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The Devolution Revolution

“But, something powerful is happening, we've seen it in both (US political) parties, we've seen it in the United Kingdom's unprecedented Brexit vote to leave the European Union.  

Voters are overwhelmingly rejecting the political establishment, and overwhelmingly rejecting big government.  

That is a profound victory and it is one earned by each and every one of you. People are fed up with politicians who don't listen to them. Fed up with a corrupt system that benefits the elites instead of working men and women”.   Ted Cruz, Republican Convention, Cleveland Ohio, July 2016.

Indeed something big is happening, from Scotland to Wales to the new “Super Mayor” for the West Country, people want more of a say in what is happening to them locally.

This is a symptom of years of globalisation of economies and companies. People don’t feel able to connect with massive, global organisations whose sole motive seems to be making the most profit possible.

Look at the gap between executive pay and average working wages.

In 2015 the average pay of Chief Executives in the FTSE100 Index of UK leading companies was £5.5 Million per year, yes million. The average worker in the UK earned £28,000. That is a multiple of 196 times. In1998 the multiple was only 47 times.*

The UK financial services industry has to share the blame. Your ISAs and pensions invest in shares and large pension schemes and investment funds, as shareholders, can have a great deal of influence over executive pay.

This is seen as a cosy club of connected wealthy individuals who protect each other with vested interests.

People don’t really understand where their money is invested and they don’t have a connection with their investments. This is partly down to the complication of financial products and woeful financial education in our schools and universities.

I think it is time to consider “devolving” at least some of your investments.

At present, political power is centralised in our capital cities and Europe (for another two years or so for us anyway). But the real power is centralised in a few massive global companies that have a significant influence on what happens politically.

If you think about it, our money is centralised too. We invest with banks and investment funds that channel our money to London, New York, Tokyo etc. The investment companies then decide where to place your money.

This needs to change. We should be able to choose to get our money to work closer to home in projects, property and companies that can improve the lives of ourselves and others locally.

The trend for the future I believe will be in communities working closer together to improve their local society. By devolving some of our investments into local projects we should be able to help this substantially.

Recent tax changes have introduced Social Investments with Tax Relief, but this is a small, almost token addition. The Government should be thinking more radically to explore how we can use the huge amount tied up in ISAs, pensions and other investments to work for local communities and infrastructure to improve our lives, not line the pockets of already rich (mostly) men.

If you are interested in exploring how you can devolve your investments I will be delighted to invite you to come along to the launch of our new project, Royall Wealth Club in October. Our new project will offer a framework for successful people from all walks of life to meet, share and develop their personal goals around wealth, life style and well-being. To promote this we will be hosting quarterly forums involving a variety of speakers and thought leaders to provide further understanding and improve our skills in the following fields:

  • Topical discussions on economic or social changes impacting our Society

  • Developing you personally towards your lifestyle and  financial goals 

  • Explore alternative ways of spending and enjoying money

  • Understanding different ways of improving health and well being 

  • Supporting your community and making a difference 

*Source: Guardian.com 8th August 2016


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