I learnt all my lessons about finance from my mother.
Not because she sat me down and taught me maths: in fact quite the opposite.
I saw the life she was leading and decided I didn’t want my life to be like that.
You see, she was in an unhappy marriage…a very unhappy marriage.
She didn’t have any money in her own name. She wasn’t an educated woman so she didn’t have the ability to earn a reasonable income.
And so in the days before child support agency she knew that if she left my father she didn’t have the means to support herself and three children.
Effectively, she was trapped.
So I learnt from an early age that money gives you choices. I’m not saying money makes you happy. But potentially it gives you choices which wouldn’t be available to you otherwise.
She said to me from an early age…”Don’t put yourself in this position: don’t be dependent on a man for money. Make sure you get a good education, a good job and can support yourself”.
And that’s exactly what I did.
I’m a chartered accountant, and I’m also a chartered financial planner. I am one of only a handful of advisers in the whole of the UK with these qualifications. I have made a decision to put myself in a very different position to my mother.
I am passionate about changing the way women think about finance. Too many women stick their head in the sand and ignore it. Or…rely on a man to sort it for them. Hence my catchphrase “A Man is not a Financial Plan”.
I’m on a mission to help women feel more comfortable and confident about their finances, so that they are better equipped to make informed decisions about their future.
As I’ve said before, money won’t make you happy. But it may give you choices, so that you can choose the path which is right for you.
And just in case you’re wondering… I do want to emphasise, I’m not a man hating harridan. I am in fact married to Tony and have been for 20 years.
I don’t hold particularly ardent feminist views. But I do believe that all women whether married, single or divorced need to take financial responsibility. Let’s face it, we’re the ones who will benefit most from looking after our finances so if we don’t do it, it’s unlikely anyone else will do it for us.
So if you’re reading this and I’m exactly what you’re looking for, say thanks to my mum for starting me on this path.
Sadly she’s no longer with us having passed away in 2013. So she didn’t get to hear about my service or the book I’ve written and dedicated to her. But I’m sure she knows.
And she’d be delighted that something so good could have come out of her unhappiness.
Thanks mum! You’re one in a million xx
Locations I cover:
I am based at Hampton Court Surrey and cover the general areas of Molesey, Esher, Kingston, Weybridge, Richmond, Thames Ditton, and Guildford. I am also happy to meet with you within most areas of London. I do not insist you travel to meet me at my offices, since I appreciate how busy you are. I’m happy to meet with you at your home, or your office or another convenient spot. I have meeting rooms available in London in the City and the West End.
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7 mistakes women make when getting divorced ...and how to avoid them
I was lost in a minefield of options, and rather ignorant of how the financial world works. Mary was invaluable with advice on what to do, explaining things, so that I understood fully what would happen to my money and investments. Mary was understanding and did not make me feel inadequate needing help. I now feel secure and my mind is put at rest with Mary’s expertise
- Ruth Dellow
Mary listened to what I wanted. I did not once feel overwhelmed with financial jargon or pressurised to go in a direction I did not want to. Mary has high integrity and strives to do her best for her clients because she actually cares about them.
- Caroline Crowhurst
Mary’s advice is so down to earth and straight forward that I feel I am at last getting to grips with my finances. She explains everything without technical jargon and I always know I can ask any question without feeling it’s a foolish question. Her service is absolutely amazing.
- Dr Diane Keith