Martin is a Chartered Financial Planner, Fellow of the Personal Finance Society and SOLLA Accredited Later Life Adviser at Informed Choice, the award-winning firm of Chartered Financial Planners in Surrey. He is also an established media IFA, writing regularly for a variety of trade and consumer publications. He’s been named Best IFA Individual, Best Social Media IFA and Best Blogger of the Year at the Unbiased.co.uk Media Adviser Awards.
Martin’s specialties include investment research and advice, care fees planning, Financial Planning, financial services marketing, social media, pensions technical, trustee investment advice, retirement income options, trusted independent financial advice, ongoing investment portfolio management. Away from the office, he is a father to three young children and regular volunteers for various community groups, and loves the Great Outdoors.
How did you get to become an expert in personal finance?
It was always inevitable I would end up in the world of personal finance. My parents Nick and Andy ran a firm of Independent Financial Advisers, so dinner table conversation from a young age would include investment allowance. I had work experience at their firm during the summer holidays and, when I graduated from University, joined the graduate training programme at a large life assurance company. A couple of years later, with some real-world experience and professional qualifications under my belt, I joined the family business and haven’t looked back since!
What areas of personal finance are you most passionate about?
I’m passionate about helping people form a better relationship with money and remove the stress that is so often associated with making important financial decisions. I guess my main areas of interest have focused on living a fulfilled retirement and managing financial issues in later life, especially around care fees planning. Rising life expectancy is a global mega trend and we are seeing growing demand for advice in areas around longevity and money. It’s also a fascinating subject, with constant improvements in medical science and technology creating some very exciting prospects for the future.
Which personal finance influencers influence you?
I’m a big fan of several personal finance gurus. In the US, I follow Dave Ramsey, who has a no-nonsense and very fatherly approach to financial planning. Here in the UK, I’m inspired by Pete Matthew and the work he does with Meaningful Money, educating the masses to improve their personal finances.
Outside of personal finance who else influences you?
I’m a natural creator, so I’m influenced by other creators in a range of industries. My go-to influencer on YouTube is Casey Neistat, who I’ve been following since he started daily vlogging. I’m still keen to become a regular YouTube creator myself, but can never seem to find the time. Also on YouTube, I’m a big fan of Gary Vaynerchuk and his entrepreneurial flair. It’s been inspiring to watch Gary as he builds his media agency, Vayner Media, and it’s inspired me to start by own creative agency and publisher, Bamford Media, as a separate venture to our firm of Financial Planners. I listen to a lot of podcasts, which is my other source for finding influencers. Lewis Howes is definitely an inspiration for me, with his School of Greatness podcast. Finally, I listen to Tim Ferriss a lot and read his books.
How would you describe your offline influence?
Online channels have become so important, but it’s important not to neglect offline channels. I spend a lot of time volunteering in our local community, making a huge number of connections with influential people and prospective clients in the process. I regularly volunteer at our local parkrun event, which I helped to establish in the village, and recently became chairman of a charity which is responsible for 60 acres of new public parkland, with a substantial budget to complete this project. Also in offline terms, I’m part of our local Chamber of Commerce committee, helping to organise networking events, and I chair our local In Bloom group too. I don’t get much time to watch television or sleep!
What are going to be the key developments in the industry in the next 12 months?
The personal finance profession is always changing, which is one of the factors that makes it so interesting. It’s hard to predict what will dominate the headlines in this space over the next 12 months, although I suspect we might see a return to previous levels of investment market volatility, which can make investors nervous and gives us an even bigger role in helping them to stay the course. We’re also expecting to see greater regulatory intervention in the market, to prevent a repeat of some of the historic mis-selling scandals around pensions.
If a brand wanted to work with you, what activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?
I’m incredibly open-minded when it comes to opportunities for working with other brands. Podcasting is my first love, so any chance to be interviewed or interview for our podcast is very welcome. I’ve also contributed to whitepapers before and enjoy doing this. Public speaking is, I’m afraid, something I’m not that keen to do – although I am gradually getting less nervous about this!
What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?
Email is always best – firstname.lastname@example.org