Ask the experts: All about money with Jenny Holt

Image of Jenny Holt Head of Investment Solutions Ask the experts

News & Insights

Jenny Holt

9th October 2015 at 3:53pm

Here is the latest in our ‘Ask the experts’ series.  In this instalment, we catch up with our very own Jenny Holt, Head of Investment Solutions, talking about a range of subjects from compound interest to what Jenny values most in life.

1. What advice would you give your younger self when it came to savings? And are you a saver or a spender?

Keep at it! When I was young I was a really good saver and used money from weekend and holiday jobs to save for larger items. Unfortunately, during my early twenties I discovered credit cards and my savings habit fell by the wayside for a period until I met my husband who taught me the error of my ways!

I don’t regret all of my credit card spending as it helped fund the travelling I did and some amazing life experiences along the way; but I could have saved a lot of money in interest payments if I’d taken a more disciplined approach.

Now I try to plan ahead and save for larger purchases. It might mean waiting longer to have what I want but costs less in the long run.

I still use credit cards but I usually pay off the balance in full each month.  There’s a great Albert Einstein quote that applies here: “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.”
“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.”

2. What’s the worst money mistake you’ve made?

Tying into a five-year fixed mortgage deal in 2007 just before interest rates dropped off a cliff.  That hurt.

3. When people find out what you do are they tempted to ask you financial questions or seek advice?

Yes, sometimes.  But I just tell them about the fixed-rate mortgage disaster and they soon change the subject!

4. What do you value most in life?

I know that everyone says this, but my family.  Having children puts a lot of things that happen during your working day into perspective.  Seeing them learning new things or experiencing something for the first time is amazing.

5. Who’s the one person who’s had the biggest influence on you, outside of your family?

A cowgirl called Carole Horn.  I stayed with Carole and her husband Jack on their ranch in Colorado one summer while I was at university.

Carole is a real tough cookie.  She had a hard upbringing, helping out on her parents’ ranch as soon as she could walk and walking miles to get to school each day.  After she married, she refused to hang up her boots and juggled five kids with full-time ranch work across three different ranches and two states at one point, a lot of the time struggling just to make ends meet.

Despite the hardships, Carole’s outlook on life is resolutely positive and she has a genuine passion for meeting, learning about and helping other people. (Apparently I was not the first person Carole had welcomed into their home over the years!)  In recent years, Carole has used some of the proceeds from the sale of part of their ranch to set up several scholarships and trusts to help young Coloradans with their education.  A truly inspiring lady.

6. If you were on a desert island, what book would you take with you?

‘How to survive on a Deserted Island’ by Tim O’Shei.  I have no idea if it’s any good or not!

This blog and any responses to comments should not be regarded as financial advice.

Join the conversation

Join the conversation and follow us on twitter @StandardLifeUK and Facebook and share any thoughts or questions you have after reading Jenny’s responses above.  Or, indeed, give us any themes/people that you’d like to see us speak to in up and coming ask the experts features.