Rod Thomas | Property, Investment, Retirement
Just who is this Rod Thomas writing Your Prosperous Retirement?
It’s right that you should question my credentials. Here’s a snapshot of what I’ve been up to over the last 30+ years, mostly focused on property investment. There’s a lot I don’t know, but along the way I’ve focused very hard on gaining knowledge and finding ways to share it.
Back in the late 1970′s I trained as a Chartered Accountant with Touche Ross & Co (now Deloitte) in the City of London. It gave me a strong financial background, but the entreprenurial spark was strong so I left to start my own business.
Over 30 years I’ve built five different businesses. Some have been very successful. Others frankly less so. I’ve learned a lot about business along the way. My businesses included retail, wholesale, internet consultancy and publishing.
Rod Thomas and property
That’s only four, I hear you say. But the fifth is the most important and is what I do now. Along this 30 year journey I have always had one foot in the world of investment in general and property in particular. I bought my first property in 1982 – a retail shop. And then made the first of the big mistakes in my life when I sold it 5 years later. If I had kept it for my retirement this property would, by itself, have delivered a handsome income!
My family also have a big background in property investment and development. I’ve three brothers- one runs his real estate company in the USA. One is an architect and property developer in London. The third invests in buy to let property and is effectively retired. Oh, not forgetting my mother who has a commercial property portfolio.
My involvement with investment has run to building a portfolio of UK and international residential property, and investing my pension in commercial property. I also ran a property development company in London for seven years and at the time of writing am constructing a gated development of 138 houses in Europe.
What’s the benefit for you?
Back in my publishing days I owned two national magazines, Business Opportunity World and Your Business. These were designed to help entrepreneurs start and build their own business – and that reflected my desire to help people become more financially secure and successful. That’s been my main driver for almost 20 years.
In 2002 I wrote the first major course for aspiring property investors in the UK. Called “The Property Investment Profit System” it included 16 CD’s and two 250 page manuals. From that course grew a company that for eight years found great property investments for our clients.
Sorry for such a long profile, but we’ve got to now, and what this website is really about.
Rod Thomas and the retirement crisis
Back in 2011 I woke up to the increasing adverse press commentary about poorly performing pensions, and the increasing ‘noise’ coming from Government about the problems that were facing the UK population in retirement. For the first time I looked carefully at my own pension and how it was doing. Frankly I was shocked. Over the last fifteen years the FTSE 100 share index has basically gone sideways, plenty of up’s and down’s but no real overall growth. My pension reflected that terrible performance. At the same time my property portfolio was making steady progress since acquisition, even allowing for the major property crash of 2007-2009.
It was like a lightbulb going off in my head. This wasn’t just about me, it was about everyone. The experience of ‘Rod Thomas’ was duplicated a million times or more across our soon to be retiring population.
I took action to fix my pension and found ways to include property within a changed pension scheme. Now I believe it is on track to deliver around 300% more income without any further contributions.
The story around the pension crisis is explored elsewhere on this blog. The bottom line is that I started learning everything I could about retirement, pensions and how high performing property-backed investments could replace poorly performing shares and bonds.
What I discovered is very upsetting:
- Frequently disappointing, sometimes terrible performance of pensions and savings
- Fees and charges that can knock the stuffing out of what little performance has been achieved
- A Financial Service sector that is so bound by rules and compliance requirements that, in my view, many “Advisors” may be so afraid of the Regulator that they find it difficult to provide client focused advice
- Limitation on investments that are ‘recommended’, leading investors to be satisfied with a performance that will never provide the retirement they want
- Lack of understanding or financial education among many people of the consequences of their actions, or inactions!
- A potentially very unhappy retirement for many, with far less income than is needed
It’s scary. And I’m fed up and very fired up about this. So to bring us right up to date this is what I’m doing – and will be until my own retirement!
- Become an expert about preparing for retirement and understanding how to build a financial plan that delivers the very best that can be achieved
- Find property backed investments that can be invested in either directly or through a pension wrapper, delivering way-above-average returns. With security of course. My ‘bottom line’ is 7% net pa, although my primary focus is on investments offering 8% to 12% net pa.
- Make these investments available through a specialist investment broker – Avantis Wealth Ltd – so that investors have the ability to access them easily.
- Write a book about the pension and retirement problem. “The Pension Disaster And How To Plan For A Secure Retirement” is available now at Amazon, either in hard copy or as a Kindle version.
- Write a blog about how to do better in retirement, and fill it up with useful commentary and my views about planning for retirement and making the best of your pension. That’s where you are now.
I’m what in Holland they call a “grey hair”, as opposed to a “green hair” which is a much younger person. Over 30 years I’ve made many mistakes, but I hope learned a lot as well.
Please take from this blog any tools and ideas you find useful. Most importantly, if you like the idea of retiring with more income, generated by property backed investments that offer security and more certainty, then get in touch.
With my best wishes for a prosperous retirement
Rod Thomas BSc FCA