Today's interview is with a finance blogger legend. Felix Salmon is a blogger for Reuters, and has generated a large viewership for his work.
Q. What is it like working for Reuters? Why finance?
A. I have a great time writing for Reuters, although admittedly I'm in a somewhat unique position, with a license to opine and to cover pretty much any subject I want: I don't have many of the constraints which govern most Reuters journalists. I don't only write about finance, but I do write a great deal about finance, because it's endlessly fascinating, and because one of my strengths is being able to explain recondite financial concepts in relatively comprehensible English.
Q. What, in your opinion, are the benefits of writing a blog?
A. I love the immediacy of it: the way posts publish as soon as you've written them, and then feedback starts arriving pretty much immediately. I love the conversational aspect of them, the way they talk to each other and don't pretend to be self-contained. I love the way that I can happily piggyback on all the wonderful stuff everybody else is writing and reporting, without having to pretend that I'm doing all that work myself, and give lots of credit where it's due. I love that reading lots of wonderful stuff is my job. And I love the freewheeling nature of blogging, the way that you can skip so easily from one subject to another, or even mash them up in unexpected ways. It's just incredibly fun.
Q. What computer/phone do you use and why?
A. My basic setup is a Mac of some description: a MacBook Air when I'm travelling, a Mac Mini at home, an iMac at work. I spend a lot of money on these things, and do things like order them all specially with solid-state drives, because I love speed and hate beachballs. I also love having acres of screen real estate, so at work I run a three-screen setup. I also have an iPad and iPhone. I've been an Apple loyalist since the 1980s; I've never actually owned a PC.
Q. If you had to buy one stock, any price, what would it be?
A. SPY, or some other very broad ETF. You're not a stock-picker, and neither am I. When little guys like us try to beat the market, we're bound to end up bloodied.
Q. As a finance blogger, what appreciation do you have, if any, for the design side of a business?
A. I have a huge appreciation for design, I'm a bit of a design nerd, and in fact in a previous life I worked a bit as a magazine designer. But "as a finance blogger"? Not so much. The two are separate things. Although I do tend to nerd out a bit on the design side when doing things like putting together charts for my blog posts.
I really loved talking to Felix! Here is the desktop background I designed for him. Click the image to purchase it!