One of the most interesting (and potentially disturbing) results of the explosion of the Internet is the ability of anyone with a computer, some spare change, and an idea to potentially reach millions of people. You don't even have to have your own ideas -- just link to other people's websites, as "blogs" and the popular Drudge Report have shown.
This has led to some curious creations, such as FindAGrave.com, HatsOfMeat.com, and Shakespearean insult generators. But the Internet has also provided a forum for some of the best places to find the truth about -- and entertainment in -- the financial services industry.
One such place is FundAlarm.com. Created and operated by CPA and attorney Roy Weitz, the site is full of Foolishness. Just read its own description:
Our view of the mutual fund industry is slightly off-center. We help you decide when it's time to sell a fund, instead of when it's time to buy. The mutual fund industry is full of broken promises, arrogance, greed, hypocrisy -- the list goes on. We try to shine a light in the darker corners, and poke holes in balloons that could use some poking.
As a sampling, here are some of the topics found on its current "Highlights & Commentary" page:
Attempts by the Securities and Exchange Commission to require mutual fund companies to disclose their proxy votes and more frequently list their portfolio holdings
How mutual funds invest their own money, as revealed by the holdings in their charitable foundations
Which managers are in and out at Janus, Neuberger Berman, and other fund families
Hear about an advisor to the financial services industry who advices clients to talk to the elderly in short sentences because, intellectually, they "operate at the level of a boiled potato." Taking this advice, FundAlarm.com follows with a series of short sentences that explain why investors should not buy an annuity in a tax-deferred account (and why some brokers at American Express are "sleazeballs").
Elaine Garzarelli's continued demise since 1987
Which tech fund has the worst three-year performance record
How the Federated Kaufmann Small Cap Fund will hide its abysmal performance
If you're curious about your mutual fund investments, you should pay FundAlarm.com a visit. And if you know of any other noteworthy sites, email us. (Thanks, but we already know about AirlineMeals.net.)