Sue Townsend on money, motherhood and wealth; What's so wrong with lattes; Rent it out; Think rich; Superstitious stock picking; Big bad bankers

By Amanda Morrall

1) Rags to riches

Remember the Adrian Mole series? The secret diary chronicled the trials and tribulations of a 13 year old boy. It was a life changer for author Sue Townsend. Not quite to same extent as J.K. Rowling, but with millions of books sold worldwide, Townsend no longer has any concerns about money. In this interview with Telegraph's Richard Webber, Townsend talks about growing up poor, life as a struggling single mother and her philosophy, approach and management of money today. It's an excellent read. I was interested to read that she no longer invests in shares, doesn't use a financial advisor and trusts very lightly.

Fans of Adrian Mole will be interested to hear that Townsend is working on the10th book in the series; Adrian at age 45 coping with austerity in recession hit Britain.

2) Talking their language

Ex financial journalist Nicole Lapin quit the media to start up her own business. It's called 'Nothing But Gold' Productions and is a quasi financial advisory outfit geared to Generation Y.

Lapin, in this interview with US News describes the gap in the market for sound, relevant and accessible financial information and content for younger Americans.She seems to have struck gold with the concept. Rather than recycle the usual cliches and advice, ie. Cafe lattes bad, saving for a house good;  Lapin focuses on bigger ambitions and studies the habits of successful young Gen Y entrepreneurs and the importance of going for gold rather than just whining or wishing for it.

3) Rent it out

Extra income doesn't have to be hard work. This guest blog from describes one man's gains from renting the spare bedroom out.

4) Think rich

Psychology plays a key part in personal finance. Most importantly, you need to understand your relationship with money so you can modify or reform your behaviour. This piece from CNN Money looks at some strategies for mind control and wealth creation.

5) Superstitious stock picking

You've heard of sin stocks I'm sure? How about a "Superstitious Fund?"

Using breakthrough trading technology, Shing Tat Chung, a recent graduate of the Royal College of Art in London, conjured this crazy idea; which he describes as a cross between a performance art project and a mutual fund.

The fund is comprised of a basket of stocks selected on the basis of "stupid human superstitions'' for example the avoidance of the number 13 and moon cycles.

Chung in this interview with the Wall Street Journal, said was he was inspired partly by word of a London trader who makes bets based on which direction the nipples of the daily bikini model are pointing on Page 3 of the British tabloid newspaper the Sun.

Page 3 girls still exist? What year is this?

And a bonus item spotted by our banking and finance editor Gareth Vaughan; a compilation of quotable quotes about banksters from the Economist's A-Z business quotes  series. 

“I am just a banker ‘doing God’s work’.”
Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs (1954–), quoted in the Wall Street Journal, May 2010

“Mr Victim, I’m glad to say that I’ve got the go-ahead to lend you the money you require. Yes, of course we will want as security the deeds of your house, of your aunt’s house, of your second cousin’s house, of your wife’s parents’ house, and of your grannie’s bungalow, and we will in addition need a controlling interest in your new company, unrestricted access to your private bank account, the deposit in our vaults of your three children as hostages and a full legal indemnity against any acts of embezzlement carried out against you by any members of our staff during the normal course of their duties … no, I’m afraid we couldn’t accept your dog instead of your youngest child, we would like to suggest a brand new scheme of ours under which 51% of both your dog and your wife pass to us in the event of your suffering a serious accident.”
John Cleese, comedian (1939–), “Merchant Banker”, Monty Python sketch (British TV series, 1969)

“Perhaps it is one secret of their power that, having studied the fluctuations of prices, they know that history is inflationary, and that money is the last thing a wise man will hoard.”
Will Durant, writer (1885–1961), The Lessons of History (1986)

“The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled.”
John Kenneth Galbraith, economist (1908–2006), Money: Whence It Came, Where It Went (1975)

“Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale.”
Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Taylor

“The old saying holds. Owe your banker £1,000 and you are at his mercy; owe him £1m and the position is reversed.”
John Maynard Keynes, economist (1883–1946), Treasury Papers (1945)

“One rule which woe betides the banker who fails to heed it
Never lend any money to anybody unless they don’t need it”
Ogden Nash, poet (1902–71), The Face is Familiar

“Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.”
Mayer Amschel Rothschild, banker (1744–1812)

“Bankers – pillars of society who are going to hell if there is a God and He has been accurately quoted.”
John Ralston Saul, aphorist (1947–), The Doubter’s Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense (1994)

“The modern banking process manufactures currency out of nothing. The process is perhaps the most astounding piece of sleight of hand that was ever invented … If you want to be slaves of the bankers, and pay the cost of your own slavery, then let the banks create currency.”
Josiah Stemp, former governor of the Bank of England (1880–1941), address at the University of Texas, 1927

To read other Take Fives by Amanda Morrall click here. You can also follow Amanda on Twitter @amandamorrall

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Ah manflu has weakened my mental powers as I can't find the CNN money link.

My apologies. Not your manflu, Amandamnesia instead. Should be there now but in case it isn't here it is below"