If there’s one British financial institution we can rely upon without the support of the FSCS, it isn’t a bank, building society or state-owned quasi bank/lottery fund. That same entity has become a household name among UK investors. I’m in fact talking about Monevator.com.
Monevator has grown to become the investing blog in the UK. It was founded back in 2008 and is managed by two proprietors who write for the site under the pleasingly generic pen names ‘The Investor’ and ‘The Accumulator.’
For the uninitiated, Monevator is an investment blog for retail investors. It espouses the passive investing approach, which sees investors tap into the average return of the stock markets rather than trying (and usually failing) to beat it.
Why does Monevator stand atop the pile?
The UK plays host to hundreds if not thousands of finance and investing blogs. So what makes Monevator stand out from the crowd?
1. Editorial integrity
The ethics and integrity which permeates the site give the content much more heft.
In my opinion, Monevator has the same trust factor that moneysavingexpert.com had in the personal finance & spending sphere. Writing as a blogger, I know what the inbox of the Monevator authors will look like, and it speaks volumes that an investing duo – despite clearly motivated by the accumulation of wealth – have so clearly placed the quality of their content above any short-term financial gain.
Sure, you’ll find affiliate links on their ranking of UK stockbrokers, for example, but in an organic way and with full disclosure. As The Investor wrote back in 2008, blog for love, not for money.
If you’re looking for an example of the authors holding themselves to account, look no further than The Investor eating a slice of humble pie on the blog back in 2015. As an investor outside the property market in 2020/2021, this is an article that unfortunately chimes all too well as I re-read it!
2. A place for finance nerds
Monevator’s articles are written from a deep and nerdy passion for the financial markets. Yet it scores 110% on engagement with me because these academic topics are unravelled in a chatty writing style. You might be reading about inflation expectations but it doesn’t feel like you’re browsing a dense economics book.
It’s a safe space for those who discovered during their young adult life that they were unusually attracted to charts comparing the returns and sharpe ratios of different asset classes.
That being said, the site is also home to totally-untechnical money thought pieces that would feature nicely in any lifestyle magazine.
Take a look at the following articles which represent a fair sample of the quirky and niche investment topics covered by the site over the years:
- Why return premiums disappoint
- Steep yield curve means equities could fly
- Why corporate bond prices fluctuate
And some that steer clear of stats in favour of a powerful opinion:
Monevator has helped raise awareness of alternative investment opportunities such as preference shares and NS&I index-linked bonds (now closed to new investment), which may have never appeared on the radar of armchair investors.
3. A weekly view
Week in, week out for years without (many) fails, Monevator has shared a growing round-up of investing posts from other blogs and organisations. This is top and tailed with hot takes on topical issues from the authors themselves.
The length of recent round-up lists almost makes Monevator a one-stop shop for curated financial news and commentary. It’s easy to keep your finger on the pulse of UK investing with a single email subscription. You can sign-up for their emails here.
4. Championing a winning cause
As mentioned above, Monevator promotes the passive investing strategy above all others. In 2013, they created a £3,000 ‘slow and steady’ passive portfolio to practice what they preach in a public forum. This simple collection of passive funds and cheap equity ETFs would receive modest top-ups each quarter and be rebalanced periodically.
If passive investing was to fail, then the slow and steady portfolio would be a failure on a grand scale.
But in reality, its performance has been anything other than slow. As of writing this article in Q3 2021, the portfolio has achieved an annualised 9.91% return. Perhaps even some hedge fund managers would settle for that metric!
If their own personal investment strategies have mirrored the portfolio, perhaps it comes as no surprise that the Accumulator was able to successfully retire early in April 2021.
Passive investing is simple and accessible. You could argue that it’s the most egalitarian approach to saving and investing money. The slow and steady portfolio was a genius idea that has demonstrated the fruits of this approach to those who can be disciplined enough to stay the course.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Monevator has achieved widespread acclaim from across the industry.
Even this year, Monevator was nominated for Online Financial Influencer of the Year at the British Bank Awards 2021.
In 2019, it was nominated as a finalist for UK Money Bloggers Best Investing Blog at the #SHOMOs – an awards programme voted for exclusively by my fellow UK money bloggers.
A website after my own heart
I could draw several parallels between Monevator with Financial-Expert.co.uk, which I launched in 2011. Not in terms of readership, or influence. But in the eschewing of the consumery-end of personal finance, and our deep love of ‘pure’ investing.
The following articles would probably sit in the Venn diagram overlap between our sites. If you enjoy these then I’m sure you’d enjoy the content at Monevator.