Martin Lewis and the “real world”

If you want to know what people are bothered about (financially) check out Martin

The site is a distillation of the things people actually go to sleep worrying about – student fees, motor insurance premiums and the rate of return you can get on your savings. (among many other things).

There is a little bit on pensions there but it’s not about the things that the NAPF or the PMI or mallowstreet or the big actuarial firms are talking about. No great dissertations on employer covenants, the RPI/CPI debate or GMP equalisation.

The stuff on pensions is all to do with making the most of what you’ve built up in various pension savings plans when you come to retirement “managing the decumulation” as Martin would definitely not put it!

Here’s how he introduces the subject

Buying an annuity is life’s most important single financial decision. Most people who save into any type of private pension will have to do this, so if that’s you, read this free guide.

An annuity is a contract guaranteeing you an annual payment each year until you die. However, you can’t change your mind once it is done, so get it wrong and you will lose out year after year.

As this is a major decision that needs real thought, this full guide which takes you through how to boost what you get, getting advice, alternatives to annuities, other types of pensions, benefits and more.

There’s only a limited supply of the printed copies so please download the PDF version if you’re able to

Isn’t that easy, simple , authorative – doesn’t it make sense?

I’ve kept in the last paragraph as it introduces my friends at Annuity Direct, Bob, Kath and Alan who have invested heavily in supporting Martin and get a flood of business from Martin’s site.

People seem to regard Martin, as many regard Which? as an authoritative and genuinely independent source of financial information. The numbers of people that go on Martin’s discussion forums are recorded and publicised. Here are his all time stats

The top 20 most thanked forum boards

1. Game Over (competitions board) 55,852,353
2. Old Style MoneySaving 11,175,828
3. The Money Savers Arms 5,424,978
4. Debt Free Diaries 3,721,594
5. Discussion Time 2,347,202
6. MoneySaving in Marriages, Relationships & Families 2,281,659
7. Debt-Free Wannabe 2,082,407
8. Discount Codes ‘n Vouchers 1,798,571
9. Special Occasions & Other Celebrations 1,498,332
10. Competitions Time 1,274,334
11.Debate House Prices & the Economy 1,131,220
12. Health, Beauty & Fashion MoneySaving 1,094,072
13. It’s Gone, but was it any good? 1,043,453
14. Freebies (no spend required) Board 714,826
15. I won! I won! I won! 616,863
16. Freebies gone but not forgotten 547,317
17. House Buying, Renting & Selling 534,106
18. Quick! Grabbit while you can 474,321
19. How much have you saved? 424,223
20. Bankruptcy & Living With It 395,395

“thanked” is his way of recording what geeks call a “hit”.

If you added all these numbers up you’d find that he’s had over 100m hits on his site, that’s about 3 hits for every working person in this country.

Now a lot of the people I work with would like to feel they are authoritative and frankly they are. But do they have 100 million “thankyous” to their name?

Couldn’t we all do with spending a little less time wondering how we can create this elusive financial engagement and a little more time finding out how Martin has actually done it?

People talk about the “real world” where liveth the “engaged investor”. In reality the vast majority of people will get the financial advice they need from the portal of

His site is not pretty and it isn’t hugely clever but it speaks to the people that wealth managers and IFAs and actuaries and pension managers and communication consultants want to speak to – the public.

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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7 Responses to Martin Lewis and the “real world”

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