If you have some eggs about to expire, or a car that has problems, you can turn to an online community to find some solutions. But what if you have a financial issue, like what to do with a windfall or how to invest for a kids' college tuition, and need help? Can you crowdsource financial advice? Ramon Ramirez writes on the Daily Dot’s The Kernel about the personal finance section of Reddit, where people ask for, and receive, all types of advice on personal financial matters; The subreddit has 2.7 million subscribers. Ramirez finds that “for the armchair experts … weighing in on these questions pro bono is all in a day’s work. They are generally affable, seemingly trustworthy, and largely convincing.” But one professor of personal finance sees a problem: “Six people suggest six different things to do—now what do I do? First of all, who are these people that are answering this plea? Are they professionals? Are they certified financial planners? Do they have any idea what they’re talking about?” Others say the peer-review part of crowdsourced advice is its most valuable aspect. “Compare this to a traditional financial advisor. If you’re in here asking about what to invest your retirement into, and I’m suggesting funds that personally enrich me, I’ll get called out on it.” Left unsaid, but surely true, is how investors will increasingly turn to sites like this to validate their advisors' advice, or learn why they should change advisors.
Are financial advisors taking over the insurance business? Insurance Business America magazine asks the question, citing an article by CNBC that showed more advisors are adding insurance to their offerings. While insurance analysis and review has traditionally been handled by an insurance broker or agent, many advisors are now doing this themselves. “Someone is going to get paid if they need the insurance, so we offer them the option to work with us, since we already know some of the best alternatives,” Craig Cowles, partner with Cardinal Wealth Advisors, told CNBC.
The good times might be over for bond traders, according to Jack McIntyre of the Legg Mason Brandywine Global Opportunities Bond Fund. While McIntyre is still bullish on the U.S. dollar, it's easy money from around the world that's moving the bond market. If you want to hold bonds, the risk is getting higher, he tells Yahoo Finance. It all depends on what the Federal Reserve does next.