When it comes to investing, there's a world of difference
between good advice and advice that sounds good. The
vast majority of personal finance commentary, both online
and in the "dead-tree" world, certainly sounds
good enough -- "put all your retirement money in
stocks," or "aggressive growth funds are the
place to be," or "small stocks return more
than large stocks." But there's something odd about
this kind of advice: It's always asserted as if it's
true, and yet its truth is never proven. Unfortunately,
you can't afford to take investing advice on faith.
To prosper in the long run, you've got to be able to
separate the good advice from the advice that just sounds
good. My goal here is to help you do that.
I've designed this website to be a safe haven where
you can learn what you need in order to think for
yourself as an investor. I've also worked hard at
keeping everything at www.jasonzweig.com
crystal-clear. Not only is there something here for
everyone from the beginner to advanced investors, but
you should be able to find your way around and be able
to tell at a glance what's suitable for your level.
And the Resources section is different
from the indigestible directories of links you'll find
at most other websites: I've personally checked out
every single link you'll find here, in order to make
sure the information and advice are reliable and worthwhile.
If I haven't inspected a site myself -- or if I think
legitimate investors can't visit it safely -- then "you
can't get there from here." (My definition of a
"safe" website has three parts: 1, it consistently
delivers responsible advice that's appropriate for long-term
investors; 2, it does not bombard you with pop-up ads
or try to sell you something with every mouse-click
you make; 3, it does not capture your e-mail address
or other personal information and use it for commercial
Good question. I've been writing about business since
1986 and covering investing and personal finance full-time
since 1992, first as the mutual funds editor at Forbes
magazine, then as a commentator for Money
magazine and a guest columnist for Time, and now as the investing and personal-finance columnist for The Wall Street Journal. In 2003,
I edited the revised edition of Benjamin Graham's classic
text, The Intelligent Investor, which Warren
Buffett has called "by far the best book about
investing ever written." (You can read
my bio here.)
Unlike a lot of journalists, I don't think I'm smarter
than everybody else. Instead, I'm only smart enough
to know how much I don't know -- and to keep asking
questions of the smartest people I can find until I
get answers I do understand. (I figure if I can finally
make sense out of the answers, then so can you.) I never
take anything on faith -- because I know that if something
I write is wrong, it will cost real people like you
real money. My goal, in everything you'll see here,
is to give you the highest possible odds of reaching
your long-term financial goals, with the lowest possible
chance of risk and regret.
I've learned that the financial world is populated
primarily by two groups of people: those who don't know
what the heck they're doing (and insist on giving
advice anyway) and those who think you don't know what
the heck you're doing (and can't wait to get
their mitts on your money). Your most powerful defensive
weapon against both kinds of people is your own skepticism.
I'll show you how I keep my skepticism sharp, and I
hope you'll learn how to hone yours as well.
If you're interested in "getting rich quick,"
please leave this site immediately. I hate to sound
inhospitable, but there's utterly nothing here for people
like you, and there never will be. I have no advice
whatsoever that would be helpful to you, and I can't
recommend anyone else who would either.
The problem with getting rich quick is you have to
do it so often. That's because right after you get rich
quick, whatever gimmick got you there will stop working,
and you'll get poor quick, and you'll have to start
all over again. You'll spend years of sheer investment
heartbreak always grabbing for more, always missing
it or holding onto it for only a split second, forever
coming away empty-handed.
On the other hand, I think I might be able to help
you get rich slowly. And I'll try to help you stay
rich in an investment world that's bursting with shysters
and hypesters who can't wait to drain your wallet dry.
After all, wealth isn't just about getting rich; it's
about staying rich once you get there. As Europe's greatest
merchant banker, Nathan Mayer Rothschild, said in 1834:
"It requires a great deal of boldness, and a great
deal of caution, to make a great fortune; and when you
have got it, it requires ten times as much wit to keep
it." At this website, my unwavering desire is to
deliver the right amounts of boldness, caution and wit
to help you build a fortune over the years to come.
But if you want to make a fortune now -- right away
-- overnight -- today -- this very minute -- by year-end
-- then you're just going to have to look elsewhere.
And by the way, you're never going to find it or keep
it. So when you're finally ready to give up the futile
search for the next great get-rich-quick scheme, come
on back. We'll leave the light on for you.
Most so-called "investment" websites are
always selling something: books, videotapes, newsletters,
e-mail hotlines, money-management "services,"
memberships, hats and T-shirts and coffee mugs, seminars
or "webinars," even the articles you could
easily download elsewhere for free -- not to mention
the incessant flashing of pop-up ads from their "sponsors"
who will pounce on you if you click your mouse in the
Phew! So far as I'm concerned, all that junk belongs
in a flea market or a tag sale, not on a website that
aims to bring you good investing advice.
Isn't it strange? Here you are, wondering how to improve
your financial future -- and the folks who run these
websites are telling you that the best thing you can
do with your money is to put a fat chunk of it straight
into their pockets! Whose financial future do you suppose
these guys really care about: yours, or their own?
That's why www.jasonzweig.com
- I don't accept advertising or "sponsorships."
- I don't publish an investment newsletter.
- I don't make you register to use the site, and I
will never send you an unsolicited e-mail or sell
your e-mail address to anyone.
- I don't manage money for anyone but my own family.
- I don't get any "referral" kickbacks from
any website whose links are shown here.
- So far as I know, everything I've ever written or
said that's available anywhere online is reachable
directly from here. I haven't left any of my mistakes
buried in some Internet boneyard.
- Nothing is for sale here (if you want to buy my books, you can click
here to be redirected).
- I pay to run this site entirely out of my own pocket.
And so long as I can afford to do so, I won't compromise
on any of the things I just told you about.
In short, this aims to be a conflict-of-interest-free
zone. I hope you'll never need to worry that anything
I tell you has been bought or biased by anybody who
greased my palms or lined my pockets. And yes, I write
every word you'll read here -- not my "researcher"
(I don't have one) and not my "editorial assistant"
(I don't have one of them either).
These are the steps I've taken to try to ensure that
www.jasonzweig.com will be honest, impartial, and useful.
Since my day job already provides me with an adequate
living, my goal isn't to use this website to make myself
rich; my hope, instead, is that you might be able to
use it to help get rich yourself.
What's the catch? There isn't any. Down the road, if
visitors like you really like what you see here, maybe
I'll be able to figure out some way to make this website
pay its own keep. But you have my solemn word that www.jasonzweig.com
will never take any compensation of any kind from any
company in the financial-services industry.
So you be the judge. Browse around. See what you think.
Let me hear from you about what you like, what you
don't, what you'd like to see more of. And thanks for