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Personal Finance & Web 3.0: Overview

Posted on Tuesday, Mar 13th 2007

Personal Finance is one of the top segments that draws online advertising dollars, and in this series, we will evaluate the category against the Web 3.0 framework.

MsMoney estimates that in the first quarter of 2006 financial websites experienced a 500% jump in traffic. Personal finance websites are gaining momentum with the penetration of broadband, need for financial advice, ease of use, convenience, improved security and increased awareness of online services.

61 percent of the Internet users use the internet to research stocks or check their bank accounts and around 73 percent of the Internet users’ research sources for investments, mortgages and insurance, online. High quality content (financial calculators, mortgage rates, stock information, research reports) is the key driver of growth for the Personal Finance websites.

The important personal finance categories are Banking, Credit Cards & Loans, Debt Management, Retirement (401-k), Estate Planning, Insurance, Tax Planning, Stocks, Bonds & Mutual Funds, Research, Financial Calculators, Financial Planning, Career & Work, Budgeting, Payment Services, Mortgage and Real Estate.

Banking online is the most common activity in the online personal finance category and almost all banks provide online banking services. The advent and popularity of online trading and major websites (Yahoo! Finance, Google Finance, ETrade, etc) providing detailed financial information and portfolio tracking facilities for Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds, Insurance and Research are allowing investors to manage their investments online, with a number of great tools.

According to comScore Media Metrix, traffic from Universities to personal finance websites in 2006 was around 5.4 million and 70 percent of the young adults are interested in financial websites, which is a major growth driver.

Retirement, Tax Planning and Estate Planning are content intensive and there are niche websites like, retirementplanninggoldenyears, retireearlyhomepage and retirementplanner (Retirement), taxanalysts, fairmark and turbotax (Tax Planning), rushforth and nafep (Estate Planning), which are dedicated to each segment of personal finance. For example, information and advice on 401K plans for Retirement are available on all websites but websites like, 401khelpcenter and 401k are specially designed to deal with 401K plans only.

Following is a list of the popular personal finance websites and their Alexa rankings.

popular personal finance web sites

Personal Finance Blogs
Personal finance blogs are in, and if Technorati is to be believed, there are more than 5,000 blogs dedicated to personal finance, providing financial information, money management, investing tips and advice. Some of these blogs are by well known personal finance professionals. Websites like, pfblogs, Make Love, Not Debt and AllFinancialMatters have been getting rave reviews and attracting significant eyeballs and unique visitors. Websites like Budgeting Babe and Boston Gal’s Open Wallet are popular blogs dedicated to women’s personal finance issues. [Context]


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I liked the last para. Is there any opportunity on this sector for wannbe entrepreneurs. If so, is it necessary to gain knowledge of this sector. I am interested in this sector.


Mahesh Tuesday, March 13, 2007 at 10:53 PM PT

In India, I’m sure yes. The segment should be wide open.

Sramana Mitra Tuesday, March 13, 2007 at 11:02 PM PT

[…] have reviewed Yahoo and MSN’s Personal Finance offerings in earlier posts. Marketwatch Inc. is one of the leading providers of financial information, […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Web 3.0 & Marketwatch Wednesday, March 21, 2007 at 3:16 PM PT

[…] managed properly. Here’s CNN Money. We have reviewed Yahoo, MSN, Marketwatch and AOL’s Personal Finance offerings in the earlier posts from the Web 3.0 […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » NYT : Try Web 3.0 Friday, March 23, 2007 at 12:19 PM PT

[…] the compelling case for online offerings in the Financial Services space. Over the last few weeks, we have analyzed the Personal Finance segment based on the Web 3.0 […]

Sramana Mitra on Strategy » Blog Archive » Personal Finance: Synthesis Monday, April 2, 2007 at 7:51 PM PT

Have you seen NetworthIQ yet? We kind of rose out of the personal finance blog segment and are building a “social personal finance” tool. I’d be interested in your feedback.

Ryan Williams Friday, April 6, 2007 at 1:05 PM PT

[…] company needs to have a strong vertical play in the large categories : Jobs, Real Estate, Travel, Finance, Photo, etc. Thus companies like News Corp. and IAC who don’t have a position in Online Jobs […]

Monster’s Destiny - Sramana Mitra on Strategy Thursday, July 5, 2007 at 1:50 PM PT

[…] Finance Personal Finance is an important vertical as 61% of the Internet users use the internet to research stocks or check their bank accounts and aroun…. eMarketer expects the financial services sector to increase its online ad spending by 33.3% in […]

Web 3.0 & News Corp (Part 2) - Sramana Mitra on Strategy Tuesday, September 11, 2007 at 5:56 AM PT

[…] Finance Personal Finance is an important vertical as 61% of the Internet users use the internet to research stocks or check their bank accounts and aroun…. eMarketer expects the financial services sector to increase its online ad spending by 33.3% in […]

Web Technology and Finance at Steven Loi - My Journey. Wednesday, September 26, 2007 at 8:10 PM PT

[…] the Business and Finance space the Company could consider acquiring blogs like Seeking Alpha, PhatInvestor, etc. Sites like […]

Web 3.0 & Gannett (Part 4) - Sramana Mitra on Strategy Thursday, September 27, 2007 at 7:15 AM PT

[…] Company doesn’t have any presence in the online match-making / dating, sports, and Business and Finance space. It needs to plug these gaps in the portfolio. It also needs to consolidate its position in […]

Web 3.0 & Gannett (Part 5) - Sramana Mitra on Strategy Friday, September 28, 2007 at 6:36 AM PT

I built a site on personal finance as a learning exercise/hobby. Looking at your post, maybe I should be building a business plan for my site!

Is there some research reports on the Indian internet readership on personal finance?


Ranjan Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 3:24 AM PT

MoneyLIFE, a personal finance magazine is sharply focused on stocks, mutual funds, careers, consumer rights plus enterprise & smart spending.

With Debashis Basu as the Editor and Publisher and Sucheta Dalal(awarded Padma Shri in 2006), this fortnightly delivers a stellar mix of unbiased, credible, unique & relevant content with sharp analysis.

MoneyLIFE is an Essential Tool for Learning- Earning-Spending-Investing Cycle which the sensible readers can’t afford to ignore!

Madhali Monday, July 21, 2008 at 10:24 PM PT

Thanks so very much for taking your time to create this very useful and informative site. I have learned a lot from your site. Thanks!!

Hannes Sunday, September 7, 2008 at 6:38 AM PT

Good post. I knew there was quite a bit of interest in personal finance but not as much as this. I'm trying to start up a loan finding service & gathering statistics as I go.

Your post has been useful THANKS!

sam Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 11:54 PM PT