Personal Finance Website Review - The Motley Fool
Have you heard of The Motley Fool? Or fools really, two brothers David and Tom Gardner started a finance business in 1993. In fact one of the first financial books I ever read way by The Motley Fools. In the past sixteen years they have become some of the most well known finance gurus. Their website Fool.com has just about everything a person could be interested in, with the exception of frugal living. Their tag line is "The World's Greatest Investment Community."
The Gardner brothers have written numerous books and have a weekly newspaper column as well. They have newsletters, the website with an amazing number of great articles, and forums where you can get help with any question involving personal finance. The website has sections on investing, personal finance, retirement, and the forums. I do find their website heavy on the investing side of things. This doesn't apply to me so much, but it does apply to many people out there and it isn't the only thing covered by any stretch of the imagination.
The personal finance section is divided into sections of saving and spending, credit and debit, home and real estate, death and taxes, and Mint personal finance. Each section has numerous articles with tons of information about each topic. The retirement section has sections on IRAs, 401ks, and asset allocation. The investing section is the largest and is divided into ten parts; basics, brokers, ETFs, options, small cap, dividends and income, high growth, value, mutual funds, and international. Didn't I say it was heavy on the investing?
I have read several of their books, but it has been years. A couple of weeks ago, I came home with another book. I read almost the whole thing, but found that most of it didn't apply to me. We don't really invest other than the school retirement program. Also, I found that I disagreed with some of what they had to say. In fact, they believe opposite of some of the things I believe in; mainly frugal living. The Motley Fool pretty much says not to sweat the small stuff and just concentrate on the big things.
Think about it though, how many times does something big happen to you? How many times does something small happen to you? Big purchases and decisions typically only happen a handful of times and if you can save a few thousand on the big stuff great. But if you don't think the small stuff matters, you are wrong. Think of all the small purchases you make in a week. Dozens typically, maybe even upwards of a hundred dollars. If you can save even two dollars per decision or purchase, that adds up to almost $200 in one week, or $800 a month. Yet they say the small stuff doesn't matter.
That complaint being covered though, it is really the only complaint I have. They know there stuff and their website covers just about everything you ever wanted to know about all sorts of financial areas. There are calculators galore and the forums are an incredibly knowledgeable and friendly place to visit. I have learned over the years that a person should not follow any one financial expert completely. There are so many out there and each person's situation is different. What has worked for me is to read many books on personal finance and frugal living and pick and choose the things that interest me or will work for me. At different times in my life I will find different things that will work.
I do think that The Motley Fool, their books, website and newsletters, have a lot to offer. Whether you are struggling to pay the bills or have money coming out of your ears, you will benefit from the Gardener brothers. If you haven't checked out their site yet, now is the time. They will help you get control of your finances.