Have you ever wondered how the math behind financial "CDOs" works? Does not knowing what "CDOs" are and how they affect your investments keep you awake at night?
If the answer to both of those questions is a resounding "yes", then PensionCraft is for you. (I'm afraid that those of my readers who are already professionals will not find today's featured blog overly useful - unless you'd like to recommend it to your less experienced friends and family members).
PensionCraft is a British investing blog and virtual learning centre for anyone who wants to grasp the basics of investing without getting bored to death. The blog's author, Ramin Nakisa, is a former investment banker turned university teacher turned finance blogger. He has a wonderfully pleasant and calm way to talk his readers and viewers through complicated financial subjects (some people were simply born with the voice and the demeanour to become educators and YouTube personalities).
Ramin truly understands the art of storytelling. Just listen to his story about "castles and gold", and you'll learn all about CDOs without even realising that you are sitting in a virtual classroom.
A treasure trove of content to delve into
My series "Blogs to Watch" aims to connect you to blogs that you might find useful, but which you probably wouldn't come across yourself. Strangely, the world of finance blogs remains a pretty opaque sector of the media industry – a niche within a niche. I am subscribed to several hundred blogs and keep an eye out on your behalf, but only came across this one because a reader from Hong Kong pointed me towards it.
PensionCraft is a hidden gem indeed. It does not (yet) feature outrageous follower numbers, even though it would fully deserve so and occasionally sees one of its videos go viral.
Ramin – who I never met or spoke to before writing this article – goes about his work with a visible dedication and passion. His website is divided into three main parts:
- A vlog on YouTube, which already includes 100 bite-size videos about specific subjects.
- A collection of material from his public appearances, such as an informative 22-minute talk about "Filling the financial knowledge gap" (which includes the castles and gold story about CDOs).
- Links to several affordable products and services, primarily eBooks and personal training, but also public speaking.
Even if you never spend a penny on any of Ramin's paid-for products, you could find his blog supremely useful. If you do purchase one or the other product, you'll find some of them cheaper (by a wide margin) than what you would pay for comparable products and services elsewhere.
Ramin never tires of making the point that fee minimisation is key to anyone's saving and investing strategy. After all, guess who pays for all the shiny offices in the City of London and bankers' bonuses? The customer, of course.
Anyone who puts real dedication into his or her product and sells it off at the lowest viable price immediately gets my thumbs up.
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British readers should love it; everyone else will find interesting nuggets
PensionCraft is quite UK-centric. British readers will find that a lot of Ramin's subjects tie in with current reporting in their domestic financial media. They will immediately recognise stories such as:
Given the surprising scarcity of quality finance blogs in the UK, PensionCraft could be all the more useful for my readers in the British Isles (who currently make up my third largest group of readers).
Readers from other nations will have to look past two-thirds of the content to find the parts that are relevant to them, too, such as:
Aside from the regular stories, PensionCraft offers a free 10-part mini course about the very basics of investing, broken down into digestible parts (see screenshot). Simply sign up to its newsletter to start learning!
I would like to hear more about what YOU need
Separate but related to all that, I would love to hear what basics you would like me to cover on my own website.
The most frequent questions I've received from readers so far include:
- "How can I buy stocks in foreign markets? I live in country X and want to trade shares in country Y."
- "What happens with my shares when a bid is launched for a company?"
- "Is there a difference between ADRs and ordinary shares?"
I have plans to write an eBook about these questions and make it available for free to my readers. In a rare exception to my policy of writing all content on my website myself, I might also invite a select few other finance bloggers to contribute.
Are there any particular questions or subjects you would like me to cover? Please do let me know and help me steer my efforts into the direction that is the most useful for you.
Blog series: Blogs to watch
There's more to "Blogs to watch" than this Weekly Dispatch. Check out my other articles of this 30-part blog series.
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