The 24/7 Wall St. Twenty-Five Best Financial Blogs

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It has been over nine months since we published our feature “The Twenty Best Financial Blogs”. A great deal has changed. Some of the blogs on the list are gone or no longer have regular posts. Others have grown and become better.

One of the most important changes to the landscape is that major media financial websites now run many more blogs, and several, particularly TheStreet.com’s daily column by James Altucher and The Wall Street Journal’s Market Beat written by David Gaffen, have given independent blogs writing about the market, exposure that was not available a year ago.

Our list is a list of independent blogs. Several major media outlets have excellent blog sections. Herb Greenberg at MarketWatch. David Gaffen at WSJ.com, and several blogs at Business 2.0 and BusinessWeek.com, and BloggingStocks at AOL (24/7 contributes content to this site). But, these blogs have a level of financial support that independent blogs do not. Their writers are paid. They have exposure due to their relationship with larger websites. They are excellent, but really should not be compared with websites operated by one person or a small group of individuals. However, they should certainly be lauded for the exposure that they give to independent blogs.

Financial information on blog sites is not readily available. Most financial blogs are much too small to bring in enough direct revenue to support their writers. Some have newsletters, but it is impossible to know what they yield. A number have AdSense links on their sites, but, based on data gathered from a few financial blogs, if a site is not in the top 25,000 sites in audience as measured by Alexa.com, it is unlikely to have enough revenue to support even one or two people.

Financial blogs end up being either labors of love or ways to promote small money management or paid newsletter businesses. It would seem to be a tough way to make a living.

Technorati, the big blog tracking service, now lists over 86 million blogs. Although the site does not break out numbers for financial blogs, these may be approaching a million in total. The term “financial blogs” entered into Google brings back 117 million results.

Over the last two months 24/7 Wall St. has looked at several hundred financial blog websites. The lists came from those blogs mentioned at TheStreet.com, the Wall Street Journal, and SeekingAlpha. We also reviewed the lists of “favorites” at long-established financial blogs like BloggingStocks, and sites being linked to by The Kirk Report, Minyanville, and other financial commentary sites.

After we narrowed the number of financial blogs down to about 100, we tracked posts for several weeks before picking the final twenty-five.

Original content was our most important measurement. Content that was well-written, well-researched and crisp. Blogs that were mostly aggregations of content from mainstream media did not make the cut. The majority of the copy had to be directly written by the blog’s author(s).  Anonymous blogs did not make the cut. It is too difficult to understand the agenda of a blog where readers cannot figure out the writer’s identity and potential motivations. The final major yard stick was frequency of posting. If a blog had very good content, but the author only posts once or twice a month, it becomes too hard to follow without referring back to the same story and waiting for weeks for it to change.

Here are the 24/7 Top Twenty-Five Financial Blogs. They do not appear in any order. We have added their Alexa rankings to give readers some idea of how much traffic each one gets.

Footnoted.org. Still the leader of web blogs that review SEC filings for hidden gems. Michelle Leder has uncovered a number of stories that were picked up in mainstream media. Doesn’t get any better than this. Alexa rank: 477,383.

Stock Market Beat. Focuses on tech stocks and semiconductor and economic trends, but author William Trent does fine work on everything from bonds to transports. Alexa rank: 259,152.

The Kirk Report. From Charles E. Kirk, this blog covers daily market trends and is especially good at rounding up dozens of observations from other blogs and commentary sites. Gets special consideration for giving exposure to smaller blogs. Alexa rank: 129,617.

Bill Cara. Daily market commentary and frequent sector analysis. Cara has a view toward the long history of the markets which readers will find almost nowhere else. Alexa rank: 124,755.

The Peridot Capitalist.  Written by Chad Brand, who runs an investment advisory service, this blog looks at companies and market news with a trader’s eye. Often talks about his own long and short positions. Well-written and brutally honest. Alexa rank: 273,243.

Equity Investment Ideas. Author Yaser Anwar sometimes takes himself too seriously, but he publishes remarks on everything from individual companies to international monetary policy to technical analysis. Very well-researched. Alexa rank: 275,258.

SeekingAlpha. Grandfather of blog aggregation. David Jackson’s creation also publishes comments from in-house staff. Only blog company that has brought in VC money, in this case from Benchmark. Well-funded, it operates in a category of its own. This blog is a full-fledged business. Alexa rank: 5,923.

TickerSense. Published by Birinyi Associates money management operation, this site does Weekly Blog Sentiment Poll and outstanding overviews of Wall St. trends, stocks, bonds, and ETFs. Alexa rank: 189,667.

Street Insider 13D Tracker. Timely pieces on major positions taken in public companies. Also tracks sometimes acrimonious fights between companies and holders. Alexa rank: 1,748,050.

Biohealth Investor. As good as any investment blog at covering biotech industry. Picks up blogs from several other sites, including 24/7. Unusually in-depth. Alexa rank: 235,249.

The AAO Weblog. Covers accounting industry, SEC activity, and government policy. Written by CPA Jack T. Ciesielski.

Internet Outsider. Henry Blodget’s comments on internet and media stocks. Witty on top of the strong analysis. Alexa rank: 98,959.

Traderfeed. Too bad there are not more analysts where author Brett Steenbarger came from. The best on the psychology of trading and historical patterns in markets. Brilliantly thought out content. Alexa rank: 110,748.

Random Roger’s Big Picture. The site covers a little bit too much of Roger’s personal life, but it’s worth going through that. Very good on foreign currency, overseas markets, and ETFs. Alexa rank: 231,124.

Bill Rempel NO DooDah’s. Has a section on music he likes, but looking beyond that this blog is particularly good on market trends, some individual stocks, and predictive trading models. Alexa rank: 1,112,924.

10Q Detective. A look under the hood at SEC filings, particularly 10Q, 10Ks, and proxies. Well-written and extremely in-depth. Strong reporting on accounting aspects of filings. Written by David Phillips. Alexa rank: 1,204,728.

Ant & Sons. Weird name, strong financial site. Mostly individual stock investments with a lot on micro-caps. Frequently updated as business news hits that market. Alexa: 205,250.

Crossing Wall Street. One of the most broad-based financial blogs. Heavy on earnings, market and economic analysis, and index analysis. Alexa rank: 402,425.

The Kingsland Report. Solid analysis. Very broad spectrum. Hits individual stocks, government policy, mortgage industry, market comments. Alexa rank: 352,226.

Infectious Greed. Paul Kedrosky’s blog. Funny stuff. Irreverent. Heavy orientation on current news. Focus on media, internet, the stock market. Alexa rank: 47,273.

Financial Skeptic. Droll and quick-witted. Look at individual companies, buy-out firm activity, and insider buying and selling at major companies. Alexa rank: 5,746,682.

Naked Shorts. Good coverage of hedge funds, scoundrels, Wall Street missteps. Alexa rank: 546,947.

Carl Futia. One of the best technical investing and financial forecasting blogs. Posts very regularly. Alexa rank: 514,391.

Investment Jungle. Looks at companies through lenses of return on invested capital, return on investment, EPS, P/E, and other metrics. Strong analysis. Very disciplined. Alexa rank: 188,828.

Stocks and Blogs. Especially good at looking at which stocks to buy and sell, and when. A fair amount of focus on foreign company stocks, which tend to be a rarely covered subject in most financial blogs. Alexa ranking; 1,617,871.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at douglasamcintyre@247wallst.com. He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.