Thursday, August 26, 2010

Favorite financial blogs

Around early 2004 I was considering buying a house, but what I saw then made me feel we were in a bubble. Basically, between the time I put a deposit on the house to the time I was supposed to go into contract, the house price appreciated 5% -- this was just a few weeks. Suspecting there was a bubble, I decided to do some research and started with a post to misc.invest.financial-plan. Someone pointed me to the CEPR website and on doing further digging found that a prominent economist, Dean Baker, had concluded that there was a housing bubble and had consequently sold his house and was renting! To me that was reason enough not to buy, and I backed out. I'm glad I didn't buy then. There was a period of time when I wondered if I would ever be able to own. The house that I was looking to buy appreciated by about 50% by 2005, but is now down about 50% from its peak, well below what would have been my purchase price in early 2004. Around that time was when I got interested in financial blogs and reading about the economy. Some of the sites that I have found useful are the following (listed in order of preference and subject to future updates):
  • Calculated Risk - This is an excellent blog. It's a super high-volume blog that contains snippets of economic news from all over the place. There are too many posts and I find it hard to keep up with this one. The real-estate forecasts from this blog simply cannot be beat. It's as though the blogger has inside information. Here is my post explaining all of the data that he follows.
  • Doug Short - This is a website that is not organized as a traditional blog, but rather a collection of continuously updated articles.  He provides excellent analysis of various economic indicators and end of the month market timing data based on the Ivy Portfolio,
  • MishTalk - Mish has made some great calls and provides excellent commentary on the news and has a humorous writing style. He also has a faithful set of regulars that post in his comments section.  He tends to cover things like politics and economic news from around the world that the above blogs do not.
  • Market Ticker - A decent blog but includes lots of non-economic discussion as well.
  • Patrick.net - One of the earlier ones that I used to religiously visit while home prices were still on the way up. This is mainly a collection of links. If you ever feel the pressure to buy, this is a great place to visit for a reality check.
  • TIPSwatch - I refer to this blog before making any TIPS purchases.
  • ZeroHedge - This is a high volume blog probably written by multiple people.  It is a "gloom and doom" type of blog but brings interesting pieces from all over and is not just limited to economic data.  I wouldn't recommend relying on their analysis or investment recommendations, though, as they tend to be a bit hyperbolic.  Often makes a big deal out of things that Calculated Risk regards as noise.
There are several others that I've read on and off but because they haven't been constant favorites for a long period of time, I've excluded them. If something else warrants being on this list, it will be added.

Updates

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