Our Brecon challenge complete

So, the seven intrepid explorers left Bristol on Friday 21st October for the Brecon Beacons.

Surprisingly the forecast was for a dry weekend, so spirits were high and everyone had enough kit to last a whole week on the mountains. Our Kit master Andy had prepared us for the worse, so no excuses of being cold, hungry, injured or dehydrated.

Saturday arrived at 5.30 for Dave and Andy who were head chefs for the morning and tasked with providing a hearty breakfast for all. Surprisingly, it was poetry in motion in the kitchen. A ‘full English’ proved to be the perfect start to a day of climbing in the Brecon’s. Unfortunately, the welsh weather provided a cloudy misty day and thus after a long climb to the summit of Pen y Fan, the euphoria of reaching the top was tempered by the disappointment of not being able to take in the glorious view.

Cribyn and Fan Y Big passed without incident. Andy’s meticulous planning, map and compass reading provided the confidence to trek on without fear of getting lost. Still no view… and where did that wind come from! All layers were now on, so at least the backpacks were now lighter.

top-of-pen-y-fan

Clockwise from top left: Tim Blowers, Dan Hiles, Andrew Weston, David Buchan, Kate Harris, Lucie Ellrich and Sara Mather

2.00 – at last the mist clears and we all took the opportunity to take in the views. Simply stunning! After a scheduled route across a challenging bog and heathland, we soon realised we were only half way. Still at least we could go no higher; so down we went, past Talybont reservoir and after 16 miles of hard walking we arrived back to the pub for some welcome refreshment and a hearty dinner.

Sunday arrived with a briefing on how to canoe the 7 miles of the canal to Brecon in a straight line. The boys seem to grasp this would be the best and quickest option. The girls had different ideas. Lots of giggling, shouting and crashing into the canal banks followed. Dan and Tim came to the rescue and tethered their canoe to the girl’s canoe to add some welcome direction and power. Dave and Andy were in search of a welcome coffee stop but alas came up short. So, after a scheduled stop and half an hour wait, the team became one again. Dave and Andy took the abuse on the chin for going ahead!

rowing

With arms and shoulders aching, the arrival into Brecon was a welcome sight. Lunch at one of Brecon’s finest restaurants (actually it was the first we came across) followed. A quick photo to finish and off back home to no sympathy for our aching limbs. What next for the intrepid explorers?

Thank you for everyone who donated to our chosen charity – Alzheimer’s Society. You will be pleased to know we exceeded our target and with a few extra donations at the end, we broke through our £1,000 target.

David Buchan, Director, Brunel Capital Partners

Brecon’s Trek and Row

Saturday and Sunday, 22nd – 23rd October, 2016

Seven members of Brunel Capital Partners are walking and canoeing a 38km circle of the Brecon Beacons

We are fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Society.

When we sat down as a team to decide on a cause we would like to raise money for it was clear that many of our lives had been touched by dementia and Alzheimers. We have witnessed this disease slowly erase the personalities of those we love and the effect this has on those around them. It is therefore a cause close to our hearts and we want to do our small part to help a society that provides support to those affected by dementia and to help support research into the cause, cure, care and prevention of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease.

If you feel able to support us, please do at Just Giving/Team Brunel Capital Partners

Quantity and quality – Brunel Capital Partners successfully renew industry accreditations.

We’re pleased to say we’ve not been resting on our laurels here at Brunel! We recently had our British Standard Audit and have just heard that we have passed again, meaning we can carry our BS8577 accreditation on for another year. This Standard evaluates the ‘framework for the provision of financial advice and planning services’ and is one we place great value on as it reflects our commitment to quality and continuous improvement.       Read more …

The context behind last month’s ‘God bless the Brits’ article…

Last month our Client’s Corner feature was an article entitled ‘God bless the Brits’ and expressed some pretty strong views in favour of the Brexit result.

It certainly produced some strong reactions from some of you and so we’d just like to explain the background behind it. We included the piece, which was written by Nick Murray, as an alternative view from across the pond. Nick is based in Southold, NY, in the States and is in his 50th year in the profession of financial advice. He is a well-known speaker within the industry and is the author of eleven books for financial services professionals. Read more …

What’s on in Bristol this summer?

As fellow Bristol residents will probably already know, we’re lucky to live in and around an active city, full of events, things to do and places to see. Summer 2016 promises to be no exception, with Bristol offering some fantastic ways to get out and about and enjoy all that the city has to offer. A quick search on the Visit Bristol website reveals 456 events scheduled before the end of August, so what are some of the highlights we should all be taking note of over the coming months?  Read more …

What keeps us happy and healthy?

Looking back, if you were going to give some advice to your former self, where would you recommend investing the most time and energy to lead a happy and fulfilling life?     

In a recent survey of millennials (i.e. those born between 1982 – 2000) over 80 per cent said that a major life goal for them was to get rich. And another 50 per cent of the same group said becoming famous was a major goal – a sad reflection of  the celebrity culture we live in, it would seem. Read more …

Money can’t buy… kindness (but perhaps living in Bristol can!)

If those little everyday acts of kindness are what makes your day then good news! You live in the right place!

New research by the Co-Op, reported on by Metro, has found that Bristol is the kindest city in the UK, closely followed by Belfast, Aberdeen and Southampton, with Liverpool, Glasgow and London making up the bottom three.

Read more …

Every little helps; Severn Bridge tolls halved and more news for the region from the 2016 Budget

Whilst it may not have made national headlines, there was good news for the local region from the March 2016 Budget.

Though it won’t quite pay for our retirements or suddenly mean we can all splash out on overseas holidays, a 50% reduction in a tax is always welcome! In this case, the ‘tax’ is the toll charge on the Severn crossings, which is currently used to pay for the cost of constructing the crossings. In 2018, the cost will have been repaid and the bridges will revert to public ownership.

Read more …

Use it or lose it time for your ISA

As the end of the financial year draws ever closer, it’s important not to forget about any ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts) you have and any remaining payments that you’re allowed to make. The maximum allowance for ISAs for the 2015/16 financial year is £15,240, so it’s important that you invest any funds that you have left to pay into your ISA as close to that amount as possible, as soon as you can. Read more …

Retirement ‘class of 2016’ owe less than last year’s

The amount of money owed by those planning to retire over the course of the next 12 months has fallen for the fourth year in row, according to the latest research by Prudential. This year’s retirees who still have debts owe an average of £18,800, a fall of £3,000 or 14% from last year and a drop of nearly £20,000 since 2012 when the average amount owed was £38,200. However, despite the continued fall in average debts, Prudential’s unique research into the financial plans and aspirations of people planning to retire in the year ahead – the Class of 2016 – shows that the proportion of retirees in debt remains stubbornly high. Read more …