Sixty-one percent of Millionaire households consider themselves fairly knowledgeable about investing, but still have a lot to learn. Financial blogs are one resource for them to expand that knowledge and develop their financial worldview. More than a quarter of Millionaire investors regularly read financial blogs, according to Spectrem Group research. Of these, younger investors who are more tech-savvy and plugged in to the latest technological advances as well as self-directed investors who do not consult with a financial advisor are most likely to long on to the Internet to read financial blogs and websites.
The economic downturn has certainly been a boon to the blogosphere with dozens of financial planning and consumer finance blogs planting their flags on planet Internet. How to find one that’s a good fit for you? Subjective criteria--such as risk tolerance and political leanings--aside, a financial blog should meet some basic standards. Is the writer credible? Does he or she write in a voice that is compatible with your knowledge level? What are the resources behind the blog? Does the writer base his or her opinions on solid research and experience, or are they the mad rantings of a basement dweller? Does this blog preach to the choir, or will it provocatively challenge assumptions?
The bottom line: Will you learn from the blog?
Some blogs carry the weight of A-list economists and writers, such as The Conscience of a Liberal, Time magazine’s recent pick as the best financial blog, written by economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. Others are established brand names, such as Freakonomics, which originated as the surprise worldwide bestseller by economist Steven D. Levitt and writer Stephen J. Dubner.
Some blogs are nothing if not practical. $5 Dinners, by housewife Erin Chase, offers low-cost recipes, grocery shopping strategies and money-saving tips to create the eponymous meals.
For those with a conservative to moderate risk tolerance, there are such sites that promote sensible personal finance, such as Get Rich Slowly, which Money magazine called the most inspiring money blog and the Simple Dollar. Other blogs are bolder, such as I Will Teach You to Be Rich, which is geared toward “college students, recent graduates and everyone else.”
One doesn’t always have to agree with the blogger. That is part of the fun and the learning curve.