Sunday, 30 March 2008

Pinkonomics – they’re after our daughters!

Well done Eleanor Bailey for alerting us all to the Tyranny of Pink in Saturday’s Guardian.

Marketing people have decided the road to a girl’s pocket is paved with pink. So as soon as your daughter is old enough to express a consumer preference, she’s wooed into believing that the only colour she wants to wear, sleep in, play with and cuddle is pink. The subliminal message here is there is ‘only one way to be feminine’, and it’s by surrounding yourself with all things puke – I mean puce. How can we encourage uniqueness and incite individuality when faced with such a dearth of choice?

We’ve no idea what the cover of Sheconomics is going to look like when it comes out next January. But Simonne and I have been researching the female-orientated book market. And guess what? Yes, you’d think the world of publishing had been taken over by Barbie. They’re all pink. We know Headline will wave its fairy wand and come up with a fab cover for Sheconomics. Let’s just hope they spare us our blushes.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Calories and salaries

Quick Sheconomics question.
What do spending and eating have in common?

Well, people get fat when they put more in than they take out (calories).
And people get into debt when they take more out than they put in (salaries!).

Simple, huh?

Get the equation right and we've solved the obesity crisis and the credit crunch in one fell swoop. Except that the consumption of both calories and goods isn’t under the strict control of a sensible, rational fund (or bun) manager! There are all kinds of emotions that can hijack the balancing act and throw everything into chaos. That’s the bit with which Sheconomics is concerned.

My current research is asking people who think they might have a less than firm grip on either their feasting or their finances (or both) a few questions. It’s just a quick survey and your views would be much appreciated. Click Here to take survey

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Simonne asks....

...why is it that the money pages of weekend papers are often hidden in the business section?
If you’re not that interested in businesses, you may easily chuck out that section and with it something that could be useful.
The money pages of quality newspapers often have best-buy lists - with the best mortgage and savings deals – and articles that can help you become more financially astute and take better responsibility for your money.
How about setting yourself a challenge to read the money pages next time you buy the weekend papers? You never know, you may even enjoy it!

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Simonne says you can put ISA funds on hold

A client of Simonne's was keen to invest in a stocks and shares ISA before 6 April but didn’t want to be pressurised into making the investment choice by then. (She’s got some other money to invest and will be getting investment advice later on in the year but she’s not ready just yet). Simonne told her how she could get around this by investing the £7,000 in a Maxi stocks and shares ISA with a discount broker like Hargreaves Lansdown ( and temporarily holding the funds in cash. They let you do this while you choose a fund for your ISA. If you then get advice about which fund to choose you can switch funds with them or transfer, free of charge, to another ISA provider of your choice. It’s a bit cheeky if you intend to transfer elsewhere but it’s a good way of holding open £7,000 in an ISA wrapper which you would otherwise lose if you don’t invest by 5 April.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Simonne has a slightly scary fact to share.....!

Today is “debt freedom day” (according to independent financial adviser website
This means that it has taken the average Brit up to this point in the calendar (70 days) to earn enough to simply service the interest payments on their personal loan and credit card debt. And that’s without reducing it.
Scary huh?
What’s even more scary is that it’s 39 days later than last year when debt freedom day was 1 February (31 days). This is a quick and shocking reminder of how long it takes to start actually paying off debt.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Today is International Women’s Day
Women's achievements are today being celebrated all around the world.
That’s no bad thing, especially if it inspires other women to aim high. Sheconomics is about helping women achieve their true financial potential. Earning what they are worth, and standing up to the persistent pressure-to-purchase, is what we believe will help women reach their goals.

Friday, 7 March 2008

From Simonne

Plans for a new national money guidance service
We’re delighted that plans for a free national money guidance service were recently published.
Otto Thoresen, the head of financial services at Aegon, published his final report yesterday setting out the blueprint for a service to help consumers develop the knowledge and confidence to make better decisions about money issues.
His view is that good money sense needs to be as much part of people's lives in the twenty-first century as healthy eating and keeping fit. He said a free, national service would help people to budget, save and borrow, plan for retirement and understand the technical jargon used by the financial services industry.

It’s great that finally consumers will have professional impartial support through the financial maze without the fear of being sold a product, and it won’t just be available to those who can afford to pay for it.