I am post-divorce with a good settlement which I have only partially invested. I completely empathise with the masculine nature of the investment market. I am very new to it and am working hard to understand the jargon and concepts. I am concerned to make sure that I invest the balance with an emphasis on income generation. Are there any courses you can recommend? I have sat in a number of meetings with accountants and financial advisers feeling somewhat patronised! I am sure that there are plenty of women in a similar position to me (aged 55!).
Nice to hear from you.
Sorry to hear about your situation – divorce is always more cumbersome than I think anyone anticipates.
Your question is really interesting to me as you are so right – you are not alone. We are weighing up ideas at this end about how to help this very specific need – and audience. Actually it’s also women in their 60s too which is a fairly recent development.
I do think a financial adviser would help – you can just pay for a block of time and see someone to talk through this stuff. You don’t have to sign up for life!
We consulted our friendly, non-patronising financial adviser Patrick Connolly of Chase de Vere. His view was that you would need to have realistic income targets (sadly, 3-4% is the norm now), and be willing to take a bit of investment risk. He believes the best approach is to use a range of different investment funds in order to spread risks. This is particularly important for income investors if they are relying on the income to maintain their standard of living in retirement
He recommended building a portfolio on three main pillars:
You also need to think about how to protect the income your investments earn. Firstly, if you hold funds in an ISA, the income will be tax-free. Consider using your £20,000 allowance each year to shelter as much as you can. Also – and this is a more complicated point – you also have a capital gains allowance every year, so it is worth considering some ‘growth’ investments as well. However, this is very much adviser territory and will depend on your specific circumstances.
As for courses……………..I don’t know of any which have been recommended. The Pensions Advisory Service is a free Government helpline which takes general questions but won’t tell you where to invest. You will notice that newer schemes such as peer-to-peer lending don’t appear above. Be cautious of these. They promise high returns, but there is no such thing as a free lunch and all that! And make sure you have enough in a cash buffer to tide you over if markets head south for a bit – you only lose money when you are a forced seller in sliding markets.
I hope that is a temporary partial help and you have inspired me to pick up discussions about running workshops/webinars for the 1000s of women in your situation.
Thanks and I hope it all works out,