Example essay

Weekend Essay: My First Year at Money Marketing

April 12 marks my first year at Money Marketing. As time passes, I still remember the first story assigned to me, which was a Defined Contribution Annual Bonus (MPAA) study.

I had absolutely no idea how I could wrap around an article on a subject I knew nothing about. A year later, I’m still unable to define precisely what the MPAA is.

The good news is that I’m not a financial adviser so I don’t need to explain this in detail to anyone, and I probably won’t be contributing £40,000 to my retirement pot in a single year in the foreseeable future.

I joined the industry at the oddest time, in the middle of a pandemic, although it wasn’t something that particularly bothered me. It’s actually my first job in journalism, which means I have no idea how it was done before Covid-19.

I was also brand new to the financial services industry and the financial world in general at the time of my hiring after successively working in the automotive and defense sectors. Given my previous experiences, there was no suggestion that I would write so much on ESG issues. Life is sometimes ironic.

Essay of the Weekend: A Reflection on ESG

To be honest, I still think I was an unlikely candidate to cover the UK financial advice market. As already mentioned, I have no background in finance, and I have not lived very long in the UK (two years cumulative maximum).

As such, I don’t know British society very well, which can be problematic when you’re covering financial issues unfolding in that country.

Optimists might say it gives me an outsider’s perspective on the financial problems facing Britons. I would say that it sometimes prevents me from perceiving the problems they face when dealing with their money.

There is a recent example of this kind of situation. A few weeks ago, I wrote another weekend essay about the need for basic financial advice to solve minor problems without necessarily using the services of a financial advisor.

I came up with this idea after running into some difficulties while trying to choose the right savings account for my personal situation and whether an ISA would be a better choice.

I was kindly informed by a reader that the most basic financial need for the majority of the UK population is to reduce debt.

I deliberately used the word “inform” because it was something I was not aware of.

Thinking about it, it even starts at a relatively young age. Most UK millennials I know have to pay off student debt.

It’s not a great way to start out in life, as more debt will add up as you go through life.

On the other hand, I do not know anyone in debt in France in my age group.

Finding out how people in the UK manage their money and the financial issues they face is something that I find personally very rewarding in this job. It probably tells me as much about a society as a book or an essay on cultural studies.

One of the areas Money Marketing I find the UK pension system particularly confusing. It shares few similarities with French pension systems or most European pension systems in general.

The destination is the same, securing income for retirement, but the paths to get there couldn’t be more different.

I tried to compare the British and French pension systems in one of my first essays of the weekend.

While I didn’t really give a personal perspective at the time, I think I’ve formed my opinion over the past few months after regularly covering pension issues.

Honestly, I find the UK pension system very difficult to navigate. I wonder how people are doing. Studies that regularly arrive in my mailbox suggest that this is often not the case.

From what I understand, the UK pension system allows for more freedom and personal choice, but risk (and therefore uncertainty) is the price to be paid.

I often feel anxious about my pension plan in the UK. I wasn’t really prepared to deal with it, so I don’t know where to start.

Pensions aren’t my assigned patch, but I’m often keen to assist our in-house expert, Michael Klimes.

Beyond contributing to the content of the publication, it also serves my personal interests. Although it’s often confusing, it’s more or less a crash course for me.

This is probably one of the advantages of this role. I indirectly receive a form of financial education.

I have a rough idea of ​​the dos and don’ts of money, where and how to invest, or what protection products are worth considering.

It’s really a shame that I don’t do anything with all this. At least I’m aware of the things I’m doing wrong with my money. One day I will settle my finances, but that day is not today.

Investing is by far the subject I have spent the most time on. I still have a lot to learn, but I feel like I understand it a lot more than other areas Money Marketing blankets.

I really like that everyone in this industry agrees that a long-term approach is the only viable way to invest, but also comments extensively on how investments might be impacted in the event geopolitical or economic crisis.

Not that I’m complaining about it, it gives me material to write about and often generates fascinating conversations.

I really strive to improve myself as an investment journalist. Admittedly, I have fumbled over the past 12 months, but I hope to improve the quality of the investment part during my second year at Money Marketing.

There is no guarantee that I will achieve this aspiration, but I would like to be able to highlight improvements in April 2023.

One of the many sins I’ve been guilty of over the past year is that I’ve often written about things that interest me rather than issues the advisors would have liked to know more about.

If you’ve made it this far in this weekend essay, I want to acknowledge that advisor feedback and input is valuable and will help me identify issues that matter to them.

Feel free to comment or contact me directly if you have any investment-related question you want to raise.


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