What I learned by interviewing 11 financial bloggers.

Investing or Saving

Over the last couple of months, I’ve posted interviews I conducted with 11 of my favourite financial bloggers.  Today I am going to give a quick summary of a few of the things I learned along the way.

You can find my interviews with all of them on my blogroll page

First of all, I’d like to thank each one of them one last time for participating, and to encourage everyone to check out their sites if you haven’t already.

Here is the full list:

Tom from Dividends Diversify

Rob from Passive Canadian Income

Cam from Millennial Dividends

Adam & Andrew from Wallet Squirrel

Sabeel from Roadmap2retire

Gen Y Money

Sarah from Smile & Conquer

Nelson from Canadian Dividend Investing

Matt from All About The Dividends

Sir Budget

 

FINANCIAL BLOGGERS COME IN ALL SHAPES & SIZES

Financial Bloggers come in all shapes and sizes

Now, obviously this is going to be skewed, and based on a handpicked sample of bloggers I personally read, but I still found some of it very interesting. I also rounded up/down some of the percentages to make it easier to read.

  • Average age 34 years old
  • Youngest: 27
  • Oldest: 53
  • 50% Canadian, 40% American 10% Overseas
  • 20% female, 80% male (I clearly need to start reading more female blogs)
  • 20% don’t drink, 80% do.  70% like beer!
  • 20% have been arrested

The majority of bloggers I follow are very open about their personal lives, they share their real names, ages, portfolio holdings and even some personal family details.  Personally I prefer blogs that do this, as it makes it easier to connect with, and understand some of the choices they make.  I also completely understand why some others don’t, whether it be for privacy concerns, conflict of interest with other jobs, or personal preference.

 

FINANCIAL BLOGGERS UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF STARTING EARLY

  • Average age of first investment: 21
  • Earliest to start investing 10 years old
  • Latest to start investing 31 years old

Even though the majority started investing before their 21st birthday, 50% of these bloggers biggest financial regret  was “Not starting earlier”.  Think about that for a second, these are people who truly understand the power of compound interest, and having money work for them over time. Don’t make the same mistake, get started early & often and your future self  will thank you!  If you need more proof, read my last post about how compound interest can turn anyone into a millionaire over time HERE

FINANCIAL BLOGGERS INVEST IN BOTH STOCKS & FUNDS

  • 60% invest in Stocks & Funds (ETF/Mutual Funds)
  • 40% invest solely in stocks

This makes sense, these are people who are obviously very serious about their finances (they run financial blogs for fucks sake).  Although individual stocks are great for more experienced investors, and can be extremely addicting & fun to own, I think it’s safe to say every single person I interviewed would agree that an investor just starting out can’t go wrong with a low cost ETF that matches their risk tolerance and long term goals.

WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES

Financial bloggers make mistakes

Although the biggest mistake (by far) these bloggers made, was not starting earlier, there were many others along the way.  Here are few:

  • Chasing big yields or big gains on penny stocks
  • Not setting a budget earlier in life
  • Listened to the “experts” instead of doing own research
  • Not being properly diversified

Another thing I continually see in different financial forums, Facebook groups and online, is the amount of people obsessed with chasing a high dividend yield.  People get excited about a high yielding dividend stock, instead of worrying about the total long term gain.  What inevitably happens, is these companies paying high unsustainable yields end up cutting the dividend, the stock price crashes and people get burned.  I cannot stress this enough, always do your research, ensure dividends are covered by cash flow, look for a history of earnings growth, dividend growth, and profitability.

IS INVESTING STUPID?  SHOULD WE SPEND EVERYTHING NOW?

Investing or Saving

I’ve long struggled with finding the right balance between saving for the future, and enjoying my life now.  I think I do a pretty good job, however some days I think I should just say fuck it, not invest anything this year and take the family on a trip…other days I think we should downsize our house and invest the difference for the future.

One thing that really got me thinking about this, was reading everyone’s answers to the question:

If you knew you had 1 year to live, how would you spend it?”

Basically every single person answered this question the EXACT same way. 10 out of the 11 people interviewed said they would travel the world with friends and family.  I thought about it as well, and I think I would answer the same way too.

If almost everyone thinks the most important thing to do before they die is travelling the world, and everyone knows that life is finite, and could literally end at any second, why do we put this off?  What if we get sick in retirement and can’t travel? What if we get into an accident the year before we retire and never get to experience the world?  Even if travelling isn’t your thing, there must be some bucket list items you would want to do before you die.

There are also the extreme frugal bloggers (I don’t really follow any of them, because I can’t get into that lifestyle personally), but it seems to work for them.  Some of them will retire at a much younger age than me, and Kudos to them.

Obviously there is no right or wrong answer, but I still find this struggle very interesting.  The financial side of my brain is telling me keep saving so that you can retire earlier, and have more time to do all these things later in life, with a lot more money and freedom – while the “fuck it” side of my brain is saying, “let’s have a beer and go to New Orleans, let’s check out the Bourbon Trail, lets go NOW!”

I think I’ll keep doing what I’ve been doing, trying to maintain a good balance of enjoying every minute now, while paying myself first (for later).  One of my very first blog posts was called “Saving money feels great – but lets be honest, so does spending it”.  This post was about a bucket list item I was able to check off 4 years ago (Attending a World Cup with my Dad). I know I’d be further ahead financially had I invested that money instead…but I also know If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t change a damn thing.

I was hoping there would be some sort of lesson at the end of all this….unfortunately, I am still trying to figure our what it may be…

Does this internal debate creep into everyone else’s mind, or is it just me?

Have a great weekend.

14 Comments on “What I learned by interviewing 11 financial bloggers.

  1. Great overview, Jordan. No surprises that everyone wishes that they started earlier…some very interesting other stats too. Its been fun reading all the interviews and knowing a bloggerat a more personal level.

    Thanks for putting this together and sharing
    R2R

    Like

  2. Very interesting. What struck me was the 20% arrest rate. I got to imagine that the bulk of those arrests were for drunk driving. Anyway, I was very impressed with the group. They started investing young but still recognized they missed out. Lot of wisdom there. Thanks for the review of the interview series. I have some reading to do this weekend. Cheers.

    Like

    • Haha..yea the 20% arrest rate was a surprise to me. I kind of put it in there just as a joke, but the first 2 interviews that I got back BOTH answered yes to that question…

      Thanks for stopping by Mr. Groovy – I hope you enjoy reading them.

      Like

  3. Thanks for the overview Jordan. Nice work and it was great to be a part of the group. Tom

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  4. Some of those stats are pretty interesting, I’m glad you compiled them all like this.

    Tha k’s again for including me, it was fun!

    Like

  5. Very interesting statistics here! I wonder if the beer drinking stat is correlated with the 80% male PF blogger composition from your interview statistics?

    Thanks for including me nice to be one of the few female PF blogs you read! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. nice breakdown.

    For the record mine wasnt a drinking and driving arrest. I wouldnt do that, lol. I know im gonna drink hard before hand =) It was drinking related though!

    Im with you on the really frugal bloggers, its great what they are doing but I cant relate.
    Money is for experiences as well as investing.

    cheers

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I absolutely loved this series. If you need a volunteer for a second series, you know where to find me 🙂

    It was great getting to know some of the bloggers better. Gotta love this great community 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for the blog post Jordan. Really interesting and easy to read. I am just starting my own journey and this information is priceless countdowntoretire.com/2018/08/08/why-i-cant-commit-to-frugal-spending-yet/

    Like

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