Friday, 1 October 2010

From Headlines to Hard Times: I watched Ed Mitchell tell his story

This week, I went to a conference for Money Advisers working in the charitable advice sector, at which one of the speakers was a former tv journalist, Ed Mitchell, who, because of alcoholism and debt, became homeless for a while. It was very interesting to hear the perspective of someone who was well-educated, and successful in his career, but despite this lost his home and had to file for bankruptcy.

Mr Mitchell, who told his story eloquently and in places humorously, identified one of the reasons for his situation as being a dislike for personal finance generally, and another, a belief that life would be 'all boom and no bust'. Therefore, he never saved money from his high salary and so when he lost his job, was forced to depend on frighteningly accessible and expensive credit to survive.

He has now recovered from his alcohol addiction, and has a flat, thanks in part to a documentary - 'Saving Ed Mitchell' and also to sales of his book 'From Headlines to Hard Times', which describe his experience. (I will now read the book!)

It seemed to me that this story is an answer to those who think that earning a high income - especially life as a television celebrity or sports person - is in itself the route to financial security.