|Kirstie Allsopp shares her financial thoughts with the Telegraph.|
|Monday, 21 November 2011 06:31|
This is a fascinating article published in the Telegraph, November 2011. Kirstie Allsopp shares her financial thoughts with the Telegraph. She talks about her financial decisions, work ethic and attitude to money.
Kirstie Allsopp, 40, is the popular television presenter of shows such as Location, Location, Location and author of several books, including her newest release, Kirstie Allsopp Craft. She splits her time between London and her cottage in Devon with her partner Ben and their two children, who are five and three.
How did your childhood influence your work ethic and attitude to money?
My parents' work ethic had a great impact on me. Growing up, I knew my mother did work, but it was always in the background so it didn't impact upon us as a family.
As a young child I understood what daddy did [Charles was the chairman of Christie's auction house] and I was very proud of what he did. I knew what a serious and involved job it was and I found it very strange that there were kids at my school who didn't grasp what their parents actually did for work.
My parents taught me that working can redeem you, sometimes in the most difficult situations, and that by getting up and going to work, you can get through it.
As we lived in the countryside it wasn't feasible for me to have a Saturday job when I was younger, but as soon as I was old enough I was helping my dad at Christie's. It was never expected of me to go to university and, say, become a doctor because I didn't come from that sort of professional background.
In fact, while my parents taught me the importance of work, my mother probably assumed I would be like her and get married and have children. In the nicest possible way, she supported my father in his work, looked after us and then did something she found interesting. What money she did earn went towards her own clothes and our holidays.
Have you ever wondered how you were going to make ends meet?
Are you more of a saver or a spender?
That's a really difficult question. I believe in buying property so I'd say I was a conservative spender. In the current climate when inflation is higher than interest rates, what on earth is the point of putting it in the bank?
I do love children's clothes even though with boys your choice is somewhat limited. Before the children, I used to love buying shoes, but now I get immense satisfaction from wearing things I've had for years as I take good care of them or recycle them into something new.
What's the hardest lesson you've learnt in your career about money?
Luckily, I haven't had any dramatically hard lessons, but I think that's in part due to me being a fast learner. In this world, if you don't learn fast from your mistakes before they develop into larger problems, you die. And I think knowing the importance of manners in every aspect of your life pays pidends, as you'll get respect if you give it. That's why I'm a great writer of thank you letters and why my kids know how to do introductions with proper eye contact and genuine smiles.
Is there anything about the business world that you don't like?
I rail against the fact that 30 years ago one in four newspaper stories were positive and now only one in 18 stories are. This constant bashing and negativity is not healthy for the country and we're becoming desperately pessimistic.
I'm also frustrated that we've got to the point where children are leaving school not understanding a mortgage, compound interest, basic budgeting and credit. How can they be taught about every single world religion and not know how to function in the real world? Schools need to put a real emphasis on home economics, so they're competent at sewing, balancing their money and cooking on a budget.
What's been your best buy or business decision?
About seven years ago I was at a property auction and I'd been guided as to what my top bid should be. But the bidding in the room was so furious I recognised that the property was worth a lot more than I'd been told it was, so I went well above what my recommended top bid was and the property is now worth so much more than what I paid for it.
You need to be able to gauge quickly what other people are willing to pay for something and figure out why that is. I love buying things at auction – I wish all property was sold this way.
I'm also trying to teach my boys to question the value of things they want. I was recently down Golborne Road [near Portobello Road] with my son, Bay, who collects paperweights. One of the marketeers (who I all know) quoted him £5 for three paperweights and Bay turned to me for his money, but I said to him: "Bay, why don't you check that it's really £5 he needs as there are only three? Are they actually worth more than £1 each?" Judging the value of something can be hard but you have to question other people politely when they state their opinion.
If you're willing to compromise and buy quality second-hand you can pick up great bargains. We've got this amazing fridge in our London house that should be worth £4,000, but we only paid £750. How did I do it?
In areas where property prices have remained high, there is a more frequent renovation rate as they tailor décor, fixtures and fittings to their taste, and as a result they chuck out perfectly good things.
Have you ever had an investment not turn out as well as you'd hoped?
The flat I bought before I moved in with Ben. I was determined to buy something my dog was happy in and there weren't many flats with gardens for a decent price, so I paid over the odds. I can't believe I bought a flat because of the dog; putting pets before sensible financial choices is crazy.
How do you prefer to pay for things – cash, or debt or credit card?
I use my debit card. I do have a credit card, but I'm not even sure where it is right now. It's an American Express card because it's linked into BA miles and I love collecting them. I've got enough now so that Ben and I can go to India in March.
How do you tip?
I'm an easy tipper. I was actually surprised when I heard that statistically women were worse tippers than men. In fact, I'm probably an over-tipper, except when I was in New York recently and apparently the norm is 20pc, so over there I'm not such a great tipper!
How do you feel about investing in stocks and shares?
I can't even get my head around it and never have been able to. I think property is still a lot safer because while you can't control the overall market, you can still do a lot to buck the trend and you've certainly got more control over its value than you'd ever have owning stocks and shares. I can't imagine buying shares in a company where one person's actions could cause chaos.
Do you bank online?
Yes, I do. I feel totally comfortable. I even like the fake emails because they are so funny, especially seeing as I don't use any of the banks that I keep getting emailed about.
Do you use a financial adviser?
I don't, just my accountant. I don't see the need for anyone else.
Do you think pensions are a good idea?
The bank is desperate to sell me one, but I don't have one because of the nature of my work and I trust the property I own. Every single time I've been tempted to change my mind, something has happened in the market which would have had a negative impact on the unit value. I mean, how safe would it be to buy an annuity with the Bank of England just printing more money?
What's your financial priority for the next few years?
My priority is to work on brand development and empire building, while looking at the opportunity cost of my time. I've got a book deal, a range of homewares, and my shows. For me financially, it's about getting to a place where I have a range of things available with my name on it that I have control over.
But at the same time my priority is to look at each day of the year and say "How much is this day worth to me? Do I really need the money and be away from the children?" While the children are young, I really have to question how I spend my time.
Kirstie is launching National Antiques Week at the Winter Fine Art & Antiques Fair, Olympia on November 14. Vote for your favourite antiques shop at homesandantiques.com
Article Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk
Quote this article on your site
To create link towards this article on your website,
copy and paste the text below in your page.
Kirstie Allsopp shares her financial thoughts with the Telegraph.
Monday, 21 November 2011
© 2017 - Home and Gardening Articles
Powered by QuoteThis © 2008