Welcome to the last day of 2012! What a crazy year it has been in the financial sector! Looking back on the year, I think of IPOs, a crazy Presidential election that touched on jobs and the economy as primary issues, and now the fight over the Fiscal Cliff and the Debt Ceiling (Part 2). All in all, it has provided for some interesting thoughts and commentary.
The end of the year (and the start of the new one) is always a great time to look back and reflect on what has gone on. For me personally, I tend to get lost in the future, barely make it by in the present, and don’t look back too often. That’s why I think it’s essential that I look back and see what’s worked, what hasn’t, and use that experience going forward to be even more helpful for my readers.
The theme of The College Investor has always been to get out of student loan debt, master your personal finances, and start investing. Sometimes I feel like I’ve lost a little focus on this core theme, so I’m going to revisit this in 2013. I don’t want the site to feel generic. I want readers to know what they will expect when they come here, and hopefully surprise them with even more than they hoped for.
The Top 5 Most Read Posts in 2012 on The College Investor
1. The Ultimate Hypocrite: Robert Kiyosaki and His Company’s Bankruptcy - This was the most popular post written on The College Investor in 2012. I know I wasn’t the first one to tackle this story, but I think the fact that I called him out as a hypocrite (and struck a little controversy around it) really made the post stand out. I’m always personally frustrated when I hear stories like his, where he is a self-proclaimed financial guru, but has terrible finances. It’s just wrong.
2. How 5 Top Bloggers Made The Financial Jump to Self-Employment - This was the second most popular post written on The College Investor this year, and it was also the most commented post. If you’re judging, it was also the longest at over 5,000 words. I love this post for several reasons – first, I asked a question that I was truly curious about. One of my biggest fears of becoming self-employed is how to deal with the finances of it. Then, I thought, hey, why don’t I ask people who’ve done it how they manage. To make it even better, I thought, why don’t I ask some bloggers that I really admire. I was so excited to even get a response to one email from these awesome bloggers, let alone 5 of them!
3. How to Make $1,000,000 - This was the third most popular post in 2012. I think it has such a catchy title, but it really does sum it up – the math on how you can make $1,000,000. It actually isn’t very hard, and everyone can do it with as little as saving $150 per month and leveraging a 401k match from your employer. And I’m a firm believer than anyone can save $150 per month!
4. Buy a Car, Save Money - This is a great article on how you can plan ahead when buying a car, and save money in the future by doing it. Too many people don’t think long term when buying a car. This is one of those occasions when you need to master the personal finance basics.
5. Your College Major Doesn’t Matter…Unlesss… - This was another post that struck up a little controversy this year. I took a stand (and still believe it), that your college major doesn’t matter. The big “unless” is that if you’re dream job requires a technical skill, you do need to have that in order to proceed (think programmer or doctor). Otherwise, if your dream is to go into business, major in anything you want. The bigger part of the equation is whether you can speak well, write well, and be personable. Those “soft skills” will get you a lot farther.
My Personal Favorite Posts of 2012 on The College Investor
When writing my blog, I sometimes write for me, and I sometimes write for you. When I do write for me, I think about whether you’re going to like it. Sometimes I’m right (see How 5 Top Bloggers Made the Jump to Self-Employment), and sometimes I’m wrong. Oh well, this is still my blog, and here are my personal favorite posts from 2012 that didn’t make the cut above:
1. Career Choices in Finance - This is one of my favorite posts for two reasons. First, the post was written in direct response to a reader question. I love it that someone would take the time to ask me a question, and I’m glad to provide a response. Second, I got several thank yous for writing this post, which was just awesome!
2. 8 Simple Steps to Networking Like a Boss - This is a guest post that I hosted this year, and it is a truly awesome post. For anyone considering writing a guest post, this is where your bar should be. This post really provided a lot of information and combined it with personal experience, which I love to read. It was also very well received and mentioned on several mainstream media sites as well.
3. Can We Really Trust Monsanto? - I invest in Monsanto, and as the result of my investment, a lot of people tend to criticize me. However, my internal response has always had me wondering – why would Monsanto do anything to ruin agriculture, as that would crush its future earning potential. That’s something that no company wants to do. Check it out to read my thoughts on it.
4. Zynga Stock: Can You Play the Long Poker Odds? - JT has been a valuable asset added to The College Investor team this year, and I love reading his posts each week. JT provides a level of insight that I don’t usually get into, and he finds some very unique perspectives. I value him as a writer on this site, and truly enjoy his article, and hope you do as well!
5. Wells Fargo Inaccurately Billing Customers for Quicken Web Connect - I’m not the New York Times here, but every now and then, I stumble on a real news story. This is one with everyone’s favorite bank…Wells Fargo. Anyway, I figured out that their computers were billing people inaccurately, and wrote about it. But that’s easy. I’m actually really proud of myself for this article because I took the time to interview a Senior-level manager at Wells Fargo to discuss the problem in advance, and included it in my piece. Man, did I just turn into a journalist? Nah…but it was still fun!
Here’s to a Great 2013!
I first want to thank you for being a reader of The College Investor. 2012 was a great year on this site, with traffic doubling compared to 2011. The growth has been great, and I really hope that it continues into the new year.
With that being said, I’m really going to focus on making 2013 a great year for The College Investor by really focusing on the theme:
- Get Out of Student Loan Debt
- Master Your Personal Finances
- Start Investing
Along with the theme, I plan on having at least two series posts this year, which I’ve been planning and hope to have around tax time.
I also plan on cutting one day off the posting schedule – bye bye Fridays. It was one of the slower days anyway, so don’t expect regular posts on Fridays anymore. Instead, continue to enjoy JT’s latest article for a couple extra days!
Cheers and have a great 2013!