Damien Fahy

Fortnightly financial five minutes #1 Damien Fahy, Founder of Money to the Masses

Nigel Yeates, Communications & Stakeholder Business Partner, speaks to Damien Fahy, Founder of Money to the Masses about investing, how to get a grip on your finances, and what he'd do with a windfall.

Can you give a quick introduction to Money to the Masses (MTTM)? What financial areas do you discuss?

MTTM is one of the UK’s largest independent personal finance websites, helping more than 4 million people a year with information and guidance on all areas of investing, pensions, savings, taxation, property and insurance. As the editor, I also host two of the most popular money/investment podcasts in the UK. You can see more about MTTM on our site.

MTTM is set up to help people with their personal finances. As you educate consumers, what are the top three things you would like every consumer in the UK to know?

This year we launched a campaign titled Own it, Fix it, Grow it. These form our three pillars of educating consumers:

  1. “Own it” - where consumers take stock of their current financial situation, including the products and services they have.
  2. “Fix it” - where they then improve all areas of their personal finances, including the products and services they engage with.
  3. “Grow it” teaches them how to begin growing their wealth, which includes information on investing, pensions, and consumer protection rules.

What guidance would you give people regarding the financial firms/advisers they use in the current cost of living crisis?

Make sure that if you engage the services of a financial adviser or use financial products you don’t just focus on cost. It is still important to shop around, but assessing the suitability of a product or service is just as important.

Also, ensure you understand your rights as well as the protection you have under FSCS. A good example is that a lot of people are taking advantage of current account switching offers which can save as much as £170. However, people are often unaware of the implications of opening accounts with brands that share a single banking licence.

FSCS recently did a podcast talking about cryptoassets. As most cryptoassets aren’t regulated in the UK we can’t protect these crypto investments. I've noticed that MTTM has been talking recently about crypto market changes and lessons to be learnt. Can you share some of these insights?

We don’t talk about it a lot, but we do talk about it more than in the past, which reflects a change in consumer demands over recent years. We focus on teaching people to understand the risks involved in investing in crypto, the lack of regulation and the lack of protection from FSCS. This provides some much-needed balance to the deluge of dubious and inaccurate information circulating on social media.

Now, on a more personal note: if £10,000 landed in your lap tomorrow, what would you do with it?

I’d probably invest half of it in a Stocks and Shares ISA, using an investment platform and a diversified range of funds. A quarter of it I would keep in an easy-access savings account in case I needed it in the short term. The rest I would use to visit Barcelona with my wife. Barcelona is our favourite city and holds a lot of great memories for us.

Thanks very much, Damien, Barcelona is a stunning city. And of course, we know you’d ensure your investments were FSCS protected!

For more information on what FSCS protects, see our What we cover page.

The content of any discussions shouldn't be taken as an indication of future FSCS policy positions. The views expressed by guests are their own and don't reflect the views of FSCS.

We would also love everyone to dedicate a regular extra five minutes to check their financial products and services are FSCS protected.