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Four years ago I stumbled across a site that would alter my life trajectory: Mr Money Mustache. The author of the site, Pete, wrote articles about the life-changing magic of stoicism, the benefits of frugality, and how a high savings rate could allow anyone to achieve early retirement and financial independence at a young age.
I was hooked. His message resonated with me at a deep level and I consumed every article he had ever written in less than a week.
Shortly after, I stumbled across more personal finance blogs like Early Retirement Extreme, The Mad Fientist, Get Rich Slowly, and several others. I quickly realized that there was a whole underground universe of finance blogs out there.
Then, one day I found a magical site that produced a curated list of the best three articles from this personal finance universe floating around the web on a daily basis. That site was Rockstar Finance.
Rockstar Finance: A Magical Site
In the digital age we live in, information is abundant, which means curation is more important than ever. Getting access to information is no longer a problem thanks to the internet, but finding useful information can be tedious.
This problem exists in the personal finance publishing space as well. There are so many sites out there producing new articles each day, ranging from small blogs to massive news syndicates, that it can be difficult to identify the best articles to read on a daily basis.
However, Rockstar Finance filled this role perfectly. Week after week, the three articles that appeared on the top of the homepage were high quality, interesting, unique, and informative.
Best of all, many of the articles were from small personal finance blogs that produced quality content, but were simply overlooked. I know this for a fact because Rockstar Finance featured one of my articles on their homepage when my blog was just a few weeks old.
Check out that traffic spike from Rockstar Finance in early December!
I still remember the day I checked their site and saw my article at the top of the homepage. I was alone in my room before work and I nearly fell out of my chair. As a new blogger, that was a huge boost of encouragement that gave me the motivation I needed at the time to keep writing new posts.
Rockstar went on to feature an article of mine about once per month on their site, leaving me equally stoked each time.
Riding the Rockstar Finance traffic roller coaster in the early days of this blog.
The famous “Rockstar Spike” became well-known among personal finance bloggers at the time. For newer bloggers like myself, it was a massive thrill to experience days of 1,500+ views when a typical day was more like 150 views.
Rockstar Finance: A Community Gem
Rockstar Finance helped my tiny site gain traction early on, but I loved it for more than just the traffic it brought. In addition to the curated daily articles, Rockstar had a massive blogger directory that made it easy to find new personal finance bloggers along with a thriving forum that fueled interesting money conversations.
More than anything, Rockstar was a central hub for all things personal finance. It created a community where bloggers could hang out, meet fellow money nerds, form friendships, and have interesting conversations about money, freedom, and life.
Rockstar Finance was truly a gem.
Rockstar Finance: The Downfall
Unfortunately, Rockstar Finance was sold twice in recent years, causing the quality of the site to plummet. The thriving community slowly disintegrated under the hands of new ownership. The high quality curated daily reading lists went away. The blogger directory disappeared. And I’m not sure if the forum still exists because I no longer visit the site.
The downfall of Rockstar was hard to witness, and to this day it is missed dearly by many personal finance bloggers including myself.
Rockstar Finance: A Potential Revival?
Although there have been a few sites pop up here and there that have attempted to replicate the curation-style approach that Rockstar was known for, none have seemed to be able to recreate the magic that Rockstar provided.
Recently I was thinking about whether or not a revival is even possible. Could the same excitement and energy that Rockstar brought to the personal finance space actually be replicated?
If so, it would require quite a bit of work. Curation can be time-consuming. It only appears easy because you only see the final product. You see the three featured articles, not the other fifty articles the curator had to wade through and discard.
So, recreating the quality of a site like Rockstar Finance would likely be a full-time job.
Fortunately, I happen to no longer have a full-time job.
Converting Collecting Wisdom into a Rockstar Finance Style Site
I recently thought about contacting the current owner of Rockstar Finance to see if they would be willing to sell the site.
However, I already owned a site that was basically a failed attempt at my own personal finance community site: Collecting Wisdom. This site had an upvote system similar to Reddit in which anyone could submit their own personal finance articles and readers could vote on their favorite articles. The idea was that the most upvoted articles would rise to the top, providing an easy way for readers to find the best finance articles floating around the web on a daily basis.
For several reasons that I won’t get into here, the site didn’t work as well as I had hoped. So, when I started contemplating the idea of buying Rockstar Finance, I decided instead that I should use a site I already owned and simply convert it into a curation site.
So, that’s what I’ve done.
Collecting Wisdom: The Game Plan
Over at Collecting Wisdom I am now featuring three curated personal finance articles each day, Monday through Friday, just like Rockstar used to do.
Curation is time-consuming, as I mentioned earlier, but fortunately I’m in a position where I don’t have a day job so I can spend plenty of time perusing the web each day for the best finance articles out there. I also have a “submit” feature on the site where anyone can submit articles they believe to be feature-worthy, which will hopefully make my job a little easier.
I also plan on building out a blogger directory so that young and old finance blogs alike can easily be found in one place. In addition, I have a few interesting ideas for the site that involve input from bloggers around the personal finance community.
While it will certainly be a monumental task to recreate the gem that Rockstar Finance once was, I’m willing to give it a try.
If you’re a blogger yourself and you have an article you believe to be feature-worthy, feel free to submit it for consideration. Also, feel free to sign up for the daily newsletter to receive the three featured articles in your inbox each morning. If you have suggestions, recommendations, or any feedback about Collecting Wisdom, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet at me.
Zach is the author behind Four Pillar Freedom, a blog that teaches you how to build wealth and gain freedom in life.
Zach's favorite free financial tool he's been using since 2015 to manage his net worth is Personal Capital. Each month he uses their free Investment Checkup tool and Retirement Planner to track his investments and ensure that he's on the fast track to financial freedom.
His favorite investment platform is M1 Finance, a site that allows him to build a custom portfolio of stocks for free, has no trading or maintenance fees, and even allows him to set up automated target-allocated investments.
His favorite way to save money each month on his recurring bills is by using Trim, a free financial app that negotiates lower cable, internet, and phone bills with any provider on your behalf.
His favorite micro-investing app is Acorns, a free financial app that takes just 5 minutes to set up and allows you to invest your spare change in a diversified portfolio.
His favorite place to find new personal finance articles to read is Collecting Wisdom, a site that collects the best personal finance articles floating around the web on a daily basis.
Full Disclosure: Nothing on this site should ever be considered to be advice, research or an invitation to buy or sell any securities, please see my Terms & Conditions page for a full disclaimer.