In theory, we should all be doing better financially. We live in an age of infinite information. If you have a question about how to manage or budget your money, all you have to do is Google the answer.
And it’s not just about money management and budgeting. You can learn to invest using online courses and blogs. You can then make these investments without leaving your web browser.
So why is it that so many people are still struggling with debt? Why does the information age seem to be failing so many people?
As with most things, the answer is that access is not enough. You need to know where to access the right information. You need to know how to find the right personal finance blog.
Your profit or theirs?
There are countless financial websites out there with endless articles on best financial practices. Many of them contradict each other. Some call out others for being downright false and manipulative.
Before you take any advice online, try to determine whether they are doing it for your profit or their own.
Obviously, everyone who runs a finance blog or website has something to gain from it. There’s nothing wrong with this. Capitalism works best when the provider of a service and the customer both gain.
However, there’s a difference between a blogger telling you to invest in Forex, for example, and a Forex brokerage platform doing the same. When the platform is advising you to go in guns blazing, you’re the only one with everything to lose.
There’s nothing wrong with making money from clicks and receiving compensation from advertisers, but that cannot be all there is.
How to be a beginner
Many websites promise that they can show you how to make the most of your money, no matter how much or how little knowledge you are starting off with. But while all the information might be there, it takes a little bit more to start from nothing.
If you are starting as a complete beginner, you won’t know how to make use of even the best information. You won’t know what sounds right and what just doesn’t make sense. You won’t know that certain pieces of advice require a lot more context.
When starting off, it is best to do a crash-course, by finding a reputable source of beginner’s information. Once you know the basics of whatever area you’re trying to master, you can be discerning of the advice you find online. An article without context will make a lot more sense. You’ll avoid making some basic errors.
Scouting the web for finance tips can be incredibly helpful. You can learn a lot about managing and growing your money. But without the right context, it can also be harmful. Not every finance site has your best interests at heart.
You need to be a discerning consumer in this age of endless information. Otherwise, you’re at the whims of any idiot who can write.
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