To gain a full understanding of a topic, it’s important to draw knowledge from several sources. In learning about personal finance, that means reading books and following personal finance blogs. Mike Piper, who authors the blog Oblivious Investor, offers “simple, low-maintenance investing” information to help you create ways to grow your savings. He was kind enough to share some of his knowledge:
1. Some of my readers may be interested in following Oblivious Investor. What value or overall message do you think your readers get from your blog?
The primary message of my blog is that you don’t have to follow the stock market closely to be a successful investor. It’s perfectly reasonable (wise, in fact!) to create a simple portfolio of 3 or 4 low-cost mutual funds. After the portfolio is created, there’s really no need to check on it more than once or twice per year.
2. You’ve become one of the most successful personal finance blogs on the internet. What are your plans and goals for Oblivious Investor in the next 1-3 years?
I only have one 2011 goal for the blog: Double the number of subscribers over the course of 2011 (from 2940 to 5880). So far, it looks like things are on track. As to plans for the blog’s content, I expect it to be the same as ever: tips for successful, low-maintenance investing.
3. What advice do you have for a person who is just beginning to get their finances in order?
To be honest, I’m not at all an expert on helping people get out of debt. But for the person who has completed (or skipped) that step and is just getting started investing, my advice is just what I said earlier: Create a simple, “lazy portfolio” that you can understand. Then stick with it.
4. What do you see as the three most important personal traits needed to achieve wealth?
There’s a lot more to building wealth than just investing (successful career development, for instance), and I’m not sure I could limit it to just a few traits. I’d say the following two traits, however, are the keys to investment success:
Stubbornness: Even the best portfolio and investment plan won’t work if you don’t stick with them. Every portfolio will have some periods where it doesn’t do very well, but you can’t let that convince you to give up on your plan.
Skepticism: When it comes to investing, you get conflicting advice everyday. That’s because nearly every source of information (myself included) stands to gain something by convincing you to invest in a certain way. Rather than taking any advice at face value, try to find somebody taking the other side of the argument. Hear both sides out, then decide which side presents better arguments and evidence.
5. Finally, if someone was planning to launch a PF blog to help others along, what advice would you give him or her?
Link out to other bloggers. A lot. Bloggers appreciate it when you link to them, and it makes them more likely to link back to you. I’ve done a roundup every week since I started my blog, and it’s been by far my most successful method of building traffic. Also, make sure to link to other new bloggers, as they’re the ones who will appreciate it most.
He makes some great points doesn’t he? Head over to his blog, become one of his 5,880 subscribers or see what else he’s saying in his book, Can I Retire?