In my brief site bio I mentioned my involvement with the Stack Exchange community. I’d like to expand on that by introducing you to the network and one site in particular. Disclaimer: I participate at many Stack Exchange sites. Don’t think of this review as being from an objective third party. :-)
So what is Stack Exchange?
Stack Exchange is a growing network of public question & answer community sites on a wide variety of topics. You might have already seen a Stack Exchange site if you ever asked Google a question, for example.
The topics covered by individual Stack Exchange sites range from the somewhat technical — such as personal computing or web applications — to every day subjects like cooking, home improvement, fitness & nutrition, and photography.
The first-ever site in the network, Stack Overflow, remains the most popular place on the Web for questions about software development and computer programming.
What is the Personal Finance & Money Stack Exchange?
Personal Finance & Money is the Stack Exchange community specifically for personal finance & money questions & answers. If you have questions about money or would like to answer questions about money, e.g. savings, investing, retirement, or taxes, we would love to have you join the community! The site is free and open to all.
OK, so it’s free. Why else should I check it out?
The site has a diverse and growing community of money experts, and chances are somebody has an answer for your question. In addition to self-taught experts, there are professionals with direct experience in personal income taxes, stocks and investing, pensions, insurance, retirement planning, and related products and services. Furthermore, answering questions is a good way to extend help to a public audience and enhance your own knowledge about a subject, especially if you write well-researched answers.
Is there any Canadian content?
Yes. Questions about Canadian personal finance are expected and encouraged. The site uses a tagging system where questions can be identified if necessary with a country. You’ll see plenty of Canadian money questions tagged with ‘Canada’. I spend time on the site answering Canadian personal finance questions, and I’m not the only one. Plus, lots of questions about investing and saving money aren’t country-specific at all.
Do I get rewarded for participating?
Kind of. Stack Exchange has a system of intangible reputation points and badges. You earn reputation for posting good questions or answers. Questions and answers are reviewed and voted on by the community. When your post is considered constructive, helpful, and generally good, it gets voted up and you earn reputation. Posting good questions or answers helps build a free, useful database of personal finance Q&A, all indexed by Google and other search engines.
Show me more!
A great way to introduce you to the Personal Finance & Money Stack Exchange is to highlight some great Q&A from the site. You’ll get to know the kinds of questions that are on-topic as well as the kinds of quality answers the community provides.
Eight of the highest-voted or most-viewed questions on the site:
- How smart is it to really be 100% debt free?
- Should I finance a new home theater at 0% even though I have the cash for it?
- What can I replace Microsoft Money with, now that MS has abandoned it?
- In the stock market, why is the “open” price value never the same as previous day’s “close”?
- Why would a company care about the price of its own shares in the stock market?
- Should I buy a house with a friend?
- What is the best way to accept payment when selling a used car?
- Which practice to keep finances after getting married: joint, or separate?
Eight more questions that I think I answered well:*
* In my not-so-humble opinion.
- What is the best asset allocation for a retirement portfolio, and why?
- Can someone explain a stock’s “bid” vs. “ask” price relative to “current” price?
- What is the meaning of “short selling” or “going short” a stock?
- What are some examples of “Fixed Income” investments?
- Daily interest calculation combined with monthly compounding: Why do banks do this, and how-to in Excel?
- What is the difference between 401(k) accounts in the U.S. and RRSPs in Canada?
- What is “financial literacy” and how does one become “financially literate”?
- How much would be a fair raise or salary increase to ask for at work?
Did you find something of interest? If so, please join us!