Many people turn to the Internet for personal finance advice these days. From blogs to online forums to social media sites, there’s no shortage of great (and some dubious) personal finance information being shared online.
Here are four online communities I visit daily to catch up on the latest in personal finance and investing news, ask questions, and weigh in on individual money topics.
1. Canadian Money Forum
This is the go-to forum for discussing Canadian money matters. There are thousands of members, from novice to expert, and hundreds of active threads covering a broad range of topics.
You can crowd source answers to specific questions about things like insurance, taxes, asset allocation, or annuities.
For example, I posted a question when my car got damaged by a hail storm and got some great responses about how to proceed with an insurance claim.
Then when we got an offer on our house that put us in a bit of a dilemma, I sought feedback on the forum and received instant feedback urging me to accept the offer.
Whenever a blog reader emails me about something very specific related to taxes or insurance – where I’m no expert – I’ll often recommend they post a question in the forum.
And if you just want to lurk around and read all the topics, that’s fine too. There’s a lot of good discussion happening daily in this active forum.
Visit Canadian Money Forum here.
2. Rob Carrick’s Facebook page
Rob Carrick is the personal finance columnist at The Globe & Mail and one of Canada’s leading experts in personal finance and investing.
He has created an awesome daily discussion on his Facebook page. Incredibly, there are more than 30,000 members in his community.
Rob posts a question, or links to an article or a video and asks for feedback. His questions generate dozens of responses from active and knowledgeable participants.
Whether it’s breaking news of major company acquisitions or a warning about banks and insurance companies raising fees (again!), Rob starts the conversation about how the news affects you, the consumer.
A good old fashioned debate about the appropriate amount to tip led to 70 comments with a wide variety of answers.
I imagine Rob uses the feedback to take the pulse of consumers on controversial issues like how retailers want to add a surcharge to credit card transactions or when the government considered allowing Verizon to enter the Canadian wireless space.
It’s a great place to stop by on your morning Facebook check-in.
3. Reddit – Personal Finance Canada subreddit
Reddit is an online community where users share and vote on content. There are thousands of subreddits on a wide variety of topics.
One of those subreddits is called Personal Finance Canada. I discovered this recently and have been popping in a few times a day to check out the topics of the day, answer user questions and post interesting links.
The participants in this personal finance community skew to a younger demographic, so you’ll see a lot of questions about which credit card to get, should I pay off my student loans or start saving for a down payment on a house, and how do I start investing and which brokerage should I use?
The subreddit is moderated by a team of volunteers, and despite what you may have heard about snarky reddit users, the discussions are really civil and productive.
Visit the Personal Finance Canada subreddit here.
4. Google+ Canadian Personal Finance
Started by fee-only financial planner Sandi Martin and mortgage expert Jackson Middleton, the Canadian personal finance community on Google+ aims to share information around smart household finance in Canada with specific content on topics like budgeting, money management, investments and fee-only financial planning.
I’ve been using Google+ more and more lately as I’ve found it easier than Facebook and Twitter to get to know people who share similar interests, like personal finance, and to network and build relationships.
The platform seems geared more toward industry professionals – realtors, mortgage brokers, accountants, and financial planners – however it’s not overly promotional and instead focuses on sharing smart, resourceful content about finances in Canada.
I visit these four personal finance communities every day because they’re always active with new threads and discussion topics.
I love helping out the personal finance community so I’ll jump in and answer questions whenever I can. I’ll also post questions and interesting links there from time to time.
But, for the most part, I just read the discussions. Not only do the topics help me learn more about personal finance and investing in general, but they’ll often inspire me to write something for my own blog.
So if you like talking about money then check out these online communities and don’t be afraid to join in the conversation.
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