Blogonomics: What CFAs Read

Professional investment advisors don’t spend much time reading blogs, according to an article by Susan B. Weiner CFA which was brought to my attention by Yves Smith:

When the CFA Institute tried to find sources for this story, most people told them they’re not participating in the blogosphere, either as readers or contributors.

We learn bloggers often aren’t licensed professionals:

Some blogs may offer useful information, but even their fans believe you should approach them skeptically.

Robert Harding Financial’s Jeremy Mitchell said to beware because “Many who post these types of blogs are not professionals, most are not even licensed to render financial advice.” Financial Planning Unlimited’s Patrick Valenty handles this challenge by limiting his blog visits to those associated with the Money Show or “reputable financial magazines.”

I can understand why people who spent a lot of time and money and effort getting their CFAs would care about professional qualifications. But someone might want to whisper to Mr Valenty that we bloggers associated with reputable financial magazines don’t have any license to render financial advice either.

The same kind of extrapolation from their own experience pops up later in the article, too:

Clearly, there are more retail investors than professionals doing research on the web, so it makes sense for bloggers to target them. In the opinion of some industry observers, many investment bloggers are just in it to inflate their egos or simply for the money–using search engine optimization to attract web surfers and earn revenue when surfers click on advertisements on their blogs.

I defy Ms Weiner to find me a single investment blogger who makes anything more than pocket money from advertising revenue. Yes, CFAs can and do make a living by giving out investment advice. But bloggers? Not so much.

But the best bit of the article is its sidebar listing "a sample of financial and economic blogs". A lot of them are unfamiliar even to me, although many of the usual suspects are there as well — not just Yves Smith but also Barry Ritholtz, Calculated Risk, Mark Thoma, Paul Kedrosky, Paul Krugman, and Nouriel Roubini. And then, nestled among these sensible and insightful thinkers, one finds Ben Stein. Maybe that explains the skepticism!

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