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Financial Blogs: The Best of the Bunch

Where can you find the smartest, savviest takes on the markets and the economy? Here are some good bets

Recent events—especially the Federal Reserve's surprising moves in helping JPMorgan (JPM) acquire the scraps of Bear Stearns (BSC) to prevent a massive market meltdown—have been great fodder for the growing community of financial bloggers. Indeed, over the last three years or so, some financial blogs have gathered a big enough following to make money from advertising by using tools including Google's (GOOG) AdSense.

Though many investors still rely on the mainstream financial media—and their own advisers—for information and advice, there are plenty of blogs that offer very good analysis and discussions. If you're dipping your toes into the financial blogosphere for the first time, start with portal SeekingAlpha, which calls itself a "one-stop shop" for stock research. Tom Taulli, an author, blogger, and dealmaker, says he uses SeekingAlpha's conference call transcripts regularly. Another good destination for stocks is AOL's BloggingStocks, which is updated several times a day with analysis of companies from various writers.