenges we each face are unique to us as individuals and families, and my role when advising clients is to understand that.
When speaking to clients I ask them what they dream of, but where necessary I also ask them to wake up and be realistic. This often means playing devil's advocate and asking "what if..."?
What does 2017 have in store for you? Planning for the unexpected, preparing for the expected or simply getting the most out of life is a good place to start.
I know it's an unpleasant thought, but what will happen to your family's standard of living if you and/or your income disappear because of death or illness? What is the impact of moves in the stock market on your future standard of living? How much risk are you taking with your investments and pensions?
If you can answer these questions and don't like what you hear, or if you're not sure what the position would be then speak to a Financial Planner.
An experienced Financial Planner will help you understand your family's position and, if necessary, recommend improvements. They will talk to you about your current financial position and your future goals and objectives. They will consider your income and outgoings, your mortgage and any other debts, your savings and investments and your pensions. They will ask questions to help them understand your individual circumstances and how these might need to change over the years; will you need to extend your property, or move to a smaller or bigger home, will your children go to university, at what age do you want to retire?
Wake up in 2017. Understand your finances and feel confident that should anything happen to you, the right money will go to the right people at the right time.
David Bowie, at his 50th birthday celebration, said: "I don't know where I'm going from here but I promise it won't be boring."