Blogs to watch (part 27): Young Money Blog

Blogs to watch (part 27): Young Money Blog
22 April 2022

Investing isn't taught at school, and most young people have no one showing them how to manage their overall finances. That's bad not just for them, but also for their parents.

"How can I teach my daughter to manage and protect our family wealth when I am not around anymore?", is the type of question my readers regularly ask.

Help is at hand, thanks to Iona Bain, her Young Money Blog and various other channels she is present on.

Who is Iona Bain?

If you live in the UK and have any interest in investing, you will likely have come across Iona Bain already. Bain started writing about finance for young people in 2011 and is regularly featured across national media as "the UK's go-to voice on millennial money".

I recently read her latest book "Own It! How our generation can invest our way to a better future".

With both the parents and my younger readers in mind, here are a few reasons why you might want to follow her work.

1. Offering broad advice

Many blogs aimed at a younger audience focus on budgeting, deposits for buying a house, or investments in the cryptosphere.

Bain does cover all of that, too. However, she also looks into aspects such as:

  • Investing in equities.
  • Active vs. passive funds.
  • Alternative assets.

It regularly irks me that most people – young and old alike – don't understand that a stock which is trading at USD 10 can be cheaper than a stock which is trading for USD 1.

There are several chapters in Bain's book that cover these important areas of growing and protecting wealth in a way that makes them immediately comprehensible to any newbie.

2. Not being woke

Millenials are often thought to be using their money as a form of activism, with buzzwords such as impact investing, ESG and green investing popping up all over the place.

As Bain rightly points out:

"These are complex aspects in a world where things are rarely black or white."

Bain's work has a level-headed, balanced approach. A refreshing surprise in our polarised world.

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3. Addressing millennial-type problems

Let's be clear, the younger generation does have its own set of challenges when it comes to investing:

Their parents' generation voted for the politicians who have piled up unprecedented amounts of debt, destroyed interest rates, and further inflated the housing market through restrictive planning laws (as Bain explains in one book chapter: "How QE slayed millennials"). Or at least, that's how they see it (and I struggle to disagree with them). As a consequence, what had worked for their parents will not necessarily work for them.

To get young people interested, having another young person speak to them about the problems their generation faces is in itself really valuable. Bain is in the same boat as her readers, but she also takes an optimistic view combined with a can-do approach. Check out her long-read 2 April 2021 article in the Financial Times: "Young people, their money and how all is not lost".

4. Shattering myths

This point ties in with the previous point, but it's still worth a separate mention.

Bain's work shatters long-established myths, or at least, questions them critically. Case in point, the whole notion of investing in real estate as an asset class with a guaranteed life-changing return. "You can't lose with property", and all that jazz.

Her analysis of the subject is much more realistic and in tune with the times. "Own It! How our generation can invest our way to a better future" has a section about "rehabilitating renting" which comes to a more nuanced conclusion:

"Buying my first home was one of the best decisions I've ever made. Having a stable home in London has given me a real professional edge. …. However, the bottom line is that home ownership is a perfectly valid aspiration, but not at any cost."

E.g., in the great age of entrepreneurship that we live in, it could be more advantageous to invest in your own business rather than owning a home. Bain's work looks at all of these aspects, instead of repeating truisms.

Available across different channels

It's not just parents that ask me for advice on how to get their children interested in investing, it's also young people wondering how they can make a start. Despite my "10 pieces of advice to younger investors", I never felt I had a truly comprehensive answer ready for them.

Now I do!

I'll be recommending "Own It! How our generation can invest our way to a better future" as the go-to resource for young people who are at the very start of their interest in investing. I've read it back-to-back and found it a comprehensible, interesting, and even fun almanac of everything you could possibly want to know (and more). And I fully agree with Bain's "eight golden rules" at the end of the book!

You can also get a LOT out of Bain's blog, www.youngmoneyblog.co.uk, which covers a wide range of subjects. Some of the articles will be too UK-centric to be of interest for non-UK residents, but there is also a broader archive so you are bound to find some useful material.

You can also catch Iona Bain through social media channels (Twitter and Instagram), as well as through her regular appearances in (mostly British) media, which are also shared via the blog and social media.

With so much on offer for no or low cost, it's an information resource that anyone can easily make use of. I like bloggers who are generous with their content, and Iona Bain's work gets a big thumbs up from me.

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How to get access to all capital markets in the world at once

Once you've mastered your first steps towards managing your own wealth, you might want to look at international investment opportunities, too.

With 100,000 (!) publicly-listed companies around the world, there’s really no need to limit yourself to your home market!

Here are two very simple solutions to help you get access to all the world’s capital markets at once.

How to get access to all capital markets in the world at once

Once you've mastered your first steps towards managing your own wealth, you might want to look at international investment opportunities, too.

With 100,000 (!) publicly-listed companies around the world, there’s really no need to limit yourself to your home market!

Here are two very simple solutions to help you get access to all the world’s capital markets at once.

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