Adam Piplica The Singing Paraplanner on blogging, simple finance, and running live events – MAF169


On the show this week is my guest Adam Piplica, intriguingly known as, the Singing Paraplanner.

We talk about how Adam set up The Magical Penny blog, how he’s training to be an financial adviser and the Money Life Live event he hosted which aims to keep finance simple.

Welcome to episode 169  of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Adam Piplica The Singing Paraplanner on blogging, simple finance, and running live events - MAF169

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • Why jargon confuses potential customers
  • Why Adam set up his blog, The Magical Penny
  • Adam’s transition from blogger to financial planner
  • How Adam became “The Singing Paraplanner”
  • Why he hosted his own live financial services event
  • Whether Adam would run another conference and what he would change

Who is Adam Piplica?

Adam started his blog, The Magical Penny, not long after he left university, following his decision to learn about finance and the stock markets, something he knew nothing about.

He found that most of the online information was targeted to the US market, which often didn’t apply to the UK. He started carrying out his own research so he could make some investments.

After successfully investing during the recession, the blog was a way to talk about his own experiences and encourage others to invest too, in a simple way. This led to him writing for MSN Money and other online publications.

Summary of our chat

Adam found that the financial services industry uses a lot of acronyms. This is confusing for a beginner. He also found many of the terms online related to the American market, such as index funds, which are known as ‘trackers’ in the UK. He decided his blog would help to clear up some of the confusion.

He set up The Magical Penny blog to share what he’d learned about investing and to encourage others to take an interest in finances too. The blog started making money within three months, when people asked to submit guest posts, links and articles.

Adam found that his readers were asking him questions about investing that he didn’t feel able to answer. He met bloggers doing what he did who were also qualified and therefore able to give their readers the help they needed, so he decided to train to become a financial planner.

Adam describes himself as the “Singing Para-planner”. A paraplanner is someone who helps financial advisers do their job. He’s also a semi-professional singer, taking singing jobs to bring in some money while he transitioned between careers. He still sings part-time, as a soloist and in choirs.

Money Life Live, his event, came to Adam in a dream. He designed it as a live event for people who weren’t financial experts to learn more about investments. Having got so much from conferences, Adam wanted to use his event to inspire attendees to find out more.

Adam’s event inspired people to take action with their finances and think more about investing. Although it was a lot of work, it was a huge success, and he would like to run another event in the future. It was a valuable learning experience, and it’s good to follow through on ideas.

One Thing Adam Would Like Listeners to Take Away

Believe in yourself! Adam decided to become a financial adviser with no experience apart from DIY investing, but believed he could make it happen. It’s been a journey, but try to make a bit of progress each day. Don’t give up and not stay motivated.

A marketing campaign or product that grabbed Adam’s attention

Adam loves a mobile phone app called Money Box. It gamifies putting money into an ISA. It sends you notifications to prompt you to spontaneously put some money in – people buy things on a whim all the time, so why not save in the same way?

www.moneyboxapp.com

Adam’s book recommendation

Adam likes Carl Richards, particularly The Behaviour Gap. He’s interested in how humans think and why we do things, and what influences how we behave. Carl Richards captures that, and helps you realise you’re not as in control as you think, so you need to work to beat that.

Links and contact details

If you enjoyed – Adam Piplica: The Singing Paraplanner on blogging, simple finance, and running live events – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes.

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Lars Kroijer on the truth about hedge funds, demystifying investments and why you can’t beat the markets – MAF168


On the show this week is my guest Lars Kroijer, an author and former hedge fund manager.

We look at the truth about hedge funds, the content Lars creates to help demystify investments, and why it’s wrong to believe you can beat the markets.

Welcome to episode 168  of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Lars Kroijer on the truth about hedge funds, demystifying investments and why you can’t beat the markets - MAF168

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • Why there’s a misperception about hedge funds
  • How Lars’ second book came about
  • Why Lars recommends index tracker investing
  • Why investing needs to be viewed as a long game
  • Why most people can’t beat the markets
  • What readers have learned from Lars’ book

Who is Lars Kroijer?

Lars is Danish. He’s been in England since 1999, and spent a decade in US before that.

He worked as an investment banker and hedge fund manager, setting up his own fund in 2002 and selling it in early 2008. He still sits on the boards of multiple funds.

His wrote his book to show the real version of the world of hedge funds and investment banking. Most of the other books, the media and popular culture portray hedge fund people earning and losing billions or buying Ferraris. After its success, he wrote another book, which led on to a series of videos on demystifying investments.

Summary of our chat

Lars says that TV shows such as “Billions” gives people the wrong impression of hedge funds. That the manager is a criminal, but because he’s rich and charming he gets away with it. It reinforces media stereotypes. So Lars wrote the book to show the reality of smart, hardworking, ethical people in finance.

Having experienced both sides of investing, Lars decided to write about how the average person has a minuscule chance of beating the markets. He believes many advisers or financial experts won’t tell people not to spend their money on beating the markets. So he wrote the book to make people realise it’s almost impossible to consistently beat the market. So what are the alternatives?

Lars doesn’t recommend evidence-based investing, and says people are better off with an index tracker. Most people will struggle to make the right investment choices, and it’s not a good idea to think you’re smarter than everyone else and you can beat the system, because it’s not easy to do.

People need to see investments as a long game. On average, over a long period of time, you will do better buying an index tracking investment.

In ‘Investment Demystified’, Lars says he wasn’t making a definitive statement about whether markets can be beaten or not, but that each individual has to decide if they can beat them. Most markets can’t be beaten, but it’s important to know which group you’re in, because it’s expensive to try.

Lars says that readers of the book have realised that they need time to learn about investments. Read the Financial Times and pick the right investment manager. This can be stressful when they’re also making decisions. Choosing an investment tracker instead and not trading it saves people a lot of time.

A marketing campaign or product that grabbed Lars’s attention

Lars has been following TransferWise, Revolut and similar products. The founders are young, tech-savvy people making traditional banks seem stodgy and old by making currency exchange cheaper or offering pre-paid credit cards without exchange fees. We all incur massive bank transfer fees but most people don’t know about them, so they’re challenging that.

Lars’s book recommendation

Lars says he has been reading a lot of books on AI (artificial intelligence) and enjoyed ‘Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence’ by Max Tegmark. If you embrace his arguments, then AI really matters, and it makes you think about the impact of the rise of computer-driven intelligence and what that means for our lives.

Links and contact details

If you have an investment-related question, Lars suggests posting this on his YouTube channel, so he can answer it more broadly and everyone can benefit from the answer. Search for ‘Lars Kroijer Investing Demystified”.

Read Lars’s book.

If you enjoyed – Lars Kroijer on the truth about hedge funds, demystifying investments and why you can’t beat the markets – please leave a comment or a review on iTunes.

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Don’t Fear Social Media in your Marketing

Some companies, particularly in regulated industries like financial services, still fear using social media in their marketing.

Or using social media at all.

I recorded a podcast about this over two years ago but I still get the same questions asked of me by clients today.

In this short video I look at why some companies have a problem.

And I have one big tip and a giant cup of coffee to tell them it’s time to stop being afraid.

It’s all to do with how they perceive social media platforms.

If they see them simply as another promotional channel then they’ll naturally treat each Tweet and each post as a promotion or advert. That means full compliance with the regulations.

They don’t want to risk breaking the rules so they shy away from social media.

But if you use social media for what it is, a social interaction. A two way conversation. An engagement. Then the regulation problems go away.

Don’t promote stuff. Just have a conversation.

My top tip is this.

“Don’t push product. Just point to great content”.

If you do that, you’ve no reason to fear social media.

Did you enjoy this video? Please subscribe to my YouTube Channel right here.

If you enjoyed this episode of Marketing and Finance TV – Don’t Fear Social Media in your Marketing: Even if you’re in financial services – please share it with your friends and colleagues. You can use the social media share buttons just below.

Don't Fear Social Media in your Marketing: Even if you're in financial services