Written by Karen Bryan
Introduce yourself and aims for your blog/site
I’m Adam Piplica, a 25 year old writer from Leeds. My aim with Magical Penny is to educate and encourage young people in their 20s to start investing and growing their pennies to take advantage of the magic of compound interest over time.
Why did you set up your blog/site?
I set up Magical Penny in 2010 after discovering that none of my friends had any idea on saving money for their long term future. Whilst at university a few years before I had begun reading about how ordinary people with average incomes had built vast fortunes by investing in the markets and I couldn’t wait to get started. I didn’t have any money at the time but it didn’t stop me reading and reading and reading.
Upon graduation I started working and started saving a little every month that would eventually go into my first investment fund in October 2007. Most of the information I could find about investing was USA-centric so when it came to creating an investment portfolio for myself it was a little complicated and confusing to find the British equivalent, but I eventually worked it out and was on my way.
I was telling all my friends about how amazing the stock market is for growing money over time. Then the market ‘crashed’ (I made my first investment right at the ‘top’ of the market in October 2007!) and the value of my investments fell, month after month. But, honestly, I wasn’t discouraged. I knew that for a young person like me, it was an excellent time to keep buying…I would only lose money if I sold and I had always intended this money to be for the 2040 version of me.
But for many of my friends, the ‘credit crunch’ made them even more sceptical about the stock market and they felt justified in their belief that the markets were just one big roulette wheel.
Over the next few years I kept on investing and discovered how empowering it could be to know I was building a solid financial foundation. Magical Penny became a place for me to share my enthusiasm about the markets, as well as writing about the psychological component of saving money.
Which three financial tips would you like readers to take away from your blog/site?
My three tips that form the core of Magical Penny philosophy are:
1)Start saving SOMETHING today. Even if you don’t think you have any ‘spare’ money (no-one has ‘spare’ money), just put the smallest amount away somewhere and then try to keep up the momentum every time you get paid. After a few months of consistent saving you’ll feel like a saving ROCKSTAR and you can begin to increase the amount you save as you exercise those saving muscles.
2)Read more about investing: the internet has opened up a world of information. You can go from totally uninformed, to well informed about any topic quicker than at any point in human history. You don’t have to be a computer or finance whiz to learn the basic mechanics of investing and start growing your pennies.
3)Investing in cheap ‘Index’ or ‘Tracker’ funds are better over time than almost all other funds because they match how the whole market performs and have the lowest expenses.
What do you hope to get out of Write on Finance Blog Up Leeds?
Meeting other people who are enthusiastic about 3 of my favourite things will be great: saving/growing money; writing; and internet publishing. Times are changing so fast and we can all learn from one another in these 3 topics.
What advice would you give someone starting a personal finance blog/site?
I wrote the first article for Magical Penny in December 2008 but didn’t launch the site until February 2010. I wanted to be ‘prepared’ before launching but really I was procrastinating. The perfect is the enemy of the good. Just start writing and share what you have learned with the world. Writing a blog has been an incredibly fulfilling experience for me and opened up amazing opportunities that I would never have expected.
Starting on a free platform (like Blogger.com) is good if you want to test the water but if you’re serious about blogging self-hosting is the only real way to go – it gives you much more control and flexibility (and allows you to make some money if your blog becomes popular enough to attract advertisers).
Our interview with Maria Nedeva of The Money Principle, who is also a panelist at the Write on Finance Blog Up in Leeds.
Our interview with Kylie Ofiu, workshop leader at the Write on Finance Blog Up Leeds.
Our interview with Paul Knott author of OUCH!, workshop leader at the Write on Finance Blog Up Leeds.