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website review: money saving expert

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I’m trying to get round to reviewing all the websites I have listed as links to give you an idea of why I’m recommending them. The first review was of www.organizedhome.com and this second one is of the UK based www.moneysavingexpert.com.

The “money saving expert” is a consumer finance journalist called Martin Lewis, he has his own radio show and a book. The money saving expert website is devoted to a comprehensive set of articles and forums. Its relatively easy to navigate, there is a no advertisements policy and it makes its money through referral links.

The articles cover all the main ways to save money by choosing the best financial product, utility company, getting the best deals on flights etc. If I want to know what the best credit card is for my particular circumstances I check out this site. There is a full time staff of 13 who I’m assuming research all the best deals. Without doing all this leg work myself of course its impossible to be sure that they really are the best deals and methods, but they are certainly good enough for me.

The articles are the strongest point of the site, and I don’t visit the chat forums as much. They have more UK-specific information than most money forums on the web, which is to be expected and there are forums for debt-free wannabes, budgeting, saving money at the shops, in fact most topics where there is the possibility of saving money. The forums are well-frequented in general and as with most, there are regulars that seem to hang out there all the time.

The forums that I most frequently visit are the Savings and Investments and Pensions, Retirements and Annuities. And here is where the problem lies for me. I disobeyed the cardinal rule of not reading posts extensively before I started a thread on SIPPS and index funds (I’ve posted what I found out here). Mentioning using index funds on these boards is like a red rag to a bull to some of the regulars, at least one of whom is an Independent Financial Advisor and strongly prefers actively managed funds. The weight of discussion that is in favour of actively managed funds only just falls within the realm of ethical non-advice IMHO, and as a fan of index funds, I would be loathe to recommend these forums on that basis alone.

Overall, this site is an excellent resource but some of the forum discussions are best taken with a large pinch of salt and your own extensive research.

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