There are 4 personal finance blogs that I visit regularly:

They are JD Roth’s, Get Rich Slowly

Trent Hamm’s, Simple Dollar

Ramit Sethi’s, I Will Teach You To Be Rich

and Jonathan’s, My Money Blog

The utilitiy of all of these blogs is that they feature a different perspective about money.

There are several reasons that I read these blogs in particular. All of these blogs are in the top 100,000 for Alexa rankings in personal finance. Their authors achieved that feat by developing original content and identifying an audience who can relate to that content. By following these bloggers it is possible to learn the discipline it takes to be a successful blogger. I define a successful blogger as one who has a loyal readership and earns revenue from their blog.

Tent Hamm’s emphasis is on frugality. Frugality to the point of silliness in my opinion (and I can stretch a dollar). Money is a tool that should allow us to enjoy life more. Trent is so frugal that I wonder where the joy is. His blog’s value to me is that he is a busy man and spends a great deal of time on time management tips. These tips are invaluable. He also reviews books completely and thoroughly. Trent is very clear in his values and shares those values with his readership. His blog is definitely worth bookmarking. Trent’s shortfall is that he completely ignores investment strategies that can create wealth in favor of repeating strategies available in any investment book. As an example, he doesn’t think real estate is worth talking about, because he has no personal experience in the area of real-estate investing. So instead of attracting a guest author who is knowledgeable about this specialized area of investing, he has chosen to ignore the subject altogether.

JD Roth’s blog is a little different. He deals with the practical aspects of money management as well as more cerebral issues such as risk assessment and whether or not the stock market becomes less risky over time.

Ramit Sethi’s emphasis is on automating your finances and spending consciously rather than slavishly adopting frugality. His blog and book are generally geared to 20 and 30 somethings, but his writing style is entertaining and downright irreverent.

Jonathan of My Money Blog generally discusses current financial issues. He offers his blog readers the opportunity to follow him on his financial journey as he accumulates wealth. He thinks about money in a unique way. As an example, he has devoted several blog posts to using credit cards (ie borrowed money) to generate hundreds of dollars per year in savings.

Financial Books:

I have developed quite a financial library over the past decade and you know what? Most financial books suck. They offer advice that will not only not help you accumulate wealth, but may cost you dearly in the long run. It only occurred to me recently to start writing reviews and I have provided the link to my reviews below.

Although I have purchased and read over 100 personal finance books, my reading list of worthwhile books is quite short and boils down to just a hand full.

Robert Kiyosaki: Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Retire Rich, Retire Young

Robert Allen: Multiple Streams of Income

Michael Mihalik: Debt is Slavery

Carol Keefe: How to Get What You Want in Life with the Money You Already Have

Dominguez/Robin: Your Money or Your Life

Stanley/Danko: The Millionaire Next Door

Michael Masterson: Automatic Wealth: Six Steps to Financial Independence

Spencer Johnson, MD: Who Moved My Cheese

George S. Clason: The Richest Man in Babylon

Each of these books have been influential because they changed how I think about money and changing how you think about money will change your relationship to money. Changing your relationship to money is the first step toward creating wealth. Why so few after reading over 100? Most of the information available is just a rehash from one book to the other. Many books were written during the market boom of the 1990s. Fueled by the proliferation of 401Ks and new investment dollars, the market seemed destined to go up indefinitely, that is until it crashed. To help people manage the proliferation of retirement plans, personal finance books were written by the dozens it seems all saying basically the same thing: The market is a great place to keep cash you won’t need for 10 years, the historical return for the market is 11%, your home is an asset and a great store of wealth, debt is bad, pay cash for your car, pay off your home early, 529 plans are a great way to save for college, the list goes on. History has proven that most of the advice was downright wrong. There were very few books that offered a new way to think about money or provided any information that was unique among the deluge of books on the market. My recommended list does exactly that. I hope you enjoy it. At the risk of casting stones, I am going to add a “this book sucks” list eventually.

Book Review

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