Rodney Hobson on finance writing, crime fiction and avoiding scams – MAF176

Rodney Hobson, finance journalist and creator of the Detective Paul Amos novels is my guest this week.

We talk about how he got into writing books on finance topics, branched out into crime fiction and has most recently been helping people avoid scams.

Welcome to episode 176 of the Marketing and Finance Podcast.

Rodney Hobson on finance writing, crime fiction and avoiding scams - MAF176

What you’ll hear about in this episode

  • Why Rodney specialised in writing about financial topics
  • The parts of financial services that interest him most
  • Why Rodney believes simplicity is important
  • Rodney’s other career as a crime fiction novelist
  • Why he decided to write a book about dealing with scams
  • The biggest financial scam people face today

Who is Rodney Hobson?

Rodney is an author, broadcaster, financial writer and journalist. He’s published several books on investment topics as well as writing a series of murder mysteries featuring Inspector Paul Amos.

He started as a journalist for his local newspaper near Manchester and moved to Fleet Street. He spent several years in Hong Kong and Singapore before returning to work for The Times and The Daily Mail.

He’s also edited Shares Magazine and two financial websites. He likes to tell people he’s at the cutting edge of the 21st century.

Rodney gives lectures on finance, including on cruise ships.

Summary of our chat

Rodney has always been interested in finance, although he nearly went into sports journalism. He wrote for the Far Eastern Economic Review (as deputy business editor) and New Paper in Singapore. He if believes  you’re a specialist, you can do a generalist job, but the same isn’t true the other way round.

Rodney says that he’s most interested in stock markets and investing, particularly the London Stock Market for beginners. Working for national newspapers, he used to get phone calls from shareholders who had no idea how to manage their shares. This inspired him to write a book on the topic.

Rodney says one of the problems that experts in any field have is getting right down to the basics, and don’t give people the information they really need. When he began giving advice, he was careful to start at the beginning and build up from the simple and essential details people wanted.

As a fan of detective stories, Rodney was keen to write one himself. A publisher who wanted a finance book approached him, but he offered them his crime fiction novel instead. He finds he constantly comes up with ideas for more stories, as well as drawing inspiration from people around him.

Rodney’s latest book is about scams. He felt he had to write it because people still fall for scams that the media have already reported on and exposed. His aim was to explain how scams work and classify the different types. He’s disappointed that his advice has mostly fallen on deaf ears.

The biggest scam people face today is fraudulent emails which encourage people to click links. They look authentic and convincing but look for spelling errors and check the sender. Contact the company it’s supposed to be from to let them know. Rodney says fake solicitor’s emails are also a problem.

A marketing campaign or product that grabbed Rodney’s attention

Rodney mentioned a campaign which he dislikes. He feels that there are a lot of adverts on television fronted by a sports broadcaster which are trying to morally blackmail people to take out financial plans in their old age so they don’t leave a burden on their loved ones.

Rodney’s book recommendation

Rodney recommends The Naked Trader by Robbie Burns, which is aimed at a more sophisticated audience of investors than the one he writes for. Rodney suggests people read it after his book to learn more.

Here’s Rodney’s Book of Scams

And this is the first of Rodney’s Paul Amos detective books

Links and contact details

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