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March 8, 2022

Bev Shah: Peaking behind the ISA curtain

On International Women's Day, our guest blogger is Bev Shah, founder of Cityhive and Independent Non-Executive Director of The Big Exchange. Bev shares with us her own experience with getting started on her own investment journey

‘This week, on International Women's Day, our guest blogger is Bev Shah, founder of Cityhive and Independent Non-Executive Director of The Big Exchange. Bev shares with us her own experience with getting started on her own investment journey’

I thought investing was for people much older than me, or aristocrats

Whenever I think about my future, I dream about going around the World with my husband and taking up creative hobbies I have seen other people enjoy on television. Of having no mortgage and being free to do what I want when I want. Of spending quality time with my children and hopefully their children (and handing them back!).

I suspect most people do this and probably have a better imagination then I have about what they would do in their retirement. But the dreams are only one half of the equation. How many people stop to think about how they will pay for this? My career in the Square Mile as an Investor started over two decades ago when a female investor was an exception rather than the norm.

Saving and investing never felt warm

Even though I should have known better I too am guilty of neglecting my own financial health. Putting off until tomorrow what I should have been doing today. Because thinking about building my own wealth by saving and investing didn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I thought it was for people who were much older than me or oligarchs and aristocrats.

But that’s not true. Building wealth by investing your savings is for everyone. This is how you protect your financial future and achieve those dreams.

So, what galvanised me to start to look at my own financial health? As a working mother of 2 young kids, I have an infinite and ever-growing task list and knees buckling from the weight of a hefty mental load. Like many women I am juggling more elements of life than are visibly on show and I rarely feature high on my own priority list. So, during lockdown while scrolling through Instagram at everyone living their best life, I realised I needed to priorities myself with some self-care. Something more drastic and permanent than the yoga retreats and juice diets being pitched to me. I realised many of the things weighing me down were related to unconscious worries about money and the future. I decided I needed to be brave and look at financial health. Something I had always been nervous to do.

The unconscious worries about money and the future

Who wants to peak behind the curtain? What I found was better than anything I could have imagined – not a million quid stashed away - but an easing of my unconscious worries. My mental health improved dramatically because I had created the foundation that I needed to enjoy other aspects of my life. By being brave I was able to plan how I would go about achieving my dreams. As someone who loves a bargain - 2for1, BOGOF, duty free - I decided to become a regular ISA saver because it is one of the few bargains HMRC has on offer to everyone. No fancy tax lawyers, or loopholes required. I don’t worry about maxing it out – I put in what I can afford to and still buy coffee and have a Netflix subscription.

A recent study by the global Investment Management firm BNY Mellon from that only 27% of women in the UK feel confident about investing but research has also shown that when women do invest, they tend to outperform men. So, for those of you who don’t have 10000 hours of experience (what we need to apparently be an expert in subject) you can equip yourself by engaging with platforms such as Rainchq or Vestpod who are looking to arm women with the knowledge they need to build wealth.

Investing can be risky but isn’t the biggest risk actually is not taking any action?

Please remember that when investing, making money is not guaranteed and your capital is at risk. The value of your fund can go down as well as up. Tax treatment depends on an individual’s circumstances and may be subject to change. The Big Exchange (TBF) Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Big Exchange Limited. The Big Exchange (TBF) Limited is an Appointed Representative of Resolution Compliance Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 574048). (6769)

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