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Do You Prefer Advice From An Expert Or Someone Who Has Had Experience?

While nobody is perfect, I pride myself on making as few financial mistakes as possible. That’s not to say every investment I’ve made has gone well, but for the most part I don’t waste money and have made pretty good decisions regarding my personal finances. I take advantage of my credit cards by paying them off in full each month and taking the 1-3% in cashback rewards.

Some bloggers who started their blogs to dispense their financial advice and personal finance thoughts include Financial Samurai, Len Penzo, and Wealth Pilgrim, among many others. Who better to take financial advice from than experts who have experience making great financial decisions?

Other bloggers have made a name for themselves based on their stories of making terrible financial mistakes such as getting into tens of thousands of dollars of credit card debt and then working their way out of it. A few bloggers who fit this mold are Trent at The Simple Dollar, Baker at Man vs. Debt. There are many others who are still working their way out of debt and their blogs are used partially to keep them accountable.

I can definitely see why people like taking advice from people who have made mistakes and are working their way back into the black. They have had the experience and can mentor people to avoid make the mistakes they did. They know where the traps are, so they can guide readers around them.

People also like to take advice from people who are similar to them. Those who have never made a financial mistake don’t know what it’s like to have debt issues and they don’t identify with the same issues.

Personally, I like reading bloggers who’ve had success that I can attempt to replicate. Why? Let me put it this way: Would you like to take investing advice from a trader who used to get negative returns but is now working to break even? Or would you rather get your investing advice from Warren Buffett? I think I could learn a lot from Mr. Buffett.

Readers, where do you enjoy getting your financial advice from? Someone who has always done things the right way or someone who is working his way back from being in severe debt?



  1. I find both camps useful. I’m not in debt and like to think I don’t make too many obvious mistakes so I certainly can learn from the more wealth-building-oriented blogs – I see that as my future. But our income is low now so we really need to wring every dollar we can from our budget, so the ways that people who are motivated by debt repayment demonstrate that are also beneficial for me to read.

  2. Wow… Trent got out of his debt through and by his website, not because of anything else – I mean… how many times do I have to brush and make home-made beer to save money? Or maybe instead of paying off 7% student loans, I should maxmize my 401(k) and IRAs as he recommended… or even better selling properties at $222,000 rather than let it being rented at $133,200 per year as he also advised others to do (assuming the hypothetical reader is real and his/her assumption on the rent income is correct). Does he have a license to give any financial advise by the way?

  3. I like seeing both sides but as with all advice take it with a grain of salt and consider the source. I havent made any big financial mistakes and feel I have started out great but my girlfriend graduated with $80,000 in student loans so maybe my blog will have the best of both worlds when we get married and combine finances.

  4. Taking advice from an expert and visiting personal finance blogs both are helpful for me. An expert advise on the basis of current market circumstances while blogs help me to being updated with other people’s financial experience (Good and Bad both).

  5. Well, I suspect that even Warren Buffet has made mistakes. I think it’s very useful to find out from very successful people which mistakes they have made in the past, and learned not to repeat.


  6. I like taking advice from both sides. As a CPA who hasn’t made a ton of financial mistakes, I sometimes wonder if my readers will listen to me. For some, I bet it’s kinda like being lectured by their grandma. ;)

    Still, I try to write useful articles that can apply to anyone and avoid being to “preachy” about finances.

  7. Sometimes the folks who have done things “the right way” can be smug about it which isn’t always helpful to those who are trying to right their mistakes.

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