A bit of a confession, I’m a Financial News junkie. Now, there are two types of news about finance. The first type you find on blogs like this one that give you tips and tricks on your life. You might see a bit of a life story thrown in, but it’s more about specific actions with either myself as the writer or you the reader providing the tips. In terms of main stream magazines, Money Magazine and Kiplingers tend to be of this type. Ironically, while I enjoy commenting on such articles and posting around this area, it’s not the area I like to sit down and read about in a passive manner.
Financial Business News and Envy
No, I tend to be the other type of financial news junkie, the one that enjoys reading stories about the founding of companies and the people that lead them. You know Financial Business News. This is more in the wheel house of say a Forbes or a Fortune magazine. I subscribe to both, though I get them both for free per the process previously described here. Anyway, I enjoy reading about how others built their businesses from scratch, and how their businesses handle adversity. What I don’t necessarily like is how I sometimes feel after reading the articles.
For example, a few months ago Forbes focused on the “Forbes 400”, the richest 400 Americans. While the stories of how they have succeeded, and failed are very interesting, after reading the stories I always feel a bit dejected. They make it sound so easy to make a billion dollars. Anyone can do it, and if you make it and then lose it all, you can just make it again with the flip of your fingers. Needless to say I’m not a billionaire and I never will be. I feel the same way when reading articles about some bloggers making 400K a year blogging, <cough> Mr Money Mustache <cough>.
That being said, I really shouldn’t be. I’m not in a race against them. If they have 100x what I have then it has no impact on where I stand in life. Thankfully for me, and the reason I still like these type of articles is this feeling is fleeting. Ultimately, I end up self reflecting, and the moment passes. I realize we each find our own path, I don’t really want the fame that goes with being a billionaire even if I could, and what I have is more then 99% of the world so I should be lucky to just have it.
Why Read Financial Business News
This brings me back to why I read these articles in the first place. It’s not to compare myself, or make myself feel dejected. No if I wanted to be depressed I’d turn on the sports news and listen to my team’s latest embarrassing loss, sigh Georgia Tech. Instead, what I’m enjoying is learning about what worked, and didn’t work for them. Seeing their mistakes, and their successes gives me ideas. Ideas for a blog post, ideas for an investment, ideas for reduction of cost, or any number of other things. There are countless posts on this blog that owe their genesis to something I’ve read, which I often times call out in the beginning of the post. Sometimes something I read even makes me think about some new business structure like robo advisors, which while I’m never going to be in the prime demographic of, I find inherently interesting.
So remember, as you read financial blogs, articles or whatever, don’t view the success or failure of the writer as something to compare yourself to, as that’s not the point. Don’t even look at their plan, and try to apply it to your life, as it likely won’t exactly fit you.
Financial Business News as an Idea Source
Instead look at both their success and failures, and see if they would lead you to do something differently in your plan. If you find one example in a hundred that might be apropos to helping you adjust your unique plan then you’ve gained from reading articles. Along the way you may also find some advantageous advice as well. That advice might be the point of an article, or it could even be something the author accidentally included. Sometimes the point of the article, or the advice in the article itself might not even be what you glean. Chances are you’ll eventually stumble on something you can use in your every day life. Do you read your financial business news? Do you have any unique sources?