My Fine Fifteen

I resist “best of” lists both because I have my own (better!) tastes and because I have my own needs, outlooks and preferences.  I also cannot claim to have read or seen anything like everything that might be relevant to the topic.  So instead of claiming that these are the best, the following are my fine fifteen — the financial websites and blogs I used the most and found the most indispensable during 2012.

Your mileage may vary. 

  • The Monoliths. There are lots of (probably too many) huge and would-be comprehensive sites focusing on the financial world.  My favorites are AdvisorOne, which is geared toward retail advisors and other professionals and The Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch, which is more focused on the markets.
  • The Aggregators. Having reliable sources to sift through everything and point me to what I need to read is absolutely crucial to my day.  For my money, the best are Tadas Viskanta’s Abnormal Returns and Real Clear Markets.  Tadas focuses on the blogosphere and is especially good at finding terrific stuff I wouldn’t otherwise have seen, often from new and off-the-beaten-path voices.  Real Clear does some of that while providing must-reads from traditional journalistic sources.
  • The Commentariate: Lots of people comment a lot on the markets and our industry.  In my view, three stand out above the crowd: Barry Ritholtz’s The Big Picture, Josh Brown’s The Reformed Broker and Cullen Roche’s Pragmatic Capitalism.  Each is prolific as well as insightful and each has a powerful and unique voice.  If you don’t read them every day already, what are you waiting for?
  • The SpecialistsDoug Short‘s market analysis and charts are invaluable.  For eclectic, data-based takes on politics and finance, Political Calculations is a must-read. Michael Kitces is the best financial planner I know and his blog is terrific. Tom Brakke is the best investment analyst I know and his blog (in three parts) is terrific.  For retirement planning, Wade Pfau’s Retirement Researcher Blog is unbeatable. Rick Ferri is my go-to on indexing.  Mark Buchanan’s The Physics of Finance is a brilliant look at economics and finance through the lens of physics.  Ed Yardeni’s Dr. Ed’s Blog is fabulous for investment strategy.

I have missed many excellent and valuable resources, of course.  I should particularly note StockTwits, which is my “home base” for dealing with the markets and seeing who’s who and what’s what.  I’d be happy for you to point out my errors and omissions, in excruciating detail if necessary.