When searching for articles about investment and making money, you will surely come across many bloggers who publish their monthly income reports or also post net worth reports.
I would recommend that you don’t pay too much attention to those numbers. I personally don’t care much about them.
I used to follow many blogs that published income reports in my early years on the internet at the turn of the century, and they inspired me to start my own blog. While the income reports were part of the inspiration, I followed them primarily to learn about internet marketing and similar topics, since books were of limited use in a space that was changing extremely rapidly on a daily basis.
Many people, on the other hand, fall into the trap of focusing too much on the dream rather than on the work necessary to achieve it. The bloggers/influencers know this, and a lot of them make money by promoting a dream lifestyle that many will pursue, but only a few can and will obtain. Hence we end up having this sort of pyramid scheme, with the only source of income being the money from the thousands of people (many of whom don’t have the right prerequisites) who buy the products/courses they promote in the hope of learning what they need to know to make money online.
In recent years, as I got into the world of finance and investments, I again started to see many of the FIRE bloggers doing the same thing that was popular with the early internet marketing blogs, so I thought it was a good time to write this post.
While I’m not saying that they’re lying or manipulating their numbers in order to persuade people to do what they are saying and obtain the same results, I think that business and investing involves a plethora of decisions that are extremely based on each individual’s character and aptitudes.
Consider a few things:
- They might not include the value of their homes in their net worth.
- You don’t know if they received large inheritances or have considerable family wealth to fall upon.
- They might be manipulating their figures.
- Many are posting anonymously, so we don’t know anything about them really.
There are many other considerations I could come up with, but this is a quick post that I want to get out there.
There are now a ton of blogs about investing and personal finance in Europe, and many of them shouldn’t be trusted as a source of advice for your investment journey. Most of them are just distractions from the real research you should be doing.
You want to learn about the type of investment you want to enter by getting to know the industry very very well and then trying things out bit by bit until you get a sense of whether it is a good fit for you.
As we’ve seen in previous decades with other related niches, much of personal finance and investment bloggers’ income comes from affiliate commissions from the platforms they recommend and not from the actual investments they make. That doesn’t make sense in my opinion.
There is no point listening to someone whose investments are making him a couple hundred euro a month at max, because he would definitely not have enough experience to be considered a reliable source of knowledge.
Be realistic; why would anybody go to such great lengths to share their financial journey just to help you make more money for yourself? Most are trying to sell you something. Very few genuinely like to write about their journeys in different areas of life just because it makes them feel better or it helps them clear their minds. Try to find those kinds of people as they are a much better source of information.
Typically I try to look for the following traits in the bloggers I follow:
- They write about several topics coherently for many years.
- They don’t hide behind the veil of anonymity.
- They are verifiably successful in their careers.
- They speak about both good and bad experiences.
That’s my little rant for today. I hope it helps you focus on the right information, as one of the biggest barriers separating you from genuine wealth and success is the overload of information you can find on social media and the web nowadays.
I’ll also say that if someone publishes their income or net worth reports it doesn’t mean I won’t follow their blog, but it won’t be my reason for doing so, and it certainly won’t be the reason why I decide to invest in something or not.
On the other hand, I consider journaling in a private or public fashion to be very helpful to keep track of your thoughts and decisions over time. I have also been thinking of starting to publicize my monthly thoughts on my portfolio’s performance, without focusing too much on the numbers. What is really important in these monthly reports is to observe the decision making criteria of the investors, and get some insider tips on how each platform is doing.
Be very choosy in what you read and whom you trust. Always try out things yourself in small doses before you go all in. Diversify and keep expanding your knowledge every day.
Do you agree with my point of view? Let me know in the comments section.
Other thoughts on the same subject
I’m not the only one who dislikes income reports, although I’m also seeing a trend of bloggers who first become famous using income reports, then suddenly say that they are not helpful and that they won’t publish them anymore, a typical bait-and-switch tactic as far as I’m concerned, but I digress.
Here are some other articles on the subject that might interest you:
What to do instead
If you want to learn how to invest and manage your money in a better way, I suggest doing the following:
- Read as many books on the topic as you can.
- Network with other investors and find masterminds of like minded people.
- Get coached and mentored by an experienced investor. My friend Shlomo Freund offers such a service, so check that out.