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Wary Women

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1Stocks and Shares ISA - not just for the City boys

What's it all about?

Many women we talk to tell us that the stock market feels like gambling. It is volatile, yes. And not a short-term whim. But it is NOT like chucking it all on red. 

With interest rates at historic lows, sitting in cash for years on end is not the smartest thing to do as a default position. You can set up a stocks & shares ISA online, from £25 a month and you don't need to be a maths grad either. 

If you'd stuck £20,000 in cash in 1996, that would have turned into £30,000 by 2016. In UK shares? Nearer £70,000. 

If you want to find out more, visit the Learn section of our site. Becoming financially strong is a great feeling. 

The Stock Market

  • The main UK market (FTSE 100) returned 12% in 2017
  • Versus interest rates of 0.50%
  • Pick an ‘investment ready meal’ if you’re not confident
  • But not for time frames of less than 5 years
  • And you have to expect this to be a bumpy ride

Choose

Bamboozled by choice? We'll tell you who we like and why. And show you how other investors rate them too. Check out our best buys.

Read

Our 4-page guide on Stocks and Shares ISAs. Get the lowdown on ISAs. How they work. Why you'd bother. And how to go about it.  

Listen

Holly and Georgie discuss investing. Why might you consider becoming an investor, how much does it cost, what are the risks and rewards and why are people so afraid of it?

Watch

This quick video explains stocks and shares ISAs for women who aren't maths nerds.

2Retirement Income - what's my "granny salary"?

What's it all about?

Do you have any idea what your retirement income might be? Most Wary Women will get the new State Pension when we’re 68, and the full whack is about £8,500 a year.

BUT you only get that if you’ve got a huge 35 years of National Insurance contributions. Which rules out many mums and carers. We’ll show you how to work out your “how much” on the back of a strictly metaphorical fag packet – state pension, any workplace stuff and what could private pensions add to your mix? And although it’s a bit dull, aren’t you a little bit nosey to know how much you might have to spend every week when you're growing old disgracefully?

Rules of thumb

  • Your State Pension will be about £4.70 x the years you have worked and paid N.I
  • Employed today? Make sure you are 'auto enrolled'
  • This workplace pension will see your boss paying in 3% a year for you by 2019
  • 40 years old on £30k a year? This could tot up to about £140k by retirement age

Read

Want a steer on how much is involved? Check out Margaret who is 50 on £28k a year, Suzi who is 45 on £60k and Kerry who is 40 and on £40k. 

Read

Why pensions are like a cocktail with three shots. State Pension. Shaken with a little Workplace Pension chaser. And finished with a splash of a Private Pension. 

And served by Tom Hardy. (Ok - that last bit's not true.) 

Watch

If your pension pots were alcoholic shots, how strong would your retirement income be?

3Private Pensions - get some cash back from the Govt for once

What's it all about?

The Government does a pretty limp job of selling the main benefits of saving for this. You get £20 for free for every £80 you put into a pension. More if you’re a higher rate taxpayer. That’s the “Why bother” bit. Free money!

As for how, well, you can start from £25 a month, do it online in a tracksuit and a computer can’t patronise you.  You can outsource the investment decisions to the pension guys or take control and do it yourself.

Our Best Buys share which pension options we like for beginners or we flag different choices for the Wolverines of Wall Street.

Why bother?

  • Get £20 free for every £80 saved
  • You can start from £25 a month and do it online
  • 15 minutes admin could get this niggle off the list
  • Set up a monthly direct debit to come out on pay day

Choose

Bamboozled by choice? We'll tell you what Private Pension providers we like and why. And show you how other investors rate them too. Check out our best buys.

Listen

In this audio guide, Holly and Georgie discuss pensions saving in your 40s.

Read

No-one normal likes sorting out a pension, Luckily for you, our 4-page guide has some useful, simple steps.

Watch

This 90-second tour of private pensions runs through the must-know facts about how to maximise your pension pot.

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3 minute read

Sainsbury's Generation Game

Age is but a number, or so we’re lead to believe. But how much does when we’re born affect our attitude and behaviour? Sainsbury's Bank examined how the financial and buying habits of different generations compare, why they may butt heads occasionally and what they look for when making decisions. Do these discoveries ring true for you?

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30 second read

How I got started with investing: Banita Shah

Banita Shah didn't let losing a bit of money through stock picking deter her from building her investment pot back up again.

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30 second read

How I got started with investing: Carolan Dobson

Carolan is one of the financial world's big kahunas. She's the Chairman and Non-Executive Director of Aberdeen Asset Management, a trustee of National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), Chair of the Brunner Investment Trust and may other very important jobs. Here's a quick insight into how she started investing and how she keeps her communications user-friendly.

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30 second read

How I got started with investing: Ella's story

We often find that women are curious about how people like them got started with investing. So, we asked a few to describe the reasons behind their money decisions in a few words. Here is Ella's story.

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2 minute read

What to do with short-term cash: do we all just suck up low rates?

It is a fact of life that if you want your money to work for you, you need to take a risk. That’s fine for long-term investments – they can be squirrelled away in the stock market and ignored. However, for short-term investments, it’s tough, because you don’t have time to ride out stock market volatility. Do you just have to suck up low rates on savings? We look at options for compromise.

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2 minute read

Our Junior ISA tips for International Children's Day

Isn't every day International Children's Day? Technically, no - it's today. A handy moment to review how you’re saving for your little dears and look at closing and transferring old Child Trust Funds if you have them.

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3 minute read

GIRLpower

Yesterday, City heavy hitter and impressive she of massive metaphorical shoulder pads Helena Morrissey launched the GIRL fund from Legal & General. More formally known as the Gender in Leadership UK Index fund, this will basically invest in the top 350 companies listed on the UK stock exchange - but in disproportionately small amounts, or indeed not at all, if they don't hit gender diversity targets

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2 minute read

Is the female investment knowledge gap real?

The 'knowledge gap' is often wheeled out as a key reason women don't invest as much as men. The research, however, proves that often women actually do know as much about investing as the men do - they just perceive it differently. Is the knowledge gap all in our heads? We talk to Sarah Coles, from Hargreaves Lansdown, about how they've answered this question.

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2 minute read

Strategies for managing financial stress

Money may not buy happiness, but a lack of it can certainly make you miserable. In November 2016, 31% of employed people in the UK listed financial issues at the top cause of stress. We can’t manufacture money out of thin air, but we can treat it in ways that keep stress levels down.

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3 minute read

Ethical Investing Starter for 10: Performance

Ethical investing appeals to 29% of British adults, but we've heard the same question over and over from users - if I invest in a more ethical fund, can I expect lower returns? In this series of posts, we'll look at the facts and offer some real answers on the pros and cons of ethical investing.

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2 minute read

Ethical Investing Starter for 10: What counts as 'ethical'?

How do you define an 'ethical' fund, then? What should investors be looking for? We break it down in a few quick and easy points, and give you some recommendations.

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2 minute read

Ethical Investing Starter for 10: Which fund should I choose?

Choosing an ethical fund to invest in isn't easy - they're called different things and listed in different sectors. We've assembled some of the best ones here to help you choose.

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2 minute read

Everyone gets the state pension, right? Wrong.

For International Women's Day, we're zooming in on financial issues that affect women. If you’re a woman, sadly there are more reasons you might not get the state pension than if you’re a man.

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3 minute read

What's next for women and money?

We know more about how women think about money than we ever have. We challenge financial brands to take these facts to heart, take a deep breath and go back to their communications.

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4 minute read

Should I stay or should I go?

Every investor has been there. You’ve bought a fund which has unhealthy amounts of red next to it and is falling behind. When do you call it a day and move on? This question is being asked a lot right now about Neil Woodford’s flagship Equity Income fund.

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3 minute read

The stock market, how risky is it?

Here's a question. Do you know how much you could lose in the stock market in any one year? 10%? 50%? All of it? The torrents of jargon and processions of graph-pointing men in Savile Row suits mean that most of us don't really know the answer to this question. But we're not inclined to ask the question in case we look daft. Or get a pompous reply which makes zero sense.

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3 minute read

6 top tips for new investors

Women typically hate the idea of investment risk more than guys. But this means we tend to hug cash which does guarantee one thing – over the long-term, our money isn’t working as hard for us as it could be.

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3 minute read

Which ISA suits you?

Stuck on which provider to choose? See who we rate. An edited version of this piece was published in the Mail on Sunday on 19th March 2017.

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5 minute read

How to find the right DIY pension for you

We wade through the SIPPs on offer and pick the best for different investors.

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1 minute read

Wary Women case study: Rowena

Rowena Macdonald, 41, is an author, creative writing teacher and works part time at the House of Commons. She wants a bit more financial security.

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3 minute read

Women make better investors than men!?

So why do just 1 in 10 British women have a stocks & shares ISA? Risk. Affordability. And not knowing where to start.

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20 minute listen

Podcast: Tips from financial planner Anna Sofat

In the second of her new podcast series, Holly talks to Anna Sofat, a financial educator and mentor.

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1 minute watch

Sky News: Holly wants women to be confident investing

Holly feels many females run for the hills just hearing the words Stock Market.

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