14th August 2015 at 2:38pm
Ask the experts
In the first of our regular ‘ask the expert’ series, we put pensions expert, Jamie Jenkins, Head of Pensions Strategy, on the spot to ask him questions about life, work and money.
What advice would you have given your younger self when it came to savings?
My first job (other than a £3.50 a week paper round) paid £4,500 a year, and this was a pretty decent income. Instead of making do, I got a credit card so I could buy things sooner. While it never got out of hand, it didn’t really help me manage my money and I got used to spending before I became properly used to the cost of living – which some research suggests you don’t properly understand until you’re in your 30s.
If you were on a desert island, what’s the one thing you’d take with you that you really couldn’t live without?
My David Bowie music collection, especially the early stuff such as Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust. I don’t think anyone should go too long without reminding themselves of just how good that was. Oh, and water.
Who’s the one person who’s had the biggest influence on you, outside of your family?
David Nale, my high school English teacher and tutor. He taught his classes in a way that was engaging and even the least well behaved pupils took notice and showed some respect as a result. I think he made the difference – for many people at the time – between a decent set of results and a dropped core subject.
When were you at your most nervous in a work-related capacity?
The first time someone handed me a microphone to ask a question at a big industry conference. I remember wondering why my hand was shaking, thinking that it must belong to someone else.
Nowadays, you can’t keep me away from a microphone.
Outside finances, what was the best piece of advice you were ever given, and have you managed to live by it?
‘A dog called HERO.’ It stood for ‘Event + Reaction = Outcome’ and the simple philosophy that life is full of ‘events’ and it’s how you react to them that has most influence over the outcome in each case. It was about understanding that you have control over your life, usually more than you think.
I never could remember what the relevance was of it being a dog’s name, nor what the ‘H’ stood for, but neither has evoked a negative reaction.
Let us know what you think
We’ll be posting some more ‘ask the expert’ content in the near future so keep checking back on the News and MoneyPlus blog.