“Don’t be defeated” - Terry Waite shares advice for all ahead of “difficult winter”

- From meeting Colonel Gaddafi to being held hostage for five years, Terry Waite reveals the moments that have shaped his life in this week’s episode of Bestinvest’s Give Us Your Goals

- As many face a difficult winter due to rising costs, Terry shares some of the lessons learned throughout his illustrious life, which can be applied to everyday challenges, by setting goals

- Speaking to TV presenter Kirsty Gallacher, Terry reveals how his main goal in captivity was to remain positive – writing his entire first book in his head whilst chained to a wall in solitary confinement for almost 24 hours a day

Terry Waite
Published: 03 Nov 2022 Updated: 03 Nov 2022

Hostage negotiator Terry Waite shares some timely advice as many Britons prepare for a “difficult winter, a difficult year ahead”, on this week’s episode of Bestinvest’s Give Us Your Goals podcast.

Offering a unique perspective gained during his five years of captivity, Waite said “there’s always something to take from adversity... all I can say is, don’t be defeated by it, because often within it is the seed of new opportunity and you may discover within yourself resources you didn’t know you had. That’s what happened to me in captivity.”

As many people grapple with financial challenges this autumn and winter, 63% of the 2,000 Britons surveyed for the Bestinvest study have set financial goals, such as clearing all their debts (29%) and investing for a rainy day (23%). When it comes to safeguarding their financial futures, many are less inclined to match retirement ambitions with a sound savings strategy. Worryingly, just 19.8% intend to invest for their retirement and only 14% consider having a pension a key financial goal. 

Waite saw the impact of financial difficulties in his own grandfather, who became bankrupt during the Great Depression, and his father who became homeless after leaving home to find work. He believes that it was this that inspired his care and concern for others as well as a desire to ‘keep going’ to ensure he could support his children financially.

As an independent worker supporting a family, he recalls the anxiety he often felt around money with the pressure to ensure he could give his children a solid education to set them up for life becoming a driving force in his early life. He relates his anxieties around money with the struggles many families face today during the cost-of-living crisis with the risk some fall into depression or alcoholism to cope – something he often observes through his charitable work with the homeless.

Waite also revealed to TV presenter, Kirsty Gallacher, that the positive mentality through adversity stuck with him in his five-year captivity. He spent nearly 24 hours a day in solitary confinement chained to the wall with one toilet break a day, and no natural light – and still managed to mentally write the book he would publish two years after his rescue.

One year into his captivity, Waite was told he had five hours to live, and he simply requested a glass of water, asked to write a letter to his family, and to say one prayer. 83-year-old Waite admits to Kirsty Gallacher, "Looking back now, I wonder how I managed to live like that"

Waite’s family was at the forefront of his mind throughout. He once asked his captors why, when their ideology teaches them not to steal, “how is it that you steal my life, you steal me from my family?”

Findings from Bestinvest research show that Waite’s experiences of putting family first and helping others, will resonate with many other Britons as 74% have a life goal based upon putting family and friends first. This comes as the top three life goals for Britons are ‘be happy’ (60.4%), ‘enjoy quality time with family’ (49%), and ‘look after loved ones’ (41.2%).

Waite signed off his appearance on the Bestinvest podcast with his three rules for life; Don’t give up, stay positive, and surround yourself with good people.

Bestinvest’s Give Us Your Goals podcast is a six-part series hosted by Kirsty and produced in collaboration with former BBC Radio 5 Live producer Guy Kilty. The series features six celebrity guests, including Paula Radcliffe, Billy Billingham, Mark Foster, Terry Waite, Michaela Strachan and Babatunde Aleshe, and discusses the importance of goals in everyday life - each episode will be made available across all major podcast channels during October and November 2022.  

Bestinvest’s Give Us Your Goals Fund will consist of £20,000, giving four people the chance of winning £5,000 each and a consultation with a Bestinvest Financial Coach who can help the winner not only identify their goals but also how they might save and invest for them. To apply candidates simply need to tell Bestinvest about their goals and what it would mean to achieve them. (T&Cs apply).  

Terry Waite’s Give Us Your Goals episode is available to listen to here: https://www.bestinvest.co.uk/give-us-your-goals  

Bestinvest’s Give Us Your Goals study surveyed 2,000 people across the UK between the ages of 18 to 65+. The survey was carried out by global market research firm 3Gem between May 13 to May 18, 2022.  

If you would like help achieving your financial goals, Bestinvest offers a wide range of investments, free financial coaching, low-cost bite-sized advice packages, smart digital risk assessment and planning tools and competitive pricing. Visit Bestinvest.co.uk to learn more.   

About Bestinvest

Bestinvest is a multi-award-winning, digital investment platform and coaching service for people who choose to make their own investment decisions but with the support of tools, insights and qualified professionals. It offers access to thousands of funds, investment trusts, ETFs and shares through a range of account types, including an Individual Savings Account, a Junior ISA for children, a Self-Invested Personal Pension and General Investment Account.

Alongside providing investors access to an extensive choice of investments, Bestinvest also offers a wide range of ready-made portfolios for people seeking a managed approach that suits their risk profile, saving them the need to select and monitor their funds themselves. These include a highly competitively priced ‘Smart’ range that invests through low-cost passive funds, as well as an ‘Expert’ range that invests with ‘best-of-breed' managers. 

Bestinvest provides investors with a unique range of new features to help people better manage their long-term savings, including free investment coaching from qualified financial planners, low-cost fixed fee advice packages and advanced tools to help people plan goals and monitor progress towards achieving them.

Bestinvest is part of Evelyn Partners, the UK’s leading wealth management and professional services group created by the merger of Tilney and Smith & Williamson in 2020. Evelyn Partners is trusted with the management of £59.1 billion of assets (as of 31 December 2023) by its clients, who are private investors, family trusts, entrepreneurs, businesses, charities, financial advisers and other professional intermediaries.

Bestinvest is a trading name of Evelyn Partners Investment Management Services Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

For more information, please visit www.bestinvest.co.uk