top of page

Count only the calm hours


The wheel.



All things we take for granted and know how to do them. Ok, you may not be ready to go on Sewing Bee and your sowing skills might be at the level of Jeremy Clarkson’s on his farm. But, you know roughly what to do and how to do it. You know that if you really had to, you could grow your own food by digging a small hole, sticking some seeds in it and adding water. If you have holes in a top that the wind whistles through, you could get a needle, thread it and do some rough stitching to keep the draughts out.

One way or the other, you could start a fire by rubbing sticks together or using a zippo. And the wheel, perhaps the most obvious thing ever… had to be invented by someone. Everything is obvious once it’s made.

If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants - Isaac Newton

This is human development in a nutshell. Of all the species, we are far from the largest, or quickest or most powerful. And yet we survived, perhaps as we are more intelligent (we like to think so, but looking about us it doesn’t always seem that way and who knows what a dolphin could do if it had opposable thumbs?)

The intelligence of known and unknown ancestors has led to great leaps forward such as the wheel etc. Then, reading and writing spread ideas further and made them last longer. We can read the thoughts of the Stoic philosophers from 2000 years ago on wide-ranging subjects of the human condition and they still apply. Doesn’t this blow your mind?

Books, the internet, and now Artificial Intelligence are all continuations of this that have, and will, advance humanity.

Every generation has to start their learning from scratch, but the hard work of working it all out has already been done. They just need to learn the recipe and doing so will lead to the same result. Also, we have great teachers. Parents, family and friends with patience and understanding will teach us basic things that will help us through life. Some lessons don’t need to be taught. The wheel, well, it’s just there and works. It’s intuitive how it works. But, to avoid any doubt, the kids still learn ‘the wheels on the bus go round and round, all day long’.

This recycling of knowledge and adding to it incrementally is what drives humanity, company earnings and therefore share price growth upwards.

Some skills are lost over time as they become redundant and are not relearned and this will continue to happen. Skills come and go but humans will learn and adapt. That’s what we are good at.

I worked out that I have around 36,000 hours of experience in understanding personal finance, investment strategies and delivering financial plans to a wide range of people. You do not have time to develop this skill, for it is a life’s work. We at Lucent Financial Planning have learned how to do it. We can teach you very simply - by giving you our considered advice.

Otherwise, you would have to do the thousands of hours of learning… you don’t have that time. We are the patient teacher, guiding you to make the best decisions for your future.

We do not rely solely upon our own conclusions. Many of these 36,000 hours have been spent reading others’ work. Reviewing the evidence of previous investors and most importantly, academics that have spent thousands of hours reviewing this. They are the giants on whom we stand.

We hope that you consider us the giants upon whom you stand. In fact, many people consider me to be a giant. I am massive! But, I can take your weight and the burden of ensuring you are sound financially. So, get on up there!

Where you should be spending your time instead

You will find these words on many a sundial/clock. This one is in Marlow.

As you know, I have an A Level in Latin so I can just read this straight off and of course, didn’t have to resort to google translate.

Ne quid Pereat - let nothing perish

Horas non numero nisi serenas- I count only the calm hours.

There are lots of ways to interpret this. One may be that a sundial only measures time when the weather is calm and therefore cloudless. A sundial is no good when black stormy clouds block the power behind its hands.

However, forgive my thoughts ‘de profundis’. Perhaps the only hours of this life worth counting are the serene ones. The ones that you enjoy? And you should dare not let them perish, for stormy clouds are around and ahead.

To bring these loose strands of an essay together: there is too much to learn in this life and we cannot do it all on our own. We must specialise, and recognise that there are people that have done this learning in specific areas and that they are more likely to achieve a better outcome. Furiously learning everything we can about every subject will use our serene time and take it away from the most important part of what we have discussed today. Which are those patient teachers, our family and friends. They spend the time teaching us these skills, not because they love it but because they love us. As we grow older, we spend less and less time with them. As a teenager or 20-something, you most likely went out in groups of 5-10. Your circle was wide and you saw them all regularly. As you did this, you knew all about them and had plenty to talk about. Over time, the groups diminish in number and now when you go out it’s probably with one person. Or, as a couple, with one other couple. There are only so many nights you have the energy to go out on and so this inevitably means a reduced circle of close friends.

You still have a circle, but you see lots of them just once a year or even less frequently. You don’t understand what is going on with their lives and so conversation is harder and hence why you talk of ‘the old days’.

You must see people in groups! The community is what keeps us learning, vibrant and (as studies have shown) living longer. Shared experiences with close friends and strangers bring us together. Outsource what you don’t need to have expert knowledge on to other people. For example, outsource your finances to us. Enjoy the extra time and ‘serene hours’ this gives you and spend it with groups of friends or like-minded people.

· Specialise – your career – make money from it

· Everything else you dislike doing – outsource to someone that is better at it and does it more efficiently

· Save your ‘serene’ time for you and for cultivating your family, friendships and community

Lucent financial planning help with all of this. We take the money stress away, tell you what you are able to spend to live the best life with the least worries, and provide a thriving community to join and be part of.

Are we any good at it? Well, don’t just take our word for it – it seems Moneyfacts think so too. We have just been shortlisted for Retirement Adviser of the Year for the 4th year running.


We have an online platform we call ‘Ubuntu’ for our clients. If you would like a meeting with us, why not ask to join Ubuntu first? Then, you can see what we are all about before coming in. There are lots of things going on there, such as:

  • Live Streams – usually on more technical aspects of financial planning and investment markets.

  • Holiday Reviews – showcasing where people have been on holiday… get ideas of where you should go next!

  • Dining Club – Great restaurants people have visited. Perhaps your next favourite mid-week meal out will be on here.

  • Events – Walking Club, Dr. of Happiness event (see below!), Investment seminars

And plenty more!

Drop us an email: if you'd like to find out more.

An evening with the Dr. Of Happiness

Last but by no means least - we are hosting an evening with the one and only Dr of Happiness, Andy Cope. There is not much time left to sign up for this. It is Thursday 8th June at 6.30 pm at the Voco Hotel in Solihull. Come along and engage in our community and learn how to be chipper!

There aren’t many places left - click here to bag one of the last ones!

We'd love to see you there.


bottom of page