Freefincal turns four!

Freefincal was born this week four years ago! A post to say 'thank you' to all friends, well-wishers and readers who have keep it alive.

The site which was started as a repository for Excel calculators is constantly evolving into a portal that tries to understand investor behaviour and requirements. This is possible only because of a supportive community. Without which it would have died a silent death. Read more: journey so far.

Freefincal is not about financial literacy: Those two words - financial literacy - get on my nerves. It is so holier than thou and condescending. No, freefincal has nothing to do with financial literacy. Circumstances have urged me to treat blogging and making Excel sheets as a regimen to steer clear of negative thinking and depression. Constant and incisive feedback from users has helped sustain this regimen.

From crowd funding to hosting ads: Middle of last year, I made an appeal for financial support and the response was fantastic. However, the site traffic grew at a faster pace than I anticipated. Therefore, I had to move to a better hosting plan. Factoring in other costs like plugins and analytics, a more constant stream of income was necessary and I was forced to turn on ads. Something that I am ashamed of as I have always spoken against them.

I cringe each time I look at them but recognise that they are a necessary evil. Readers have been most tolerant of this decision. Rest assured, freefincal is a non-profit operation. So the ad revenue will only be used for the growth of the blog.

Brand Equity: It is a matter of pride that  freefincal has some brand equity.

freefincal-traffic

Source: Similarweb

The 38% direct traffic is quite healthy and more importantly greater than the search (Google) traffic. This is because of the nature of the content here. People are searching for "best mutual funds 2016" and not "how to select a mutual fund" 🙂

It is better to have a direct audience as 'repeat customers' than fleeting visitors via Google (all other search engines amount next to nothing!)

Facebook group Asan Ideas for Wealth (AIFW): I find it quite amusing many think that just because I am an active member at AIFW, it is one of the major freefincal traffic sources. I enjoy being part of that community and have many friends there.

If I do it just to get the ~ 6% traffic from FB (not just AIFW), then I suffer from innumeracy. I do it because the best way to learn is to repeatedly display our ignorance sans shame. As much as I am the chief marketeer of AIFW, I am also its chief critic.

Investor Workshops: From Nov. 2014 to Nov. 2015, several workshops were held around the country with the help of many friends. For the last four events, I was joined by AIFW admin and one of the most selfless teachers of personal finance, Ashal Jauhari.

Because of my health and Ashal's schedule, we have hit the pause button on the workshops. I hope to revive them as discussion meetings shortly.

Campaign against conflict of interest: I have spoken against conflict of interest, promoted the use of direct mutual funds and fee-only SEBI registered financial planners. This has earned me sobriquets like DIY evangelist and DIY activist.

If freefincal has played a role increasing awareness about conflict of interest, fee-only financial advisory and direct mutual funds, then I am happy with such titles. I have lost friendships due to this, but a  man's got to do what a man's got to do.

Future Plans: Some interesting developments are on the cards. Do not wish to jinx them. Do watch this space.

Thank you for your support.

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About Freefincal

Freefincal has open-source, comprehensive Excel spreadsheets, tools, analysis and unbiased, conflict of interest-free commentary on different aspects of personal finance and investing. If you find the content useful, please consider supporting us by (1) sharing our articles and (2) disabling ad-blockers for our site if you are using one. We do not accept sponsored posts, links or guest posts request from content writers and agencies.

Blog Comment Policy

Your thoughts are vital to the health of this blog and are the driving force behind the analysis and calculators that you see here. We welcome criticism and differing opinions. I will do my very best to respond to all comments asap. Please do not include hyperlinks or email ids in the comment body. Such comments will be moderated and I reserve the right to delete  the entire comment or remove the links before approving them.

34 thoughts on “Freefincal turns four!

  1. Amal Nicholas

    I was one of the "fleeting visitors" via google but after strolling through the blog for a couple of days, i was hooked!

    What struck me seeing all the data content and excel charts was that you would have to learn a lot of excel skills to give shape to all your ideas. Mastering excel is a whole different journey on its own!

    Reply
  2. Rajnikant V Gajjar

    Factoring in other costs like plugins and analytics, a more constant stream of income was necessary and I was forced to turn on ads. Something that I am ashamed of as I have always spoken against them.

    I cringe each time I look at them but recognise that they are a necessary evil.

    Resp Sir
    No reasons to be apologetic as above.
    Your readers are definitely mature to appreciate your view point.
    To sustain any activity,it has to be funded.
    Always attitude,aptitude & approach matters when ultimate outcome matters.

    Reply
  3. S Srinivasan

    Congratulations and all the best. I casually strolled into your website. I am starting to like it now... for its simpleness and openness.

    Wishing you more successful years.

    Reply
  4. Austin

    There are finance blogs and websites and then there is freefincal , Your Blog has completely changed the way I look at my finance.

    Thank You Pattu Sir and all our members for making this happen.

    Wishing You All Success

    Reply
  5. Prasanth Prabhu

    Dear Pattu,

    You have been an inspiration for likes of us and freefincal has helped so many of my friends to plan for their future. Congratulations in completing 4 years and wish you and freefincal many more productive years!!
    -Prasanth

    Reply
  6. P.R.RAVINDRAN

    Congratulations and all the very best.
    Your blog has provided me valuable inputs on Personal Finance- the key differentiating factor being -porting live data from other sites like Money control and Value Research -to provide more meaningful learning.

    Please continue your journey and don't feel ashamed or reserved to provide for revenue generation. Ultimately there is no free lunch.

    Reply
  7. Bhavin

    Thank you for all the insightful articles and calculators. It has been a source of immense knowledge. Please keep up the good work.

    Reply
  8. Deepak Shyam

    Dear Pattu,

    Congratulations on completing four successful years.

    I came your blog through Google search for an Excel MF tracker. I am thankful for doing that search four years back as it began my financial literacy journey. Reading freefincal led to Subra and AIFW and a wonderful group of like minded friends such as Ashal, Sundaramji and Melvin to name a few.

    Thank you for making this happen and wishing you all the success!

    Reply
  9. DR TENY

    CONGRATS AND ALL THE BEST.ITS AN AMAZING BLOG HELPING LOTS OF LAY MEN BECOME FINANCIALLY MATURE.
    PATTU SIR DONT WORRY OF THE AD PART. WITHOUT PROPER FIN SUPPORT NO BLOG, SITE CAN SUSTAIN EVER.
    KEEP BLOGGING

    Reply
  10. Shilpa Wagh

    All the best to FreeFinCal ......

    Real good work to promote Fee only planning and DIY financial practices

    Reply
  11. Srikanth

    Congrats and keep going. You are indeed for the people and by the people and to the people to cherish their wealth and effective handling of personal finance. Stay blessed always Prof.Pattu

    Reply
  12. Bharani

    I have to admit, despite all the sarcasm and restrictive nature (including the comments), your blog has added lot of value to financial literacy, if one knows how to really read through it. I have benefited immensely, and has always been enamored by impartial advice. Please keep doing what you do best!

    Reply
  13. bharat shah

    congratulations and best wishes for completing 4 years. only yesterday i was telling my son about your blog, which has come out of your need DIY of your investment and your knowledge about Excel and it helped us much. I think, myself associated in reading your blog for many years, as you provided volume of tools , which could not be formed in just 4 years! thank you, professor!
    Anyway, whether the financial support scheme is in place now?

    Reply
  14. Rakesh

    Congrats Pattu, your blog is very helpful and informative.
    Various Calculators are excellent. Lot of us have benefited.
    Keep up the good work.

    Rakesh

    Reply
  15. Mohankumar

    Congratulations for the milestone. Thanks for your efforts to motivate people to "DIY" and sharing the knowledge/ best practices.

    Reply
  16. Dayanandaiah S

    Hi
    You been doing great service to people to take informed decision through your tools and knowledge. Thank you! Wish you all the best for your future plan

    Reply
  17. Ramesh Kulkarni

    Pattu Sir, Congratulations on such a concrete milestone! And ALL THE BEST for future plans!
    I believe, next year it would be a GRAND celebration with many new innovative developments! 🙂

    Reply
  18. Kaushik

    Sir,
    I am a great fan of your blog.Saw your blog by chance 6 months back and ever since never I miss a day without your analysis and perspectives. Your team's relentless efforts towards open source excel and google docs are the best that I have ever seen so far.Your unbiased views made me rectify a lot of financial blunders that I have committed though am just 28..Wish many more awesome years ahead!!!

    Reply
  19. Darshan shah

    Congrats Pattu Sir... One request .. pl take care of your health also ... for years to come you & your team will be remembered for your RATIONAL advice by simplified language of personal finance. .. God bless You..

    Reply
  20. anil suman

    I have completed 1 year of following your blog as well and iam really happy with the way my financial planning is progressing, and all the credit goes to you sir. Thanks alot for your help.

    Anil

    Reply
  21. Eshwar

    Been reading a lot of your posts and thank you so much for all your effort. I have never seen any website in any category providing this level of details and that too for free. Really really thankful and keep rocking!!

    Cheers,
    Esh

    Reply
  22. Bala Murugan

    Pattu Sir,
    Keep creating milestones in your own journey and you make others to follow you by your blogs.
    I was clueless about financial matters.I read one of your blog about two years back .I am still wondering about the your creations of so many calculators.

    Reply
  23. Amit

    Dear Pattu Sir,
    "congratulations" would be too formal, its perhaps "indigenous work for helping society to upgrade and educate themselves in the world of personal finance" .. thanks a lot ...
    i literally hooked up when first time i eventually touched down your article in one of google search, since then never missed any.....
    The way you simplify the topics, numerous "easy to use" excel and most importantly you "know" exactly what exactly we "dont know"....
    Lastly, Get well soon Sir...
    BR
    Amit

    Reply
  24. Harsha

    Dear Sir
    I have become regular to your blog, was introduced to it by my brother.
    Enjoy your posts and make it a point to read all of them.

    Wishing you many many years of this endevour

    Reply
  25. Shweta

    You are awesome!
    Completely agree wth Mr. Rajnikant .
    ....by the way ,I am also one of the fleeting customer turned hooked visitor.

    Reply
  26. TENY MATHEW

    dear pattu sir
    congrats and thank you for your time and effort u are putting to this blog. its been helping a lots of people. keep walking!!!! keep blogging.!!!!
    dr teny

    Reply

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