Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Getting More Financial Information from Article Comments than the Article Itself

Sometimes I’ll read an article online – about money or otherwise – and wonder why I even bothered.  Sometimes there’s nothing useful in the article or it’s filled with information that I already know.  However, rather than click the close button on my browser in disgust, I might just scroll down to the bottom of the page until I hit the comments.  Once there, I sometimes find that things have devolved into a shouting match between two or three hotheaded comment makers or internet trolls.  But other times, this is where I glean some of biggest takeaways from the article page.

Learning from people who actually leave their homes occasionally
As a freelance writer myself, I know just how secluded I can be from normal society at times.  There are weeks (especially during the winter here in Chicago) when I only leave the house a few times.  And I realize that over time, writers can become somewhat insulated and cut off from the real world and build their own sort of personal reality, whether it’s a realistic one or not.

This is why I find the comments of others so informative.  Many times they come from people in other jobs, careers and industries.  They come from people who work from home, work outside the home, work 12-hour days, or don’t work at all.  And in this way, I’m able to expand upon my own at times, sheltered existence.  

New ideas and reaffirmation of existing ideas
Sometimes it’s nice to see new ideas or have reaffirmation of existing ones.  It feels good to know that I’m not the only one out there thinking a particular way and have a little support in my outlook on life, personal finance, the economy or whatever.

Take for example a comment on a recent article at DollarCollapse.com on an article entitled, “Welcome to the Third World, Part 13: Suburbs Become Ghettos”.  The comment comes from BroccoliSoupTown and reads, “I've been told by plenty of friends and family that they don't know how my family of 5 can possibly get by when they see our modest 1150 sq. ft. house and 15-year-old cars. They think a programmer ought to be able to afford nicer things. They don't realize that the "rich" people they're comparing us to only have a bigger house and newer cars than we do because they got it by going deep in debt. And if you can only afford something by going into debt, you can't actually afford it!”

Our family of four is in the same sort of situation as BroccoliSoupTown, living in a small, two bedroom one bath condo and driving a vehicle that’s 12 years old.  However, by forgoing the bigger and the newer, we’re also able to forgo debt.

Mr. BroccoliSoupTown and I are supported in our views by a recent article comment on CNBC entitled, “U.S. household debt jumps for third straight quarter: survey” that was pulled from Reuters.com
The comment comes from Americannovice and reads, “The rich stay rich because they act poor. The poor stay poor because they act rich.”

I like the way the person put it…short, sweet, and to the point.

Different perspectives and opinions
But while finding the same or similar perspectives and opinions as mine in comments is nice, it’s not always the most constructive.  Sometimes I like a new outlook on life, and this is where article comments can be extremely useful.  New ideas on how to save, new opportunities for investment, income or employment, and different thoughts and theories on the stock market and economy in general can broaden my horizons or at least – if I don’t agree – can give me a better idea of how others might be viewing the situation so that I can write about or discuss these topics in a more informed way.


The author is not a licensed financial professional.  This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind.  Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.