Iona Bain is an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, speaker and author, and is the UK’s go-to voice on millennial money.
She is BBC Morning Live’s resident financial expert.
Since founding the pioneering Young Money Blog in 2011, she’s gone on to become one of the most respected financial writers of her generation, with a rare combination of accessibility and authority.
Iona’s beginnings in the finance world came when she was a jobbing musician still living at her parent’s home back in Edinburgh, and her savings were burgled from her piggy bank. All she knew about money needed to change, and her dyscalculia meant her uphill struggle was larger than most.
Iona founded Young Money Blog to help her generation get to grips with their finances and quickly found an audience with her down-to-earth, witty
and helpful analysis of the financial problems facing millennials.
Iona has appeared on Channel 4’s Cryptocurrency: Has the Bubble Burst?; Rip Off Britain; NewsNight; Question Time; and The One Show.
She also recently reported for Radio 4’s File on 4, investigating record complaints about social housing and allegations of degrading treatment of tenants.
Iona’s empathetic approach has earned her the title of Money Hacker in residence for Radio 1’s flagship advice programme Life Hacks. She has been flying the flag for young people’s financial rights on the airwaves for over ten years and has also been a roving financial reporter for Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch.
Podcast appearances range from the Spectator’s flagship Edition show to Free the Geezer with rap group The Manor to Saira Khan’s podcast Backing Brilliant Business, demonstrating Iona’s versatility.
Iona is also a staple of online youth and female-focused media, with recent contributions to VICE UK, British Vogue and Refinery 29.
Iona writes a bi-weekly column for the Metro and regularly contributes to the Financial Times. Her journalism and commentary have appeared extensively in both national and regional titles, including the Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Independent and the New Statesman, and Iona’s book ‘Own It!‘ is all about how young people can invest their way to a better future.
Iona is particularly proud of her educational work, having collaborated with BBC Social, BBC Bitesize and Young Scot to produce a series of educational videos. Iona is an ambassador for the National Numerary Society and campaigns for awareness of dyscalculia. She also worked with the Lloyds Banking Academy on the Your Future Finances initiative, the first educational programme in the UK to be fully sign language enabled.
Iona is also the youngest-ever governor of the Pensions Policy Institute.
Iona has worked with several brands, including Mastercard, Skipton, Virgin Money and Iceland.
Financial Keynote Speaker and Millennial Money Expert
As a finance keynote speaker, Iona’s speaking topics include:
The cost-of-living Crisis and how we can respond
This is an overview of the financial challenges facing the public right now (particularly younger people) and how employers/individuals/society can respond effectively.
- The cost-of-living crisis and its impact on different demographics.
- Advice for how to navigate the crisis as an individual/employer depending on circumstances/demographics.
- The housing crisis, the central bank/government policy and the increasing complexity of digital finance.
- The all-important roadblock between financial independence and settlement.
- The wider social and cultural trends driving young people’s dissatisfaction with their finances, such as high expectations set by baby boomers.
- The biggest myths surrounding millennial finance, from the avocado brunch fallacy to the idea that we’re all self-employed side hustlers.
- The social, economic and financial factors in our favour.
- How individuals and/or organisations can capitalise on technology, expanding knowledge and cultural de-stigmatisation of money to improve our financial outlook.
NOTE: insights can be tailored to be relevant to clients’ fields, e.g. insurance, investment etc.
Financial Education/Inclusion: Why it Matters and How to Make it Work
An in-depth look at how financial education can transform young people’s understanding of money, looking at:
• the evidence supporting the argument for financial education.
• what’s currently going wrong in financial education.
• how self-taught money education changed my life.
• Iona’s insights gained from 10 years of working on various educational projects.
• approaches and methods that could prove most effective.
• how organisations can use financial education to empower their workforce.
Me, Money and Making it: How I Got Here and What I Learned
An inspirational, fun and insightful look at how Iona went from clueless musician to millennial money guru, covering:
• How a stolen piggybank changed Iona’s outlook on money.
• How to understand your financial psychology and change it for the better.
• How Iona learned to manage my money.
• Key lessons from learning about debt and the easy way to set digital boundaries.
How to own it: Demystifying Savings, Pensions and Investing for a New Generation.
A helpful and accessible talk breaking down the modern financial landscape for young people today, looking at:
• why long-term saving and investing matter for you and the world.
• how to set yourself up to invest for the long-term.
• the basics of pensions, from auto-enrolment to ‘greening’ your retirement fund.
• the three main kinds of investing tech – robo-advisers, platforms and share-trading apps.
• the dangers posed by day trading, forex, Bitcoin and finfluencers promoting high-risk schemes.
• how to protect yourself against fraud and maximise your chances of achieving your goals.