Greetings from Jonathan


Dear Clients and Friends,

After an eventful 2016, we would like to thank you for your ongoing support and another year of successful trading for all.

We continue to review our procedures and this year. Changing our funding procedures so that funding could be made on the same day as the submission of schedules. In addition, one of my favorite tasks, we continued to provide mentoring management and financial advice to many of our clients. Clients who while expert in their chosen field, might not necessarily have the full panoply of experience to improve their own internal procedures, controls, budgeting, planning and the like. For those of you who remain unaware of this valuable resource, well, now you know! With my many years in Business, Public Accounting and Auditing, teaching at University level, it seems that what is so basic to me is sometimes a revelation to others. So, do feel free to pick my brains.

The digital world has opened up new ways to provide financing. These promise almost instantaneous  responses to requests for funding. Mostly, they do not necessarily provide the sums needed. Repayment terms are most onerous. A default in any one payment can see a draconian response from the lender. Nonetheless, cash is King, as we all know and many folk who do not necessarily plan in advance for the Working Capital needs find themselves grasping at straws; in this case, the digital “FINTECH” lender, to solve immediate problems without due consideration for the consequential problems this choice might bring. Personal relationships are non-existent and so all borrowers are mere cyphers, subject to the rigors of exceptionally high interest rates and unforgiving repayment requirements. Remember, we at Aberdeen pride ourselves on personal service, on the relationship we have with our clients and if you are in a short-term bind, please approach us first rather than risking your livelihood. An old expression: “Don’t sink the ship for a ha’penny’s worth of tar”.

To ensure a proper understanding of this new Digital approach, I attended a conference in Las Vegas during the year. My goal was to understand this new way of thinking and to ensure we are able to respond effectively. The main thrust here is for us to shorten our Underwriting times without increasing the risks brought about by a cavalier attitude to the facts . We have already made changes here. A sure way to prevent damage to both our clients and ourselves as a result of this new financing model is to ensure that our relationships with our clients are close. Ir is clear that it is our function to promote client’s financial well-being. I am pleased to be able to say that Aberdeen has enjoyed relationships with some of our clients for up to 12 or 13 years. If this is not a sign that we take care of our clients, then what is? I leave that for you to ponder, but if you need extra cash, please ask!

While willy-nilly over the years, our business has turned into a digital one, witness the fact that funding is electronic, communication is less and less by phone, more and more via texting and then, of course email (almost an anachronism in and of itself nowadays).  We nonetheless are here to meet with you, speak to you and perhaps even share a drink with you! Suffice to say that we pride ourselves on answering the phone, and if busy, returning voice mails within hours. We may be separated geographically, but we are as close as can be.

Aberdeen has been in business since 1994. It amazes me that so many years have flown by. Despite the fact that I hated being an accountant, this intense training, both at University and at financial organizations in South Africa, the UK and the USA has certainly served me well and has been of benefit to clients. It goes without saying that absolute integrity promotes longevity too.  We pride ourselves on having satisfied clients, as we provide them with the highest level of service at a cost amenable to all. It has never been my philosophy to make money a goal. How much or how little we all make is sometimes outside of our control. What we do control though, is our behavior, our efforts, our enthusiasm and it is these that provide us all with continuing motivation to excel and yes, to have a good time while slogging away at our daily tasks.

Over the years I have faced many daunting challenges, recovering from huge losses (particularly after the debacle of the 2008 period), I have learnt much, and I continue to focus almost maniacally on my daily routine. With breakfast over, I rush to my desk, eager to experience a new day. Sometimes things are slow, the inflow of new deals not even a trickle, sometimes and without explanation, deals come in through the door fast and furiously. With so many years behind me, I am able to relax and just do my best every day. So it should be for all of us.

I am at an age where many of my peers have retired or are planning to. While I do not enjoy the same stamina of my earlier years, a 15 minute snooze during the day peps me up for another bout of work. Then, with the example of my Dad, who died almost 3 years ago at the ripe old age of 98, his mind as sharp as ever, and who did not retire at age 92, but was FIRED from his job because of his age (not possible here in the good ol’ US of A).  Even if I wanted to retire, I just would not be able to survive the fire and fury of my good ol’ Dad who would, no doubt, find a way of remonstrating me from whatever patch of Heaven he now occupies.

The day is never long enough for me: During the week, I am usually at my desk working, although I do admit to sneaking off as often as I can! Our hound, Jack, has a way of looking at me during the day that demands a response of a walk at its appointed time. No ignoring the look, so off I go on a 3 mile jaunt up hill and down dale. My woodshop always beckons, so this year it was a 10*12 garden shed, bookshelves for my office out of an old Black Walnut tree given to me by a friend and a few other things. Reading is always a pastime of passion and then, last but by no means least, Netflix is close at hand in a comfy chair and home-made popcorn.

So, the years fly by, but it is to the future, the year to come that we should look. The past is behind us with all its lessons, its joys and hopefully, its material successes. As the Winter Solstice passes and the days gradually get longer, I want to thank you all for your support, your friendship, your wise counsel when I need some mentoring myself. I wish you a Happy Holiday season to be enjoyed with loved ones, a season to enrich our respective faiths and to calm our souls, and to a New Year hopefully filled with good health, good deeds and financial well-being!

Cheers to all!


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