7 Reasons Why Being a Financial Blogger Could Be Better Than Being A Financial Professional

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One comment/question I get asked about once per month is something along the lines of the following:

I enjoy reading your blog! It seems like you’ve got a pretty good base of knowledge about personal finance. Have you ever thought about working the financial industry?

It’s a very interesting question and one that I have given some thought to from time to time because I really do enjoy learning about personal finance. In fact, it probably wouldn’t be all that hard to switch careers because I did get an undergraduate degree in finance as well as engineering. However, my answer is always pretty quickly generated as a firm, “No.”

The reason for this is because while I enjoy learning about finance (and personal finance in particular) as a hobby, being involved in science as my primary career has always been more fulfilling at the end of the day. However, if I were to be in the financial industry, I would probably want to do one of the jobs below (the 2nd one listed would be my first choice actually):

  • Work at Vanguard assisting with index mutual funds and trying to make them more competitive by decreasing expense ratios.
  • Work as a fee-based financial planner, helping individuals and families get out of debt and save for retirement.  

Because I want to make a science-based job my primary career and do personal finance as a hobby, blogging is a perfect fit for me!

And, the other day, I was doing some brainstorming and thought it would be fun to share 7 reasons that I came up with why being a financial blogger might actually be better than being a financial professional. I’ve listed these below. Enjoy!

7. Thoughts of financial bloggers can be conveyed 24 hours a day.

Unlike financial professionals who have to meet with clients to share their ideas, all of the advice and ideas a blogger has to offer is splayed out on a website which can be accessed even when he or she is sleeping. This is one of the cool things that attracted me to start blogging!

6. Bloggers don’t have to answer to clients asking why their investment account balance went down.

From what I’ve read, financial advisers who work with wealthy clients especially have a lot of pressure placed on them whenever their managed account balances go down. Naturally, bloggers don’t have to worry about this.

5. You can have international clients and an international audience.

Blogging enables you to set up your little corner of the Internet and make your ideas accessible to anyone in the world at a computer. Furthermore, you can have clients (advertisers) from all over the world and execute business remotely.

4. Financial bloggers can blog from anywhere in the world.

With blogging, you don’t have to work in a busy office building or a crowded stock trading floor. You can work from the comfort of your own office or home from any location.

3. With financial blogging, you don’t need a finance degree or any special financial certification.

One of the great things about financial blogging is that it is open to anyone who has an interest in it and can generate good conversation, opinions, and logical thoughts. In fact, many of the financial bloggers I know come from diverse backgrounds, and many are engineers.

2. Bloggers do not have to worry about conflicts of interest in what we write about.

For example, investment advisers at a firm like Edward Jones get paid based on commission when you trade stock. So, they get paid only when you buy/sell stock. In other words, growing your account balances isn’t their number one goal because it is not based on how they are paid.

This, in my mind, creates a severe conflict of interest which bloggers do not have to worry about.

1. Financial blogging is not official financial advice.

This is my personal favorite for why financial blogging could be better than being a financial professional, as it relates to the very nature of what financial blogging is.

The purpose of financial blogging is to create discussion and give people ideas to research further. It is not to be used for direct financial advice, as the advice is that comes from a financial professional. However, just between you and me, the advice of some of the good bloggers out there is probably worth every bit as much as the advice from financial professionals.

For example, the disclaimer that is on the bottom of every page of My Personal Finance Journey is shown below – “The information provided on this site is not financial advice, and I am not a financial professional. This is not a recommendation to buy, sell, or trade securities, or to invest in any specific product. I can buy, sell, or hold any positions mentioned on this website at anytime. Thanks for visiting!”

Note: if you’re a financial professional, please realize this list is meant only for fun (not an attack on the financial industry) and that I admire you all very much for what you do.

How about you all? What do you feel would be some of the advantages of being a financial blogger over a financial professional? What are some of the disadvantages?

Share your experiences by commenting below!

    ***Photo courtesy of http://search.creativecommons.org/?q=blogger#


    1. Jacob, add no regulation and paperwork as another reason blogging would be better. As a financial planner I get bogged down with making sure I'm keeping up with compliance. It's something I'm always questioning because regulators tend to view everyone as a bad guy even though not all of us are trying to harm our clients. It's really frustrating to have to deal with all the red tape and worrying about whether all your i's are dotted and your t's are crossed.
      My recent post Are You a Trader?

      • I imagine that is quite a pain to deal with Paul! I used to deal with a lot of compliance issues when I worked in the pharma industry! I saw it as a not-so-bad necessary evil!
        My recent post My Personal Finance Journey Vs. The United States of America – Round 2 – What Interest Rate is Your Savings Account Earning?

    2. My problem with being a financial professional is getting there. To get a fee only position, most people look for a CFP but that requires you to work for a few years as a “sales person” before getting the CFP. I would hate to be a sales person pushing bad choices for customers just to get commision. Being a blogger means I do not have to that.
      My recent post Hot days, Chillin' for cheap

      • That's very interesting Ginger! That didn't cross my mind about what you would have to do in order to qualify for a fee-based honorable financial planner position!
        My recent post My Personal Finance Journey Vs. The United States of America – Round 2 – What Interest Rate is Your Savings Account Earning?

    3. Awesome post Jacob. Good question to answer. I think you brought up a lot of great points. You could also add the benefit of making new relationships and starting new challenges as a group. Sometimes is those friendships and cheers that get you from one moment to the next towards your goals.

    4. I agree so much! I have thought about being a fee based planner – but then your focus changes: you need to get clients so you end up focusing on sales versus just writing about what you are passionate about.
      My recent post Staying Sane When You Move Back In With Your Folks

      • Thanks for reading Robert! I actually think that you would naturally end up with clients as your name got around as being a good fee-based financial planner. However, as Ginger brought up, in order to get to that position, you might have to “swim” around with the sales sharks first!
        My recent post My Personal Finance Journey Vs. The United States of America – Round 2 – What Interest Rate is Your Savings Account Earning?

    5. When I was a CFO, I was the messenger of bad news. Too often, I was the person someone wanted to shoot rather listen to what I was telling them. Blogging is better because it is interactive.
      My recent post When Did I Get Old?

      • Thanks for sharing your experiences Krantcents!
        My recent post My Personal Finance Journey Vs. The United States of America – Round 2 – What Interest Rate is Your Savings Account Earning?

    6. You can work in your PJs without getting fired. Also, you can take a walk in the middle of the day if you need some fresh air.

      My recent post Back-to-school sales: What, already?

    7. I think the biggest advantage is not having to feel responsible for someone else's financial decisions the way you might if you were a financial advisor and encouraging someone to make a particular choice.
      My recent post When You Just Aren’t Making Any Progress

      • You bring up a good point! That would be tough Jackie. However, I think that as it is with a lot of things (whether it's being a doctor or making pharmaceuticals for people to inject in to their bodies, etc), with experience, you get used to making those types of decisions. And, after some time, it stops bothering you/seeming like a big deal.
        My recent post My Personal Finance Journey Vs. The United States of America – Round 2 – What Interest Rate is Your Savings Account Earning?

    8. There's a lot of upside to purely being a financial blogger. It sounds as though you may be eligable to take your CFP exams Jacob, in case you changed your mind. The 3 year practical experience requirement of CFP certification does allow publishing as a valid form of experience. I'm sure blogging would qualify.

      I like #7 too. We are covered by disclaimers and we're simply exercising our freedoms of speech. There's a lot more accountability on the shoulders of the financial planner. However, they also have their disclaimers, and the smart ones are insured up to their eyeballs with Errors & Omissions Insurance.
      My recent post Broken Windows Money Fix

      • haha! That's wild Hunter! I never would have thought that blogging would qualify as the three year practical experience part! I might have to look in to that then!
        My recent post My Personal Finance Journey Vs. The United States of America – Round 2 – What Interest Rate is Your Savings Account Earning?

    9. I've thought about something similar. I'd love to go into personal finance and become a fee-only financial planner, but I know that starting at the bottom would be tough. Also, I'm sure a financial planner gets paid more/has regular income.

      • Great point Daniel! I imagine it would be tough to be a full time blogger! First, you'd have to obtain your own health benefits and the income is much less stable.
        My recent post My Personal Finance Journey Vs. The United States of America – Round 2 – What Interest Rate is Your Savings Account Earning?

    10. Having been both, I enjoy being a blogger much more–much less stressful. 🙂

      I disagree with #2 though. To the extent that we participate in affiliate programs (and, from what I've seen, most pf blogs do), we're commissions salespeople as well.

      My recent post Do You Need an Emergency Fund?

      • Good point Mike. Do you blog full time now?
        My recent post My Personal Finance Journey Vs. The United States of America – Round 2 – What Interest Rate is Your Savings Account Earning?

    11. @applecentsmith says:

      Great post and I completely agree with your ideas here. Blogging is more of a creative/expressive method of the personal finance field. It can be done part-time, full-time or at bed-time! It definitely has some pros, as opposed to a normal financial consulting or planner, which has a more structured and (at times) less creative job.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    12. affordanything says:

      Don't forget — financial bloggers can wear their pajamas as they work! Financial professionals actually need to wear nice clothes!
      My recent post Forget Your Debt. Just Forget About It. Really.

      • That's definitely true Paula! However, some of the suits that those Wall Street guys wear make me want to team up with them! haha
        My recent post My Personal Finance Journey Vs. The United States of America – Round 2 – What Interest Rate is Your Savings Account Earning?

    13. I like #6. I think it would upset me in the reverse. If I give someone financial advice and I find out that they didn't take it, I wouldn't know what to do.
      My recent post So, What’s my Monthly Net Income?

      • Good point Romeo. I imagine that would happen quite a bit if you were a fee-based planner and only were giving advice, but not executing portfolio actions.
        My recent post Contents and Building Insurance – Are These Coverage Types Necessary and What Do They Include?

    14. LOL. I got big laughs just by reading the title of this article. But I agree man. A blogger’s influence nowadays has wide range due to the world wide websites. That’s why Financial Bloggers are so cool.

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