The Most Credible Financial Blogs

by: Felix Salmon

The credibility of Crain's web reporter Aaron Siegel is questionable. He wrote a whole article headlined "Credibility of financial blogs is questionable," something he deduced from a report edited by Spectrem Group's Ed Eusebio. “There seems to be a disconnect as to what is a blog and what is a legitimate article,” he quoted Eusebio as saying along with this more cryptic assessment:

Within the past few years, you are seeing much of the mainstream media grabbing the floor and have created blogs as another tool for content delivery.

I wasn't entirely clear what "grabbing the floor" was supposed to mean, so I phoned up Eusebio myself. "Grabbing the floor?" he asked – "I don't even know what that means. I'd certainly never say that."

In fact, Eusebio told me, neither he nor the people he surveyed for his report consider the credibility of financial blogs to be questionable. "I think that any financial institution or publication or publisher can deliver information any way they want to their readers," he said.

Eusebio himself subscribes to a handful of financial blogs, mainly from mainstream outlets like the Wall Street Journal: those are easier to find than self-published blogs, he told me. "I do tend to lean to the brands when I'm looking for information. It's natural. It takes a bit more looking around sometimes to find legitimate, good blogs that are not large-company sponsored. It takes a lot to find the real gems that you can rely on." That said, he added: "Is someone who is blessed by the WSJ more capable than someone on their own, when it comes to expertise? No."

I am mildly surprised that the most popular blogs in Eusebio's survey are all from mainstream publications: no Barry Ritholtz, no Calculated Risk, no Paul Kedrosky. Instead, the 106 high net worth individuals who read blogs turned out to read the big, mainstream sites: Yahoo Finance, MSN Money, Motley Fool.

It's a bit weird, because blogs on those sites almost never get much traction in the rest of the econoblogosphere: they're rarely linked to, and I can't remember reading a single Yahoo or Motley Fool blog ever. I do vaguely have the impression that they talk a lot about US stocks, both individually and collectively, and whether they're going up or down. Are there any which are more interesting, and which have a broader remit?