What do you need to know about Martin Bamford?
On a professional level, I'm a Chartered Financial Planner and personal finance author.
I've been an independent financial adviser (IFA) for seven years. Before that, I had a brief career in account management for two large insurance companies. I'm a graduate of Winchester University with an honours degree in Business Admistration.
I'm managing director of Informed Choice; an award-winning firm of Chartered Financial Planners based in Surrey.
Back in 2005, I decided that I wanted to write a book about personal financial planning. So I did.
There was already plenty of competition but what I wanted to write was a book that approached the subject in the same way I did with my own clients. This was not going to be another dull and dry book about money!
My first book, The Money Tree, was published in 2006 by the wonderful people at Pearson Prentice Hall. It did really well and became WHSmith Business Book of the Month. Clearly I had to write some more.
In 2007 I wrote two more books. Brilliant Investing was published at the end of 2007 and then How to Retire 10 Years Early appeared on the shelves at the start of 2008.
Since leaving university, I have worked hard to obtain higher level financial planning qualifications. I became a Chartered Financial Planner and Certified Financial PlannerCM professional in 2007, which just about represents the pinnacle in this profession.
Part of my day job is writing personal finance columns for different publications and acting as the press spokesman for Informed Choice. This means that my comments are often published in the national and trade press. You might have seen me there.
My media profile resulted in me being named as one of the top 50 most influential financial advisers in Britain over four years by Professional Adviser magazine, most recently in 12th place in 2009.
I was Highly Commended for the Financial Education Award at the Professional Adviser Awards 2007. The year before I was shortlisted as IFA Personality of the Year, but someone with marginally more personality came in first place.
Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my daughter, playing the ukulele, paddling my kayak, photography and, given the chance, scuba diving with sharks - without a cage.