Following on from my article on ‘The best investing books for beginners’, I’ve compiled a list of what I consider to be the best investing blogs below.
The blogs are listed alphabetically. There’s a mix of UK-specific blogs and US-focussed blogs – but I’ve made sure that the US blogs in the list are equally worth reading for UK investors.
The best investing blogs (US)
Wes, Jack, and the team at Alpha Architect have one of the best blogs on the internet for research on factor investing. If you have any questions about why factors exist, how they work, how to implement a factor-based strategy, or why ETFs rule the world, then you’ll find the answer on their blog. It’s particularly useful for research on how factor investing strategies migrate from the lofty returns promised by academia to the returns we can expect in the real-world, after including issues like trading costs and taxes. Highly recommend for factor nerds.
AQR have a couple of blogs. The first is the ‘Research’ blog, which they use to publish occasional more academic-style papers. They’re always incredibly in-depth, but despite being academic papers, are written in plain English. They avoid data-overload (unless you dive into the Appendices), and are surprisingly readable and understandable for those with even a basic investing knowledge. The second blog ‘Cliff’s Perspectives’ is the monitor-punching, Taleb-destroying, liquid-alternative GOAT’s own personal blog. He uses it to write more casual posts compared to AQR’s usual research, but they’re always straight to the point, and are some of the highest signal-to-noise posts I read. He also uses the outlet to dunk on any investment misconceptions he spots when they start doing the rounds in the financial press. Recent issues he’s tackled include whether shorting ‘sin stocks’ raises a company’s cost of capital, the expected returns of value stocks, and his views on the replication crisis – all well worth reading. Overall, AQR publish more than any other non-academic institution by a long shot, and with the calibre of their investing brains at their disposal, their posts are always worth reading.
Phil Huber loves two things: professional wrestling and investing. Thankfully his blog is dedicated to the latter. Alongside his sporadic research posts, I’ve found the most useful resource on his blog to be the monthly ‘The Paper Trail’ post, which summarises and links to some of that month’s most interesting research. Each post is split into ‘bps’ – those articles with a read-time of under 10 minutes, and ‘pieces’ – articles with a read-time of over 10 minutes. Great for catching up on any research you’ve missed during the month, and for finding new investment blogs. Although the blog covers all areas of investing, it has a tilt towards alternatives, so if you’re looking at the best investing blogs for the alternatives sector, couple this one with the AQR ones mentioned above and you’re set.
Victor Haghani, one of the founders of the now infamous Long-Term Capital Management, turned his back on complexity after the hedge fund’s collapse, and embraced a simple but powerful style of investing based on the principles of indexing. While most of the research published on his blog is probably not for those completely new to investing, he gave an excellent TEDx talk in 2013 entitled ‘Where are all the Billionaires?’. The 10-minute talk explains why so many people have failed to beat the market, and how passive investing, combined with some smart beta tilts, can help investors stay the course and maximise their wealth over the long-run.
Jason has a column in the Wall Street Journal, which is well worth reading if you have a subscription (or don’t mind repeatedly signing up for their introductory offer…). He also used to maintain a personal blog here, but it looks like it’s not being updated any more. His posts are great for poking fun at the egotistical world of investing, for cutting through the jargon, and for getting straight to the point. He has a particular focus on behavioural investing, having authored a number of investing books, as well as editing the revised edition of Ben Graham’s ‘The Intelligent Investor’.
Larry Swedroe is the Chief Research Office at Buckingham Wealth, and is one of the most prolific investment writers on the list. He seems to churn out detailed analysis of academic papers multiple times per week, and posts to so many publications that it’s impossible to keep up. How he manages to digest and synthesize so much research I have no idea – but I’m not complaining. His usual approach is to take dry academic papers, distil the key points, and detail how the findings are useful for investors. Given that there’s a fairly high level of knowledge required for reading his posts (many include results of regression analysis and pre-assumed knowledge of smart beta strategies), his posts are mainly aimed at more experienced investors. Because he posts to several different websites, the best way to keep up is to follow him on Twitter.
Meb is the co-founder and CIO of US-based Cambria Investment Management. His posts are nice and data-heavy, but not in an academic, deliberately confusing way. He’s a big advocate of quantitative tactical asset allocation, and has some great posts on the benefits of time-series momentum. He’s also authored a number of short white papers, which are available on his website for free, and cover everything from the drawbacks of dividend investing to the benefits tail risk hedging.
I don’t know much about Meketa Group, other than the fact they have a fantastic library of their own white papers on their website. The papers all well structured, clear, logical, and I always come out having learned something after reading them. A diamond in the rough, and a great resource.
Step 1) Read this post, called The Psychology of Money.
Step 2) Read everything else he’s ever written.
It’s probably my favourite blog on the list.
Morningstar are well-known for their excellent investment research. Being one of the major data providers to the investments industry, the huge of amount of information they have access to certainly gives them the tools to work with. My favourite authors include Ben Johnson, Jeff Ptak, and Alex Bryan. They also produce periodic long-form reports on the state of the investing industry (for free), including Morningstar’s ‘Active versus Passive Barometer’ (there’s one for the US and one for Europe) and their ‘Morningstar Markets Observer’.
The guys at Newfound Research put out some amazingly detailed analysis, especially for a free blog. They’re particularly good at diving into the details on trend following, and really any form of systematic factor investing. Their posts on rebalance timing luck are a must-read for anyone implementing a factor-based approach. Definitely not one for beginners, but a fantastic resource for those wanting insights into quantitative factor investing.
Another convert to the simple and transparent style of investing, Preston maintains a blog at FP Wealth. His notes are particularly useful for understanding the drawbacks of private equity and endowments, with particularly useful notes on how investors can be lured into illiquid investments through promises of high returns through the inappropriate use of internal rates of return (IRRs).
The Ritholtz Mafia
No list of the best investing blogs would be complete without these guys. The ‘Ritholtz Mafia’, as they’ve become known, put out some of the most consistent, high quality investing content available. They’re all employees of Ritholtz Wealth Management, one of the fastest growing RIAs in the US. Each of their blogs has a slightly different focus (Ben Carlson on historical market analysis, Barry Ritholtz on macro, Nick Magguilli on data visualisation), but all are well worth following. Tadas Viskanta, also a Ritholtz employee, doesn’t run a traditional blog, but maintains by far the best investing news aggregator site in existence. He posts daily, seemingly without fail, posting links to all the best investing news of the day, segregated by category. It’s one of the few sites I check daily.
Given that RWM are an RIA, they also have a financial planning arm, and a number of related financial planning blogs. I’ve only included the investing blogs below, but the financial planning blogs are easy to find and fantastic reading for those interested.
Here’s the full list of Ritholtz investing blogs:
S&P Dow Jones
S&P Dow Jones, another data provider and owner of the S&P/Dow Jones indices, produces a combination excellent in-depth research as well as some shorter blog-style pieces. Their detailed research is located on their Research page, and their blog is located on the Indexology Blog page. Given that they are primarily an index provider, much of their research focuses on the ‘Active vs Passive’ debate – their most famous research being the ‘SPIVA Scorecard’, which is updated every 6 months and shows the percentage of active managers outperforming their benchmarks going back as far as they have data. They also have great research on factor investing, which probably isn’t for beginner investors, but a great resource for those looking to dig a bit deeper.
Given Vanguard’s meteoric growth in the asset management world, they’re able to give unique insight into the behaviour of their millions of investors worldwide. Their detailed research reports are fantastic for debunking popular myths (e.g. the myth of the panicky individual investor), and in typical Vanguard style are sensible, clear, and based on common-sense. Their shorter blog-style research is always very reader-friendly, and is a great read if you’re new to investing and looking to learn.
The best investing blogs (UK)
I stalked Joe on LinkedIn recently, and was surprised to see he now works for St. James’s Place. But don’t let that put you off his blog. He’s been a fund manager since 2004, and as the title of his blog implies, his posts focus on the behavioural aspects of investing – offering insights into the minds of investors and exploring investor behaviour. He offers an unparalleled ‘behind the curtain’ look at how managers make their investment decisions, and is one of the few blogs on this list I’d click on regardless of the title of the post. Despite decision-making/investor behaviour being his bread and butter, some of my favourite posts of his have nothing to do with behaviour – including ‘10 things fund managers say and what they actually mean’ and ‘10 questions ESG investors must consider’. A final massive plus point for the blog is that he knows how to spell ‘behavioural’ correctly.
Robin Powell aka ‘The Evidence Based Investor’ has been spreading the word of evidence-based investing in the UK for longer than almost anyone. For many years he was the lone voice for UK passive-investing advocates, but is now seeing many other finance professionals rallying to his cause. A strong advocate for passive investing, his blog features a cornucopia of useful interviews, guest posts, videos, and academic studies, with many of his contributing guest writers also appearing on this list. His blog is an essential resource for UK investors.
What Nicolas Rabener doesn’t know about factor investing isn’t worth knowing. He’s a guest poster on many of the blogs mentioned in this article, as well having his own blog at Factor Research. An expert on factor investing, his posts are always concise, to the point, and backed up with particularly useful and informative charts and graphs. Given his expertise in factor investing, I particularly like his posts on some of the less well-known factors, and recently he’s been publishing some interesting research on how much ESG investing is explained by traditional factors.
One of the newer blogs to make this list. How Joachim finds the time to post so regularly I have no idea – he posts even more regularly than the voracious Larry Swedroe. I haven’t quite worked out his exact schedule of posting, but it seems like it’s once a weekday. Which is particularly impressive as these aren’t low-effort posts on whatever the current topic-de-jour is, but are interesting takes on recently released or little-known research papers. He summarises the key points of the paper, including the key charts, and weaves in his own analysis and experiences. The end result is a constant stream of punchy, interesting, and practical posts. And on Friday he tackles more esoteric topics like how the shape of your hand impacts your risk tolerance, the cost of dining with a Bond girl, and why you should never invest in football clubs.
Another must-read for UK investors. Most people’s first experience with Monevator will be with their truly excellent UK broker comparison page, but the site offers much more than just their broker comparison. It contains clear, well-organised information, guiding UK investors from being a complete novice to making their own investment decisions. They have a hugely active readership, so it’s always worth diving into the comments section of each post, as there’s almost always extra helpful content in there – both from the authors and readers. It’s one of the best investing blogs in the UK.
The blogs above are the ones I follow most closely, but there are several others which post less frequently, but whose articles are still excellent:
Summary: The best investing blogs
- Alpha Architect
- AQR: Research and Cliff’s Perspectives
- Bps and pieces
- Elm Partners
- Jason Zweig
- Larry Swedroe
- Meb Faber
- Meketa Group
- Morgan Housel
- Newfound Research
- Preston McSwain
- The Ritholtz Mafia (all of them)
- S&P Dow Jones
- Behavioural Investment
- The Evidence-Based Investor
- Factor Research
- Joachim Klement