Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Financial Wizardry

Unlike a lot of my peers and colleagues (but like, I imagine, a lot of my friends), I really do not enjoy managing my money (when I have money to manage). I don't pay attention to the market on anything less than a weekly basis, I invest in stocks based on believing in the company, not the expected short-term movement of the stock, I invest in mutual funds based on abstract faith in either a market sector or the reputation of the fund manager, and beyond that, I'm generally less attentive to both the market and my money than I know I should be. I wish I could be better, but it just seems like there are much more rewarding things to spend your time doing.

In addition to that streak of laziness, I am admittedly put off by the inaccessibility and general blow-hardness of the financial press. Also, I don't really trust them - not their motives, so much, but their ability to actually give any useful advice. Which is what has drawn my attention to Wikinvest (also here) and Motley Fool's embrace of social media and community trends in building out their website. I haven't yet placed any bets on the financial insights that might be garnered from each of the sights, but I do find both to be better entrees into understanding financial issues, both large and small, certainly when compared either to traditional financial media or my broker's website.

From a consumer perspective, Is this a good idea? Is this likely to make investing more attractive/less painful? Will it improve my returns?

From a software perspective, what features will be key to making this work? Reputation? Analytics that can accurately track information provided by users to performance? Or does this simply become another wild west of data which I have to navigate?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This just makes me more secure in the knowledge that smart people are as uninformed as I when it comes to money management (I make 120k+ per year, but somehow am living paycheck to paycheck, while living in a state other than new york or california)