We are in the golden age of financial information.
There is more high-quality financial writing today than ever before, written by a more diverse group of writers than has ever existed.
But there is far too much to read. The volume of financial information could drop by 99% and you still couldn't read a fraction of what's out there.
Everyone needs a filter, which requires having a curated list of go-to writers.
Here's a list of people I go out of my way to read (I know I'm forgetting many -- sorry).
Ben Carlson (A Wealth of Common Sense)
- Who he is: Portfolio manager at an endowment fund
- What he writes: Investing observations that seem like common sense until you realize you had never thought about investing that way before reading his article.
- Why you should read him: He bats pretty close to a thousand in terms of quality. Every article is worth reading.
Sam Lee (Morningstar)
- Who he is: Analyst at Morningstar
- What he writes: Really smart takes on ETFs, with an occasional killer piece about general investment wisdom.
- Why you should read him: His article "Losing My Religion" is one of the best investment articles I've ever read.
Tadas Viskantas (AbnormalReturns.com)
- Who he is: Private investor
- What he writes: The best link aggregation of financial content in the world.
- Why you should read him: You could only visit Tadas's site and stay informed. If anyone in the financial world writes a good article, Tadas will link to it.
Michael Batnick (The Irrelevant Investor)
- Who he is: Director of research, Ritholtz Wealth Management
- What he writes: Pithy investing observations, market history, sarcastic tweets
- Why you should read him: Came out of the middle of nowhere a year or two ago and is already one of the sharpest writers in finance.
Jesse Livermore (pseudonym) (Philosophical Economics)
- Who he is: No one knows (blogs anonymously to protect his day job).
- What he writes: Long-form takedowns of widely held investing misconceptions.
- Why you should read him: He'll make you feel stupid no matter who you are. Everyone I've talked to says the same thing: "Oh my gosh, he's the smartest guy I've ever read."
Derek Thompson (The Atlantic)
- Who he is: Senior editor, The Atlantic
- What he writes: The economics of everyday life.
- Why you should read him: One of maybe seven people alive who can write about economics in a way that doesn't put you to sleep.
Patrick O'Shaughnessy (Millennial Invest)
- Who he is: Portfolio manager, O'Shaughnessy Asset Management
- What he writes: Broad investment trends and philosophies backed with some of the best historical data you'll ever see.
- Why you should read him: Brilliant, succinct, and a great writer. Uses complicated data and explains it in a way anyone can understand.
Tren Griffin (25iq)
- Who he is: Works for Microsoft
- What he writes: Lists of a dozen things he's learned from other smart people.
- Why you should read him: Understands better than anyone that the way you get smarter is to learn vicariously through other people, rather than trying to learn everything on your own.
Bill McBride (Calculated Risk)
- Who he is: Blogger, former senior executive at a technology company
- What he writes: The best economics blog ever written, filled with charts and data, utterly free of bias and opinion.
- Why you should read him: Has a great track record of calling economic trends, yet remains one of the humblest writers out there.
Eddy Elfenbein (Crossing Wall Street)
- Who he is: Investor, blogger, hilarious guy.
- What he writes: Smart takes about individual companies, market history, and investing trends.
- Why you should read him: Finds the most obscure-but-fascinating historical market data points you'll ever see.
Shane Parrish (Farnam Street)
- Who he is: "Entrepreneur, author, and wisdom seeker."
- What he writes: Some of the most brilliant observations about life, work, and investing, curated from some of the smartest minds in history.
- Why you should read him: He reads more than anyone else you know and shares everything he learns.
Annie Lowrey (NY Mag)
- Who she is: One of the best economic journalists in the business.
- What she writes: The economics of everything from Bitcoin, to fast-food wages, to applying for college.
- Why you should read her: Writes about complicated and important topics in a way anyone can understand without watering it down.
Josh Brown (Reformed Broker)
- Who he is: CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management
- What he writes: Dissects the world of investing, economics, and financial advice in a way that is as hilarious as it is brilliant.
- Why you should read him: Has bridged the gap between presenting high-quality information in an entertaining way better than anyone in the business.
David Leonhardt (New York Times)
- Who he is: Long-time economic columnist
- What he writes: In-depth, incredibly informative pieces about everything from wealth inequality to healthcare costs to soda taxes.
- Why you should read him: Won the Pulitzer Prize
Jason Zweig (The Wall Street Journal)
- Who he is: Legendary financial journalist
- What he writes: Some of the wisest investing columns ever written.
- Why you should read him: One of the leading experts on Warren Buffett and Benjamin Graham.
James Osborne (Bason Asset Management)
- Who he is: Fee-only financial adviser
- What he writes: Smart pieces about what's wrong with the asset-management business.
- Why you should read him: Has the writing skills of any good journalist, but speaks from first-hand experience, rather than research.
James Surowiecki (The New Yorker)
- Who his is: Long-time business columnist
- What he writes: Enlightening, fact-based takes on the most important business stories of the day.
- Why you should read him: Fits more information into 800 words than most people can in 10,000.
Cullen Roche (Pragmatic Capitalism)
- Who he is: Blogger, financial consultant
- What he writes: In-depth economic and investing pieces about topics you probably never thought about but should.
- Why you should read him: Has demolished more economic myths than anyone I know.
Barry Ritholtz (The Big Picture)
- Who he is: Chief investment officer, Ritholtz Wealth Management
- What he writes: Smart, honest, no-holds-barred investment and economic articles.
- Why you should read him: Incapable of sugar-coating stories he's passionate about, which makes for some of the most informative and eye-opening columns.
Justin Wolfers (New York Times)
- Who he is: Economist, Peterson Institute, professor, University of Michigan
- What he writes: Thoughtful columns about the most important economic issues of the day, with heavy amounts of data.
- Why you should read him: Ask 10 investors who their favorite economist is these days, and at least seven will say "Justin Wolfers."
Carl Richards (Behavior Gap)
- Who he is: Author, financial planner
- What he writes: How bad investing behavior leads to terrible results, often showed through napkin sketches.
- Why you should read him: Few people have conveyed such important investing information in a format that is as accessible and understandable as Carl.
Planet Money (NPR)
- What they are: One of the best podcasts about money and economics.
- What they record: Short (20-ish minutes) episodes that explain how something you never thought of (t-shirt manufacturing, produce shipping) is affecting your life.
- Why you should listen to them: I'm astounded at how they keep coming up with great ideas week after week. There are almost no bad episodes.
- How to read financial news
- An interview with Josh Brown
- An hour talk about drugs, money, war, and psychology.
Contact Morgan Housel at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.