Creating an online community for DIY investors

Creating an association of investors, for investors, and by investors, has been one of my goals for some time now. In this day and age, such an association can, and should exist as an online community.

I would like such an online community for DIY investors to nucleate around freefincal, at least for a start.  I write this to lay down some thoughts on the matter and more importantly to seek your opinion and suggestions for the same.

Before I do that, let me first say,

Thank you

Hundreds of investors have generously contributed to the support freefincal fund. As mentioned earlier, the fund will only be used for generating content for freefincal, videography and the like. It is not a source of income for me.

The fund will be open for contributions all year long with a message at the bottom of every post.  I hope to procure resources (databases and analytical tools) which investors do not usually have access to and generate reports (literally!) and accessible research from it. Such things constitute a recurring expense. Hence, the contribute-request has to be open at all times.

Hosting expenses for the current year and perhaps for the next couple of years have been fully paid for, thanks to these contributions. In fact, this occurred within 15 to 30 minutes of asking for support!

To mark this kind gesture by readers, thought of modifying the freefincal logo.

Yes freefincal has a logo! It is the mirror reflection of the percentage symbol. Don’t ask me why I chose that!

This is the old logo:


The new logo:


Hope you like it.

I was wondering if the dividing slash should remain. Decided to go with it as I would like it to signify individuality of the readers.

Thank you all, for your support and generosity.

Online community for DIY investors

Back to the main subject of this post. These are my thoughts about the objectives:

1) Membership will be free.

2) All are welcome (advisors and financial planners are DIY investors too!)

3) No free lunch. Questions like, ‘have a look at my mutual fund selection to help me decide’, ‘which term policy should I buy?’ will be shown the door.  Q/A  will only one aspect of the community portal.

4) The main aim of the community is to spread the message that:

money management is simple. No one cares about your money as  you do. So take action, perform simple initial steps and set up an auto-pilot. Keep it simple, ignore noise, and focus on other hobbies or interests (instead of obsessing about personal finance) 


Members should encourage each other and the investor community in general to nurture confidence and conviction to take independent financial decisions.

5) The community should hire the best minds in the business to share their knowledge with members in different parts of the country.

6) Financial advisory free from conflict of interest will be promoted. Investors who wish to hire professional help will be encouraged to hire fee-only financial planners.

Your thoughts:

What do you think about this idea? Would you like to be part of such a community? If yes, can you suggest a nice sounding name for the community?

Please let me know your ideas on the subject.

Want to conduct a sales-free "basics of money management" session in your office?
I conduct free seminars to employees or societies. Only the very basics and getting-started steps are discussed (no scary math):For example: How to define financial goals, how to save tax with a clear goal in mind; How to use a credit card for maximum benefit; When to buy a house; How to start investing; where to invest; how to invest for and after retirement etc. depending on the audience. If you are interested, you can contact me: freefincal [at] Gmail [dot] com. I can do the talk via conferencing software, so there is no cost for your company. If you want me to travel, you need to cover my airfare (I live in Chennai)

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39 thoughts on “Creating an online community for DIY investors

  1. Another excellent effort by freefincal, pattu sir indeed, to literate lay investors like me & definitely I would like to be part of this initiative.
    I would suggest group named “Value investor forum”

  2. Nice initiative. If I may suggest Google+ communities is the best place to start a free public or private community with loads of features, not to mention about youtube conferences etc..

      1. It is a pleasure for me to set up a community and everything related. If required feel free to get back.Thank you.

  3. Good Idea.But,can you please throw more light on what exactly you want the members are supposed to share/discuss.I think many of the members may want opinons on the portfolio they have.According to you this is not allowed.Then what is allowed please?

  4. Pattu Sir,

    Excellent initiative. This will go in a long way in empowering individuals to take control of their personal finances. In fact, we always need like minded groups to learn, unlearn and relearn on a continuous basis. Such community will create a platform for people looking to better their financial lives. I will be more than delighted to be a part of such fantastic community and contribute to the best of my abilities. Kudos and cheers!!!


  5. Hi,
    Just a coincidence. I was thinking that there should be a Forum representing the Retail investors interests. For example, since a longtime there is a demand for treating F.O.Fs (Fund of Funds) on same lines as equity or balance funds for tax treatment. Every FM has ignored. MFs don’t press for this!
    Such Forum could represent to the authorities.

    Even small educational videos /articles could be made available for SCHOOL or College children. Educating in basic Money ideas etc. No body is doing that now.

    Most important point is to maintain the integrity of the Forum. IFAs or others are investors yes, but their messages could be colored.

    Good luck to the idea, may it fructify and prosper.


  6. Excellent initiative and would love to be part of the community and contribute whatever I know and also learn from others.
    DIY Investors Forum

  7. Please create this online forum. . Will be part of this when u create and will contribute suggest and even advice what I can

  8. Dear pattu sir,

    there are a lot of financial blogs around in the net, but the uniqueness of freefincal is its analysis, calculators and LAYMEN term explanation of the analysis. thats the only thing which makes me follow this blog constantly.

    in the same way, there a lot of investor communities in facebook, google etc. you also mention one always which you follow. So what uniqueness gonna be there in this new community, how different its going to be with others. If there is no difference why not use the already available ones itself. So that you can spend more time n energy on improving the quality of this blog.

    sorry the intention is not to discourage, but to give a thought on “why to start?” more specifically!

    1. The difference is the ‘no free lunch policy’. We will focus on methodology and make no attempt to solve any personal queries. That will beat the purpose of the community. The focus is on DIY.

  9. Dear Sir,
    It would be a good initiative. But let us not make it one more of 100’s already available on the web. I would suggest it to be called “Azad Investor Forum” to reflect freedom from all so called financial planners. You are bulding trust among common men that they too, can do financial planning on their own with little awarenes and help from sites as yours.
    Good luck.

  10. Only methodology, interesting articles, is the simplest that anyone can do. Some kind of periodic newsletter as suggested Ramesh Mangal. Local activity by interested groups is also possible

  11. Dear pattu sir
    good initiative . already lay men like me are benefited by your blogs and calculators. Creating a group like this we should take it to the next level . one suggestion for your consideration if you can make the excel based calculators workable on a HTML page with simple question and answer and then a table pops up with same results as like a complex tabbed spreadsheet. This would make the same financial planning benefits reach even more people

  12. I benefited from this blog, hence definitely would like to be part of this community to learn more. My suggestions for community:
    1. Each member can share their real-world experience – how they started DIY, whether they are progressing on the right path, and ask for suggestions from other members.
    2. Simple step-by-step approach for starting the first mutual fund. eg: (i) choose MF that you want to invest in through ‘How to invest in equity funds blog series’… (ii) complete your KYC using ID proof and address proof (iii) Download the form available in website for xxx AMC… and so on.
    3. Share the best practices or tenets to be followed during the investing period (which is like forever anyway :-)).
    4. Ability to privately message/communicate to any other member, without disturbing others.
    5. Ready reference links to important pages/sites that teach DIY. It can be in freefincal or other sites (must be moderated though, before putting up).
    That’s it from top of my mind.

    I read other people’s comments as well, and I partially agree in that it should not be another community in the jungle. But from my experience, I don’t find communities on personal finance in India (sort of public ones) that focuses on intellect and thoughts, rather than transactions, bickering and bashing. If it is fulfilled, it would serve the purpose.

  13. I have the same thoughts. Why do we need another community ? Why not strengthen/refresh whats already popular amongst most of your readers – AIFW

    1. 1) Facebook (assuming it is only from AIFW) constitutes only 12% of my daily traffic.
      2) AIFW is a free lunch seekers forum. By definition, a DIY community does not cater free lunch. It will aim to serve methodology and not names of mutual funds and term plans.

Comments are closed.