Turning to blogs for financial tips (especially women)

Chicago Tribune: Turning to blogs for financial tips (Registration Required)

“They are easy to use and just very real,” says Rhoads, a 27-year-old public-relations executive and graduate student at New York University. They are “right at your fingertips and you can find advice that caters exactly to your needs without it being too in your face.”

This is pretty interesting. Financial info – targeted to women – and Jean Chatzky is one of the best. I’ve always enjoyed her NBC (Today Show) pieces. There is something ‘trustworthy’ and ‘business-like’ in her delivery. I don’t know that it comes across in her blog (luckily she has the TV persona to draw them in).

Rhoads is one of a growing number of investors turning to blogs–or online journals that typically feature news stories, links to other sites and the author’s musings–for free financial advice that’s presented in a friendly, non-aggressive manner.

Blog operators say women in particular are trolling online blogs to learn market terminology and gain a deeper level of financial sophistication. Blog users say they like to read about another person’s uncensored financial experiences before they consult a broker who might be biased toward certain products such as funds or insurance.

Some of the more popular blogs are posted by established columnists or authors, largely because their credentials give them a level of trustworthiness in an otherwise anonymous environment. On America Online, for instance, finance expert Jean Chatzky writes a blog called “Jean’s Journal” in which she expounds on topics like holiday spending, budgeting and paying down debt.

AOL is racing to keep up with the demand for blogs, which the service refers to as “journals.” The company says it plans to launch more journals by well-known finance experts later this month. In August 2003, AOL gave its members the ability to build blogs, and more than 440,000 journals have been created on topics ranging from personal finance to cooking.

Not an endorsement, but visit Social Funds – ‘social responsibility’ example of financial information. I love the idea of this.