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Carole Haswell DipPFS talks finances with women

Ballet? But I’m not a girl!


Carole draws a parallel between the number of boys who choose to do ballet and the number of women attending a recent Investment Forum


Waiting for Daughter number two to finish her dance class the other week, I overheard a conversation between a mum and someone else’s son. Clearly this little boy had been dragged along for his sister’s drop-off ride and was in no mood for small talk. He was, nonetheless, being asked if he thought he would like to have ballet lessons, too. Incredulous to the point of downright bluntness, the young lad looked at the so-called grown-up like she was beyond stupid and told it like it was:

“I’m not a girl!”Read More

Should we fix it?


Carole shakes off the slob monster to prepare for a visit by the Sorting Fairy – who convinces her to employ hindsight to an investment in fixed-term deposit accounts


I am writing this from the no-man’s-land that is the space between Christmas and new year and using the occasion to make two predictions. First, I predict that in the next day or two those around me are going to start using words like Dry January, Veganuary, Gymuary (I made that one up) and Januhairy (google it), while I smile encouragingly and marvel at how convincingly they have become Captains of their own Destinies. (For the benefit of any doubt I should make plain that I have never been remotely tempted to commit to an alien regime just because the month has changed. Not only that, but who wants to be a cliché when it all comes tumbling down long before the month changes again?) My second prediction is that I am about to be visited by the Sorting Fairy.

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Lists, votes, sprouts and student loans


As Carole drowns in her Christmas lists she asks daughter Miranda to write the bulk of the blog for her and is reminded of how the big stuff in life requires effort and learning


I am literally drowning in lists this time of year. I’ve heard that some people have Christmas spreadsheets and charts and printed address labels and probably digital turkeys for all I know. But I have lists. Not even tidy ones, but sprawled, spidery lists on torn-off scraps of paper that litter the kitchen in a decent attempt at a fake snow storm all through December.


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When even Health and Safety thinks you’re being too cautious


Carole considers the conundrum of risk and concludes that, when it comes to pensions, gin might be the answer


Those of you who regularly read the financial industry trade press will have eagerly devoured the words of wisdom on the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Retirement Outcomes Review, which….. STOP, WAIT! Come back! I was only kidding – of course you don’t. Who in the name of Regulation does that?


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Do we trust our child with their Child Trust Fund?

Carole draws a line on helicopter parenting somewhere between stealing raisins from the cupboard and taking control of the Child Trust Fund


We have a story in our house that does all the describing required to understand the character of our youngest. Aged not quite three, she bumbled into the kitchen one afternoon and purposefully dragged one of our ludicrously heavy dining chairs from the table all the way across the floor to the cupboard where the raisins were kept. Oblivious to the presence of me and my husband she clambered onto the chair, arms and torso first, and teetered on the tip of her toes to open the cupboard door. Arm extended to the max she gave it her best shot before exclaiming in a slightly disappointed, but nonetheless resigned, voice to no one but herself:


Oh, I can’t reach. I too little.”


And with that, she dragged the chair to the table again and bumbled back into the other room where a number of toy engines were waiting to take the plastic giraffes to the seaside.


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What, this old thing?

Carole muses over the relationship between financial control, responsibility and hi fi equipment


(or The Abrogation of Responsibility. Snappy, huh?) 

It’s Saturday night and you’re about to enjoy a night out with The Girls. Significant Other is schlepping around in another room waiting for you to be absent so that something dark and incomprehensible can be watched on TV. You calculate your dash down the stairs, the hop, skip and a jump across the hall to where your coat is waiting for you and the swift exit that will follow on the cheery note of “Don’t wait up!”. But, on this occasion, unfortunately, the time it takes you to do up those coat buttons has been just about long enough for an observant partner to clock how you look and comment on it.

“You look nice. That a new top?”Read More