September 2021 Family Finances Group Meeting

From John Coleman:

It is now 18 months since we held the last physical meeting of the Family Finances Group (FFG) of Probus ’83, so it is perhaps appropriate to explain the purpose of the group; particularly for any new members or guests.
The first thing to emphasise is that the FFG is not an “Investment Club” but is an informal monthly gathering of retired people who may have an interest in such diverse matters as:
  • Retirement options & strategy
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Wills & Trusts
  • Inheritance Tax mitigation
  • Property market
  • Insurance – whether for holidays, life, private health or property
  • Investment market & strategy
  • Financial Advisers & Investment Platforms
  • Implications of Budget changes
  • Personal Care / Care Homes 
  • Using Internet resources to help manage family finances. 
Our meetings usually have a Guest Speaker, with occasional meetings devoted to internal discussion of a topic of interest. Our next meeting at Weybourne House (GU2 4DR) is on Thursday, 16 September, when Joe Davis, a Senior Investment Director of Investec in Guildford, will talk to us about Investec’s investment outlook and strategy.
Despite the turbulence caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, stock markets around the World are high and the media are reporting that the private investment market is booming – so what could possibly go wrong?  
With ongoing uncertainties caused by the pandemic, risks associated with ending the UK furlough scheme this month, recent events in Afghanistan and talk of “tapering” in the USA, it seems a good time to hear the views of an expert in the investment field and ask any investment related questions that you may have lurking in the back of your mind.  
So why not give it a try?  
We meet at Weybourne House for coffee and biscuits from 9.45am for a 10.00am start of the meeting, which normally ends before noon.  All Probus and FFG members are welcome and if you have any questions about the meeting or venue, please don’t hesitate to contact John Coleman by email or phone.


This month we welcome as our guest speaker  Pete Yeomans, his talk this month is entitled


The model T was produced by the Ford Motor Company from October 1908 to May 1927. It was generally regarded as the first affordable motor car,  at a relatively low price.  It is estimated some 15 million were produced.

Today Pete will talk about the coast to coast trip across America from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean some 3000 miles.  He has owned 2 model T’s.    In 2008 to celebrate its centenary Pete took part in this historic rally, and I am sure this will prove to be an interesting morning.





AUGUST 5th Meeting

For our speaker this month we welcome Nick Brazil.

Nick is an author, documentary Film Maker and photographer. His illustrated talks cover a variety of different subjects which reflect his varied life experiences

His talk this month is entitled  THE BALKAN RAILWAY ADVENTURE  it covers a rail journey from Pangbourne in Berkshire to Split in Croatia and back, which includes many fascinating cities including-

Dubrovnik –  Pearl of the Adriatic . An introduction to this ancient Adriatic  city, which has survived earthquakes, invasions and seige.

Slovenia – The Balkans Beautiful  Northern Secret.

I am sure this will prove to be an interesting  morning and bring back memories for many of us.




After a very difficult period due to Covid,  where we had many months of no meetings and then finally the arrival of Zoom,  which enabled us to keep in contact and enjoy many interesting and varied talks by Zoom, which were reasonably attended.

This month we go live and welcome our speaker Bob Sinfield with his talk entitled COMEDY HOUR   the GREAT UNWATCHED.      Bob is an Actor, Author, Radio Presenter and describes himself as free lance time waster. He is a radio buff of the 50’s 60’s and as you can imagine full of entertaining stories to tell. He has written scripts for  comedy performers for over 4 decades.  

I am sure it will be an interesting morning, catching up with many members we may not had contact with for over 12 months.




June 2021 Family Finances Group Zoom Meeting

John Coleman writes:

Dear All,

It has been said that we’re all on a journey through life with different routes but with the same ultimate destination. Like any journey, it pays to make appropriate preparations if you want things to go smoothly. Consequently, David Bott has invited the local firm of solicitors Moore Barlow to talk to the FFG next Thursday, 17 June, on the preparations one should make to minimise the problems (and potential loss) for one’s family and beneficiaries in the event of your death.

The Zoom presentation will be given by Dan Milano and Libby Wardle, who will be pleased to take questions after their talk. Whilst it’s a grim subject, it is something that shouldn’t be ignored if you wish things to run smoothly after your passing. So please take this opportunity to listen to experts, who have sadly all too often seen the consequences of poor planning.

The precise content of the talk will be at the discretion of Moore Barlow but the following issues are likely to be covered:

  • What are the appropriate preparations for making a “smooth” exit from this life.
  • What if one is responsible as an Executor of a Will and for arranging Probate?
  • Just how complicated is it?
  • What are the common pitfalls to be aware of?

Please join the meeting next Thursday morning by clicking on the link provided by John’s email.


Following a very interesting talk last month from the USA, this month we return closer to home in fact Guildford.

Local speaker David Rose returns, he is well known to many of us from his previous visits and  his talk this month is entitled  A DROP OF THE HARD AND SOFT STUFF, the history of our local brewing and soft drinks industry.  Guildford had  a ready supply of local grown hops  and barley and quality water making it an ideal centre for the production of  beer and fizzy drinks.  Guildford at one time had 6 breweries, mainly centred around the Bury Street and the Portsmouth Road.   Should prove to be an interesting morning, especially those with an interest in local history.          Hopefully meetings will return to normal in July.


Calling All Probus ’83 Golfers!

Probus golf is set to resume. Here’s a message from John Cole (with minor amendments from his original email):

We have a golf match against the “Other” Guildford Probus at Clandon Regis Golf Club on Thursday 24 June.
John has contacted everyone he knows in Probus ’83 who plays golf but would appreciate it if this notice was circulated to the general membership, in case he’s missed someone who might wish to play. 
If anyone that he’s not already contacted is interested in playing, then please let him know


May 2021 Family Finances Group Zoom Meeting

John Coleman writes:
Dear All,
Our next meeting of the Family Finances Group is on Thursday, 20 May, when John Devine, a Senior Investment Manager at Charles Stanley in Guildford will talk to us once more. After more than a year of turmoil, which has included Brexit, Trump’s demise and a global pandemic that is still causing great suffering in many parts of the World, it will be interesting to hear John’s comments on the investment scene and his views on the future outlook. This will be the penultimate FFG meeting before we have our usual Summer Break, so it may possibly be the last opportunity you will have for some time to hear in person the views of an investment expert and to ask any questions relating to investment matters that you may have. All Probus ’83 and Family Finances Group members are welcome.

Mike Sinclair is again kindly hosting the meeting using his personal Zoom account and the details for joining the meeting are as follows:

Topic: The investment market and future outlook.
Time: May 20, 2021 10:00 AM London.

Joining details are as per John and Mike’s emails to members.

It will help if you could log on to the meeting a few minutes before 10.00am to minimise the potential risk of disruption at the start.

On behalf of the FFG Steering Group, we hope that you can join us next Thursday,


This month we welcome James Dickinson who will present an interesting talk entitled


Theodore Roosevelt was a larger than life character almost of contemporary times. He was was not only just a President of the United States at the beginning of the 20th Century. He was was a rancher and cowboy, an adventurer, explorer, lover of nature and a conservationist. He was also a soldier, Colonel Roosevelt, whom led his own company of Rough Riders into war against the Spanish.   From this you will gather he led a varied and interesting life, so if gardening is on the agenda for our May meeting make yourself a coffee sit down and join us,



April 2021 Family Finances Group Zoom Meeting

John Coleman writes:

The sad passing of Prince Philip brings home the mortality that awaits us all and focuses attention on the potential financial implications of this event on our surviving heirs. Let us hope that we all have as long as Prince Philip to plan for such events, who’s age of 99 years and 10 months is quite an achievement.

The topic of the next meeting of the Family Finances Group on Thursday 15 April is very apt. The Zoom meeting will be hosted by Florence Wilson of Octopus Investments, who are renowned for creating a range of potential tax-mitigation investment vehicles. (Obviously, alternative options also exist.)

So if you or your heirs don’t like the idea of 40% of your surviving spouse’s estate over the Nil-Rate Band threshold being lost to Inheritance Tax or if you are in the fortunate position of facing a large Capital Gains Tax bill, it should be relevant to hear what Octopus Investments have to say about their range of tax mitigation investments. This will include the financial performance/costs/risks/potential benefits/types of investments/etc./ of their various investment vehicles. After the presentation, there will be ample time for any questions that you may wish to raise in connection with this important subject.

As usual, the meeting will commence at 10.00am but to minimise the risk of disruption at the start, it will be helpful if you could join the meeting a few minutes before 10.00am.

The log-in details are as per John’s email.