Yahoo Adds Advice Columns, Calculators To Finance Section
The personal finance section includes tips and tools for household budgeting, retirement, tax planning, careers, real estate, college and education, insurance, loans, and debt management.
Peggy White, general manager of Yahoo Finance, expressed assurance that the offering would give Yahoo a competitive edge: "We're confident this is going to expand our audience considerably."
As of December, Microsoft's MSN Money led the online finance category with 9.8 million unique visitors--according to comScore Media Metrix--compared with 9.6 million for Yahoo Finance, and 9.3 million for AOL Money and Finance.
And while White insisted there are more changes on the way, analysts who were given a few days to test the site were left wanting.
"My first impression was how little difference there seems to be between this and Yahoo Finance," said Yankee Group analyst Patrick Monaghan, who attests to using Yahoo Finance at least once a day. "I'd like to see them add more personalization so I can change my focus from retirement--which I'm interested in now--to raising kids when I have them."
Most of the content is being provided by third parties, including The Wall Street Journal, The Motley Fool, Consumer Reports and CNNMoney.com. In addition, Yahoo is providing 48 how-to guides on various topics, from retirement costs to budgeting, and 66 financial calculators to gauge everything from loan payments to retirement savings.
Yahoo is offering advice columns from 13 financial writers, as well as a personal finance glossary. In addition, Yahoo has integrated Yahoo Answers into the site.
Still, analysts expected more amid such a competitive climate. "They could have done more with tool sets and social networking in addition to Yahoo Answers," Forrester analyst Charlene Li remarked. "It feels like a repackaging of a lot of existing content."
Ultimately, Li said she expected more from Yahoo. "It feels too much like a traditional content play," she said. "I expect more from a company with Yahoo's resources."
Initial advertisers on the site include E*Trade Financial, LendingTree.com, Intuit TurboTax, Progressive Direct, and Quicken Loans.