As you may know if you are reading this, Financial Slacker is a new personal finance site. It was technically launched in November 2015 with a few pages and posts. But the first three months of existence were mostly experimental – trying out different themes, playing with different layouts, essentially learning how to build a site.
It wasn’t until late January 2016, that I began making any effort to promote the site. And even then, promotion efforts were (and continue to be) pretty minimal.
But one of the hidden benefits of building your own site is the research you start doing on other sites in the same space. Again, I am still early in this process, but I have 12 or 15 sites that I now read on a regular basis and another 50 or more that I have started reading. The sites that I list below are all wonderful and I highly recommend spending some time on each one. But with that said, there are so many other great sites that I haven’t included below. So by no means should this be considered an all-inclusive list. Instead, this is simply a list of five articles that I recently read and that captured my attention in some way.
I plan to continue this theme as a series, so if I didn’t get to one of your articles, please do not be offended. I am always open to hearing from readers about other articles they especially enjoyed – whether I wrote them or not.
Enjoy these five personal finance articles covering the spectrum from income, spending, saving, and investing through the impact of wealth on society.
First on the list is an article by Financial Samurai. This was one of the first sites that really captivated me. I can honestly say that I have spent hours and hours reading old posts on this site. The author has been writing since 2009 and is one of the most prolific creators of quality and consistent content on the web. So there are a tremendous number of articles to engage you.
There are many articles that I could have selected for this list, but the one I chose to highlight this month is about the value of passive income. The author discusses the concept of taking an income stream and determining its present value, but not in the traditional finance NPV sense, but instead he equates a recurring income stream to how much invested capital you would need to generate the same cash flow. It’s a great way to think about passive income.
This is a great article that discusses the widening gap between rich and poor. While the wealthier class is expanding their wealth, the lowest income class is seeing its wealth decline, and we’re seeing more and more people move into the middle income class. I have always felt the United States tended to have less of a gap between the richest and the poorest as compared to other countries around the world, but that may be changing.
The U.S. appears to be entering another period of internal class conflict fueled by racial, social, and economic frustrations from multiple sides.
This article asks good questions and engages the reader to think about these problems and where they might take us as a society.
I have worked in different capacities within the healthcare industry for over twenty years which may be one reason I am partial to articles in this space. And I am pleased to see bloggers working to make healthcare more understandable.
Healthcare is a hidden expense for most folks. For one, if you have insurance through your employer, the fees are deducted automatically so you never even see them. Also, you have little control over the plans offered to you. But even more importantly, up until the introduction of HSAs, assuming you had insurance, most people were covered under a plan that paid for the majority of their health-related expenses.
With HSAs, the consumer is now responsible for a much larger portion of their healthcare costs. The plans typically cost less on the front end, and are sometimes subsidized by the employer, but if you don’t do a good job managing your expenses, you can quickly find yourself under water.
This is a great article that addresses dividend investing. I grew up thinking capital appreciation was the best (and really only) investment goal. I was young, had a good paying job, and didn’t need any investment income at the time. At least that was what I thought. I have since changed my thinking in this area.
In addition to the benefit of dividends in retirement, I know a number of entrepreneurs who live off their dividend income stream while working on their next big thing.
This article provides some good insight into how dividend stocks can fit into an overall portfolio and also how you can go about selecting specific stocks to own.
This is a short easy to read article. I like it because it touches on the idea that saving money and being frugal isn’t always about making the big changes. All of us have areas where we spend too much money. Often these are “hidden” expenses that are driven by a habit rather than a true desire.
I believe you should spend your money on the things that you need and the things that you want. If you are simply going out to lunch every day because it’s easier than packing your lunch, you are not getting much value from that spend.
For me, the key is to take the theme of the article and apply it to all your spending areas. You may be surprised how much money you can save when you keep focused on where you are spending.
That’s it for now. As I said before, these are all great sites. Please visit them, read these articles and many of the other wonderful articles you will find there. And make a comment or two. The authors on these sites are responsive and will comment back. That’s one of the great things I love about these sites.