Personal Finance Gurus

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Personal Finance Gurus

When you think of personal finance gurus, you think of best-selling authors who have parlayed their expertise in money management into a multi-media business and global name recognition. Sure, their books, audio books, DVDs, and seminars are hot, but are their Web sites any good in dispensing advice or are they just another way of selling you more stuff?

1. David Bach

www.finishrich.com

What’s good: Free registration to resources like success stories, worksheets, and newsletter archives. If you want access to specialists, conference calls, audio seminars, and more materials, sign up for MyFinishRich.com for a reasonable fee.

What’s bad: Most of the so-called resources are nothing but links to other Web sites, particularly the site’s partner Wells Fargo. Free calculators are just links to Bankrate.com’s online calculators. The bulk of the free content on the Web site is about his books, seminars, coaching programs, and home study courses.

Price: Free registration for general resources; $39.95 a year for the MyFinishRich.com program

Recommendation: Browse it

2. John Bogle

johncbogle.com

What’s good: He’s the founder of Vanguard, father of index funds, and author of must-read investment books that’s what. Content-wise, it’s got his speeches dating 1977 and also includes some podcasts. The blog entries are mainly his columns, interviews, and media appearances.

What’s bad: The Bogle eBlog is quite sketchy on blog entries – a couple or so every month – posted obviously by a staff member.

Price: Free

Recommendation: Browse it (and download the speeches)

3. Jean Chatzky

www.jeanchatzky.com

What’s good: Not much really. The Money editor-at-large and frequent Oprah guest has some links to her video segments on The Today Show.

What’s bad: Whoever’s overseeing her Web site is doing her – and her fans – a disservice. It’s dry in terms of both design and content.

Price: Free

Recommendation: Skip it

4. James Cramer

www.thestreet.com

What’s good: The former hedge fund manager and hyper-active host of CNBC’s Mad Money co-founded financial media Web site TheStreet.com, certainly one of the bigger and well-known sites for investors and analysts. It is literally oozing with content – analysis, stock picks, articles, primers, videos, news, newsletters, investor tools and services. It’s also a network of free and paid sites, namely Stockpickr.com, BankingMyWay.com, Rate-Watch.com, MainStreet.com, RealMoney.com, Geezeo.com, Dividend.com, and Biotech Select.

What’s bad: What’s there to complain about? Well, it’s naturally heavy on investing and not so much on other aspects of personal finance. But really, what did you expect? It’s Cramer.

Price: Free; premium newsletters and e-mail alerts range from $19.95 to $149.95 a month

Recommendation: Bookmark it

5. Ric Edelman

www.ricedelman.com

What’s good: As the only practicing financial advisor among this bunch, running one of the largest financial planning firms in the US, Ric Edelman dispenses solid, and sometimes contrarian, advice. While the Web site promotes his firm, books, TV and radio shows, speaking engagements, and syndicated column, you can also find articles on everything from investing and insurance to retirement and taxes. Plus you can subscribe to podcasts and download his weekly radio show segments.

What’s bad: There are not a lot of articles to read.

Price: Free; $39.95 for his Inside Personal Finance newsletter

Recommendation: Browse it

6. Tom and David Gardner

www.fool.com

What’s good: The brothers started The Motley Fool as a print investment newsletter, and then launched the pioneering and award-winning online investment community Fool.com dedicated to “educate, amuse, and enrich.” It definitely has a wealth of content, with a strong investing, retirement, and personal finance channels. The major draw of course is the online community, with hundreds of discussion boards, and the community-based stock-rating service called CAPS.

What’s bad: What can we say? It’s one of the best out there.

Price: Free; premium newsletters range from $99 to $299 a year

Recommendation: Bookmark it

7. Robert Kiyosaki

www.richdad.com

What’s good: A few free podcasts, videos, teleseminars, e-mail blasts, and teachers’ guides (for the Cash Flow 101 board game), plus a new free online interactive book called Conspiracy of the Rich: The 8 New Rules of Money, where you get to read drafts of the book’s chapters online and make comments, leading to the final print version.

What’s bad: Kiyosaki is a marketing genius – he can sell you the same thing over and over. More than a Web site, the RichDad.com is a network of sites is designed to get more of your money.

Price: Free; premium community membership is $19.95 a month

Recommendation: Browse it

8. Suze Orman

www.suzeorman.com

What’s good: Her Web site complements her newer books and kits by offering online resources like calculators and worksheets. The Resource Center has a good number of past articles and The Suze Scoop contains more recent advice and commentaries on financial and economic issues.

What’s bad: Cute online photo scrapbook aside, this slick, professionally-made site is designed to sell, sell, sell.

Price: Free

Recommendation: Browse it

9. Dave Ramsey

www.daveramsey.com

What’s good: Download or stream his radio show, read the articles on investing and real estate, subscribe to his newsletters, get inspired by numerous stories, check out his columns and blog, and use his online calculators (not just links to other calculators).

What’s bad: A little confusing to navigate (best to review the site map) and too much     emphasis on selling classes and training programs.

Price: Free; $99 one-time for the Financial Peace University Online and $9.95 a month for the My Total Money Makeover.com customized plan

Recommendation: Bookmark it

10. Andrew Tobias

www.andrewtobias.com

What’s good: There’s something charming to the old-school, amateurish design of Andrew Tobias’ Web site Money and Other Subjects. The financial journalist and author posts his witty columns dating back to 1996, throws in zany Bill Gates Cosmic Money Clock and Market Cap Scale

What’s bad: Would have worked better as a blog.

Price: Free

Recommendation: Browse it

One thought on “Personal Finance Gurus

  • March 14, 2011 at 2:38 am
    Permalink

    I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this post. You make some very informative points . Keep up the great work!

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