I’ve been writing about TIPS and I Bonds for nearly 10 years, and as 2020 comes to a close, I’ve decided to scale back a bit on my writing. I’ll still be posting the inflation “news” each month — and its effect on I Bonds — along with auction previews and results, but I won’t be providing in-depth analysis.
If you’ve been following my writing on SeekingAlpha.com, you know that I have built a sizable audience there, and I have written more than 300 exclusive articles for that site since 2015. Those articles generally take an hour or more of work (sometimes much, much more than an hour) and for that work I was getting about $35 an article. It added up to be enough to pay the bill for one of my two monthly Costco trips.
SeekingAlpha recruited me to write about bonds back in 2015, and over the years I have consistently been the site’s No. 1 or No. 2 writer on bonds, and often in the top 10 on retirement topics. The site has altered its pay structure at least four times over the last five years, and generally I ended up making about the same amount, at least $25 an article but sometimes much more for highly successful articles.
Last month, SeekingAlpha drastically altered its pay structure, rewarding authors only for delivering page views to its “high dollar” premium subscribers. It connects its premium payments only to authors writing about specific stock tickers (such as, TSLA) . I rarely write about a specific stock or even ETFs. My articles are focused on near-zero-risk investments in Savings Bonds, U.S. Treasurys and bank CDs. It’s hard to find any other coverage of these topics, anywhere.
The payment change took effect in November. So, although I drove 30,465 page views to the site last month, my pay is going to be $34.76. The same number of page views a month earlier would have earned at least $215. My regular “breaking news” articles earned only about $3.50 an article. An hour of work for $3.50? I’m done.
Last month I wrote my TIPS auction preview story from Hilton Head Island, S.C., while on a brief holiday. Over the years, I have annoyed my wife by writing breaking-news articles aboard a cruise ship on the Nile, from Hanoi, from Paris, on a ship off the Norweigan coast, from Hong Kong, from Lisbon. I took this work very seriously and it was part of my commitment to you, the readers.
So now I am going to scale back. On this site, I will continue to post “news only” updates on inflation, I Bonds and TIPS auctions and results, but without the commentary. I might be a little “late” at times, but not too late, I hope. Sorry!
And I will try to answer questions posted by readers. Thanks for visiting.