We’ve just passed our 11th anniversary as a personal finance and investment blog. In that time we’ve also published two books on investing and personal finance (with a third focused on stock picking coming out by the end of the summer.) Hopefully I’ve provided useful content to many of my regular readers and those who’ve just found their way here through search engines and blind luck.
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To monetize the site and make it worth my time writing (it takes a couple of hours to write each post, and these have gotten a lot longer and more involved as time has passed, as you’ve hopefully noticed), we sell books and use affiliate advertising. These revenue sources have been, well, let’s say, less than stellar, in that I’ve been making a few dimes per hour of my time, maybe. Once I pay for the website hosting each year, I’m pretty much breaking even before book sales. I do enjoy writing, however, and also truly hope that I am helping some people learn how to invest and improve their lives financially. In some ways it’s more of as mission than an income source.
That said, with WordPress making it really easy to create paid content, I’ve thought about making a portion of the website paid. I’d continue to write articles and you are welcome to read those for free to your heart’s content (although an occasional purchase of something from Amazon through one of the affiliate links would be appreciated). What I would be adding, however, would hopefully be very valuable to you.
Because stock picking is one of the most difficult aspects of investing, choosing from the myriad options out there, particularly if you don’t have a large portfolio and are able to afford subscriptions to a service to provide you data like the one I use, Value Line Investment Survey, I was thinking that having access to model portfolios and watch lists of stocks would be useful. This would be portfolios designed to meet a certain goal, like grow wealth or generate current income, and lists of stocks for a particular purpose. In many cases these would be stocks I actually own, so you would have access to the same stocks I actually use in my personal investing. In exchange for access to these lists for a period of a year, I’d charge something like $15 to $25. Because these lists would not change very often (I’m doing long-term investing, so if I’m changing my choices frequently, I’m doing something wrong), just viewing the list once or twice per year would probably be all that you would need.
Now, I believe that all subscription services should pay for themselves. I wouldn’t subscribe to anything that didn’t provide enough additional income to justify the subscription. This should be no different, in that obviously while every pick on the list wouldn’t pan out (I’m an investor, not an infallible seer of the future), the list should give you a good place to start in your research of investment picks. If you take the list along with the upcoming book, it should help guide you to building up your own wealth-growing portfolio.
The model portfolios would be useful to find stock picks, but also to see how you could structure your own portfolio. As I add and remove stocks from the portfolios, I’ll explain my logic to help you learn. If you wanted, you could actually just mimic the portfolio, effectively letting me guide you in how you invest your money. You could also use them as learning tools, or just use them to narrow things down for your stock picking.
I’m not quite ready to pull the trigger on this. I first need to decide if I’ll need to do things to protect myself from liability, and how big that liability would be. Sadly, if I’d be opening myself up to lawsuits if someone took a pick and lost some money, I couldn’t take the risk. But if it looks like it would be something sufficiently safe to do, I could have the content available within a month or two.
If you would be interested in such paid content, please let me know your thoughts in a comment. If there is something that would be more valuable, please let me know that as well. The beauty of a free-enterprise system is that those who best meet the needs of people make the most income, so you are rewarded for doing what is good and needed. This drives people to think about the needs of others and how they can best meet those needs. Would content such as this meet your needs?
Have a burning investing question you’d like answered? Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave in a comment.
Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to give financial planning or tax advice. It gives general information on investment strategy, picking stocks, and generally managing money to build wealth. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell stocks or any security. Financial planning advice should be sought from a certified financial planner, which the author is not. Tax advice should be sought from a CPA. All investments involve risk and the reader as urged to consider risks carefully and seek the advice of experts if needed before investing.