December 13, 2018
Can you think of someone who is an independent worker, ie being-self employed by choice (it could be you!)? Please describe what they do and how they came to this decision. If this is someone you know, what do you admire about this person’s way of working & living?
This makes me think of a friend of mine, who had 15 good years in a big corporate and than one day decided to quit. She is a high energy person and good storyteller with an appetite for life. Her skills in finance and planning helped to bring the cost of living down while making some sound investments which deliver a steady return. I think she spends 2 days on building up a local wine business, 2 days on running a B&B and 1 day on community work. Sport is part of her life as well as interesting travel with her partner. I like her ability to self-reflect, openness to change and also her vulnerability: she shares more than just the good news.
thank you very much for taking the time to respond. I highly value your input and it has helped shape our thinking while writing the book.
My mother on aged 85, who, until 2 years ago provided independent psychological assessment of the learning needs of children and young adults, so that both teachers and parents could understand why they were not performing as well as they could, and recommending appropriate actions to help them to learn better and improve their exam results. She still receives referrals now but passes them on to other educational psychologists now, despite the demand for her services still being there.
My family story is perhaps pertinent to your book about Independence in the workspace although hardly unique. The story starts in the City of London in the early 1870s when my great grand father started a stockbroking firm in 1872 which finally closed down during the slump of 1974. The City in 19th century was split between stock companies, mainly banks, insurance companies & independent operators. Some of these Independent operators had capital and others sought those with capital bringing in wealthy individuals on a partnership basis. This way of providing safe unlimited liability safeguarded the interests of investors and other market operators until Big Bang in 1986. What is interesting is that both on the Stock Exchange and at Lloyds of London all stock companies operating in the investment or insurance fields needed to pass business through these independents. The integrity and efficiency of both markets depended upon maintaining adequate capital and trust. Those who went bust or died were simply replaced by the next generation and outsiders with capital could enter at any time under the auspices of those with experience. None of these independent brokers (there were around 3,000 Members of the Stock Exchange and around 2,000 to 4,000 associate stockbrokers known as half-commission men and a few hundred attaches often retired partners) paid themselves salaries. They were all self-employed but often built into a Partnership tax structure. The jobbing or market-making capacity operated in the same way. The strength was in being Unlimited and every firm or partnership was only as strong as its weakest link ; often a rogue broker would bring a firm to its knees. My grand-father (3rd generation) once wrote a cheque to a client for £30,000 around 1960 because a partner stole client dividend warrants. These days getting anything back from a rogue operator is much more difficult despite the Government guarantees under Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
In summary the old market operated Independently by choice. It was all they knew. The new supposed modern way has resulted in far more deficiencies in the system. I suspect historians of financial services will be rather unkind to the high capacity, high capital, roll of the dice stock company operators that have replaced those with unlimited liability. After all the modern eay rareky takes responsibility for anything leaving the entire working population(s) taking the burden for others compacencues, mistakes and frauds.
The simple lesson is that nothing and nobody is too big to fail. I have a feeling that the world is about to witness sonething far greater than the 1929 Crash and Great Depression. It us no coincidence that Indeoence everywhere has been under the cosh of Government regulators abd big business who have stolen the lions share of the pie.
Roll on unlimited liability and independent traders and businesses everywhere.
Richard Hoblyn is a former stockbroker & former Fellow of The Chartered Securities & Investment Institute