Personal Finance Writers Are Worthless…

personal finance writersI was sent quite an email in regard to the post I made about the secret of becoming rich:

If we already know everything and you can’t teach us anything new, then you’re worthless. Why should we waste out time reading your drivel? You should be ashamed at making your living doing something that isn’t worthwhile to anyone…

While the email was a bit harsh in my humble opinion (I certainly hope that my writing isn’t considered “drivel” by most), it does bring up a valid point. If everyone already knows what they need to do to become wealthy, what is the role of personal finance sites and bloggers? Here is my answer to that question:

Different Perspective: I think that it is important to present information in different forms and from different angles. The way I look at money and the way that you look at money are probably not the same. If I can write about a subject from a different perspective than you thought about before, maybe that will be the seed to help you do the things that you already know you should be doing.

Motivation: Just because you know something doesn’t mean that it is easy to do. Personal finance writers can help remind you about what you already know in a way that helps to motivate you to actually take the steps needed to place the financial knowledge into motion. Just like with exercise, even when you know what you should be doing, it helps when you have a trainer or a workout partner to help motivate you to keep up the training.

Support: While people know what they should be doing, they often don’t begin to do so until they have spent a lot of time not doing what they should have. That means that they have money obstacles to overcome. Once someone begins taking the steps to get their finances in order, it’s not always an easy road due to the past mistakes. It helps to have the support of others who are going through the same issues or who have already gone through them to keep on the correct financial path.

Detailed Knowledge: While many know what they should be doing, they may not always know how to go about doing it or that there may be a variety of ways of doing it. In the form of a blog and websites, the detailed knowledge of how to go about acting upon what you already know can be passed along.

Confirmation: While people know what they should be doing, there often isn’t a place where they can confirm the information they have. Unfortunately, money is still a subject that is often a taboo subject among family and friends, so some people need to find an alternative source to confirm they are on the correct financial path.

Entertainment: While entertainment isn’t usually a word associated with personal finances, I hope that the subjects I write about and discuss make you think and are enjoyable to read (at least that is what I’m striving toward). Hopefully I can pass along information while also making you think a bit and also bring a smile to your face every once in awhile.

Are personal finance writers worthless? I don’t believe so (although I wouldn’t mind it if there was a day when they were – I would gladly look for another job), but if you happen to be one of those that do, you are always free to not read what I write 😉

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15 Responses to Personal Finance Writers Are Worthless…

  1. Donald Chen says:

    I agree with you. We need reminding of what we already know. That’s why I read your blog reguarly. Yours and FMF are the two blogs that I read almost every day. Thank you for your efforts in posting valuable information.

  2. Loi Tran says:

    I think you’re a great writer. There are not that many quality personal finance sites out there. And no once can know everything about personal finance/investing. People may know the basics, but no one knows everything.

    Especially with investing, it is a life learning process that never ends.

    Keep up the good work.

  3. Trent says:

    I have to agree with your reader. Personal finance sites are worthless. Isn’t it obvious that everyone who is in debt right now knows how to manage their money already? We’re pretty much wasting our time writing about ways to fix it.

  4. LAMoneyGuy says:

    It’s funny, most people know what it takes to lose weight, yet more Americans are obese than ever. Likewise, most people know that you can’t spend more than you make, yet savings rates are the lowest since the Depression.

  5. There’s worth in promoting dialogue and sharing of one’s experiences with everyone else, regardless of the subject. Sure i may believe I know all there is to know about xyz but sometimes I like to confirm my knowledge against that of others for validation and assurance.

  6. davis says:

    Not to hurt anyone’s ego, but most are worthless. This is the fact for most blogs on any subject.

  7. I’m guessing this person didn’t bookmark your RSS feed? My only question is why, if he knows everything about finance, he is trolling blogs at all. He could be attending medical school or something else that would challenge his intellect. Meanwhile he can leave the financial blogs to those who do not yet know everything about the topic.

  8. You have great value to my family! Yeah so I knew most of what I read here useful and what I got from the forums..but knowing and doing are two different things..a new spin and steady support are fill that need perfectly!

  9. SCapitalist says:

    People really amaze me sometimes. If he thought you were worthless, why did he take the time to send you an email? Worthless is a personal opinion, and that is what the back button on my browser is for.

    Your site is anything but worthless to a LARGE number of people. Your RSS counter is a testament to that. Your articles are well written and very practical.

    The sad truth is that MOST people do not know anything about personal finance. If an individual came to your site and learned just ONE thing, it would still be of value. It would be hard to find a person that knows EVERYTHING archived in your site.

    People should also realize that the power of blogging is not following one bloggers advice, but following the whole community. The blogging community overall does a better job staying on top of trends and new developments than traditional news outlets.

    I bet he watches “Fox News”… =P

  10. I have to wonder why people who think personal finance sites are worthless are reading your site in the first place. I also have to wonder what is really going on in the lives of those people who send us nasty emails or comments about our websites that they feel the need to take out their anger on a total stranger who is not harming them in any way. I think your site is one of the most valuable personal finance websites out there–I read it daily and recommend it to others.
    Most of the people in my life are highly educated and yet know very little about personal finance because it was never presented to them as something they needed to learn. Only students in university business programs are likely to stumble across courses in basic financial management. Having someone explain the subject in bite-sized, easily digestible pieces makes it accessible to anyone and helps countless people improve their lives.

  11. Steven L says:

    Jeff you are definitely posting drivel. Your blog is great and you work hard on it. Keep up the good work.

  12. Pingback: » Blog Archive » The Carnival of Personal Finance

  13. vsjhoc says:

    Why was the commentator so upset? It’s not like they had to PAY to read your blog.

  14. Amy says:

    I have to say that it surprises me how many people take the time to send mean emails. I have received some very harsh emails during the years that I have been writing. I particularly love the ones where people discredit the good I am trying to do or discredit my character.

    I hope you will not be discouraged by this and continue to do what you are doing.

    Hopefully you will get some really complimentary emails too. I think the compliments far outweigh the complaints I get.

    Happy Holidays!

  15. There are vast swaths of people in this country that don’t have a clue how to save for retirement. Instead, they rack up massive credit card debt, putting them in a negative net worth situation. Turn on the water works, ’cause here it comes: If I can keep just one person from falling into that negative net worth hole, then it will have all been worth it.

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