Money guru: Daniel Wiguna is making finance cool again – Lifestyle
Felix Martua (The Jakarta Post)
Thu 20 January 2022
Combining his “cool guy” charm with proven intelligence, business and economics newscaster Daniel Wiguna champions youth financial literacy while striving to be Indonesia’s next newscaster
Given his youthful appearance, it may come as a surprise that Daniel Wiguna is an economic and business news presenter for a business-focused news channel. When he met Jakarta Post in person on January 8, he came across as no different to most laid-back city dwellers in their early 30s. Moreover, aside from his day job, he shared that he often spends his free time working out, learning fund trading, watching movies, or reading old comics. The very definition of a “cool guy”, the person who has it all figured out.
That being said, the 32-year-old news anchor thought being a “cool guy” was less about the loot and more about the person. “We make it cool, not the other way around. That’s what I’ve always believed,” he said confidently.
Another thing Daniel makes cool is the seemingly complicated world of finance. As a news anchor at CNBC Indonesia, his job is not only to serve his audience with the latest headlines of the day, but also to encourage his fellow youngsters to start nurturing their curiosity about what’s really going on in their portfolios.
Born in January 1989, Daniel spent his childhood in Bali before moving to Makassar when he was in third grade. As a teenager, he describes himself as “flexible, eager to understand new things”.
“I was the kind of boy who had this very high curiosity,” he said. “And I wasn’t afraid to be wrong, because when I blundered, I forced myself to find the solution, the way out.”
After graduating from high school, Daniel moved to Jakarta to pursue his bachelor’s degree at Bina Nusantara University (BINUS), first majoring in computerized accounting before moving on to marketing communications permanently. Influenced by the strictness of the family, he said he had spent most of his life on campus studying “so that I could get good grades and then good jobs”, he said. -he declares. Such a state of mind seems to bear fruit: after finishing his baccalaureate, he was offered an internship at Chevron Indonesia.
In 2012, Daniel continued his training by pursuing his master’s degree at the LSPR Communication & Business Institute, during which his curiosity for the world of business and finance took off. This interest stems from his discovery that, when all is said and done, it all comes down to bread and butter. “You can’t do branding without a business. It’s a very easy and simple postulation, but it makes you whole,” he said.
Daniel found his first “stable job” at his alma mater the following year – he was a lecturer at BINUS University’s School of Economics and Communication. His decision to become an educator was motivated by the “satisfaction” he often gets from imparting new knowledge to others. “It gives me satisfaction when I can make others understand new things and inspire them to have a new mind to start whatever they dream of,” he said.
One on one: Daniel Wiguna (right) interviews Malaysia’s current finance minister, Tengku Zafrul Aziz (Photo courtesy of Daniel Wiguna’s Instagram) (Instagram/Courtesy of Daniel Wiguna )
He suspected that teaching might have been his innate talent all along.
“I don’t know how to explain it, but I think it runs in the family,” he laughed. “My grandmother was a school principal and my father was a teacher at a mechanical engineering school in Solo, so I don’t know, maybe it’s in my blood.”
Land at the news desk
In 2018, Daniel was offered another kind of vocation: the position of news anchor for the business news channel CNBC Indonesia. Owned by Trans Media in partnership with Comcast Corporation’s NBCUniversal, the news channel was officially launched on October 10, 2018 and featured in Bahasa Indonesia. Since its inception, CNBC Indonesia has focused on business, economics, finance, stock market and stock market.
He said being a newscaster was his “dream job” as long as he met a certain condition: that the news should focus on business, economics and finance. Fortunately, CNBC Indonesia seemed to match his idealism perfectly.
“There are young news anchors there, but they don’t talk about economics. We know how complicated and deep this subject is, so we have to be very careful about it.”
Given his background as an educator, not a news anchor, Daniel understood from the start that he had his work cut out for him. Additionally, his relatively young age could lead to underappreciation by his audience – a scenario he is constantly trying to dispel.
“When a young person appears on a business news channel, the image he presents should be that he is smart, that he is skilled and that he understands what we are talking about. In the business world, this what is required is trust. So when I stand there and speak, I am ready to earn the trust of the public.”
As he pursued his new calling, he also realized that being a news anchor and being an educator share a “similar nature”. From his experience, he learned that more often than not, younger teachers are more “sympathetic” in the eyes of students than older, more conservative ones.
“When we’re likeable, we’re also seen as easier to understand,” he added.
Over time, he learned what he called “the art” of being a news anchor.
“There’s an art to that, how to get people to believe in us. And when they do, I don’t have to waste a lot of time discussing something. It becomes easier to connect with people, to identify with them.”
Another challenge Daniel faces on a daily basis is program rotation. CNBC Indonesia encourages all of its news anchors to host all of the channel’s news programs on a rotating basis, including Squawk Box Indonesia, power lunch indonesia and Closing Bell Indonesia. Of all the programs, he was most frequently seen hosting Investime. He also frequently hosts the CNBC Indonesia podcast Cuap Cuap Cuan.
“That’s the beauty of being a CNBC news anchor: we have to be able to cover it all,” he remarked.
Is it difficult to be a young man who talks about finance? At least for Daniel Wiguna, the question was obvious.
“Sometimes my hands get cold. Tremors come over me and I’m shaking too much to hold a pen and a sheet of paper!” he replied with a cheeky laugh.
A recent example was when he conducted a one-on-one interview with Malaysia’s current finance minister, Tengku Zafrul Aziz, 48. The interview aired in November 2021, in which the two discussed how Malaysia handled its debt ceiling against the COVID-19 pandemic. To fight his nerves, Daniel prepared the old-fashioned way:
“All I could do was study [the topic] for two nights in a row just so I could delve into the problem. I knew I couldn’t be as savvy as him. What was important was that I understood what I was going to ask him.”
Despite his tenure at CNBC Indonesia, Daniel still retains his position as a lecturer at BINUS University. The reason is very simple: “I see being a university professor as a form of service.
One of his students, Andi Shalini, praised Daniel’s uncanny ability to “communicate”.
“He is able to communicate very well with his students despite their different characters. He always appreciates his students’ efforts and offers clear and constructive feedback,” the student said.
As a financial newscaster and educator, he feels more compelled than ever to improve the financial literacy of young people and his peers. In his view, the burning financial issue young people should be most aware of is the complex situation of being the “sandwich generation” caused by the “middle income trap”.
“A lot of young people – millennials, should we say – are working, but often they are too afraid to get married and find themselves unable to buy a house. That is why, if it is possible, this what millennials are facing right now shouldn’t happen to Gen Z,” he explained.
Daniel’s best advice is for young people to start considering investing in mutual funds.
“Our parents are more conservative in opting for bonds or savings deposits. However, sometimes they offer a return value below the inflation rate. If we want to aim higher than the inflation rate and bank interest , mutual funds could be considered an option.”