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Weekend reading: Twilight of the blogs

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What caught my eye this week.

Investing blogs – especially in the UK – are updating much less frequently than they used to.

Perhaps as ever more of us go passive, there’s less to write about?

Index fund-focused blogs like us are typically trying to find new ways to say the same thing (as Jack Bogle quipped about himself). It’s just not as exciting as blogging about Facebook shares crashing or small cap story stocks. Readers invariably find Monevator, read a lot and comment a little, and then vanish. Perhaps that happens with most websites. But a strategy that says “set your portfolio and forget about it” isn’t the best way to keep ’em coming back for more.

Sometimes I think about going full-time with Monevator (oh the luxury) and about what else I’d like to write here. (Apart from all the follow-up articles I’ve promised you over the years I mean!)

I’d like an excuse to dig deeper into unlisted/angel investing, for example, but the tumbleweed festooning my article this week suggests this isn’t the right venue.

Similarly I’m interested in all the new fintechs coming to market. I went to a pitch event last night featuring seven, all aiming to make the world a better place. I even chatted to the founders of Monevator reader favourite, Money Dashboard!

This area is appealing to me because it’s not well-covered elsewhere. But perhaps it’s not covered much because few other people are curious about it.

Going back to blogs, I do think the years of seeing their traffic drifting to Facebook and Twitter has eventually encouraged a lot of bloggers to throw in the towel or jump ship. I see people who used to write copiously on blogs and forums now throwing off a couple of tweets about the same thing. It has its place, but nobody is learning about investing on Twitter.

Similarly I was happy to support a financial freedom Facebook group a few years ago that has since ballooned with lots of interesting comments most days. It’s very easy to post a question or a link and to press a like button. Far harder to blog every week for year after year.

Finally, several interesting bloggers – especially in the US – have moved most of their focus to podcasts. I followed a few for a while, but podcasts are time-consuming fare to get through. For me, nothing beats the written word.

The golden age of investment blogging seems to be over. If that’s reflected in the quantity or quality of links to blogs in our Weekend Reading, now you know why.

We’re still standing though. Have a great weekend! 🙂

Am I overlooking some great UK investing blogs that are consistently posting quality content? If so let me know in the comments below. (Not so much people posting about their coupon clipping or matched betting, or personal stuff that doesn’t lend itself to sharing in a single article. Nothing wrong with any of that, but it’s not our thing here.)

From Monevator

Are ordinary investors missing out on venture capital returns? – Monevator

From the archive-ator: Investing for beginners (All about assets) – Monevator

News

Note: Some links are Google search results – in PC/desktop view you can click to read the piece without being a paid subscriber. Try privacy/incognito mode to avoid cookies. Consider subscribing if you read them a lot!1

UK rents fall for the first time in a decade – Guardian

How Britain’s £239bn buy-to-let bubble burst – ThisIsMoney

Santander to close 140 bank branches – Guardian

Times are tough for wannabe hedge fund titans – Bloomberg

Products and services

10-year fixed rate mortgages have never look cheaper – Guardian

Will fitting a car tracker device reduce your insurance costs? – ThisIsMoney

Ratesetter will give you a free £100 [and me a cash bonus] if you invest £1,000 for a year – Ratesetter

Estate agents give their seven top tips for selling your property – ThisIsMoney

Fancy homes in warehouse conversions… [Gallery]Guardian

…and the 20 cheapest homes in Britain – ThisIsMoney

Comment and opinion

Fickle fortune – Of Dollars and Data

“I make a six-figure salary but I’m still always broke”Whimn

Double your money – The Reformed Broker

The long-term in international [That is non-US] stocks – A Wealth of Common Sense

The reason active funds attract more media attention than passive – TEBI

The trouble with market-cap weighting funds – Morningstar

The basics of technical analysis [Funny]xkcd

A deep dive into Swensen’s Yale Portfolio [US but relevant]Value Stock Geek

Rick Ferri interviews Vanguard’s ex-CIO [Podcast]Bogleheads on Investing

A deep dive into global small cap investment trusts – IT Investor

Bill Miller in the wilderness, and loving it – Institutional Investor

Brexit

Airbus slams ‘disgraceful’ Brexit chaos, calls Brexiteers ‘mad’ and threatens to leave Britain with the loss of 14,000 jobs if there is no deal – ThisIsMoney

Kindle book bargains

Start Now, Get Perfect Later by Rob Moore – £0.99 on Kindle

Unlimited Memory by Kevin Horsley – £0.99 on Kindle

Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull – £1.99 on Kindle

Turning the Tide on Plastic by Lucy Siegle – £0.99 on Kindle

Off our beat

Facebook, Google, and a dark age of surveillance capitalism [Search result]FT

With lifelong struggles, effort isn’t what’s missing – Raptitude

And finally…

“As I have earlier noted, the most important things in life and in business can’t be measured.”
– John C. Bogle, Enough: True Measures of Money, Business, and Life

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{ 90 comments… add one }
  • 1 Haphazard January 25, 2019, 6:32 pm

    As a novice, I find the nuts and bolts articles on Monevator incredibly useful. And I wouldn’t look for that kind of thing on Facebook, Twitter etc. It’s one thing to decide to invest passively, another to know how to go about it in practice.

    Another Brexit link for those who are interested: Sir Ivan Rogers (UK’s former Permanent Represetative to the EU), lecture at UCL:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PxpHNXIKnY

  • 2 dearieme January 25, 2019, 6:56 pm

    “He achieved these results by focusing extensively on moving away from the heavy allocation to bonds that the Ivy League had before the 1980s.” Good grief. British pension funds began to move from bonds to equities in the fifties, didn’t they? I suppose the likes of Yale are so stinking rich that they could afford to coast for decades.

    Keynes put the King’s endowment into equities in the twenties.
    https://www.nber.org/papers/w20421

  • 3 dearieme January 25, 2019, 7:28 pm

    ” There is no law guaranteeing that long term returns should converge across asset classes”: true, but rather odd. Why isn’t the equity premium “in the price” and therefore averaging about zero? Why doesn’t arbitrage work?

    “10-year fixed rate mortgages have never look cheaper”: how can I take advantage of that? Equity release? (Which would also be a defence against inflation, I suppose.)

    “The Reformed Broker”: some reformation! His diagram uses as a comparison case a lovely smooth exponential growth for equities.

  • 4 bb January 25, 2019, 9:33 pm

    I feel bad for not commenting more now!

    I thought the Angel investing article was interesting and would be interested in a follow up. I’ve never found a way in to that type of investing so some sort of pooled vehicle is definitely of interest. Also the fintechs… would dearly love an aggregator that worked across investment accounts as well as bank accounts.

  • 5 Mike January 25, 2019, 10:10 pm

    I like the articles and like that you take the time to provide weekend reading links – but I hate the podcast articles that other sites use. I’d much rather read an article than listen for several minutes.

  • 6 Norfolk January 25, 2019, 10:18 pm

    I wouldn’t worry about the longevity of your site, any apathy will funnel those who have the interest, to you, thereby concentrating the niche population who want to learn for themselves. Those so easily lost to social media were never serious in the first place, rather like window shoppers or tyre kickers, you lost no real audience, rubber-neckers are just vaguely curious passersby. You were never going to educate people who want to interface with the world via a few characters and cat videos; someone with the attention-span of a housefly can’t learn anything of significance.

    For those interested in self-improvement or exchange with others genuinely interested in mutually helpful cooperation, they’ll always be around because life always changes. New things will definitely come along and that will be an opportunity for analysis, indulging our curiousity and seeing what happens, did the theory work? We’re hugely overdue a crash, all the warning light are flashing like the start of a grand prix now, so I don’t think we’ll have to wait long. As people start hurting in their everyday lives when tough times bite, it’ll no longer be self-indulgent, hobbyist, navel-gazing to hone your financial situation, and your time will have come.

  • 7 Fremantle January 26, 2019, 12:26 am

    I’ve got a reasonably settled passive strategy, so have less interest in the technical/strategy articles.

    Where Monevator continues to have value is in the glimpses it gives into the investing stories of others. There is a strength to be gained in witnessing the doubts, fears and triumphs of others you can relate to.

    And I like the Brexit stuff, even if I have a different opinion. I discuss politics elsewhere, and it has been interesting to be in a secular finance space discussing both actual politics and practical approaches to dealing with uncertainty.

  • 8 Chris January 26, 2019, 6:29 am

    I understand that digital content producers like Huff Post and Buzzfeed are struggling to make it work – perhaps in part because their content is so generic and/or manipulative? There will always be room for high quality niche content if the blogger is content with a niche audience (which I appreciate doesn’t always pay the bills).

    I once heard that people write for fortune or glory. I’ll add fun and/or learning to that list. Write to please yourself I say.

    As with your other content, I enjoyed your angel investing post but didn’t feel I had anything useful to say.

  • 9 Fatbritabroad January 26, 2019, 7:12 am

    The reason active funds attractive more media attention than passive – TEBI

    Should be attract. Not being picky just trying to be helpful!

  • 10 JimJim January 26, 2019, 8:39 am

    Echoing Chris above and others, the Angel investing thing was interesting, all areas of investment interest me, this one I have, like most small investors, no experience of. (hard to comment ) It can be exclusive due to minimum investment requirements. A friend of mine invests through VCTs. That is basically due to tax advantages in his circumstances. We need to know more before we may look upon it as part of a diversified portfolio. A follow up article would be greatly appreciated.
    The weekend always starts with your blog for me. I am a creature of habit. On that note, I’m off to shoot some targets.
    Jim

  • 11 James January 26, 2019, 9:45 am

    As a newbie to investing, I found my way here whilst researching “financial independence” a few months ago. I’ve stuck around because I particularly enjoy your weekend collation.

    As for the decline of financial blogging, Facebook Groups might be the way forward. Facebook are investing heavily in Groups at the moment with a number of recent improvements/features. I would make the most of your existing group and use this blog as a supporting feature for added depth…or vice versa. Just bear in mind that this blog is your turf, but your FB Group belongs to Facebook and they can change things as they see fit.

  • 12 MrOptimistic January 26, 2019, 9:58 am

    @dearieme. Here’s someone else pondering on mean reversion

    http://www.theretirementcafe.com/2018/11/mean-reversion-of-equity-returns-and.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheRetirementCafe+%28The+Retirement+Cafe%29
    Doesn’t work for individual companies or sectors ( eg Kodak or coal miners).
    In terms of blogging, I think it’s difficult to continuously produce sharp concise natty discussions as subject areas are limited. Other sites, eg theretirementcafe do deeper dives supported by narrow research or modelling. These inevidont appeal to a wider audience.

  • 13 Ben January 26, 2019, 10:12 am

    I assume it’s the mention of The Motley Fool, last week that prompted this post? They always have things to say now 😛

    You do raise a good point though. Passive investing is inherently, well, passive. You could go the FIRE route and expand into lifestyle type stuff?
    Messers Monevator Mustache?

    To be honest I like the writing here. It doesn’t get too caught up in statistical thickets, whilst still being informative, Brexit articles likewise are well written.
    I wouldn’t object to something completely different, I concede that that might put more people off than it attracts.

    Maybe TA is a closet potter, or TI a flower arranger, and Shakespeare Am Dram? Surprise us 🙂

  • 14 Ben January 26, 2019, 10:36 am

    The VC article was great but few people feel qualified to comment. There’s no no brainer like trackers. I’d encourage you to discuss as many asset classes as you can, even if the conclusion is (say it with me) buy trackers.

  • 15 LukeM January 26, 2019, 10:39 am

    I like pithy quotes as much as the next man. But when Bogle says “the most important things in life and in business can’t be measured”, and others say “what gets measured gets managed/done”, you’re left scratching your head!

  • 16 Ben January 26, 2019, 10:54 am

    Re …and the 20 cheapest homes in Britain:

    I’ll pick on the Bradford example because that’s my neck of the woods.
    £13000 for a flat that by the looks of it is very near the centre, and the train line into Leeds, that distance from any other station on that line would add a zero and a half at least. If you lived in it for a year it would still be cheaper than renting.
    Unfortunately its in the centre of Bradford. Bradford where someone was stabbed outside a Pub on a weekday lunchtime. Where payroll cash was taken in an armed robbery 2 doors from the office I worked in. This was 10 years ago, I don’t think its changed much though.

    How do London up and coming boroughs manage it?

  • 17 Nearly There January 26, 2019, 11:04 am

    Radio 4’s Inside Health had a good semi-rant about diet books last week, and I thought of the crossovers with investing. Especially bits about diversity, the cult of the personality and the fad, there being no best seller potential in the basic sound advice that everyone should follow for a core diet, having a good mix of protein and carbs, etc etc. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000254c

  • 18 The Investor January 26, 2019, 11:05 am

    Thanks for the thoughts all. Appreciate of course the comments on the ongoing usefulness of Monevator — and glad to hear the VC article wasn’t quite as far off base as I feared — but really I was thinking of other sites. I’d just noticed this week site after site hadn’t updated. I reluctantly concluded several are indeed dead, and wondered what it meant that others seemed to be going that way…

    Re: The conversation on social media, I think those people can be serious and might have blogged before — or at least posted in-depth articles on forums. Indeed I know several of them used to! 🙂 I suppose the incentives have changed. On say a forum (and I am thinking of the old TMF forum here mostly, but not entirely) people posted long articles/responses to build their standing in a community. On Twitter, its short and often empty soundbites by force and the more the merrier for growing your ‘community’. (i.e. Followers). (I suppose this is why the online world is worse than ten years ago, part gazillion, actually.)

    Re: Bogle’s quote, I truncated it to fit, perhaps excessively! Here’s the full thing:

    “As I have earlier noted, the most important things in life and in business can’t be measured. The trite bromide ‘If you can measure it, you can manage it’ has been a hindrance in the building a great real-world organization, just as it has been a hindrance in evaluating the real-world economy. It is character, not numbers, that make the world go ‘round. How can we possibly measure the qualities of human existence that give our lives and careers meaning? How about grace, kindness, and integrity? What value do we put on passion, devotion, and trust? How much do cheerfulness, the lilt of a human voice, and a touch of pride add to our lives? Tell me, please, if you can, how to value friendship, cooperation, dedication, and spirit. Categorically, the firm that ignores the intangible qualities that the human beings who are our colleagues bring to their careers will never build a great workforce or a great organization.”

  • 19 The Investor January 26, 2019, 11:05 am

    p.s. Thanks for the typo spot @fatbritabroad, and they’re always appreciated!

  • 20 Norfolk January 26, 2019, 11:24 am

    @TI, if you’re interested in the psychology of why people are continually shifting to internet use mainly through the lens of the likes of facebook, (and hence why content providers feel pressure to follow them) check out this analysis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmXcjvL9VSc

    Sam Vaknin is a diagnosed narcissist but many regard him as a genius, either way, this session made a lot of common sense and was fascinating if you’re into this kind of stuff.

  • 21 faithless January 26, 2019, 11:35 am

    Blogging week in week out must be hard work. I think most blogs in any sphere have an average shelf life, and most bloggers stop when their motivation for blogging recedes.

    I assume some think they will make it big and be able to give up the day job (e.g. The Frugalwoods), and quit when that doesn’t happen; some blog as they are learning about savings and investments and the path to FI, and once they get the hang of it, don’t need the accountability/positive reinforcement any more; some were presumably blogging because no-one in their real world understood, but now FI and passive investing has become more mainstream, maybe they don’t need it any more.

    I still enjoy Monevator, despite being a committed Vanguard Lifestrategy direct debit-er. I found the VC/angel investing article interesting, but like everyone above, didn’t comment as I had nothing to add, and it’s unlikely to be relevant for me in the near future/ever. I also enjoy reading about other people’s active investing adventures.

    Re: passive investing just resulting in the same articles telling you to buy indexes, some of the most useful Monevator posts to me have been the guest posts like the insurance guy who wrote about family income benefit.

    Also, come the next downturn, you’ll have lots to write comparing the current period to historical periods and reminding everyone to hold their nerve, that the sky isn’t falling, and arguing with goldbugs!

    The different viewpoints increase my understanding of finance/other people/the world. Same reason I enjoy FirevLondon’s blog, although his problems are quite different to mine.

    Apart from The Escape Artist and Simple Living in Somerset, most of the blogs I follow are US. I pretty much read everything Morgan Housel puts out at Collaborative Fund, which isn’t too US specific.

  • 22 LukeM January 26, 2019, 11:43 am

    About Bogle’s quote: Aha!

    About Facebook: Terry Smith explains why he’s an investor in it in this year’s letter to shareholders: https://www.fundsmith.co.uk/docs/default-source/analysis—annual-letters/annual-letter-to-shareholders-2018.pdf

  • 23 xxd09 January 26, 2019, 12:02 pm

    I take your point re Financial Blogs dying for various reasons but
    As a former clinician I noted early on how even when you have given good advice and it is taken-after a while people get bored and relapse. You have to start all over again!
    The Bogleheads Forum goes from strength to strength-passive investing only
    Newbies constantly appearing who are at the beginning of their investment careers and need to learn-there are going to be a lot more of these as Pensions become self managed
    Things change over time -structure of Pensions,ISAs etc Advice needed
    Experienced investors need to keep sharp even with a passive strategy-interesting articles required
    You are doing a great job keeping us all up to the financial mark
    I do feel Politics should be kept on the back burner except as it affects our finances-my only slight quibble
    Hope these are some reasons to keep going
    Do you measure “hits” -you have a larg3 body of “lurkers”!
    Keep up the good work
    xxd09

  • 24 Mike Rawson January 26, 2019, 12:05 pm

    Obviously blowing my own trumpet, but I’m still posting four articles a week – and I cover esoteric stuff like Angel / VCT / EIS investing.

    Of course, I’m not 100% passive – I would struggle to write four times about how great Vanguard are.

  • 25 Ben January 26, 2019, 12:08 pm

    @Faithless
    “Also, come the next downturn…..”

    You raise a good point, we are 10 years into a bull market. The most recent bubble seems to have avoided mainstream finance. There just isn’t that much going on.

    Maybe that’s why there isn’t much writing going on.

  • 26 Anonymous lurker January 26, 2019, 12:15 pm

    I will always read your site, it’s always interesting regardless whether if I agree with it or not. I personally would not really take social media advise for investing anyway, anyone can come up with cliche quotes and catchy FIRE phrases to draw in people; but when the going gets tough and it really matters I doubt their catchy phrases will save them in a downturn. It’s real information and experience that will help one navigate through such situations at best. Which is what your site provides.

    As long as you still enjoy blogging, I still think it’s a fruitful endeavour, maybe not for income but for your own personal enjoyment perhaps. All the best.

  • 27 liberatedotlife January 26, 2019, 1:18 pm

    @bb

    > …an aggregator which worked across investment accounts…

    I’m just about to launch the beta for my new portfolio management app (aiming for 4th February).

    If you’d like to try it out, just grab the contact details off my blog and drop me an email.

    Sorry again to Monevator chaps for the second instance of self promotion in as many weeks (and please delete this if you don’t want it in the comments!), but I’m building exactly what bb is asking for so thought it relevant.

    Andy

  • 28 Marco January 26, 2019, 1:24 pm

    The truth about passive investing must be told and retold constantly to counteract the lies that industry write about it and the benefits of active investing.

    I am certain you have helped many people have better lives through your blog.

    If passive investing enthusiasts retired even a short time I’m sure active investing would make a come back as their VId pour money into marketing.

    Never stop please!

  • 29 hosimpson January 26, 2019, 1:32 pm

    Thank you for the link to The Basics of Technical Analysis, TI, it made my morning 😀

    P.S. Never, ever (like, ever, man) kill this blog. It has been – and continues to be – very helpful to me, as well as many others, judging from the comments folks have been leaving here. So before you get to the ripe old age of Jack Bogle, RIP, make sure you have a succession plan in place, or perhaps even incorporate like Dustin Rowles of Pajiba 😉

  • 30 devonico January 26, 2019, 2:06 pm

    I have been following your blog for the last 4 1/2 years, and has helped me a lot in order to organise my retirement strategy. It is understandable that people blogging about a matter they are experts on can become bored of repeating the same stuff, but in this case I think that you make a difference. Your blog is probably the best source for individual financial advice in the UK, and it is written with warmth, wit and a general understanding of how fate can alter the best laid out plans. In a word you are the opposite of an evangelical or a snake oil salesman as some other bloggers come close to be. For me the philosophy of “good enough” is accurate. So even if I do not post comments often I value your time and effort . Please continue as your writings and links are a big part of my weekend leisure time.

  • 31 FI Warrior January 26, 2019, 2:07 pm

    You obviously take pride in your creation with this site, so you should see that quality is often the opposite of quality, most people don’t care about thinking about their own finances although they dictate every aspect of their lives, even if only indirectly sometimes. If you want to appeal to intelligent people, the price is that it will have to be a niche activity. Most people appreciating your site won’t comment if they feel they have nothing to add, but that doesn’t mean they don’t hugely value it, I bet most check it out weekly as I do.

    This is probably the best known non-state sanctioned, factual, investment site, which is a compliment in my book because it implies non-commercially compromised, (trustable) in the UK. I actually see the fact that you were the first (with the advantage that entails) in the field, like Amazon in theirs, as a massive plus and if the others fade away, surely a compliment; Monevator’s the real deal when the tide recedes to reveal the Buffet-naked.

  • 32 BigPat January 26, 2019, 2:49 pm

    Perhaps a few words from Dylan Thomas would be appropriate Monevator?

    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

  • 33 Ric January 26, 2019, 2:58 pm

    Since you ask…
    I’ve been a Monevator reader since way back when you used to write about active investing. I really enjoyed those articles and still do if & when they occasionally crop up, but then as someone who has a mixture of active (including many AIM shares) and passive investments and lives of my portfolio’s natural yield, I don’t think I’m your typical reader. Nevertheless yes please to anything investing related either passive or something that is off the normal path. Even if I find its not a good fit for me I’m always interested in articles that challenge my perception of the investing world.
    Also yes please to the long form blog posts. The bite sized content found on social media rots the brain – although I’m not qualified to make such a statement on two counts, one being I don’t have any social media accounts.
    No thanks to video posts, like you say they take too long. Even when played at x1.75 I find myself getting fidgety and wanting to jump forwards.
    Sorry I’ve no suggestions for your blog round-up. I once fancied giving blogging a go myself (I once wrote for a PC magazine part time). However two major issues have stopped me, I can’t write that well and I can’t be bothered. So hats off you you & the Monevator team for working endlessly to provide us with the UK’s premium F.I blog, I really appreciate it. Thanks.

  • 34 The Details Man January 26, 2019, 4:14 pm

    I echo the kind sentiments above. This website is excellent. It’s helped me immensely over the years. And it’s such an immense honour to be able to cobble together articles for it too!

    Blogging about personal finance can be tough after a while. I think it can be boiled down to a handful of inalienable truths. As Jason Zweig puts it: “My job is to write the exact same thing 50-100 times a year in such a way that my editors and my readers will never think I’m repeating myself.”

    That said, I don’t think there’s a twilight for the coupon clippers. It’s easy money. As a whole, I’m dubious of their value. Some would argue these types of blogs do more harm than good. A distraction from the things that really move the wealth needle. That’s the preserve of blogs like this.

  • 35 Sara January 26, 2019, 4:17 pm

    Appreciation is a funny thing isn’t it? We kinda feel as adults that we shouldn’t be like a 5 year old demanding approval. And yet it is often the reason that people give for leaving jobs and partners saying “they never appreciate me”. [Feeling this way about my own job at the moment.]
    So I am going to add to the comments and say I do appreciate the site a great deal so please don’t stop. You are also often the site that people send others to on MSE so you must be doing something right.

    I read the angel investing article though your regular email and it was interesting but seemed riskier that I am comfortable with on a personal level.

    I am interested in fintech though – happy to read more about that.

  • 36 the Ig January 26, 2019, 4:56 pm

    ‘Readers invariably find Monevator, read a lot and comment a little, and then vanish. ‘

    Can’t speak for others but I’m the first three; however now I check in every week for your thoughts and links – as part now of my Saturday morning routine as doing my Mbetting.

    As someone else said – don’t go down the podcast route – find them irritating in the extreme – I want to read info and copy/bookmark if I wish – not easy to do with Audio. Plus people generally write more informatively than they speak, as they have time to edit until happy with the results.

  • 37 Matthew January 26, 2019, 5:05 pm

    What passive bloggers need i think is some way of automatically reposting random old articles to look like new posts without actually rewriting them, that way age old (but relevant) advice keeps resurfacing to teach those that need it

    Once readers have learned it always will be hard to hold onto them, like you wouldnt keep rereading a book, but there will be a continous new supply of audience

    Active investing/ a naughty corner in investing media clearly has more potential to update

    Encouraging people to invest is good for society I think but if they dont (as more blogs close) then as a conselation at least assets might be a shade cheaper

  • 38 Andrew January 26, 2019, 5:11 pm

    Monevator is the only blog I read regularly. I haven’t found a more balanced source of UK-based hands-off investing information. Most sources talk about 401k and IRA so not directly relevant to the UK investor. I thoroughly read every article aimed at beginners when I was setting up my own portfolio and I now read most of the linked articles weekly (again I like the balance). I don’t think I have ever posted a comment on any site until now but I suspect I am not alone in just coming for the information.

    Thanks,

    Andrew

  • 39 Dazza January 26, 2019, 5:20 pm

    I have been reading this site for many years and find the articles incredibly interesting and informative. This site is my go-to for all things personal finance and passive investing and just wouldn’t get the depth of insight from social media. Hope you keep up the good work!

  • 40 Meine Finanzielle Freiheit January 26, 2019, 5:39 pm

    I am not sure whether the golden times of investment blogging are over or whether a weaker capital market has just frustrated away some bloggers.
    I strongly side with you view, that neither Twitter/Facebook/Instagram (?) are suitable alternatives and that nothing beats the pleasure of a well written and maintained blog. My statement and 30+ comments to this article of yours should give you comfort 🙂

  • 41 old_eyes January 26, 2019, 6:43 pm

    @The Investor – Concerned by your comment about cobwebs and tumbleweed on your previous article on VC/Angel/unlisted I went back and commented. Wouldn’t want you to think these things are not interesting!

  • 42 Craig January 26, 2019, 7:24 pm

    I only found this site about a month ago and can honestly say it’s the best personal finance site I have seen. You have identified a very clear niche and serve it extremely well. Your are the number 1 UK investors website of choice, keep up the excellent work.

    I cannot encourage you enough to just keep going, I can’t wait for your book to come out. I think you stand to make a significant amount of money from your site in the future. I’ve read about blogs (pro blogger) who posted on photography tips giving away lots of valuable free content and then eventually wrote an ebook priced at £10 which netted him £180,000 in one evening. I think you are close to that you are genuine and your add value. I for one cant wait to by your book and show my appreciation for all the excellent content you provide.

    Have you considered telling people more about who the ‘Investor’ and ‘accumulator’ are your could always share more about yourselves, I think people are genuinly interested and it would give you a wider subject to write on.

    Cheers,
    Craig

  • 43 dearieme January 26, 2019, 7:49 pm

    @LukeM: if it can be measured it can be managed by a computer.

  • 44 Bb January 26, 2019, 8:10 pm

    Cheers, will take a look

  • 45 weenie January 26, 2019, 8:21 pm

    Like others, I enjoyed the angel investing post but didn’t have anything to add.

    I read all posts (yes, even the Brexit ones!) and also go back and look at some of your older posts, some of them several years old because I’ve based part of my investment strategy on them and refer to them often to make sure I haven’t strayed! Enjoy checking through the links you include too.

    Along with the Details Guy/YFG, your active investing posts, the Accumulator’s and Greybeard’s (plus that insurance guy), you all provide a great mix for people doing different things with their investments.

    Not a fan of podcasts or vlogs – give me something which some find “TL;DR” any day and please never go down the week-in-week-out listicle route!

    @Mike Rawson – I try to read your blog regularly but some of your interesting stuff is behind a paywall and well, all content on here is free!

    [using IE as my Chrome still not working!]

  • 46 AncientI January 27, 2019, 12:19 am

    The reason investing blogs are quiet is because the outlook for equities is glum and most people still think the “bear market” is about to continue at any moment and a recession is right around the corner.

    We just had a very painful drop in December and although there has been a bounce the sentiment is still doom and gloom.

    Ive been invested for 2 years now ( mixture of active funds and individual stocks ) and my portfolio is -2% . Theres nothing exciting to write about.

  • 47 tom_grlla January 27, 2019, 1:10 am

    I do love a blog, and Monevator is outstanding in how comprehensive and well-written it is, as well as being one of the few to have a sense of humour.

    As a serial blog reader in a few different genres, it feels like there’s an initial glory time when there’s just a small number of very passionate people, and a network is created. And then a ton of people flood in.

    A number of the initial generation use their blog to leverage up, and move on to bigger things whether at a magazine, doing a more professional website etc. The overall quality lowers, and when the rest realise they’ve missed the boat, things slowly tail off.

    I think you’ve seen this in music blogs, then food blogs, and while I don’t know that many Finance blogs have ‘made it big’, I’d expect there to be a similar path, and so maybe this is why things are tailing off.

    Or it’s just January, and people are hibernating and can’t be arsed to write at the moment.

    p.s. I do still find it extraordinary that there are all these people at mostly terrible publications (Moneyweek, Investor’s Chronicle, Citywire, InvestmentWeek etc. etc. I see you) who get paid, and Monevator is not part of the bigger picture – though I appreciate they cover more varied ground.

  • 48 Andy S. January 27, 2019, 10:10 am

    Ok I’ll take the bait.

    “Readers invariably find Monevator, read a lot and comment a little, and then vanish.”

    I’ve been lurking here reading a lot for quite a few years. I’ve never commented. The new content and archive of articles had helped me greatly.

    I found Monevator when I was wondering how best to use a stocks and shares ISA allowance. Then realised I could improve my pension by managing my own SIPP. The Monevator articles and comments, and links to other blogs have all helped my financial education.

    Alas I’ve probably not made you any money in this time, through clicking links or signing up to ratesetter, but i will buy the book!

  • 49 ermine January 27, 2019, 10:35 am

    podcasts are time-consuming fare to get through. For me, nothing beats the written word.

    Amen to that sentiment. The dumbing down towards everything being video or podcasts is dire – I can read about ten times faster that the data rate of the spoken word, and while some practical things are done well in video they are few and far between. Not only can I read faster than speech, I can go back and forth.

    I suspect audio and video are on the rise because they lock you into their slow and somewhat linear narrative and there’s no decent podcast adblocker.

    Long live Monevator, in written form 😉

  • 50 FitandFunemployed January 27, 2019, 10:40 am

    My tuppenth worth: Monevator is *the* best financial/FI blog, bar none (sorry MMM. Only livingafi holds a candle, and he’s sadly long departed the blogosphere). I only wish I’d found this place a decade ago instead of two years, natch… I read every post, but I comment only infrequently because following the wisdom of TI and TA, and all the other auspicious commentators, I genuinely don’t have anything useful to add.

    FWIW my very favourite articles, and those which I have read more than once, are those in which TI talks about his father, his formative years, his outlook on life, his house purchase etc. The ‘origin story’ some might say (*vomit*). I’d love to see more of that type of content (please!).

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