It’s not what you say, it’s the way that you say it

In my last blog I talked about how things that at first seem intimidating usually do not turn out to be as scary. I have been faced with this challenge at university and now in work. When people ask me what I do, I have to think really carefully about how I answer. Mentioning the…

Derivatives misconceptions week

Last week started with Halloween and ended with fireworks. A week that begins with doing something scary and ends with an explosion. Maybe we should rename this week and have an annual event called “national derivatives misconceptions week”? Most people who are new to derivatives will have two worries: They are “complicated” and scary They…

Complexity is a perception

Many readers will be familiar with the challenge of office temperature. Some team members think the office is too hot, and others too cold. It suggests that our experience of temperature is based on perception rather than reality. As an experiment, try the following: Fill a bowl with tap water Put one hand under a…

A biomedical student in the city

As a student on placement, my first week working on LDI could not have been more different from my university lifestyle; this is especially the case given my term time “9 to 5” is reading biomedical science. For the past two years I have been discovering first-hand the medical improvements that, one by one, are…

LDI – as easy as buying a house?

In doing training sessions on LDI, trustees can often (quite rightly) get concerned with the complexity and the mechanics. I think this is often because LDI is looked at as a standalone product. Which it is not. As we have talked about before it is important to start from basics and understand first what you…

Wine. Cheese. Derivatives.

What do you think of when you think of derivatives? At the PLSA conference in Liverpool last week we attempted to answer this question. We played a word association game with visitors to our (wine and cheese based) stand. We asked “What is the first word that comes into your head when we say each…

Longer than a Snapchat timer – a graduate’s view on pensions

A new flock of recent graduates has been unleashed from university this past summer; starting work across a range of grad schemes. I graduated a year ago, so I consider myself part of that group at 22. At a recent housewarming party I brought up the topic of pensions and mortgage savings: you can imagine…

The path to knowledge

The result of the recent EU referendum wasn’t what I’d been expecting, nor was it what I’d hoped for. Judging by the rhetoric coming from both sides, a lot of people are profoundly uncomfortable with ideas they disagree with. So how can we make the best of it?

3 common misconceptions about LDI

LDI is now well beyond its 10th year for UK pension schemes but is still a relatively new topic for a lot of Trustee boards. When  speaking to Trustees who are thinking of LDI for the first time there are some common misconceptions – interestingly these themes have not really changed in 10 years: Misconception 1…

KISS goodbye to complexity

From Pensions Expert: I read with interest Rob Gardner’s Talking Head piece on the need to think differently and work together to solve the problems we face. One example of how thinking has changed dramatically over the past 50 years is transatlantic travel. Not long ago the received wisdom was that the only way to…