Money Talk profile interview

In: Uncategorized

10 Dec 2012

This is a profile interview I did in November for Headline Money; a service for financial journalists.

This week, freelance journalist and author Daniel Ben-Ami describes himself as outwardly calm but inwardly anxious as a deadline approaches, says he’d prefer it if regulation could be kept to the ‘minimum necessary’ when it comes to overseeing the UK’s financial services industry, and suggests that, when it comes to saving money, it’s worth swerving financial advice from journalists.

According to my business card, my official job-title is: I have no job-title. I’m keeping my options open.

The main areas of the financial services market that I cover are: Investment, economics and polemics.

The biggest influence on my career as a finance hack so far is: Some of my former colleagues at Investment Adviser.

The best news story/feature I have ever written about the financial services industry is: Those leading up to the publication of my book on the financial markets, Cowardly Capitalism.

Laid back? Fractious? Describe yourself as a deadline approaches: Outwardly calm, inwardly anxious.

The headline I would most like to see in the finance pages is: “Bank of England loses independence”.

Light-touch or heavy-handed? If you could choose, how would you regulate the UK’s financial services industry? The minimum necessary.

As a hack, the item or gadget I could not live without is: My smartphone.

I would describe my relationship with financial PRs as: Sceptical but amicable.

Away from financial matters, the column/feature I always read is: Anything on

I would invest a £500,000 windfall in: I’d take time off to write another book and engage in other related projects.

Here’s a tenner. How would you gamble it? Fruit machine/horse race/scratch card/other? The Euromillions lottery.

The most memorable freebie I have ever been on while covering the subject of finance is: Several days at a conference in Ethiopia.

The freebsie to which I would most like to be invited is: An investment tour of China.

If I had a coat of arms it would include: I already have one. It’s an abstract image by Lyubov Popova I use for my Facebook profile.

And the motto would say: De omnibus dubitandum (doubt everything) although I also like Prandere humanum est (to lunch is human).

My guiltiest pleasure is: Plain dark chocolate. At least 70% cocoa solids.

If I was invisible for the day I would: Snoop on the snoopers inside the MI6 building.

My most treasured possession is: Life.

My top money-saving tip is: Never take financial advice from journalists.

You won’t know this, but I’m very good at: Go (a Japanese board game).

You won’t know this, but I’m hopeless at: Changing duvet covers.

I would sum up myself in five words as: Less serious than first appears.