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Welcome to the third profile in my ‘Investing : a woman’s perspective’ series designed to get ordinary women interested in investing. This week features self-confessed ‘scaredy cat’ investors – frugal lifestyle blogging twins Jo and Leisa from Joleisa.

Firstly, tell us about yourself?

We are Jo and Leisa, twin 51-year-old teachers who live in Birmingham. We are parents to two teenagers and we also foster.

This year we have made the brave move to leave teaching and start blogging full time. We are well aware of the risks so we did put things in place to cover possible eventualities. The profession is in such a state at the moment so we are always in demand and can take up a temporary part-time position if we want to. We are homeowners so we have to be wise with our decision making in this regard.

We both believe we are scaredy cat investors.

What investments do you have? What are your goals for your investments?

We both have cash ISAs but have not yet ventured into using any other investment tools. This is the year though.

How long have you been investing for? What made you start when you did?

In Jamaica, where we originate from, we participated in some fixed deposit investing with the banks. We would first save up a lump sum of money from salaries, or selling farm produce, or rental income, etc. The deposit would be kept by the bank for a pre-arranged period of time.

Investing quote - investing presents exciting opportunities that should not be missed

We would usually save it for a year at a time and then either reinvest the total including the profit made. We kept this going until we had saved up enough for the deposit on a house that we had our eyes on.

How did you decide what to invest in/research your investment(s)?

Up until recently, we had never really researched anything regarding investments. But thankfully, a bank worker pointed out one day that we shouldn’t be satisfied with the measly amount we were getting as interest on our savings, so we should consider fixed deposit savings.

We think more should be done by the banks in this regard.

Has your attitude to investing always been the same or changed through your life?

We are definitely wiser now and can say we have learnt a lot from the members of the UK money bloggers group.

Recently I received a lump sum from the tax man and asked for advice about investing it. I was really pleasantly surprised that some of the ladies took the time to encourage and support my decision and giving suggestions as to what I could do. I was impressed that they gave genuinely of their knowledge and I will be forever grateful for that.

I have since read a lot (I find that this is necessary so that you understand the pros and cons of each option). My research helped me to cement in my mind that we are both scaredy cat investors!

So we have both decided to go with investing where our initial deposit is protected but where the likelihood of making some money on top of it, is not guaranteed. We’ll take the risk and see how it goes for us this year.

If you have children, do you invest for them and if so, in what?

We both paid into cash junior ISAs for our children. By setting up a direct debit, we were able to pay in a set sum of money at the end of each month for several years.

Well, one has just returned from Thailand and Australia; he turned 18 and cashed in his ISA. It’s almost all gone now. We would not have been able to pay for this once in a lifetime trip all in one go, so it was money well spent. Do I think he could have saved it for longer instead? Sure! But I also like the idea of giving them their options and letting them make their choices. In a few months, the girl will be 18 so it will be interesting to see how she uses hers. Do check back!

What advice would you give to someone who says ‘I don’t know where to start’….

It is quite understandable to be scared at the outset. After all, we are not wired with all this information.

Not only that, we hear so many stories of people who have lost out big time with their investments, that it is surprising to not be at least apprehensive. Give yourself time to read up about the different investment options available, and then be purposeful about making a decision that you will live with. Some are riskier than others, and you might just surprise yourself.

Investing presents exciting opportunities that should not be missed.


Previous profiles in the ‘Investing : a woman’s perspective’ series have featured award winning journalist and money blogger Faith Archer and social entrepreneur Jennifer Kempson. Do check them out if you haven’t already.