Carnival of Personal Finance and More Comments on Bloggers

This week’s Carnival of Personal Finance carries my post on Why Market Timing is Hard.  As usual, there is a lot of other stuff there, much of it worth reading.Keyboard a-Michael Maggs

There were only two editor’s picks this week, a post from Bargaineering with career advice, and our friend Pinyo at Moolanomy’s post I’m Just a Blogger, Damn it!

And so he is.

Being the tremendously self-centered guy that I am, I assumed  that Pinyo’s post was in response to my post the previous day that discussed his mortgage refinance post.  Since he didn’t mention this blog, I didn’t feel I needed to comment further. (Note to my future victims: not acknowledging Bad Money Advice at all is your best strategy to let the whole thing blow over.)  But now that Pinyo’s explanation that he is just a blogger has been highlighted as one of the two best personal finance posts of the week, it is hard for me not to say something.  (Another note: submitting your non-response to the Carnival of Personal Finance lessens the chances of it going away.)

In case you haven’t clicked on the link above (and you should) Pinyo takes the position that seems to be the standard defense of bloggers that I pick on.  He is just an ordinary guy who writes a blog as an aid to his own financial education, not as a source of advice for others.  “Please do not mistake my opinion as advice.” he tells us.

But that’s not easy to do.  The tone of his posts, and the posts of countless other bloggers just like him, is not “Hey, I may have this thing figured out, what do you readers think?” it’s “Listen up, here’s the way this works.”  I would like to think that all blog visitors know that what they are reading is not meant to be taken as advice.  But I know better.  It sure looks like advice.

Furthermore, I think that it is worth observing that these blogs sell advertising and are sources of income for their writers.  To my mind, you cross a line when you start having a monetary interest in getting people to read your blog.  It’s no longer merely a way for you to learn about personal finances and share your experiences, it’s also a business that sells a product.  (BTW, this blog will carry ads when/if it has enough readers to make it worth the bother.)

I like blogs.  Of the obvious sources of information about personal finance out there, blogs are probably your best choice, certainly better than the big gurus and the mass media.  And as far as I can tell, every PF blogger is honest, earnest, and sincerely trying to do a good job.  I just want them to try a little harder sometimes.  After all, this is important stuff.

[Photo: Michael Maggs]

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