I stumbled across Russell Bailyn's blog a while ago, and have enjoyed his articles so when he posted that he was publishing a book, I requested a copy to review.
Navigating the Financial Blogosphere serves as an excellent introduction to financial planning that references online (often free) resources for each topic covered.
There are as many approaches to 'providing' financial advice as there are financial advisers. And like anything, some are good and some are bad. On page one of Russell's book, he explains:
"All too often we trust the insight of so-called experts when it comes to managing our money and helping us make financial decisions. The problem is that many of these experts are driven by a profit motive, which leads to distorted information. Other experts have become comfortable with the idea of giving the same advice to different groups of people."
Russell goes on to explain his approach and why he works that way. As one of the "so-called experts" it is impressive to see that Russell explores what he is doing and why from the outset, in an open and honest way.
His book is organized and reads like a series of meetings with a financial planner. The very first topic talks about banking which inspired me to look at my own bank and make some changes. More about that soon.
Anyone interested in learning more about financial planning, especially those who are prone to browsing around online, should find this book very helpful. If you are thinking about hiring a financial planner, I strongly recommend you pick up this book first. If you read through this and research the topics you are most interested in, following the links provided, you will get far more bang for your buck from your planner as you will have a good base understanding of the topics you are exploring.
Many of the blogs Russell references are blogs I have found as well, but I still found the book well worth reading. The only criticism I have is that the chapter on Mutual Fund investing is a little light. Russell states, "In the blogosphere, at least at this point, no individual blogs have been written that strictly focus on mutual funds." I humbly submit that WylieMoney.com is a blog that explores mutual fund investing in depth. This book was being written while my blog was in its infancy... maybe I'll make the second edition. (hehe).
Anyway, I'll post soon about actions I've been inspired to take, reading Navigating the Financial Blogosphere. If you've got some amazon.com gift cards to spend, you can find Russell's book here: