One of the common themes I circle back to often is the idea that one should periodically reevaluate their assumptions and see if there’s a better way of doing things. This idea applies to much more than simply investing, and I recently took the opportunity to see if there might be a way I can improve how I communicate a few things.
When I first started this website last summer, I had three calculators I was excited to share with a close group of internet friends. I gave them catchy names like Pixel, Hurricane, and Funnel to make them easy to reference, and explaining them in detailed threads was fun and rewarding. Since those humble beginnings I’ve added many more calculators and am thrilled that more and more people have been visiting the site and using them.
But with increased numbers comes a minor communication challenge. Explaining three calculators with creative names to a small group of people in a casual conversation was easy. But now that the site is getting more traffic from all around the world, helping people speaking many languages quickly understand eight different calculator options on their own without getting lost is a little more difficult. My goal is to make investing more simple for everyday investors, and overwhelming them with unclear options on the Calculators page actually defeats that purpose.
After considering several options, I realized that the simplest fix is to reevaluate my original naming convention. So starting today, I’ve given many of the calculators more descriptive names.
Annual Returns (Frequency)
Financial Independence (FIREtime)
Heat Map (Pixel)
Long Term Returns (Funnel)
Portfolio Growth (Hurricane)
I understand that doing this may cause a bit of temporary pain when it comes to old articles and links, but I’ve done what I can to properly redirect people. Please let me know if you see a broken link or something I need to correct. Thinking positively, my hope is that the descriptive names will help even more people discover these tools and intuitively understand which ones apply to their needs.
On another communication note, with more visitors from different sources I’ve noticed some occasional confusion on who publishes all of this and what their motivation must be. It’s a natural question, and based on the way most financial sites with this type of information are selling funds or services I understand the cynicism. I can also see how my penchant for minimalism could give the impression that this is a corporate effort of some sort, as it differs quite a bit from your typical blog.
To be clear, this website is purely a personal project by one individual who has no stake in the financial world. It’s my hobby, and I really enjoy it. I intentionally want the site to be about insightful thinking and good data and not about me, but to help break the corporate vibe I’ve added a few words on the front page and also expanded my “About the Author” section. Hopefully that will help people trust that I’m only here to help.
As always, if you think of something that you feel would make the site even better, feel free to contact me. That part of the communication has not changed!