When was the first time you thought about money?
As a Greek immigrant child in Germany, the earliest memories of money I have was hearing from my parents that we couldn’t afford to buy something I wanted because there wasn’t enough or because they were saving for something else.
People around me were better off and could afford more and nicer things and it made me very envious. As a young adult this led me to borrow a fair amount of cash from friends for fancy clothes and for going out – but the harsh realization that I would have to pay it back at some point was quite a wake up call.
What was your “aha” moment with money?
I had many aha moments around money:
- Working in banking I was speechless when I first saw the sums that move around on a daily basis. And how after a while it becomes normal to talk about somebody else’s wealth in hundreds of millions whilst at home you are struggling to pay the mortgage off.
- A lot of the wealth people I have met knew early on in their lives about money and about what to do to increase their wealth, how to plan for it, how to invest, etc. In my upbringing, having a savings account was considered an achievement…
- When I started my own business I found out that it is ok to be paid for something that is so rewarding that it doesn’t feel like work 🙂
How has being LGBT+ impacted your relationship with money?
Whilst taking out my first mortgage in the late 90s I found out that as a gay man my access to mortgage products was very limited and they were more expensive. I was considered a higher risk because of my sexuality and some lifestyle assumptions. The fact that I was with my partner for 12 years by that time didn’t come into play at all. In the eyes of the bank and the insurance company I was a single man in his early 30s.
What are your financial goals for the future?
At 53, my main goals are around how to retire comfortably, making sure I don’t leave any ‘loose ends’ behind and there is a buffer to help family and/or friends in need if required.
How did you first get involved with Daylight?
I retired from my fintech life at the end of 2018. Six months later at Money 2020 I had a causal chat with Matej
who was an old industry friend and we started discussing how great the world would be if banks would understand the distinct needs of a community and build their offering around those needs. Matej talking me into coming out of my retirement and join him in building a platform that, like a midwife, helps bring these new community banks to life. Both of us being LGBT we had a particular affinity for our own community of course.
Favorite LGBT+ business (online or ILR)?
I like supporting the LGBT businesses that are local to me, like Shirleys Removals
. But there is also: Happy Endings
. Ice cream always wins in the end!