Barbara grew up in Canada and remembers learning about taxes in school. But for her English daughter there’s no such support, so Barbara tries to impart her knowledge as best she can. She says our weekly blog helps!
My relationship with money: "Cautious"
"I’m very cautious about scams and being ripped off. I would never invest in something that I’m not sure about. I have some money in a robo adviser and some peer-to-peer stuff, so as long as I understand the risks and the solidity of the company I’m okay with it."
Passing money knowledge to the next generation
"My mum taught me everything. She was the budgeter in our family when I was growing up and she taught me to be aware of financial stuff. I grew up with the Canadian education system and we learned how to do our tax returns in school. It was good because it makes you more aware of the tax you pay and what it does. But I don’t know that learning about money is the place for school, really – I think it’s something that families should do.
"I talk to my daughter about money – she's in her 20s – and I try to give her the info so she’s on the right track. She mostly listens. She’ll be one of those rare students who has student loan debt but also has savings.
"I think it’s about talking about what’s relevant when it’s relevant. I can get her interested in a help to buy ISA but if you try to talk about pensions she’s not interested. Too early."
What makes a good financial advisor
"I’ve had good and bad experiences with advisors One advisor missed a deadline when moving over my NHS pension, so I lost the employer’s contributions. (He did it pay it back to me himself later though, in fairness.) But then I saw another advisor a while ago and he’s quite good. He’s always given me good advice. So with everything there’s good and bad out there.
"I think it really depends on their confidence. You need to pick and choose your IFAs very carefully, and I think the difference between the two I've seen is that the good one summarises things, gives you a straightforward recommendation, and tells you why he gives it to you. The guy that I had the problem with produced these wonderful 50-page documents but if you ask him a question he has to flip to a page in this nonsense they’ve given you to try and find an answer. Well I can read. If it’s in there I would have read it!"
Listen up, finance industry...
"I don’t want reams and reams of information. If you’re going to give me advice or sell me a product, be able to back it up and be able to discuss it.
"I think the irrelevant information thing is something the whole finance industry is guilty of. It puts a lot of women off, I would say from talking to my few female friends. We’re busy people, working mothers, have a million things going on. We want short, sharp information. Not a whole load of waffle. And I have a law degree so I’m used to reading waffle!"
My biggest money question...
"Right now I manage my own investments, but when I get older and lose it mentally I don’t know what will happen. So how can I plan for that? What should I be doing?"
Answer by Tina Weeks, Serenity Financial Planning
It is great that you are managing your own investments. You might never lose it mentally but just in case I would recommend you put a Lasting Power of Attorney in place so that someone you trust can manage your investments on your behalf when you are no longer able to do so. I would suggest that you leave instructions (while you are still able) explaining to your Attorney how you would like your investments managed.
You might consider at some point, investing in a fund of funds whose make up is that of a diversified portfolio. There are lots of these available. This would mean that your investments don’t really need much management.