View more on these topics

Correspondent&#39s week

They say that travel broadens the mind and until now I have had to agree – catching up on the newspapers on the daily commute to and from the Sunday Telegraph was a fine way to do it. However, since leaving the paper and setting up the website with PR doyenne Angela Madden, travel has taken on a new meaning.

I am now no stranger to red-eye flights to Edinburgh and the waiting rooms of Northern railway stations. Note to John Goodfellow, the agreeable chief executive of Skipton Building Society – you really are a lucky chap being able to run a £7.3bn business and still see sheep from your office window but did you know that this poor lady had to take six trains on the round trip to visit you?

As a financial journalist, you can get pretty depressed about how confused members of the public are about finance so the three partners decided to step in and help. The site lets members of the public ask questions about their finances and get an answer in real time from a qualified expert.

We cannot give “advice”as such because of FSA regulations but we can give factual information, point people to helplines or put them in touch with an IFA, many of whom seem to attract new clients through us.

On Monday, it is travel as usual to make a presentation at the Manchester Business School. is being showcased at an evening for local business-people after the site was taken under the wing of the business school, with the backing of Royal Bank of Scotland, NM Rothschild and lawyers Addleshaw Goddard.

I travel back South on Tuesday morning on a pre-dawn train. By Tuesday afternoon, I am finally getting down to some writing for The Independent. Thank you, Bill Kay, for your patience. I would do more work on the train if my rubbish laptop battery lasted more than 15 minutes.

Wednesday evening sees me in St James&#39s at a party given by the very clubbable chaps at Quill Communications – what a lovely bunch of folk.

It is a good chance to catch up with pals such as Tom McPhail and Kerry Nelson and industry luminaries such as Ray Boulger.

Thursday mornings, I spend two hours each week doing IT at my local college. When you are just bashing out copy in Word to email to a distant editor, you do not realise how little you know about what your computer can do.

Anyway, I am proud to say I have passed my European computer driving licence and I have graduated on to Dreamweaver which should stand me in good stead for the site.

Once I have logged out from the college and checked in with webmaster Ed Dias, it is back on the train for me on a dash into town for lunch with two old Telegraph chums who now work for the Mail on Sunday.

I am ashamed to say that it is one of those lunches that almost run into dinner. It is that sort of event that focuses the mind on the joys and sorrows of being a freelance. Pro – you have no office to rush back to and no boss to whinge about your timekeeping (sigh). Con – no expense account (sob) The thing I like about Friday is looking forward to the weekend. This is a new experience after spending more than 20 years on Sunday papers, when Friday and Saturday are the bloodiest days of the week.

Spend some time sorting out flights to Edinburgh for the spectacle that is sure to take place at the Standard Life AGM. I cannot wait to hear what the policyholders have to say about those directors&#39 bonuses.

Standard has brought the meeting date forward two weeks from its usual slot towards the end of April and now its bang in the middle of my holiday.

It seems, because of the awkward timings, that my excursion will be a four-leg, three-day round trip out of Newquay.

Travel may broaden the mind but sadly there seems to be no way of doing it quickly Annie Shaw is a freelance journalist and editor of


&#39Trustees are failing to update their skills&#39

Only 55 per cent of pension scheme trustee boards have reviewed their knowledge of pensions and investment and 65 per cent have no effective governance policy, according to a new study by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The survey of 66 chairmen of major UK pension schemes reveals that many UK pension scheme trustees lack the necessary skills and […]

Lloyds TSB profit before tax up 66 per cent

Lloyds TSB&#39s 2003 results show an increase in profit before tax on a statutory basis of £1.730bn or 66 per cent to £4.348bn from £2.618bn in 2002. However, Lloyds points out that to enable meaningful comparisons to 2002, it is necessary to exclude the gains on business disposals, investment variances, and changes in economic assumptions […]

Chancellor moved goalposts, says Tories

Shadow secretary of state for work and pensions David Willetts says he is not surprised that Chancellor Gordon Brown&#39s estimate of the number of people affected by the lifetime allowance received scant support.He says: “By using the 20:1 factor for valuing benefits against the lifetime allowance instead of a more variable figure, he was always […]

Standard slashes direct salesforce

Standard Life has cut 360 jobs from its direct salesforce and is closing 10 branch closures as part of a radical restructuring programme. The jobs will go from its direct-sales division, reducing the number of staff across the UK from 630 to around 270. The number of direct branch locations will be reduced from 21 […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers. Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and thought leadership.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm