This is a new series where we will be highlighting and interviewing some of the personal finance blogs that we really love to read and that inspire us. Our first interview is with the creator of Money Cone. Thank you for agreeing to be a part of this, Moneycone.
Money Cone is a personal finance site that is about to celebrate its one year anniversary. The site deals with the author’s relationship with personal finance and often includes stories from his own life. The narrow focus of the site is attempting to explain to the average person how big business and other forces are attempting in some subtle and not so subtle ways to take away your hard earned money! After you read the interview, go over to Money Cone and learn how to protect yourself and your families’ wealth.
1) What got you interested in personal finance blogging?
My son! They say you truly start thinking about your finances once you have your first born! Very true in my case. I don’t think blogging was on my mind at that time – it was a personal quest to manage my money as best as I can. I started keeping a personal journal of all the research I did on money management, from asset allocation to finding out the best stock broker to attaining ATM nirvana to something as mundane as finding a good printer. I spent a lot of time figuring out what worked and what didn’t.
Of course, I made a lot of mistakes along the way. In my quest to find the perfect stock broker I ended up having 5 broker accounts, and I learnt the hard way that you lose money when you transfer assets from one broker to another, and that placing a stop order in a taxable account is a bad idea!
But that gave me a unique perspective, I think. I knew what mistakes to avoid if I were to do this again and [figured] this information could be valuable for someone pursuing a similar quest. MoneyCone was born.
2) Please Provide 3 examples of something you wish everyone knew in the realm of personal finance.
1. That it is very, very hard to beat credit card companies’ interest rates with your investments. If you carry a balance you lose. Try making consistent 18% returns year after year in the stock market! (Don’t confuse Return on investments with annualized returns!)
2. If someone’s offering you free money to save, you should take it! It should be a no-brainer, but apparently it isn’t, since 30% of Americans don’t take advantage of their 401K plans!
3. Don’t join the biggest bank simply because you have access to free ATMs but no interest on your checking.
3) What is your favorite post you have ever written and what does it achieve?
It was right around tax time last year, I realized how hard it was for me to find the documents I needed to file my taxes. Organizing documents was another area I needed improvement (there is an embarrassing before-picture in the article!). I knew nothing about file organization before I started, but researched everything I could, walked through a few stores, annoyed salesmen with my ignorant questions and finally discovered a document management system that worked!
This post took a lot of effort, multiple trips to Staples and Office Depot and experimentation in order to find the perfect document management system! The result was The Beginners Guide To A Document Filing System (http://www.moneycone.com/a-beginners-guide-to-a-document-filing-system/).
4) How do you find the time to blog with your day job?
I mostly write about stuff I’ve learnt, researched and experienced myself. Which means, I’m not a prolific blogger! I take my time, once I’m close to completion of whatever new personal finance project I’m working on, I wake up before my kid does and complete my article.
In my defense, I did try blogging with my son on my lap watching Sesame Street on You Tube and me writing an article on MoneyCone! It is hard, in case you are wondering. Elmo is very entertaining!
5) How old were you when you started getting really serious about your own finances?
Not young enough!
6) Do people in your life ever get frustrated with your “frugal” ways?
My wife! I don’t see why I should have a different shoe every season if the one from last season works just fine! She gets me my shoes and I know better than to talk about saving money in this particular instance!
7) You Have your 1 Year Blogging Anniversary coming up in March. Congratulations! Do you have anything special planned to mark the date?
8) What would you tell your 18 year old self to do differently in the realm of personal finance?
Save. Save enough, save furiously. Save as though your future depends on your savings!
Because it does.
Thanks so much for accepting the interview request.
Want to read more, go check out Moneycone.com.