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Money Blogs

Several money blogs distill complicate financial concepts into readily-understandable terms.

Money blogs offer a wide array of opinions and suggestions. [©Jupiter Images, 2010]
©Jupiter Images, 2010
Money blogs offer a wide array of opinions and suggestions.

Money Blogs

For consumers hoping to build wealth or just make sense of the current economic climate, money blogs can be an excellent resource. The best blogs break down complicated financial and economic concepts into language laymen can understand and act upon, without oversimplifying matters. Blogs are also updated constantly, so readers can be sure they are getting fresh information.

There are several categories of money blogs, including those that cover business news and those that focus on personal finance. Some are backed by major news outlets, while others are written by independent experts. Consumers should be wary of acting on financial and investment tips offered by a blog until they are sure the guru in question is a legitimate authority what makes that person qualified to dispense investment advice? What do other financial experts say about him?

Blogs Published by Major News Outlets

There are many traditional news outlets in print, television and radio that publish blogs to boost their online presence. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is one such newspaper; its Deal Journal covers important financial events as they happen, including bankruptcies, mergers and acquisitions, and capital-raising the big events on Wall Street. Nominated for a Webby in 2009, this blog is for readers who want to learn about trends that affect the business climate as a whole. The WSJ has a number of other blog offerings, including Real Time Economics, which follows the Federal Reserve; Market Beat, which offers stock market analysis; and The Wallet, which focuses on personal finance.

The New York Times's Deal Book is actually a collection of blogs and news featured in the paper's business section. It, too, was a 2009 Webby nominee. Divided into categories, including Mergers & Acquisitions, Investment Banking, Private Equity, and Hedge Funds, among others, it offers a comprehensive look at the financial world. Or, readers can subscribe to a specific category's RSS feed to receive updated news.

The Financial Times, the London paper, features Dragonbeat, a blog about economics in China; a blog from business journalist John Gapper, who is based in New York City; and a forum for leading economists led by the Financial Times's associate editor, Martin Wolf. Alphaville, its blog that follows mergers acquisitions and other high-profile Wall Street Deals, was a 2009 Webby winner.

Planet Money is an excellent blog based off the National Public Radio (NPR) segment of the same name. NPR journalists began producing Planet Money podcasts in September 2008, in the wake of the financial crisis, to help people understand complicated concepts like credit default swaps, tranches and mortgage backed securities. In addition to information about the program, its blog features graphics and intelligent analysis of complex economic issues.

Personal Finance Blogs

In its 100 Best list, CNN highlights three money blogs that cover topics related to personal finance, including All Financial Matters, written by Texas financial planner, Jeffrey Prichard. Not one to be carried away by optimistic fervor, Prichard prefers solid, practical advice to hot stock tips. Featuring topics like asset allocation, budgeting and investing, this blog is an all-around resource for everyday people who invest for education and retirement.

GetRichSlowly.org is the project of J.D Roth, who dug himself out of $35,000 in personal debt and went on to establish financial independence. Part how-to manual, part motivational guide, Roth's blog is a great resource for people who are just learning how to save and invest. It was singled out by the WSJ for its quality reader discussions. My Money Blog is the financial confessional of a young IT professional who aims to be a millionaire by 45. Though he does not claim to be a financial expert, his blog has a hodgepodge of useful information, including promotional deals and consumer bank reviews, with some links to expert advice thrown in.

Wise Bread, a blog about making the most of a limited budget, has been recommend by the New York Times, CNBC and Slate. With its tips for living frugally and consuming less, the writers at Wise Bread try to remind readers that the good life need not be synonymous with debt. It offers practical, money-saving advice on everything from cars to clothes. The Consumerist, one of the Web's top-ranked personal finance blogs, also offers plenty of practical advice. It takes a pop culture approach to financial news with stories like A Visual History of Credit Cards, and also publishes consumer news about recalls and new product offerings.

The site 24/7 Wall Street (which also provides content to other sites such as Time.com) ran an article on the Best 25 Financial Blogs. These independent blogs (those not run by major news organizations, etc.) were reviewed and followed closely over a period of time and rated on several criteria with original content postings and frequency of updates among the most important considerations.

The Motley Fool provides both free and premium investment advice on stock picks; earnings report analysis; and many other services.

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