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In order to help individual investors form more effective strategies and make better decisions, the direction of The Investment Blog is changing.
I am shifting the blog back to the way it was when I first started it, with more of my personalized perspective and casual commentary, rather than being very analytically and editorial like. It’s what most of my early readers came to my site looking for, but have been missing for a long while. It will also mean more posts for readers, and more investment-specific perspective.
Not to worry though! Although the change means shifting the content pendulum back towards the individual investor, from time to time there will still be serious content and perspective that has been useful for analysts, news personalities, and professionals.
After writing much fewer, but very content intensive articles on my blog that were popular with banking/investment professionals, The Investment Blog had lost a lot of the personal touch (for the story behind why that was read more below!). But since the end of TSX Waggle’s short run (TMX’s online investment community), I found that I really missed connecting with and helping individual investors in a more personal setting. I was reminded that a part of me was still dedicated to helping others in becoming just as successful. “You can’t consider yourself truly successful, unless you are also able to help others achieve success!” I don’t remember when I got this notion, but it resonates with me!
After much internal debate, between closing the site to concentrate solely on my investing activities versus keeping it going, my passion for sharing knowledge won and I decided to continue the blog, but changes are needed!
I hope you enjoy the new site, as I look forward to sharing investment knowledge in some new posts soon! And if you are interested about the deeper motivation that contributed to the change, read the story below!
Thanks and Happy Investing!
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Why the change? To understand the entire motivation behind this change, I will take you back a few years to 2007.
At the time, the traditional online forums where I frequently posted, started to become extremely herd-like and unwelcoming towards any contrarian or unpopular points of view. I felt I could no longer help people using that medium. With the lack of a better name, came the birth of The Investment Blog and The Investment Blogger! I admit it wasn’t exactly the most creative of names.
When I first started the site on WordPress.com, it’s main purpose was to have my own personal outlet to voice my perspective on investing, markets, the economy, as well as some personal finance issues. I wanted to share investment knowledge that I had successfully used, and perspective that contributed to that. They were topics that were related to questions people had, or that were on the top of my mind.
A few years later, I migrated the blog to my own domain so that I could have more creative freedom with various aspects of the site. With much enthusiasm for writing about my experiences and knowledge of investing, I reached out to other finance related blogs in Canada and the US for a short time. What I found was a surprise and big disappointment.
The large majority of finance bloggers were much more interested in the business of blogging and expanding their blog network, rather than sharing investment knowledge and expanding their investment horizons. They were focused on making their blogs a significant source of income and expanding readership. Investing and personal finance was just a topic for their blogs. Their goal was to be “career bloggers”, not successful investors. This was made very clear to me when they did not want to share investment information at all, and was only interested in having weekly/daily back links to their posts in order to expand readership.
Blogging can be very satisfying, and all the best to them on their writing careers! But this was really opposite to my desire of pursing investment knowledge and making investing my primary focus. I am an investor, and my passion is for all things related to investing. Writing is just one medium for me to share it. I definitely had no intention of making writing my life blood, and I didn’t want to make a business out of it! There isn’t anything wrong with this difference, and I suppose I was just naive to have misinterpreted their intentions/interest on investing due to the topics written on their blog. But I see it as the difference between the goals of The New York Times (writing/readership) and Berkshire Hathaway (investing).
However, the lack of transparency would likely cause other readers who are less knowledgeable on investing, to misinterpret the success of specific investment strategies/advice written on those blogs (when in fact financial success may have really been from ad revenue and a successful blogging business). Those are two very different things! Because my personal wealth has come from investing and not from writing or advertisement revenue, investing has always come before writing blog articles. I started also sharing on Twitter, and was delighted to find that I was able to connect with investors rather than bloggers. Some of them also had blogs as well, but they wrote very seldom since they were also primarily investors not career bloggers. It further reminded me that I was an investor first.
Together, these factors lead me to focus much less on my blog, and concentrate heavier on investing activities and knowledge seeking. I began to care much less if my blog had fewer visitors, or was not mentioned on other blogs or websites. I had even turned down multiple national newspaper interviews in order to maintain my anonymity. Popularity and public recognition is not something I am interested in, and it does not help bring me any closer to achieving my investment goals.
As a result, the majority of articles that I did end up writing were more editorial-like with deeper content, and the site became more news like. And while my audience had shifted away from personal finance blog readers, I gained more serious readers from the investment industry. It started helping people in the investment industry, rather than individual private investors.
I also became more hesitant to write articles with personal perspectives and tended to only write more professional perspective articles. This meant that articles took much longer to write and publish, and in the process many articles and information never got published.
If I wasn’t writing articles, and blogging wasn’t a business or revenue stream for me, why keep the blog at all? I certainly don’t have any ambitions to become a “career blogger”, so I pondered shutting down the blog. My experience helping individual investors, as featured contributor on the TSX Waggle investment community, was extremely rewarding and reminded me how much I enjoyed helping investors achieve success. That’s when I thought back to the beginning and about bringing the blog back to it’s starting point
Well, there you have it!