Best Financial Blogs

Barron’s has a piece out this weekend naming the best financial blogs. While that is a fine idea, Barron’s idea of best financial blog is really best stock market blog. There is nothing wrong with that, of course, it is just that many people who are interested in business, finance, and economics really don’t get all a-twitter over the Brownian motion of equities on a daily basis.

Nevertheless, here is Barron’s choice:

“…the Kirk Report ( met all our criteria. Its ringleader, Charles E. Kirk, claims an average +76% return per year in his 10 years of investing. He counts among his accomplishments calling the bull market top in February 2000, maintaining a model portfolio for his MoneyXperts newsletter that scored a cumulative +323% between 1999 and 2003 (with no losing years), and losing 70 pounds and keeping it off (his track record and portfolio are posted online, as well as an “after” picture). Kirk’s writing and Website design are crisp, professional, and utilitarian. He posts several times a day, usually just a paragraph at a time, and he drops charts and other graphics in cleanly.”

While I’ve only had an opportunity to scan the site quickly, I’m somewhat surprised at Barron’s choice. The creator of said site, while undoubtedly a fine fellow, seems to be a young tech-centric sort who started playing with the stockmarket in the boom years and continues to live in the wilds of Minnesota. His performance claims are eye-catching, if somewhat vague:

Starting with only $2,000 and lots of nerve, I’ve been able to produce an average +76% return per year within my own personal portfolio.

That is impressive stuff. It is sufficiently so such that I am puzzled at a comment from his “about me” section:

While I don’t currently run my own mutual fund, hedge fund, or trading floor – my only source of income is by trading stocks. I live and breathe the stock market every day and I do it because I love it.

Why is someone who loves the market and has produced returns averaging 76% a year for ten years not running their own fund?


  1. Paul, I receive that question a lot. Honestly, there could be lots of reasons for that. First, I’m not a marketing guru as so many people are in this business. Second, I haven’t created the networking contacts that are required for the best opportunities in professional money management. I’m working on this, but it is a slow process, as you can imagine. I’ve had a few offers over the past year, but I’ve turned them down because they were not worth the negatives (moving to New York City or London, loss of independence from working/trading for myself, etc.) I’m still open for a career-changing opportunity, but I’m very satisfied with my current situation. After all, I love what I do.
    In addition, I’m not sure I would agree with your implied view that all of the best investors/traders run money professionally. My experience may be unusual, but I know a handful of investors who have beaten the S&P 500 on a consistent basis for more than the past decade. I know of very few professional money managers who could make that claim.
    Nevertheless, perhaps you’ll take my response as an invitation to visit The Kirk Report with more frequency than your quick scan. I think you’ll enjoy it and find it useful.