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Correspondent&#39s Week

Monday is spent lying in the sun, drinking large jugs of Pimms with friends and generally putting the world to rights. Not my usual Monday activity, unfortunately, but it is a bank holiday after all.

The following day, it is back to reality. I start by writing up an interview I did the previous week with the Metro Investment Club for my regular investment club slot in The Daily Telegraph. The club actually go and visit all the companies they invest in, so I arrange a photo of them on their next outing to Zytronic, a manufacturer of touchscreens for ATMs and gaming machines.

After a quick coffee break, I look at the letters that have come in from Telegraph readers wanting to be in Cash Clinic, the other regular feature I write for the Telegraph. I sort them into yes and no piles and put them aside to respond to later in the week. As a general rule, any letters written in green biro tend to be best avoided.

Next it is time to switch into tabloid mode and make a start on my Sunday Mirror copy, which I must file today. I have never really understood the reason behind this ridiculously early deadline but there we go. I decide to write about direct debits, as BACs has put out some interesting new research.

A brief break for lunch (eaten in true freelance style while watching Home and Away) and it is back to work, trying to track down a case study to go with the direct-debit story. Amazingly, for once, this does not prove too painful, so I finish the copy and head off home.

Even though I am a freelance and could work from my flat in Clapham North, I have set up an office in my old room at my parents&#39 house in Battersea. It seemed more likely that I would be able to hold on to my sanity if I wasn&#39t cooped up in the same small space 24 hours a day.

On Wednesday, I catch up with Hana Irani and Simon Newman from Barclays. We meet in the ever-so-sophisticated Bibendum in South Kensington and have a delicious lunch in the sun, courtesy of the enormous glass roof. The last time I saw Simon he was on the BBC news, talking about internet banking and security issues, so he brings me up to speed with Barclays&#39 current plans to tackle fraud.

Feeling inspired by our meeting, I make sure that any criminals will be sorely disappointed if they get into my account by blowing a large amount of money on an essential pair of shoes on my way home.

Back at my desk, I start work on a piece on Credit Suisse&#39s new Target Return fund for the Telegraph. It is a tricky one as it is only just been launched and there are few comparable products on the market.

We need a case study. Louise Hatch from Penrose PR puts in a sterling effort to track one down for me but later admits defeat as the fund is so new. I contact several IFAs who offer to have a look for me. Finish work at around 7pm and head back to Clapham.

Thanks to a squealing cat in the neighbour&#39s garden, I wake at 6am on Thursday. Unfortunately, the cat does not respond to verbal obscenities, so I decide to get up in attempt to find some suitable missiles. Several squeals later (from the cat, not me) I leave for work, arriving at an unheard of 8am.

There is a lot to be said for this early morning working lark as the phone is eerily silent and I get lots done but somehow I do not think I will be making a habit of it.

After finishing a piece for expatriate publication The Weekly Telegraph, I chase up on the case study to accompany the Target Return piece. Still no joy. Thankfully, the deadline isn&#39t for a few days, so fingers crossed that someone comes up with one soon.

At last, Friday arrives. This is the day when the Sunday Mirror faxes through the proofs for me to check and when I submit ideas for the following week. They always ask for three ideas and then pick one, which I write up. Today is the day I also submit ideas to other publications and catch up with invoices and other boring admin stuff.

Am looking forward to the evening, though, as I am off to see Will Young at the Royal Albert Hall with Jill Hendry from Baring Asset Management. Still lots to do before then so, if you&#39ll excuse the rather lame gag, think I&#39d better Leave Right Now… Melanie Wright is a freelance journalist and former deputy editor of the Telegraph&#39s Your Money section •”People used to follow me around doing Hitler walks.” – Aifa director of policy Fay Goddard on her previous existence as a compliance officer.

LIA head of public affairs John Ellis has been spotted around town recently carrying a lightweight state-of-the-art laptop computer.

Widely respected for his encyclopaedic knowledge of financial regulation, Ellis has for years laboured under huge mounds of papers as he trawls to various meetings around London.

How will this cutting-edge technology change his life? “It&#39s fantastic. I can get all the FSA&#39s consultation papers on here and read them whenever I like,” he says.

You need this man on your side.



“Absolutely. It would be great to have someone around to help us understand key issues, so we would know what is expected of us, know about deadlines and compliance – in plain English.”Eileen Hogg,Hogg Financial Services “Yes. It will give us more of an insight into how the regulator works.”Douglas Wilson,Douglas Wilson Financial Consultant “Yes […]

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