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Q&A: Discus’ Abbie Knight

Q&A: Discus’ Abbie Knight

Personal finance should be part of the curriculum. If you have that understanding from a young age then you are going to make better and more informed decisions later in life.

You can never start [learning about personal finance] too young. By the time you leave school you should have a thorough understanding.

People need more guidance to make informed decisions. There needs to be more advice given to clients reaching retirement age.

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Everyday in the UK, 2,000 people reach retirement, which is staggering. They need help and support to make sure they make the right decisions.

Robo advice can complement what advisers are currently doing – I do not think there is a threat of robo advice cannibalising adviser business models. A robot will never have empathy, trust and true judgement, and that is what clients are paying for when they get advice.

I believe the RDR (Retail Distribution Review) was a good thing. Most of the clients I have worked with over the years already had a very good pre-RDR business model. There was a whole host of other businesses that the RDR forced down that road to make them better.

I have been delighted with the increase in women coming into financial services. It is a great job for a woman, particularly in regard to being a financial adviser. It is a great time for women to get into the profession, and we are starting to see that.

If I had any spare cash right now I would hand it over to an expert to make judgement calls on my behalf. Or my husband, who is an equities analyst.

If you are a publicly listed company you have a responsibility to your investors. I do not think a business should be driven purely for the commercial benefit of the investors – it should be for the greater good of the business and should not always be for a profit incentive.

The people in charge should be managing the business in a way that they see fit. That is doing the best thing by their consumers.

My best investment to date was buying a ticket to fly to London to become an expatriate. I consider myself to be British. I have British children, have set up home here and intend to be here for a whole lot longer.

When you are making a really big life-changing decision, the question you should ask yourself is ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ I do not want to wake up in 10 years and wonder ‘what if’ and then think I missed my opportunity.

Turning up in London with no friends, no family, no job and nowhere to live, with just a suitcase, a CV and the name of a few headhunters was the scariest thing I have ever done. But it was the best decision of my life.

When I was younger, I wanted to be an entrepreneur. It was not by design; I worked in the corporate world for a number of years and then came to a juncture in my career that ended up getting me into entrepreneurialism. I have thrived in that environment and will continue to do so.