How many times can you read the same doom and gloom headlines? Or talk about the changing rules of lockdown, tiers and support bubbles? We know it’s been a hard year all round and we are by no means diminishing the troubling times many people have experienced, but we are keen to keep the spirit of positivity for our last blog of 2020. Therefore, here is some good news from First Wealth, our clients and the wider world!
This year, demand for renewable energy saw an all time high. With costs for solar and other renewable sources coming down, it has become a realistic alternative to the traditional suppliers and methods for many people and businesses. IEA released this report and analysis of renewable energy and predicts that renewables will overtake coal to become the largest source of electricity generation worldwide in 2025.
At First Wealth, we became B Corp Certified and made the switch to Bulb (renewable energy supplier) this year. We have also reduced our need for paper by introducing technology, switched to recycled paper and implemented flexible working throughout our business to reduce emissions through long unnecessary commutes.
Other headlines in 2020 saw calls for the end of systematic racism in our society. While there is debate about the roadmap and method of getting there, I think there is no dispute about the destination. With world renowned stages such as The Grammys, The Premier League and The BBC all publishing new guidelines/ initiatives this year, we have seen a huge step towards a more inclusive world.
Whilst we have always worked towards a team that accurately reflects our clients and the diverse culture of London, we still have work to do in the wider industry. We are one of few Women In Finance Charter signatories that managed to reach and maintain our 3 year goal set in 2017 and we are working with our regulators to encourage others to follow suit. Rob and Scott, two of the Financial Planners in our team, are set to launch a podcast in early 2020 with the PFS focused on highlighting the profession to the wider world and bringing a new wave of Financial Planners into the industry.
Health and Wellbeing
There’s no escaping the isolation and impact on wellbeing lockdown has had on us all, however, the good news is scientists have created, tested and launched a successful vaccine in less than 12 months. New diagnoses of HIV among gay and bisexual men in England have dropped to their lowest level in 20 years and a new drug that prevents infection has been developed. Over a million people in the UK quit smoking and over half of those people said lockdown motivated them to do so. Finally, 46% of employers had an increased focus on wellbeing in 2020 than ever before.
At First Wealth we have always believed in a healthy work life balance, but like many businesses, 2020 proved that we could do more. We have implemented flexible working, free coaching and financial planning as well as joining up with Heka to provide our team with a whole host of benefits focused around wellbeing. We also revamped the way we approach HR within the business, integrating Culture Amp into our systems. This allows us to structure 1-1’s, ask for anonymous feedback and calculate our employee satisfaction score. While we still have room for improvement, I think 96% is a great starting point.
Whist a lot of businesses utilised the furlough scheme, we were fortunate that we did not need to. In fact, we have had 4 new joiners and 6 promotions in 2020. We have seen Rob Bell (who features in our latest ‘Meet Your Money Team’ blog), become a Chartered Financial Planner and Claire Phillips promoted to Compliance Director.
Our team has been busier than ever, becoming B Corp Certified, migrating our clients over to Evidence Based portfolios, passing exams, pivoting to home-based working, all whilst ensuring our clients are well informed of the latest updates. We’ve even played some virtual bingo!
Overall, it has been a record-breaking year all round, but we are determined to enter 2021 in good spirits and we hope you are too.