Sunday, April 22, 2012

Blogs Brian Likes

I love blogs.  I love RSS readers, such as google reader.  It's like subscribing to my personalized daily newspaper compiled from only my favorite authors.  Over the past few days, I have been asked by a few people which blogs I like.  Here they are (in no particular order), with the associated RSS address that you would input into an RSS reader.

    • This isn't an RSS of cartoons.  It's an RSS of the author of Dilbert, Scott Adams.  I think he's brilliantly insightful on how we ought to be leveraging technology to better improve our lives.  He is often very sarcastic and pretty outlandish, but there is an eerie amount of truth to most everything he says.
  • mankiw:
    • Head of Harvard's econ department.  Advisor to Mitt Romney.  Brilliant guy.  Frequently authors and links to very insightful articles regarding timely economic issues in our lives.
  • fama french:
    • The fathers of modern finance (Fama is at Chicago, French is at Dartmoth), the most prolific publishers in the field.  The post very infrequently, but I love what they have to say.  Mostly obliterating the idea that practically anyone can beat the stock market over the long run, and completely obliterating fad investing trends.
  • valuation blog from NYU professor:
    • The most famous valuation professor that I know of, at one of the best finance departments in the world.  Discusses various behaviors of firms and how they can add/destroy value.
  • good blog on us policy:
    • phd grad in economics from MIT.  Former U Chicago professor. Former member of President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), former director of the Congressional Budget Office.  Talks about very relevant US policy stuff:  tax policy, health care mandates, etc.
  • Mr Money Mustache
    • Probably my favorite blog (though I'm still a newbie here...time will tell if I bore from it).  A well articulated guy whose mind is a clone image of mine in how he views the world of personal finance.  Retired at the age of 30 after 8 years or so as an engineer.  Lives a simple life in Boulder, CO and spends lots of time with his family, the outdoors, learning, and investing for fun.  He throws in an occasional profanity for dramatic effect.  Sorry about that.
  • freakonomics:
    • Not my favorite blog, but several economists post interesting insights here.  They are more "cute" than substantive issues, just like the book.  Unfortunately, the authors of the book are only infrequent contributors to the blog...with other prominent economists picking up most of the slack.
  • mymoneyblog blog:
    • Probably the first blog that I ever read consistently.  Helped me to gradually sort through the financial maze which is before us and understand basics such as what is a Roth IRA, basic principles of passive investing, etc.  Since there is not much to say on the subject (it's pretty timeless), new articles can be a bit stale.  He often posts promotions (such as brokerage account opening bonuses) which have earned us over 3k over the past several years.  One promotion alone pocketed us 1k.  A few days ago we got $400 through another promotion.  Now that I think of it...I'm pretty sure that I'm understating the financial benefit I've received from his blog.  My life has been greatly enriched from his plain insights.  He's an engineer who loves personal finance.  His posts are very thorough and insightful.
  • The Becker-Posner Blog
    • Becker is a Chicago econ professor who won the Nobel Prize in 1992.  Posner is also at U Chicago.  They write weekly opinions on interesting subjects.  This week's topic:  Should we be concerned about the decline of US manufacturing?  They are short opinions, but very well articulated.
  • Erik The Black's Backpacking Blog
    • This guy, from what I gather, is a professional backpacker.  He does what are known as thru-hikes, which is basically a fancy name for an insanely long backpacking trip.  He writes guides and books on the subject.  I basically want my retirement to consist of me backpacking the world, so his blog reminds me of my end goal.  Practical weight savings/gear advice from a master.
  • Digital Photography School
    • I'd love to be a professional landscape/nature photographer some day.  I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I think it means to get paid to take cool pictures of nature.  I guess I'm not hoping to ever make money on it, but rather to really improve upon my landscape mainly going beautiful places.  The blog isn't really landscape-heavy in particular, but it's a good resource for techniques, ideas, gear, etc.
  • Joe Hoyle: Teaching - Getting the Most from Your Students
    • This guy is an accounting professor on the east coast.  His dedication to teaching inspires me, given my 8 year track record experiencing frequently apathetic professors while in college (with some few obvious exceptions).  And I can't fault professors for being apathetic towards teaching....they are paid and promoted 99% on research productivity, so it is a completely logical consequence of the compensation structure.  This blog gives me hope that someday the profession will change.
    • Another econ blog.  Keith Hennessey is the former Assistant to the U.S. President for Economic Policy and Director of the U.S. National Economic Council.  I don't remember many specifics from his blog, but I haven't unsubscribed from it yet so I probably like it.
  • Seattle Bubble
    • The best real estate blog that I've ever found.  Founded pre-bubble and made a bubble-believer out of me in no time.  He has excelent visuals.  Started off as a hobby.  Then he recently got scooped up by Redfin, which I view is the future of real estate....customercentric with low real estate agent commission.  After patiently and methodically waiting for the bubble to burst, he bought a home about 8 months ago.  A recent post that caught my eye was the implication of future interest rate hikes on real estate prices. I think that it will obviously hurt the housing market since it directly affects affordability.  He largely disagrees.  We'll see in the next 10 years who is right.  Seattle-centric, but I still read the blog.  He posts very frequently, often for trivial "ask the readers" polls, but I still subscribe because I love the visuals.
So that covers most of the blogs that I subscribe to.  I love blogs!!!!!  Where would I be without them?