'Once women understand money, they do much better than men'

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The Independent Online

Teapots and toy rabbits are the props for the latest double act to attack the stubbornly wide gap in women's financial knowledge. They are the financial commentator and stand-up comedian Jasmine Birtles and the writer Jane Mack, who have been signed up by the financial website, The Motley Fool (www.fool.co.uk), to run workshops for women in central London.

Teapots and toy rabbits are the props for the latest double act to attack the stubbornly wide gap in women's financial knowledge. They are the financial commentator and stand-up comedian Jasmine Birtles and the writer Jane Mack, who have been signed up by the financial website, The Motley Fool ( www.fool.co.uk), to run workshops for women in central London.

"Women are actually very good at dealing with their money once they get the idea," said Ms Birtles. "It's just that we've had so many centuries of being told 'not to worry our pretty little heads about it' that we have a lot of catching up to do. Once women do understand money and investing, though, they actually do better than men."

So great is demand that Motley Fool is having to organise a second money makeover for women next month as the first one next week is so over-subscribed.

Next Thursday a workshop is being held, called Taking Control of Your Money, which will cover everything from taking control of finances to building up wealth and sorting out the means to a comfortable retirement. But that is already booked up, so a second session on similar lines will be held on 19 June to accommodate the extra demand.

"It will be a basic romp through the subject," said Ms Birtles, "from getting out of debt to understanding compound interest – that's where we use the toy rabbits. It's a bit of financial cabaret, really.

"Women need to understand money now more than ever. They generally earn about 80 per cent of what men earn, they usually give up their careers and earning power (at least for a few years) to care for children, they tend to lose out from divorce and the divorce rate is rising, and women generally outlive men but they have much less money invested to pay for their future."

"At the moment, one in three households is a single person and it's estimated that in 20 years' time more than half of the adult population will be living alone. So any woman who's dreaming that her man will look after her in her old age can dream on!"

Information

* Taking Control of Your Money is on Thursday, 19 June 6.30-9pm at The Media Centre, 131-151 Great Titchfield Street, London, W1P 8AE

* The workshop costs £15 and includes a copy of A Girl's Best Friend is her Money, by Jane Mack and Jasmine Birtles (left) (RRP £12.99), and a glass of wine

* Send cheques, made out to the Motley Fool, to The Motley Fool, 6th Floor, 3-8 Carburton Street, London W1W 5AJ

* Confirmation of booking and a summary of the event will be sent by return post, or e-mail (include your name, address, phone number and e-mail address)

* For more information, phone The Motley Fool on 020 7663 3665

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