Resources

There are a plethora of websites, blogs, tools and calculators that are useful in personal finance.  The ones I list below are those that have been the most useful for me in my quest to earn and save as much as possible, while investing practically and efficiently in a portfolio that is right for me.

Calculators

Obviously, a good set of calculations are required for long term planning like investing for early retirement and financial independence.  A few that I use on a regular basis are listed below.  If you prefer different ones, please let me know… I’m always looking for more ways to analyze my plans to death 🙂

Portfolio Charts – Portfolio charts has a variety of calculators and tools available. Anyone with an obsession passion for personal finance could waste spend days analyzing their finances. I don’t know anyone who has done this 😉 , of course, but a person could…

Cfireism – My favorite retirement calculation tool. It’s very useful with a lot of variables that can be tweaked to different situations. I find it much more robust and customizable than other widely cited online retirement calculators.

Simple savings calculator – I use this for quick ‘back of the envelope’ calculations if I don’t have my trusty Texas Instruments BAII Plus financial calculator handy!

Dividend Growth – Dividend Investor has a few calculators that are useful for projecting dividend income growth as well as Dividend Re-Investment Plan results (DRIP). These are very useful tools for projecting future income based on your dividend growth stocks. For passive investors, the S&P 500 index has recently grown dividends at about 5-6% per year, so you could also plug those figures in to see how much your passive investment now could yield in future dividends!

Mad Fientist FI Laboratory – The Mad Fientist created a suite of web applications, including various calculators and tools to help you reach financial independence.  You do have to register/sign up with your email access to get access.

Forums

I peruse a variety of different forums on a daily and weekly basis. I need to be careful not to spend too much time as I can get sucked into the various engaging discussions.  That said, they’re often very motivating and educational – especially if you are looking for other experiences from people that have gone through a particular situation that you’re facing.

Early-retirement.org – A long standing early retirement focused forum. There are various educational threads and a lot of entertaining ones.  A great place for lively debate and research regarding a variety of subjects related to investing and retirement.

Bogleheads – A forum dedicated to the philosophy of John Bogle of Vanguard fame. Espouses low cost index investing and simple, cost efficient portfolios. Again, many lively discussions and a lot of nuggets posted there – but you have to filter out the ‘noise’.

Rockstar Finance Forums – A very new forum recently added to the very useful personal finance aggregator site Rockstar Finance. It’s growth has been very impressive thus far and there are a lot of familiar finance bloggers engaging.  I’m looking forward to the future of this particular forum.

Financial Wisdom forum – this is essentially the Canadian version of Bogleheads.org. Why a Canadian forum you ask? This is a very well moderated forum with a stable of experienced investors that exchange terrific ideas. This is where I picked up the idea to invest heavily in Canadian Banks for dividend growth. Hence, I continue to visit often. The ratio of ‘noise’ to valuable insight and discussion might be the best on the interwebs!