October 17th 2016
Today I had a meeting with a financial advisor. I have been (or soon will be) auto-enrolled on a pension scheme, and I was invited to a meeting to ask any questions I might have. I kind of had A LOT of questions, actually. More than fell within the scope of the meeting, so he gave me his business card and asked me to organise a follow-up meeting if I still have questions.
I’m not sold on pension schemes… I think it says a lot about me that I’d rather have £40 now than £100 in 30 years time. I’ve never worried about the future too much, instead I like to concentrate on the present. This has always treated me well so far, but perhaps now that I’m in proper full time employment, with my first house, and the prospect of a family one day (ONE DAY) then I should think about these things a bit more.
No one I’ve asked has been able to tell me the comparable monetary figure for how much my 3% contribution or whatever will be worth to me in 30 years. No one can even guarantee that it will still be there.
One of my issues with a pension scheme is that I’m giving someone else my money to fuck about with for 30, 40, 50 years. They (the investors) promise me a nice return on top of my stake if I allow them to play the stock market with my money, on my behalf. But I’m only allowed my winnings when I turn 55. Or probably, more likely, 65.
It’s difficult for me to process because it feels like giving money away. When in reality, I’m actually getting money for free. It’s just kind of the ‘future’ bit that I struggle to rationalise.
My advice was that if I wanted my stake, consider that £40 from earlier, to battle against inflation, then I’d only see a positive return on it if I went for a ‘higher risk’ pension scheme. But, this was told to me by a financial advisor, a man who is basically a glorified salesman who wants all of my money so he can trade with it. I mean, he was a nice enough guy, but that’s the gist of it. Of course he’s going to say things like that, and because I’m completely dense about the subject, he can say whatever he likes. I’m easy prey to him.
I don’t understand pensions, but I understand numbers and old English idioms.
“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”
I mean, I should probably trust the man whose job it is to advise me financially, but he has an ulterior motive. That’s why I don’t trust mechanics. He can say whatever he likes is wrong with my car and I’ll believe him.
This distrust I think stems from when I was told by an optician that I needed glasses and my Mum said to me “Of course he’s going to tell you you need glasses, his job is to sell you glasses.”
I mean, I’ll probably let myself auto-enrol onto the scheme. I understand that it has benefits even if I don’t yet understand what they are. No one has been able to answer my questions yet.
Until tomorrow, but I’d still like them answered.