Episode 62: Victoria Thornley competed in rowing at the 2012, 2016 and 2020 Olympics, winning a silver medal for GB with Katherine Grainger in the women's double sculls in Rio while she narrowly missed out on a medal in Tokyo in 2021, finishing fourth in the single sculls. She also won bronze and silver at the World Championships and gold, silver and bronze medals at the European Championships during her illustrious career.
Now retired she is embracing ultra-running - not the obvious choice for a woman standing at 6ft 3. I wanted to chat to her about the highs and lows of the Olympics, how she learnt to calm her nerves on the start line, how she dealt with over-training syndrome and about the Sporting Giants campaign that took her from showjumper to Olympic rower.
What I’ve Been Reading
One of the most powerful books I’ve read is The 5AM Club by Robin Sharma, so when he recently released The Everyday Hero Manifesto, it was always going to climb up my reading list very quickly. The downside of The 5AM Club was the rather feeble story that the incredible principals were woven around, so this time Sharma has gone back to a more traditional style. There is some fantastic advice within this book, especially the process he goes through to set his goals; something that I adopted for my year end goal setting with great effect. If you want a book that will inspire you to do more, live a better life and set bigger and more powerful goals, this is definitely worth a read.
What I’ve Been Watching
As I have said here before, The Matrix is one of my favourite films. For me there are a handful of films that made such an impact on me that I can remember almost everything about the time I saw them, whether it was in a cinema or on my bedroom floor.
In addition to The Matrix, some those films would probably be Seven, The Sixth Sense, Fight Club, Schindler’s List & The Usual Suspects. The Matrix 2 and 3, in my eyes were a total car crash, so when The Matrix Resurrections was announced, it gave rise to mixed feelings. However, Caryl and I did watch it, and for those of you that are fans of the original, I thought it was well worth the watch. Whilst it is in no way the breath-taking emotional journey of the original, it had us guessing and then discussing the film at length, which was significantly more than 2 and 3 did. Resurrection is the right name, for many reasons.
I have heard recently from a couple of friends that have bought expensive electric cars (Mercedes and Audi) that they would rather hire a car than use these for a long journey. It seems crazy spending £60k+ on a car to feel like you can’t use it for your biggest trips. I have said for a long time that if you want to help save the planet by buying electric, but you intend to use it for long journeys, Tesla is the only viable option for me. Until the charger network sees huge improvements, unless you want to spend hours at average service stations waiting for the car to charge, Tesla really is the way forward. They are planning on the new Model Y (now released in the UK) becoming the most successful car model of all time, as they churn out one every 45 seconds from their Berlin factory (see this video). I have already ordered mine, as there is no way I would go back to petrol or consider an alternative electric solution.
Quote of the Week
“Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life.”
- Jerzy Gregorek
Finance Theme of the Week
I was recently speaking to a client who wanted to take 25% of his pension to help his daughter buy a house. The bank of Mum and Dad has become the UK 10th biggest lender, so it’s not exactly surprising news. It did, however, prompt a conversation and a rethink of strategy - this client also has a portfolio outside of the pension and as he is concerned about Inheritance Tax, instead of taking the money from the pension, he would be much better to leave the pension untouched and raid the portfolio; the pension remains accessible but free from IHT. In addition to this conversation, he also needs to consider what happens if his daughter were to marry the ‘son in law from hell’ in the future, and how he can protect the money using trusts.
The bank of Mum and Dad is a wonderful gesture, just make sure you are making the right choices, otherwise the tax man and a the ‘son in law from hell’ might just walk off with your hard-earned cash instead!