Blogs are a uniquely modern communication medium. And when you marry the blog format to a weighty topic like personal finance, you get something even more singular — an offbeat mix of financial theory leavened by personal experience, liberated from stuffy corporate guidelines, uniquely authentic, and free from the usual conflicts of interest.
As I prepare for the annual financial bloggers conference (FinCon) in Denver next week, it’s a good time to reflect on my own upcoming anniversary in the blogging business. It’s been an educational, fun, and rewarding journey. And I might not still be here if it weren’t for the generosity of my colleagues in the blogging world. I’ve benefited so much from the examples, and the excellent financial writing, of others.
So let me take this opportunity to recommend some of them, and their work, to you….
Mike is a licensed CPA in both Missouri and Illinois and was once a financial advisor for Edward Jones. (And he still hasn’t reached the age of 30.) If you read his blog, you’ll quickly realize that he’s wise beyond his years, and is an especially clear thinker and communicator. Mike covers a range of financial issues three times weekly, focusing on low-cost investing, accounting, taxation, and retirement. He has a gift for answering complex questions in a few easily-understood paragraphs and sets a high standard for consistent, accurate, and usable financial advice in the blogging world. Don’t miss out on his great series of books such as Investing Made Simple and Can I Retire?, which explain complex personal finance topics in 100 pages or less.
Todd is a serial entrepreneur who studied economics and went on to prove himself in the financial world. He managed a 20-million dollar hedge fund that actually made money, and retired at the enviable age of 35. Not content to coast, Todd returned to the work world on his own terms, started a financial coaching business, and now a blog with a wide range of personal finance resources, including one of the most extensive collections of financial calculators on the web. Todd was a pioneer in statistical risk management systems for investing, and has one of the sharpest and widest-ranging financial minds you’ll find. If you are interested in building wealth and achieving financial independence, FinancialMentor is required reading.
Rick, a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer, is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and the author of six investment books, most recently The Power of Passive Investing: More Wealth with Less Work. He’s a recognized expert on low-cost index fund investing, in particular. On his blog, Rick routinely and very effectively takes the financial industry to task for its persistent belief in active investment management. Rick is a prominent member of the Bogleheads — a community inspired by the founder of The Vanguard Group. He is also registered to provide professional investment advice. His company Portfolio Solutions is a low-fee investment management firm, and would be a great place to start if you are seeking the services of a professional adviser.
Wade is a leading researcher on retirement planning strategies, with a very long list of credentials and publications to his credit. He has a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University, is a CFA, and is Director of Curriculum for the Retirement Management Analyst Designation Program. Wade is also an associate professor of economics at a graduate institute in Tokyo, so he has an especially broad perspective on the world. When he isn’t keeping all the aforementioned balls in the air, Wade posts clearly-written, insightful articles on his blog about his and others’ cutting-edge retirement research. Everybody interested in retirement issues owes Wade a debt of gratitude for serving as an accessible bridge between academia and the real world we retirees live in. Check out the Retirement Researcher blog.
Mark is a successful baby boomer nearing retirement, with impressive life credentials. He worked as an electrical engineer, then returned to law school and became a patent attorney. He loves cutting-edge science and technology, and has a wide range of additional interests, which you’ll frequently hear about on his blog. Mark’s well-organized site is one of the very best baby boomer-focused finance blogs. He offers a tremendous amount of compelling writing on a wide range of subjects of interest to boomers. Aside from the usual financial fare, including nearly a hundred posts on retirement planning, Mark covers lifestyle issues such as adult communities, downsizing, places to retire, and vacation homes. If you’re a boomer, you can’t help but be interested in Go To Retirement.
Doug is a U.S. Naval Academy graduate who retired early from the Navy’s submarine force thanks to frugal living and persistent investing. He’s a dedicated and selfless champion for military retirement issues, and also a Moderator Emeritus on the Early-Retirement forum, where he has contributed an astounding 25,000+ posts. (If you had any doubts that submariners are a tough and dedicated breed, that statistic alone should dispel any doubts!) When he’s not moderating or surfing, Doug finds time to maintain his own blog, which has dozens of articles on the intricacies of military retirement programs. And he’s also a bona fide expert on personal finance for civilian life: you’ll find great material on everything from landlording to business startups to college savings plans to safe withdrawal rates at Military Retirement & Financial Independence.