Anyone interested in the latest financial trends and expert advice will find a treasure trove of information online, especially by following a well-researched podcast. With most people under time constraints, it can be hard to find the time to read the latest financial journals. Podcasts maximize content in a comprehensive way that frees up their listeners’ time. Most are free and formatted for download to an MP3 player or Smartphone so their listeners can access the podcast at their convenience.
The field of contenders looking for viewers runs the gamut from the entrepreneur working to provide unique content, to major news sources filling their podcasts with multiple topic news feeds. Some sites fill a niche, while others provide topics that appeal to a more general audience. Podcast can be heavily analytical, investment oriented, educational, light and humorous, etc. But whether you’re looking to learn more about a specific area of finance or are interested in following a daily program, the most important factor in choosing a quality podcast is the relevance and depth of the topics discussed.
The number of active podcasts is impossible to nail down with so many sites recording just once and then fizzling out, while others are simply outdated. My own unofficial search on Google for ‘personal finance podcasts’ with the word ‘podcast’ in the URL resulted in 18 pages with 172 results. The latest statistics I could find from a reliable source came via the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism using figures from 2010. Although the figure is somewhat dated, my feeling is that the upswing in the number of podcasts continues. Their findings show that the number of podcasts rose by nearly 30% from 2009 to 2010.
Choosing the best of the best is impossible with so many variables to consider. So I am using several factors to compile my list. My choices are listed in alphabetical order and not by any particular preference.
· Recent weekly postings
· Range of topics
· Visually appealing
· Easy to navigate
Clark Howard Clarkonomics
Nationally syndicated radio show host and money expert Clark Howard’s podcast educates his listeners on how to spend less, save more and avoid being a victim of scammers.
The Dave Ramsey Show
Perhaps the most recognized of my podcast picks, Dave Ramsey’s daily radio show is edited to an hour’s worth of money advice that includes relationships and other personal issues that impact finances. Ramsey’s advice common-sense talk with a strong emphasis on becoming and remaining debt free while investing for the future.
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance
Listen to the top stories from the Kiplinger, the popular personal finance magazine. While the podcasts are short, less than 5 minutes each, this weekly series covers a wide range of topics including how to invest, find the best deals, save money and manage your personal finances.
Money Girl – Quick and Dirty Tips for a Richer Life
Laura Adams, the host of Money Girl, shares her wisdom weekly in short recorded episodes of less than 10 minutes. The content isn’t as technical as some of the other choices here; Money Girl tackles a specific topic each week and valuable and useful information on how to build an excellent credit score.
Brian Preston’s bi-weekly podcast focuses on basic financial issues, in addition to more advanced topics such as taxes, annuities and the condition of U.S. dollar.
NPR Marketplace Money
NRP Marketplace Money podcast addresses consumer issues and bills itself as ‘the money show for the rest of us.’ The recordings run approximately an hour and include sessions answering quirky questions and listener concerns and frequent guests like Suze Orman. Podcast transcripts are also available online if you prefer to read or follow along.
NPR’s Planet Money
NPR’s Planet Money offers more global fare twice a week with topics covering a wide range of issues. Listen to 20-25 minute episodes that include interviews with renowned economists, current headlines, and industry and policy issues while keeping the tone light and a bit quirky. Check out Color of Money and Economy podcasts while you’re there.
Vanguard’s Plain Talk on Investing™
Vanguard offers two investor series for listeners. Plain Talk on Investing is a biweekly podcast that covers a broad range of practical topics, like stock market investing and saving for college and steps to follow to achieve your financial goals. Check out other podcast by Vanguard, Investment Commentary, for current trends in investing.
Wall Street Journal Your Money Matters
WSJ offers three podcasts to choose from – This Morning, Your Money Matters and Watching Your Wallet. The morning podcast is a lengthier discussion, while the other two are briefer and offer tips and advice. Topics covered include everyday matters, credit cards and investments.
Of course, this is not a comprehensive list but rather a starting point to the world of financial podcasting. You might want to explore some other useful and financial podcasts from various sources including the New York Times, Slate, the Economist, Business Week and Forbes.
About The Author: Noreen Ruth writes for ASAP credit news blog and several popular finance websites. She is interested in educating consumers about using credit responsibly and about legislative action that will affect their ability to borrow the money they need. She has contributed hundreds of articles to various online sites that provide content to educate consumers on applying for credit card offers, understanding debt relief services, loans and other finance related topics.