Top Finance Blogs of 2012 You Don’t Want to Miss

I don’t know if it’s a reflection of the many years of economic instability that we’ve experienced, or just our general dogged interest in everything financial, but a guy could spend all day reading finance blogs. And if it kept him from spending his money, that might not be a bad thing.

There are a lot of topics covered under the umbrella of “finance blogs,” so let’s break them down into a few categories and look at a couple “must see” blogs in each category.

General Interest

This phenomena started when journalist Stephen J. Dubner and economist Steven D. Levitt combined their talents and wrote a book of the same name. They carefully explained the economic psychology behind a long list of crazy stuff, like bizarre baby names and teachers who cheat. Today they carry on the tradition in even more books, this blog, radio appearances and a lot more. One hit of Freakonomics and you’ll begin to think everything you believe is exactly wrong.

Bess Levin’s site is the blog that Wall Street’s biggest power brokers love to hate, or just plain hate, it varies. With a rapier wit, and an occasional potty mouth, readers are delivered the inside picture of what trading and big finance is really like. All the dirty underwear is hung out to dry here, and most of it is still dripping wet.

Personal Finance

Money Blue Book
The emphasis here is on credit, financial planning, banks, frugal living, investing and a myriad of other topics that impact our finances. In fact, the topics vary so widely that any time you visit you’re likely to find something fresh that interests you. Recent posts covered money tips for couples and building a high credit score.

Frugal Dad
Hey, frugal mom’s are allowed in too. There’s a lot of creative advice on a wide range of topics. One day, how to save money when interest rates are so low may be the topic, and the next time your visit an article on saving money at the grocery store will prove valuable. There are a lot of infographics, which are always a great way to communicate. You might enjoy this one which makes a good financial case for a loving marriage.

Exactly how much information do you want? In this category you can dig until either your shovel or your sanity breaks. I’ll look at a couple of bloggers. You choose the one that fits your tolerance for data.

Musings on Markets
Aswath Damodaran is a professor of finance at NYU’s Stern School of Business. He has, ahem, a lot to say, but he says it in a way most of us can understand if we’re willing to exercise our gray cells just a bit. He leaves no stone unturned as is illustrated in the fact that Damodaran has covered both value investing and contrarian value investing

Seeking Alpha
More than 60 analysts, advisors, portfolio managers and traders contribute to this blog so you know it’s going to have something to say about the area you’re interested in on any given day. You can also create your own portfolio and the get custom news, analysis, opinion and even email alerts that relate directly to your holdings.

Today, for people of all ages, trying to focus in on retirement is like looking down the wrong end of a telescope—it seems so far away. These blogs will definitely help.

MarketWatch Retirement Blog
Robert Powell writes this one. He’s the editor of the “Retirement Weekly” newsletter and writes often for MarketWatch. His stuff is current and wide ranging. Unlike some others, his stuff is actually interesting to read. He’s written about everything from retiring overseas to timing your IRA properly.

Retirement Researcher Blog
With this one I go in completely the opposite direction. While Robert Powell focuses on topics that are of broad general interest, the blogger here, Wade Pfau, provides “independent, data-drive and researched-based information about retirement planning,” to use Pfau’s own words. The investment and financial information is great, but the writing, graphs and tables can get dense. If you’re handling your own investments, put this one on your list.

Chris Turberville-Tully is a marketing strategist for Fast Car Finance, a UK financing company providing loans for luxury and prestige cars.

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