Financial Planning

Increasing Signal and Reducing Noise in Personal Finance

There’s so much noise out there in the personal finance news “space” that the real trick comes down to establishing some sort of decent “signal to noise” filter so that you can learn what’s most important – and then just ignore the 98 percent of the rest that is truly just drivel designed to fill air time or print/web space. God help you if you’re into watching CNBC all day – IMHO that’s the ultimate in noise! 😉

Among the most important “signals” I’ve found are the weekly writings of Jonathan Clements and James Stewart – both of whom write for the Wall St. journal on Wednesdays each week. As far as I’m concerned, you can shred the bulk of the paper the rest of the week and just focus and reflect on the teachings of these two writers. Both are found in the Personal Journal section of the paper – Clements’ column is titled “Getting Going” and Stewart’s is titled “Common Sense“.

Clements, as a staff writer for the WSJ, also has been doing video’s along with his columns recently. He also does a Sunday column that’s often on the WSJ web site over the weekend.

Stewart’s actually a writer for sister publication SmartMoney – and can be followed regularly there as well. But his Wednesday WSJ columns seem to feature his best thinking and I find them great reading.

And, then, there are Warren Buffett’s annual letters to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway…

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