Sunday, 31 January 2010

How to think like a rich person

1. Put a high value on yourself and the world will meet it. Cultivate a sense of worthiness.

2. Focus on where you’re going. The rich have clear-cut goals that steer their every activity and decision.

3. Don’t be a stock-botherer. Invest and let alone. If you constantly monitor investments you’ll over-react to market instability.

4. See mistakes, setbacks and failures as part of life. It’s how the high-achievers learn and grow.

5. Believe that abundance is a natural state for you. Let your inner reality create an image of yourself in limitless terms.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Shopping as foraging and colour-blind men

Shopping as foraging psychology? It’s fascinating.

Our female gathering ancestors had to forage for ripe fruits and check its colour, smell and texture.

And a few hundred thousand years later there am I using the same finely honed skills in Anthropologies on Regent Street today.

That’s why more men than women are colour-blind.

No kidding.

The genes for colour vision are located on the X chromosome, so women have an extra copy to compensate for deleterious mutations.

That’s also why women are more sensitive to hues containing pinks, reds and yellows than men. They’re the colours that correspond to ripening fruits and vegetables. And, coincidentally, look good in cashmere too ;o)

Thursday, 28 January 2010

We're tweeting!

When I first heard about Twitter I found myself muttering things like ‘How ridiculous’ and ‘It’ll never catch on’ ....

until I realised I sounded a bit like my gran when decimal currency was introduced.

So I’m now eating my words and big lumps of humble pie and tweeting away – and it’s a phenomenon!

And it’s OK to ‘follow’ someone and no, that doesn’t make you a stalker.

So here’s me

And Simonne is

come and join us...

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Podcast about Women Investors now live!

I did enjoy talking to David Kuo at Motley Fool about
(maybe he was trying to wind me up just a tad...but I didn't take the bait...much ;o))

It's now live as a Money Talk podcast so have a listen.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Reasons to be loyal – and not

Women are big on loyalty. Sometimes that’s good for us. Other times it isn’t.

(image David Palmer)

Reasons to be loyal:

  • when someone criticises a colleague behind their back, it’s good to stick up for them
  • when your best friend’s going through a tough time, even if she forgets your birthday, stay in there
  • when no-one likes your husband’s Boris-Johnson-lookalike hair style, you think he’s gorgeous

Reasons not to be loyal

  • when you repeatedly get crap service from your bank
  • when the credit card you pay off every month doesn’t reward you (in cash back, points, air miles or similar)
  • when the introductory bonus deal on your savings has run out and been replaced by a paltry rate of interest
  • when the value of your endowment policy has dwindled to a teeny fraction of what it promised to be

So whereas women are loyal to their loved ones, it doesn't always pay to be loyal with money.

And maybe that’s why more women than men lose out.

Ali Hussein’s article in the Sunday Times today - on how some insurers, energy and savings providers actually punish loyalty is quite an eye-opener!

Friday, 22 January 2010

The receipt's in here somewhere...

Is sorting out your finances a daunting thought? Do you dread having to manically search through all those bills, old receipts, bank letters and unopened statements?

How we deal with our paperwork says a lot about our attitude to money.

That’s why I love Allison Mitchell’s ( two-minute tip today:

"Don’t put it down, put it away"

Apply Allison’s tip to all your finance paperwork from now on – it’s a good step towards stress-free money management (and sheconomical smugness)!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Are you a Multi Mum?

Everyone knows women are good at multiitasking.

Cooking dinner, soothing a sobbing child, cleaning the oven while doing a bit of brain surgery? It’s second nature to us, and especially to working mums with the skills to manage both tiny tots and top executives (some would say they’re the same).

If you’re an ace juggler and have managed the transition back to work after having kids, my friend the Thinking Woman’s Coach Jessica Chivers would love to feature your story in her new book, Mothers Work.

Share your experiences and read how others managed.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Do you have the money gene?

So asks Anna Moore in YOU magazine today, with the tantalising notion that some of us have it and some of us haven’t.

Nice idea but when it comes to money management, our learned behaviour trumps our genes every time. Why’s that good? Because learned behaviour can also be unlearned. Restructuring your own DNA is a darn sight harder.

I’m quoted in the article a lot, particularly commenting on Kerry Katona’s dire financial circumstances.

I admit I had to be told who she was. Then again, I never let lack of knowledge stand in the way of having an opinion.

If only she'd read Sheconomics...

Friday, 8 January 2010

Staying in's the new going out.

Where I live in Herts is like a frozen wasteland at the moment. There's so much snow that I haven't left the house for days!

That's not as desperate as it sounds.

I had papers to write and have got lots done without interruptions, holed up in one room, not quite wearing fingerless gloves and sipping cabbage soup but nearly, feeling a bit like Anne Frank (but with friendlier neighbours).

I did manage to force my husky dogs out to the post-box, to send the five winners of signed books their prizes for helping with research.
Thanks Nina, Nicolette, Janet, Debbie and Alisoun!
Hope you enjoy the books, not just Sheconomics but the latest one 'The Do Something Different Journal: 100 Ways to Shake Up Your Life' by me and Professor Ben Fletcher.

If you've taken part in our research surveys in the past, a big, warm, thermal-lined thank you.
We'll run further competitions soon and who knows, we could be digging Postman Pat out of a snow drift and pointing him in your direction soon!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010


This week the media have been dipping into Sheconomics for solid advice - see us on motley, in Oprah's magazine 'O', in Times on-line and Cosmopolitan to name just a few......

Check out our fail-safe tips for a sheconomical 2010 on or read the extract below......

Want to be better with your money? Answer the questions that Karen and Simonne have devised below. If you answer ‘yes' to any of them, take note of the tips and put them on your 2010 to-do list.

1. Are you financially immature?

We think we're grown-up, running a home, holding down a job. And then a money problem comes along and our inner child is unleashed. It's a common problem with women and it can stem from being over-protected when young, or from naively believing things will just work out somehow. The first step to being financially savvy is to be in charge of your money. Make financial independence your goal this year.

Tip: Find out about what you earn and what you owe. Sign up for online banking and monitor your finances regularly. Open bills and statements as soon as they arrive and deal with them.

2. Are you secretly scared of money?

Money is an emotionally loaded topic. Lots of women have fears about money. They can remind us of the doom-laden warnings from our parents. Or can be triggered by the technical language and jargon used by the finance world. Fear stops us taking action, so resolve to be ahead of the game this year.

Tip: Break big goals down into small, manageable steps and take one action now. Own up to the gaps in your knowledge and buddy up with someone who knows. Visit a plain speaking, friendly money website regularly, such as Or talk to a financial coach. If you want to empower yourself - find out how compound interest works (see

3. Do you have a shopping habit?

Shopping has become the way many women regulate their emotions. Research for found that women use shopping to cheer themselves up, relieve stress or anesthetise themselves against painful emotions. That heady buzz from spending quickly wears off though, leaving only feelings of shame and guilt. Resolve to get high on life, not high on shopping, this year.

Tip: Know why you shop when you do. Spend only when you need the goods, not the buzz. Find alternatives to shopping that boost mood, like exercise, cooking for friends, dancing or gardening. Deal with your emotions, don't take them shopping.

4. Are you afraid to ask for money?

Women are still paid less than men and are far too reluctant to ask for money. If you undervalue yourself then you will be under-paid. Watch your self-limiting beliefs. Just because you hated maths at school doesn't mean you shouldn't have money. And working your socks off doesn't necessarily mean you'll get rewarded. Payback is more likely if you're upfront and ask for it. Be bolder this year. That includes negotiating for better deals and refusing to pay for bad service.

Tip: Ask for what you're worth and don't be fobbed off. Prepare your case and be proactive. If you've hit an earnings barrier, consider moving. If you're self-employed make sure your rates reflect what you're giving and the time you put in.

5. Are you a ‘live now, pay later' person?

Most women today will out-live the men in their lives. Many will also out-live their own savings. What will you do when you can no longer earn money? The earlier you start putting money away for your dotage, the less it costs you. If you haven't begun, resolve to make a gift to your future self this year.

Tip: If your company has a pension scheme, join it now. Or find out about pension options. Pay yourself first: automatically divert a set amount from your account into a savings or pension scheme every month. Confused by all the options? Just remember, doing nothing is the worst possible option.

6. Are you spending more than you earn?

Being financially savvy isn't about what you earn, it's about what you keep. Salary creep is when our spending rises with our salary, and even overtakes it. Aim to save 10% of your salary consistently. Be ready for those unexpected expenses (the boiler blowing up, car repair, job loss or even pregnancy) otherwise they'll plunge you into debt.

Tip: Track your spending for a month and plug the leaks. Shop around for the best deals on your mortgage, utilities, mobile phone etc. Deal with debt now. Seek help if you're in too deep (see for free counselling and assistance). Cut up your credit card until you can afford to pay it off in full every month. Have an emergency cushion equivalent to three months' expenses.

For more tips see, or read Sheconomics­­ by Professor Karen J Pine and Simonne Gnessen, published by Headline, price £7.99.

Win a copy of Sheconomics - we've got 10 copies to give away! Stay tuned for our Sheconomics money webchat with Karen and Simonne later in January.

Article appeared on 31.12.10

Friday, 1 January 2010

Sheconomics Tip Sheets

Happy New Year!

If one of your resolutions is to gain a few pounds (that's £££s) and put your finances on a fitness regime, we've got the perfect solution.

Our new Sheconomics Tip Sheets deal with everything from asking for money to curbing the urge to splurge. There are ten in total and they're the ideal toolkit to see you Sheconomically through the next decade.

Download the Tip Sheets from here.