Reddit Has Become the Gospel of Personal Finance

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Quartz: If you look beyond the memes, cat videos, and quirky acronyms (TIL, OP, ELI5) you’ll find a treasure trove of resources that will help you quickly get acquainted with the topics that have long eluded you. For me, even though I worked on Wall Street for nearly 15 years, Reddit is the first place I turn when I have a question about money. To me, here’s what makes good financial advice: objectivity, accuracy, and relatability. With an alien mascot named Snoo, an impossibly sprawling site structure, and user anonymity, Reddit may seem like an unlikely place for the serious business of money. But in fact, it has each of these qualities in spades.

According to Amazon’s Alexa, Reddit is the sixth most popular site in the US; the site reported 430 million active users at the end of 2019. Reddit is organized into niche communities (known as subreddits that begin with “r/”) with their own guidelines, norms, and moderators covering both mainstream (r/kpop) and obscure (r/namenerds for new parents seeking inspiration) topics. Because users self-select to be active in these communities, Redditors are known to be passionate and have been described as “offbeat, quirky, and anti-establishment.” All these qualities make it a great place for conversations about money. Consider the subreddit Frugal Living (r/Frugal), which shows what allows Reddit to offer better financial advice than many of those other sites: the Redditor community. Frugal Living’s mission statement is to “understand the resources that we have, and [how to spend] them wisely and deliberately” and this subreddit contains actionable tips on eking out that last bit of toothpaste, warnings that Amazon Day is pure marketing, and why you shouldn’t pay for scientific journals. These posts offer encouragement, collaboration, and a relatability that’s hard to find in the traditional financial press, no matter your financial situation. […] One final word of warning: no matter whether financial advice comes from the front page of the internet or the front page of the Wall Street Journal, it’s incumbent upon the buyer to scrutinize the details, lead with skepticism, and, when appropriate, consult with professionals. Some of the communities that might help you get started, as mentioned in the article, include: Personal Finance, Frugal Living, Investing, Financial Independence / Retire Early, and Stocks.

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