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Quick questions: Ben Yearsley

He spent 15 years at Hargreaves Lansdown after earning his degree, is a cricket fan and wishes he had travelled to Istanbul rather than Athens to watch Liverpool play. Read on to find out more about Ben Yearsley, head of research for Charles Stanley Direct.

What was your first job in financial services?

At NatWest bank in their processing office in Bristol during the summer holidays while I was at university reading financial studies

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What drew you to the profession?

My father buying shares when I was younger. I as always fascinated with why he had bought something and when he sold it. I was always really interested in the stock market from a young age – it was either this or accountancy and frankly accountancy is dull.

What is the most important thing an adviser can do for a client?

Setting realistic goals and helping clients achieve them

What is the most important decision you have ever made?

Joining Hargreaves Lansdown straight from university and sticking with it for almost 15 years. Hopefully joining Charles Stanley Direct will be an equally good decision.

How do you think the industry has changed since you started working in it?

The access to information now is phenomenal for clients, which is a good thing. Technology has driven that and also driven prices down too. However, too much information and 24/7 access to portfolio leads to shorter term investing and lack of patience that I don’t think is so good. Investors should do their research and stick with an investment for a reasonable time and not change after a poor couple of weeks’/months’ performance.

Other than property, what is the most expensive thing you have bought?

Cars, because they are a terrible ‘investment’. They depreciate so quickly but can give you so much enjoyment.

What is your perfect day off?

A day at the home of cricket, Lords, and seeing the Australians lose.

What would you tell your 10-year-old self?

That’s a tricky one but it would definitely be: “Go to Istanbul instead of Athens”. If you must know, it’s football related; Liverpool won in Istanbul but lost in Athens!

Who would you recommend as a must-follow person on Twitter?

I think Piers Morgan is becoming one of those must-follow people. He seems to have the skin of a rhinoceros as the abuse he gets is quite staggering but the arguments he picks with the likes of Lord Sugar and other business/celebrity heavyweights is quite often hysterical!

What do you have set as your homepage in your internet browser?

The Telegraph website at home and I will have the new Charles Stanley Direct website at work when we launch in 2013.