Important But Uninteresting PF Topics

I have read broadly on personal finance so I have a passing familiarity with a bunch of subjects, yet here on EPF I stick to writing in the areas of budgeting, finances in marriage, frugality, grad student finances, etc.  I don’t often write about debt because we’re not (really) in debt and don’t plan on getting into it again except for a mortgage.  I don’t often write about insurance because, after reading the recommendations, I determined we don’t need to buy additional types of coverage (we have health, auto, and renter’s) until we get to our next life stage (disability when we get real jobs, life when we want to get pregnant).  Insurance is a must, but at the moment isn’t something that we need to gather more information about or take any action with.


bored girl with laptopAn area you might be surprised to find is uninteresting to me is investing.  I think it’s terribly important to start saving for the long term when you’re young (even in graduate school) and to put that money in a vehicle that will grow like gangbusters.  We work really hard at our budgeting to free up money to put into our Roth IRAs.  But the actual vehicle we’re investing in isn’t something we are super interested in.  Kyle and I did independent research over the course of a few weeks on the best way to invest and both 1) decided that index funds were the most efficient vehicle and 2) picked a target date retirement fund at Vanguard as the easiest and cheapest way to dollar cost average into those index fund investments and stay properly allocated.  We made that decision years ago and haven’t found reason yet to change our approach.


I do consume media on investing from time to time – blog posts or podcasts – as it appears in my normal broad personal finance channels.  But if all the content is on investing – especially picking individual stocks – I’ll get bored, tune out, and unsubscribe pretty fast.  Part of it is that the material won’t cause me to change any behavior, part is that I disagree with the approach, and part is that I think it’s a waste of time to do all that analysis.


(Pet peeve: It bugs me when people say that they plan to “start investing” as the next stage in their PF journeys, when what they’re referring to is buying individual stocks and they already have a retirement fund that is invested in mutual or index funds.  If you have a retirement account, you’re already investing!  Stock-picking is not the be all and end all of investing – quite the opposite.)


And yet, clearly there are tons of people who are very interested in investing and even individual stock-picking.  I’m not trying to say that investing is an objectively uninteresting topic, just that it is not interesting to me right now.  Probably EPF is unspeakably boring to certain people interested in personal finance generally because they don’t budget/have their budgets on autopilot or aren’t married or are mid-career or older or in some other way are not impacted by the frequent topics on here.  And I’m OK with that – what I write about doesn’t have to appeal to everyone all the time.


Two points in conclusion:

1) It takes all kinds.  I’m very glad that others have done the research on how effective the various methods of investing are so that I don’t have to spend tons of time doing it myself.  I’m glad that we’re all producing content on different little subject areas and with different perspectives so that I can access it when I need to and not otherwise.  I am actually considering changing from using a target date retirement fund to buying a small number of index funds and doing the rebalancing myself (not a major shift) and I’m glad to have material to read about recommended asset allocations.

2) Just because something is boring to you is not reason to shut it out of your life entirely.  You should suck it up, gather information from the best quality sources as quickly as you can, make and implement a decision, set up a system to take care of it for you in the future if necessary, and move on!  Or if there is no actionable conclusion in that area at the moment (like additional insurance for us), decide when you will have to take action.


What personal finance topics do you think are important but you don’t care to read more about?  Are you putting off taking action in one aspect of your finances because you are uninterested in the subject?


photo from Free Digital Photos


Written by

Filed under: investing · Tags: , , ,

41 Responses to "Important But Uninteresting PF Topics"

  1. Agreed – investing (as well as starting early) is crucial. I have to admit that I find topics of how to achieve extreme early retirement (as in, you retire at 35 and can live on $20,000 a year for a family) not very applicable or interesting to me. I appreciate it and I can learn from it, and I even find it interesting, but I suppose I don’t find it important.
    Well Heeled Blog recently posted..6 Days in London: A Recap of My Scone-Filled Adventure

    1. Emily says:

      ER is semi-interesting to me, and also semi-important – it’s not something I want to rule out but we’re not pursuing it either. I don’t read blogs totally dedicated to ER but I don’t mind reading a blogger who is pursuing ER but writes about a variety of topics.

  2. Cash Rebel says:

    I feel the same way about insurance. I have it but I don’t think about it very much.

    And like you, I unsubscribe from blogs that are all about stock picking. There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just not an efficient way to grow wealth. One book that is pretty dense but not very long is called “the intelligent asset allocator”. That book taught me more about the empirical results of asset allocation than any other. And it didn’t take too long to finish.
    Cash Rebel recently posted..Getting past the hype of clean diesel – Is diesel worth it?

    1. Emily says:

      Thanks for the recommendation! I haven’t heard of it but I’ll try to get my hands on it.

  3. Matt Becker says:

    I think your approach to investing is awesome. You guys took the time to do your research, picked an approach you knew would be “good enough”, set it on autopilot and get on with the rest of your life. If more people took this approach I think our society’s retirement situation would look a lot better.

    I don’t have much interest in debt simply because it’s not something I have experience with and there are many other people much more qualified to talk about it than me. I can point people in their direction rather than pretend to be an expert.
    Matt Becker recently posted..Make Your Money Grow Faster: Investing Better vs. Earning More

    1. Emily says:

      I’m glad we didn’t experience paralysis of analysis on the retirement savings front! If it was more interesting to us, we might have!

      Yes, I agree on the issue of debt. I know the basic strategies for getting rid of it but I’m not an expert and don’t feel the need to become one.

  4. Sara says:

    I generally don’t mind stock and investing articles, if only because it shows me how little I actually know about the topic.

    PF bloggers that turn into homeowners are probably the worst for me because they’re all “yay, new content stream!”, and then that’s all that they write about.

    As for a finance topic that’s actually boring to me? Building an emergency fund. I get that it’s important, but there are just so many more interesting things that could be done with that money.

    1. Emily says:

      Haha, I’m probably going to become one of those “net content stream” bloggers as we have different life transitions so I’m sure my readership will shift some, but hopefully there will be as many new reader as those who leave. That’s the hazard of reading personal journey personal finance blogs!

      And regarding building an EF, there’s not a whole lot to say about how to build it. Cut expenses and/or sell things and save a lot in to the EF. Give it time and you will succeed. That’s about it!

  5. Kurt says:

    Insurance is probably the least interesting personal finance topic to me, debt pay off and investing would be tops. I think the reason I don’t like reading about insurance is most everything one reads feels like a sales pitch! And I have the perhaps cynical view that a lot of insurance products are rip offs. I do like reading about how to save money on truly needed insurance though!
    Kurt recently posted..What Would You Do? #6

    1. Emily says:

      I agree that much discussion of insurance feels like a sales pitch and I don’t care for that. But some investing discussion can be the same, depending on the source! Or at least if the writer is not an advisor herself, she’s trying to “sell you” on her method of investing.

  6. Mrs PoP says:

    Couponing and “deals” focused pieces. I like saving money on the things I buy, but life feels too short for the amount of time and effort some seem to go through – not to mention buying tons of stuff that may or may not get used.
    Mrs PoP recently posted..FPL On Call – Discounts On Our Utility Bill

    1. Emily says:

      I’d put coupons and deals in both uninteresting and unimportant to me. If a blog has any posts on deals, I’m not subscribing. We are willing to wait for stuff to go on sale and don’t need to learn new strategies for finding deals.

  7. Glad you guys are also fans of index investing. I have the same pet peeve about individual stock picking as you do. Similar to Matt, sometimes I don’t enjoy posts about consumer debt as I’ve never had any. I do have a good about of student loan debt, so articles about methods of paying down debt are of interest…just not ones about not using credit cards! Cause I love those rewards.
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted..A Farm in the Concrete Jungle and Roundup

    1. Emily says:

      Glad to know I’m not alone in my pet peeve! Hey, if you apply cash back rewards to paying down your student loans (while sticking to your budget), you’re coming out doubly ahead!

      1. Actually I have a Sallie Mae MasterCard with 5% cash back for gas/supermarket/bookstores(amazon included)that can actually be linked to my Sallie Mae student loan to pay it off! I just have to link it.
        Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted..Is NYC Really That Expensive?

        1. Emily says:

          That’s awesome! I’ll have to look at that card because 5% on supermarkets is amazing!

  8. Like many others have pointed out, insurance bores me to tears and I try to avoid reading to much about it. Whenever I start reading anything on the subject, my eyes tend to immediately glaze over and any reading comprehension skills I had five minutes beforehand seem to evaporate. I know insurance is super important, but it’s so completely uninteresting and dull!
    Kali @ CommonSenseMillennial recently posted..How I Got My Coworkers’ Christmas Gifts for Free

    1. Emily says:

      As long as you have what you need, it’s not worth torturing yourself! Do you have a plan for what type of insurance to buy in the future, or do you not know that yet?

  9. I find that there isn’t a subject that I’m terribly bored by, but a lot depends on the delivery from the blogger. I like something that’s either really sincere and personal, or funny, or cleverly packaged. I can read about insurance all day if the guy or girl writing is making me laugh or think.
    Done by Forty recently posted..Embracing Either/Or and Opportunity Costs

    1. Emily says:

      That’s a great point as well. I much prefer when people inject some personal voice or experience into topics.

  10. Liquid says:

    Your site wouldn’t be so popular if it was full of boring topics 😀 Every PF blog should have a different style that’s unique to the author’s situation. I don’t read a lot of posts about married finances or grad finances because I’m not married and have never been to grad school, but somebody has to still write about those topics because there are plenty of other readers who DO find them interesting 🙂 And your particular journey through personal finance makes you the most qualified to write those kinds of articles 😉 I like to blog about investing and debt because that’s been MY experience through the PF journey so far. I think indexing is the best route for most investors. Even Warren Buffett thinks buying and holding onto a broad market index fund is the best chance the average person has of succeeding. Seems like you and Kyle are taking the right steps 😀
    I personally do a combination of indexing and picking individual stocks. 90% of my portfolio is for the long haul and I rebalance about once every year.
    Liquid recently posted..Weekend News and Blog Roundup – Free Coffee

    1. Emily says:

      I’m glad you stop by from time to time even though our interests don’t completely overlap. Bloggers are definitely more interesting and authoritative when they are writing about their own experiences; they can inject personal thoughts and anecdotes and also naturally know the ins and outs of the topic.

  11. Debt is one of the huge topics I don’t cover. I just don’t have any experience with it, so I don’t feel qualified to share. I’d like to do some ABC investing type advice, but like you said, it can be boring. And I find myself writing about things that are interesting to me.
    Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life recently posted..GIVEAWAY!!! And the Etiquette of Midweek Weddings.

    1. Emily says:

      What do you like or not like to read about? Do you think you have to cover investing to call yourself a PF blogger? 😉

  12. Good for you for using low-cost passive index funds. As you are probably aware, you will be ahead of the majority of investors over the long term. My only gripe with target date funds is that they are typically more expensive than if you just bought the funds they hold. Vanguard’s target date funds are some of the less expensive, so you won’t lose much to their slightly higher ER, but the Vanguard 2025 target fund has an ER of 0.17%. The weighted average ERs of a similar Vanguard 3-fund portfolio, using admiral shares, is 0.09%. You’re only paying 0.08% extra to the Vanguard target fund, but I am always looking to lower expenses.
    Bryce @ Save and Conquer recently posted..Your Asset Allocation Is the Most Important Aspect of Your Portfolio

    1. Emily says:

      The slightly higher ERs is why I’m considering doing my own rebalancing with the same funds that underly the TD fund. When we just started out we couldn’t have done that because we wouldn’t have reached all the minimums (I saved for over a year just to get to the $3k!). We’re still not at a large enough balance to have admiral shares, I think. But it’s something I need to keep an eye on so we can upgrade our funds ASAP.

  13. Someone with little invesment knowledge can do amazing things with an indexed mutual fund. People think investing is exciting, but there’s a lot more to it than people think and investing in individual stocks is scary business!
    Ben @ The Wealth Gospel recently posted..Why are You a Failure?

    1. Emily says:

      I think with the willingness to be actively involved with choosing investments comes the ability to make drastic decisions that may turn out to be foolish. I tell myself I don’t time the market in any way so I don’t think there is any action to take if it drops or whatever.

  14. Investing is not exactly a thrilling topic, depending on the type of investment. I do like reading about investment in real estate, and I prefer personal stories about what work for people vs. bland “how to” type articles. The part of investing that is exciting is when you start making money from it via passive income!
    Tushar @ Everything Finance recently posted..Time to Manage Your Largest Asset

    1. Emily says:

      I think personal real estate investing stories are interesting, too, but not ones that I want to replicate!

  15. I don’t think its so much the topic as the blogger. There are some bloggers who can certainly bring new life into topics I’d consider boring such as insurance…I don’t know, beyond knowing I should have a policy it ceases to be interesting!
    Simon @ Modest Money recently posted..Crush Your Debt by Earning More

    1. Emily says:

      I think humor goes a long way toward spicing up these topics, but that’s not one of my talents so I won’t try to write about insurance frequently.

  16. Topics about finance can be very intimidating and can lead to non-interest for some people. In addition topics like stocks, bonds, investment, etc. can be very technical which can add up to more confusion.
    Marissa@Financetriggers recently posted..Saving Money on Gluten Free Products

    1. Emily says:

      That investing strategies can get technical is not what puts me off as much as that I don’t see the point in going beyond index funds!

  17. […] from Freedom Thirty Five weighed in on the topics he prefers on Important But Uninteresting PF Topics, countering my preference to not talk about debt, insurance, or investing: “Every PF blog […]

  18. […] presents Important But Uninteresting PF Topics posted at Evolving Personal Finance. I don’t write often about investing, debt, or insurance […]

  19. […] Important But Uninteresting PF Topics was featured in the Festival of Frugality #406. […]

  20. […] @ Evolving Personal Finance writes Important But Uninteresting PF Topics – I don’t write often about investing, debt, or insurance because I find them to be […]

  21. […] Important But Uninteresting PF Topics was featured in the Carnival of Financial Planning. […]

Leave a Reply


CommentLuv badge