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Archive for March, 2011

Most online advice is terrible

Monday, March 21st, 2011
Lets do a little social experiment, shall we?  I want you to think of something that someone might ask for advice on.  For example “How should I treat a cold?”


Now, put that into google and see what comes back.  Its a mess of yahoo answers, voodoo forums, organic remedies, and far fetched sales pitches.  Its sort of like asking a question and have a trashcan emptied out on your head.  Everyone knows that the internet is both a wonderful and terrible place for information.  Sometimes when I read CNN.com, the comments make me wonder if we would be better off with monkeys pounding on their keyboards than real humans putting their commentary in.  The trick is to watch out for the bad, especially when it seems to come from a good source.
Recently a popular financial blogger started writing about a certain investment site.  I thought to myself “Huh, well, I respect his opinion, I will try it out.”  I was actually fairly letdown with my experience and started to dig around a bit.  As it turns out, said blogger actually received a large sum of money to pimp that site.  I am not talking the small change I get to have random links on the side of my page, I mean big money to sell his opinion.

I give this promise, I will never SAY to use something or go somewhere unless I really mean it.

Here are a few things I encourage you to avoid taking advice from:

Random emails.  John’s stock tip is probably not as good as he thinks it is.  Of course, it could be even more insidious and it could be a penny stock scam.
Forums.  Ive seen great advice like “IRAs R 4 old ppl lol” and one of my favorites “dud jus lease tha car then u get less payments”
Yahoo questions.  Enough said.
Blogs.  Blogs not named “The Penny Saved”.


Here is a little example you can try yourself. I googled “Best balance transfer cards” for those that want to transfer their credit card balances to a 0% interest card.  Low and behold, almost every single link is one of those “people get paid when you sign up through their site” affiliate blog posts.

If any of you have made $1,000,000.00 off of a stock tip from Zimbabwe please email me and I will make a large addendum, apologize and I promise to never post again.