If done properly, providing a handful of external links to other sites may work to your advantage. Providing links relevant to what your visitors may be searching or reading about will not only point them in the right direction but may flag to Google that your site is a great web resource.
After all if you want to provide clear, concise and accurate content for your visitors, you will need a good way to back up your sites information. What a better way than provide external links to other sites that will in turn support your content. It has been found that even linking to your competitors page will often result in your site jumping over theirs in the rankings.