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It strikes me we have some strange priorities.

This Summer we will spend about £100 million watching the new Bond film. We will also donate about £6 million to The World Cancer Research Fund UK, which I believe is the UK’s largest cancer prevention charity.

My calculator tells me that £6 million is 6% of what we are prepared to spend being entertained for 90 minutes or so.

£6 million is also:

  • 0.3% of the £2 billion we will spend on trying to cure cancer this year.
  • 0.12% of the £5 billion it costs the NHS to treat cancer each year.
  • 0.033% of the total annual cost of cancer which is estimated at £18 billion.

If you do not get cancer you cannot die from cancer and 33% of cancers are preventable.

Imagine if we spent £600 million pa on cancer prevention (money which is already being spent on cancer elsewhere). How much of the total annual £20 billion cost of cancer could that save us (let alone lives and grief) to spend elsewhere?

This is an odd spending decision that we have arrived at. And it is down to us. We, the people, have decided to spend hundreds of times more on treating cancer than trying to prevent it.

We are massively more invested in the cure than the prevention.

Things that are boring but effective (prevention) are held in less regard compared to things that are exciting and knowingly less effective (cure).

In the world of financial planning, many people think they need higher returns and less risk to get a better financial outcome. That is the cure for them, that is what they think will make things ok.

But it ignores the fact that chasing higher returns and less risk increases the chance of the worst possible outcome – permanent capital loss.

There is a vast industry promoting higher returns and less risk. Millions are seduced by their messages pay exorbitant charges. The industry sells a “cure” to the “need” that they created. One of the oldest tricks in the book.

But our focus should be on an income that keeps pace with inflation and the resilience to sit through stock market storms. Doing both reduces the chances of permanent capital loss. Prevention.

It is boring but effective. And it costs a fraction of “the cure”.

A few financial planning firms focus only doing just that. We are one of them.

Welcome to Town Close Financial Planning, welcome to boring but effective.



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Town Close are expert financial planners. Our goal is the same as yours – to help you do the things that are important to you in the time you have remaining.

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