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Holly, 40

Like so many people, Holly finds the money side of life a bit overwhelming. It’s too complicated, too diverse, too important to get wrong. But, thankfully, she’s found some reliable shortcuts...

My relationship with money: "Overwhelmed"

"I feel like there’s so much I should be doing but I don’t know where to start. There’s so much pressure to prepare for old age and choose the right pension and investments and it’s just like arghhh just tell me what to do and I’ll do it!"

I'm so glad they make you take a pension now!

"I’ve always had a job since I was 13, but when I was 22 I signed up to the police and they had a pension ( and that kind of forced it on me. I think if I went to another company at 22 I wouldn’t have the pension because they wouldn’t have made me. But I’m glad they did, and now I would always go into the company pension. I sort of realised quite early that although I earn a decent salary it’s not going to be enough.

"It’s tricky, especially as some of my friends are having kids and are distracted so aren’t really getting on top of things. I became really, really aware that you have a partner or a husband but what if they died or left? You need to be able to look after yourself and have your own pensions."

Robo advisers make investing second nature

"I invest with a robo adviser, Wealthify. I set it up, it was really easy, and now I barely even realise I’m doing it. It really hasn’t been a stressful experience, even though my money goes down sometimes. 

"It’s just like health. When you go on a diet you start paying a bit more attention to your wider health too – how you’re exercising as well as eating and whatnot – so I’ll now read more about stocks and shares and whatnot too. So I definitely recommend starting with something simple like Wealthify and then go from there. You only need £1 to start with. Others need you to have £500 to start with and that’s too much if you just want to dip your toe in and try it."

Finance industry, make women feel invited too

"I don’t know whether I internalise that men are interested in finance and money and it’s not for women. But even if you look at the websites it’s all just pictures of men. Where’s someone talking to me? I know it’s changing but you feel there’s this implicit thing in society that says it’s for men.

"If you don’t have family support or people encouraging you then it just wouldn’t be a world you engage with or feel you’re entitled to engage with. Feels like that’s not for me. Sometimes you feel like you have to be given permission.

"I hate to do gender separation but women get brought up in a different way and have different things to think about, so we do have a different approach"

My biggest money question...

"I’m interested in ethical investing but my robo adviser does it all for me. Am I investing in the tobacco industry? I just don’t know. How can I tell where my money is actually going?"

Answer by Cleona Lira, 2plan Wealth Management

I'm glad you picked a robo adviser that offers this option as I understand not all do.

You could ask your robo adviser how to locate this information via an email or calling their helpline and they should be able to guide you to more information easily. Also, you can always Google ‘Trustnet’ and the fund name/names to find an abundance of readily accessible information.

On the overview page of Trustnet, reading the ‘fund objectives’ and the ‘top 10 holdings’ will give you a good idea. If you like detailed research, scroll down to the bottom right and ‘literature and downloads’ will give you a lot more information. Hope that helps!

+ Holly Mackay's view

By Holly Mackay, CEO of Boring Money

Using a robo adviser is still quite a new way to invest and the screening can be quite complicated behind the scenes. You should be able to phone them or email a request to see the detailed investments held in this portfolio.

I looked at the Wealthify website for you and it says in their factsheet that they do not invest in tobacco. So your investment does tick that box and is happily fag-free!