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Blogs for international financial freedom seekers

The good news? You’re able to read English – and to put up with long, syllable-strewn sentences balanced by the occasional geeky joke – and so you’re reading Monevator.

Hurrah! Long may it continue!

But what if you live in Germany, or Sweden, or Barbados? The principles of personal finance and good investing may be international. But the vagaries of local taxes and regulations or what products and services are available in your country will vary.

So a few months ago I asked Monevator readers to share their best suggestions for personal finance blogs from outside the UK and the US that they know and read themselves.

Not mainstream media resources – they’re myriad, and easily found – but websites with reports from the trenches written by everyday investors and seekers after financial freedom.

Below is a list of what you came up with, together with a few words of explanation – paraphrased in most cases from the websites.

Many of the blogs you put forward are actually written in English. Perhaps that isn’t surprise given those making the suggestions were also reading Monevator? Regardless, it means that even if you’re investing with both your feet planted in Blighty, you might find a likely foreign sort to have a fling with.

(Just don’t tell me about it. What I don’t know can’t hurt me. What happens in your Chrome browser’s incognito mode stays in incognito mode. And so on.)

Beware: I have spent an enjoyable day clicking around these sites but I haven’t done deep due diligence. I’m relying on reader suggestions. I skipped a few, but if any of the remaining ones I’ve listed are scams or similar, please do shout below. Don’t take them as gospel until you’ve had a good dig. Actually you should never take anything on the Internet as gospel, even the stuff we write. (Except of course inspirational quotes written in Copperplate Gothic font and superimposed onto pictures of snowy mountains or tropical sunsets. Those all speak the truth and are sacred.)

Australia

Aussie Firebug – An anonymous blog detailing the journey to financial independence through investing in real estate and low cost index funds.

Dividends Down Under – A young couple detail their dividend-focused journey to financial independence.

Barbados

Odd Cents –Information about spending and saving, which as the author points out “pretty much encompasses everything in the finance world”. It’s curious to read a site like this from a country you might think of as a paradise escape destination.

Belgium

No More Waffles – A 26-year-old guy from Belgium trying to save and invest his way towards financial independence.

Canada

Blunt Bean Counter – Billed as a humorous blog about tax. Presumably has that market sewn up.

Canadian Couch Potato – A regular in our Weekend Reading links, offers peerless advice on passive investing through index funds. Only a shame that so much of the detail is for Canadians. Unless, of course, you’re Canadian.

Canadian Money Forum – A message board about money for Canadians. Gotta envy the connection between the labeling on the tin and what it does inside. (In contrast, what kind of fool would make up a word for the name his blog? *cough cough*)

Canadian Personal Finance – Long-time blogger who bills himself as the clown prince of personal finance.

Money We Have – A personal finance blog with an emphasis on travel.

My Million Dollar Journey – One of the oldies, it’s been around as long as Monevator. The author hit the million, and now riffs on general financial freedom topics as well as following the progress of a handful of guinea pigs readers.

My Own Advisor – Also aiming for a million Canadian dollars, with a focus on dividend income.

Tawcan – A mixture of ideas about lifestyle design and concrete plans towards achieving financial independence.

Young and Thrifty – Saving Generation Y, apparently. Good to aim high!

France

Les investisseurs – I know, it sounds like an exciting art house movie! But apparently it just means ‘investors’ in French. Monevator reader DavidChevance says of the site: “This is more a forum than a blog, however the issues discussed on it are very similar to those addressed on Monevator, with a significant bias towards investment in property, reflecting the widespread French aversion towards the stock market.”

Germany

Der Privatier – The author explains his path to financial freedom, how to grow your capital, and how to use it to generate a passive income.

Exstudentin – A 23-year old ex-student reports on her journey towards a quietly fulfilling life.

Finanzglück – German dad in his mid-30s with two young kids who aims to retire early. Writes about index investing, real estate, and family life.

Finanzwesir – Founded on the principle that the level of financial literacy today is around the lamentable equivalent of the “Can you get pregnant by kissing?” questions of the early last century. I like how he calls an emergency fund a ‘fire brigade’.

Frugalisten – According to Google Translate, the author is urging us to “say goodbye to the washcloth life”. I’d normally suggest something had been lost in transmission, except there’s also a photo of him waving around some currency together with a washcloth. Go take a look, German speakers. An adventure!

Klunkerchen – Aimed “at women (and all people)”. Interesting classification system, Klunkerchen! Seems very comprehensive. I notice it runs on the same theme I started Monevator on, too, many years back, so I got a little nostalgic. Germans have a different perspective on personal finance to us Anglo-Saxon sorts in my experience, but that’s a post for another day.

Madame Moneypenny – Aimed at women who want financial independence.

What Life Could Be – A European take on financial independence. The husband and wife team are big fans of US blogs, but missed the lack of domestic detail.

India

Personal Finance CalculatorsMonevator reader Shan tells us: “There are a gazillion blogs in India but this is an absolute must. Professor Pattu has multiple retirement spreadsheets and a steady stream of common sense investing tips.”

Italy

Stalflare – Interested in investing and creating a sustainable future, by managing savings, expenses, and long-term investments.

Japan

RetireJapan – Perhaps the only English-language personal finance site in Japan. Provides information about local rules and regulations and has a small but active community.

Netherlands

Geld is tijd – How many blogs feature articles (with pictures) about making mealworm burgers?

In 10 jaar – Blog by a couple who set off in 2015 to become financially independent in a decade.

Mom4life – A mother of three writes about money saving and other financial tips.

Mrs EconoWiser – Dutch Mustachians. (May be defunct… not updated since December 2015).

Norway

Finansnerden – A Norwegian Monevator reader writes about his journey towards “having FU money by April 2026, through increasing income, saving, and investing in stocks, bonds and real estate.”

Pengeblogg – I’m told this is probably the longest running personal finance blog in Norway. I am ill-qualified to disagree.

Singapore

A Singaporean Stocks Investor – Curious site that’s apparently about securing a financial future in an uncertain world. Idiosyncratic but seems very personable.

STE’s Stocks Investing Journey – General thoughts on stock investing and personal reflections. Some links to other resources.

Turtle Investor – Seems to be a mixture of bargain hunting and index funds articles.

Sweden

Gustavs aktieblogg – A lawyer who invests in smaller dividend-paying companies to grow a retirement income stream.

Switzerland

Mustachian Post – How to build wealth by enjoying your life in Switzerland.

Retire in Progress – An Italian Software Engineer working in Switzerland for a big tech company, blogging in English. Saves a whopping 70% of his salary with the aim of retiring in his early 40s.

South Africa

Dividend Tycoon – Recently refocused to be “about investing in general, especially the psychological side”.

The Investor Challenge – Infrequently updated and a bit hard to fathom the gist of it from here, but a reader suggested it.

Spain

Ahorro Capital – Also suggested by Monevator reader David Chevance, who also suggested most of the other Spanish sites here. Dividend focused.

Cazadividendos – Provides “high quality technical advice, similar to Monevator, on topics like for example the tax treatment of foreign (i.e. non-Spanish) dividends, how to declare them in your tax return and how the reclaim the rest of the dividend withholding tax from the foreign authorities.”

Dividends.es – An investing blog whose author also runs Investorinteligente. (Both may now be defunct… not updated since July 2016.)

Enorme Piedra Redonda –  More about about lifestyle, traveling cheaply, and meeting interesting people, as the author already took early retirement a few years ago. Infrequent posts. Our Spanish mole says it’s his favourite, as the blog owner is a great storyteller.

Invesorinteligente – An investing blog whose author also runs Dividends.es. (Both may now be defunct… not updated since July 2016.)

Jubilacion Express – Apparently it reads like a “newbies” blog but provides “detailed information”, according to our man in Spain. (At a glance it seems like it may be defunct, but my Spanish is diabolical.)

International / ex-pat

Andrew Hallam – Website home of the author of The Millionaire Teacher. Monevator reader Blacksmith salutes its “advice on passive investing, global diversification vs home currency bias, international discount brokerages, tips on practical implementation and pitfalls to avoid.”

The International InvestorTheAccumulator has linked to this one a few times. Advice and resources for investors in international markets.

Phew! A lot to chew through, but this list isn’t exhaustive – it’s just the sites you guys pointed me to. Have you got a favourite that isn’t on the list? Please tell us in the comments below, and add a few words explaining why it’s a good one. Also, regarding the post title I know that if you’re based in Japan or Barbados, then *we* are one of the international foreign blogs. But I didn’t want to say “outside the US and UK” in the title, as that could take the search engines in the wrong direction. Hence the island view of the world.

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{ 19 comments… add one }
  • 1 ermine November 15, 2016, 11:26 am

    Don;t you just love Klunkerchen’s opportunities for the young 21-year old

    Flat (Wohnung) 350 Euro p.m

    That sort of rent is to die for, I can see how they might imagine FI for those on a low income. They have got something right in Germany when they can say that a nursery school teacher can reach FI as well as an IT specialist, and it’s down to a much lower cost of housing by the looks of it.

  • 2 Oliver (frugalisten.de) November 15, 2016, 11:33 am

    Hi The Investor,
    thanks for taking the effort to get this great collection together! I am very proud to be part of it.
    Just to clearify the “washcloth life” thing: In German, you can call someone a “washcloth” who is a bit of a wimp or coward. I hope that explains the odd Google translation 😉

    Two blogs that I would say are definitely missing on that list are http://finanzglueck.de/ and http://retireinprogress.com/.
    The former is a German dad in his mid 30s with two young kids who aims to retire in ten years from now and blogs about index investing, real estate and family life. He writes in German.
    The latter is an Italian Software Engineer working in Switzerland for a big tech company. His salary and saving rate (close to 70%) are really inspiring and his articles and writing style are just brilliant. He writes in English and aims to retire early in his early 40s.

  • 3 Shan November 15, 2016, 12:26 pm

    There are a gazillion blogs in India but freefincal.com is an absolute must. Prof. Pattu has multiple retirement spreadsheets and a steady stream of common sense investing tips.

  • 4 Mr. RIP November 15, 2016, 2:34 pm

    Thanks Oliver… wow what an amazing description of my humble blog 😀

    Anyway, thanks dear post author for this infinite resource list I’m already in “oh-nooooo-I-now-need-to-binge-read-them-aaaaaaal” mode 🙂

  • 5 William III November 15, 2016, 3:30 pm

    The Dutch one is quite poor. I found a couple of others which are a bit better (and still live):
    http://in10jaarfo.blogspot.co.uk/
    http://geld-is-tijd.blogspot.co.uk/
    http://life4mama.blogspot.co.uk/

  • 6 Dorf Diva November 15, 2016, 5:31 pm

    To the German ones I’d add http://www.finanzwesir.com
    I’d really like to find a blog that deals with Americans living as long-term EU residents becoming FI. Maybe I need to start one myself?

  • 7 Nick November 15, 2016, 6:13 pm

    Do you have a list of what you consider good uk based blogs? I googled but perhaps my powers are failing me! Or if you consider the weekend reading list definitive, that’s good enough for me.

    Cheers,

    Nick

  • 8 RetireJapan November 16, 2016, 1:54 am

    Thanks! What a wonderful surprise to wake up to this morning. My site on one of my favourite sites…

    Now I await the renowned ‘Monevator effect’.

    I’ll kill time while waiting by reading all the other sites 🙂

  • 9 Mrs. ETT November 16, 2016, 9:16 am

    I second RIP, but he’s already visited!

    Also for Australia, https://dividendsdownunder.com

    Dividends Down Under is a young couple at the beginning of their FI journey, demonstrating how they investigate companies to buy shares in, and recording their dividends as they work to build a passive income stream.

  • 10 Andrew November 16, 2016, 1:15 pm

    Hello
    I am a long time reader, a Brit, living in Sweden.
    Stumbled across this one
    http://gustavsaktieblogg.blogspot.se/

    Description ‘google translated’
    Lawyer in the insurance industry who dream of one day be able to live on dividends. Here follow the building of an exciting global growth and dividend portfolio. The focus is on small quality companies with good growth and strong competitive advantages. Högutdelare are also welcome. Looking around the world and in the portfolio are companies from Sweden, Canada, South Africa and Asia

    Hope this is of interest.

    On a different subject

    Having reached an age! I found your colleagues series of articles on using a selection of IT’s to produce an income very helpful. I am currently looking at worldwide ETF’s that would also produce an income stream, any thoughts?
    Thanks for your always interesting views every week.

  • 11 pattu November 16, 2016, 2:04 pm

    Thank you and Shan, for mentioning Personal Finance Calculators (freefincal).

  • 12 The Investor November 17, 2016, 10:14 am

    @ermine — Housing is lower cost in Germany, but then as I’m often reminded there’s lower cost housing in the UK, too, outside of the South East. Perhaps a greater difference is a wider spread of prosperity? There are several cities vying for importance in Germany as you know, compared to London or bust (I exaggerate to make the point) in the UK. Then again I also suspect that it should be harder to retire early etc in socially progressive countries because more of your income goes towards tax/the State for your future provision (or that of your fellow citizens) compared to say the US or even China. I guess we’re in the middle?

    @Oliver — Thanks for the explanation! It’s good to have a memorable hook, eh? I’ll pop a link from the blog down to your comment when I get a moment. I’ve included your two suggestions, too.

    @shan @pattu — You’re welcome, good to have an Indian site on the list.

    @Mr RIP — Twice recommended! There’s a thing. 🙂

    @William III @dorfdiva — Cheers, they’re on the list.

    @Nick — No formal list. I suppose Weekend Reading is the closest thing, though that’s really biased by my own reading habits and slanted to investing, so there are some great personal finance blogs like MissThrifty and others that very seldom make the list.

    @RetireJapan — You’re welcome. Ha ha, well I think this is more likely to be a slow burner… not sure how many Japanese readers we already have that will be clicking over to check you out, but hopefully will help 1-2 find you everyday forever more. 🙂

    @MrsETT — Thanks, I’ve added it!

    @Andrew — Thanks, have added. Glad you’ve enjoyed the site for a long time! That article is much-requested, but fits a little bit outside of the Venn diagram of interests for our contributors. (Our passive fund fan The Accumulator thinks you shouldn’t go for income but total return and sell capital, The Greybeard likes a bit of active/stability in the mix so prefers investment trusts, and I’m mostly a stock picker currently). I will re-raise and see if anyone is keener now. 🙂

  • 13 PinchThePennies November 17, 2016, 12:28 pm

    @Andrew, #10
    Maybe have a look at Vanguard ETF’s?
    https://www.vanguardinvestments.se/portal/instl/se/en/product.html#/productType=etf

    I hold FTSE All-World High Dividend Yield UCITS ETF (VHYL) (https://www.vanguardinvestments.se/portal/instl/se/en/product.html#/fundDetail/etf/portId=9506/assetCode=equity/?overview).

    From the Vanguard pages:

    Objective
    Vanguard FTSE All-World High Dividend Yield UCITS ETF seeks to track the performance of the index, a free float adjusted market-capitalisation-weighted index of common stocks of companies, excluding real estate trusts, in developed and emerging markets that pay dividends that are generally higher than average.

    Investment Strategy
    – The fund seeks to provide both diversified income and capital appreciation by tracking the performance of the index, a large- and mid-cap market-capitalisation-weighted index of developed and emerging market common stocks with generally higher than average forecasted dividend yields.
    – The fund employs a passive management or indexing investment approach through the physical acquisition of securities, designed to track the performance of the index, a free-float market capitalisation weighted index.

    Dividends paid quarterly much like IT’s.

    Regards, Pinch

  • 14 Gustav November 17, 2016, 7:42 pm

    Hi!
    Thanks for writing about my blog. I’ll continue to write about, and invest in, small-caps all over the world. I strongly believe in smaller dividend paying companies, less analysed, with strong competitive advantages and good growth. Three examples are Savaria in Canada, Famous Brands in South Africa and eWork in Sweden. Full portfolio can be seen on my blog (to the right). Thanks again for writing about my blog! I’ll check out the others!

    Best regards
    Gustav

  • 15 Andrew November 18, 2016, 10:54 am

    Hello Pinch
    Thanks for that.
    The Investor has just published an article on IT’s so I will make a comment on that on my journey so far.

  • 16 britinkiwi November 19, 2016, 9:24 pm

    Thanks for these. Not a single blog from New Zealand – are there any other kiwi readers here? I confess I’ve not found a NZ blog worth reading (yet) – most of the so-called blogs are self promoting sales chatter (IMHO).

    Willing to learn different or alternatively maybe there is a gap in the market!

  • 17 Financial Samurai November 20, 2016, 4:49 am

    Wow! Such an awesome list. Who knew there would be so many international financial independence blogs out there? I guess it makes sense as everybody everywhere Charlie wants the same thing. But very cool to see a consolidated list.

    Sam

  • 18 Szabtom December 9, 2016, 11:38 pm

    There are a few European blogs in English I like to read. One of them is http://retireinprogress.com/ , another is http://www.theroadtoonemillion.com
    There’s also a good one on dividend investing (http://osztalekportfolio.com/), but since it’s in Hungarian, I suppose it reaches out less people 🙂

  • 19 MP December 10, 2016, 7:10 am

    Hi there,

    Thank you for having me on your list, I was very pleased to discover it.

    Have a nice week-end,
    MP

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