I’m always curious to figure out which are the most read and most commented on articles of the year. The determinants are based on search engines, social media, and what you the community decides to share. With over three million page views for the year, the results are a partial reflection of society.
One of my biggest goals as a writer is to entertain and educate at the same time – no easy task when it comes to a subject as dry as personal finance! Each article takes anywhere from one hour to 10 hours to create. So if you like an article please help share them over social media or e-mail them to your friends.
I’ve gone a little overboard with the number of articles highlighted because each one is like my baby. There are a lot of subtleties scattered throughout my articles that are easy to miss. They are like out of place stones in a garden acting as markers for remembrance when I’m old.
Out of the roughly 180 articles published in 2013, I’ve curated 35 of the most viewed and discussed. Please enjoy!
TOP VIEWED ARTICLES WRITTEN IN 2013
1) Explaining Why The Median 401(k) Balance Is So Low - People really want to figure out what’s wrong with America’s favorite retirement savings plan. It would make sense if you don’t want to work forever you should be saving a ton more money, but that’s not happening. The article shares case studies from various economic groups on what derails people off of my recommended 401(k) amount by age chart.
2) How Much Should My Net Worth Or Savings Be By Income - There’s a handy dandy chart based on an income multiplier to determine your net worth or savings. The chart should serve as a good guide no matter how much you make, what your work experience, or your age.
3) The Average Net Worth For The Above Average Married Couple - The article provides three main guidelines to determine the average net worth for financially conscious married couples. There’s an interesting discussing on spousal relationships for each of the three scenarios that got readers going. Everybody thinks they’re above average, but we know that’s statistically impossible.
4) Recommended Net Worth Allocation By Age Or Work Experience - It’s not enough to just save money. You’ve got to also invest your money to hopefully provide a positive real return. This article breaks down my thoughts on stocks, bonds, real estate, risk free assets, and your X Factor. See also: The Proper Asset Allocation Of Stocks And Bonds By Age.
5) The First Million Might Be The Easiest: How To Be A Millionaire By Age 30 - This article talks about champagne dreams and caviar wishes for those who want to strike it big in their 20s. I make an argument that it might be easier to get rich when you’re younger because you have more energy, more enthusiasm, less cynicism and are less scared of taking risks.
6) Which Is A Better Investment: Real Estate Or Stocks? - A candid comparison between the two most commonly invested asset classes. My personal preference is for real estate because it’s less emotional. I like the tangibility of real estate, the tax benefits, and the ability to make improvements.
7) How To Better Management Your 401(k) For Retirement Success - Despite the 401(k) being a woefully light retirement instrument, it’s still one of the largest retirement assets for the middle class. I show readers how to create different retirement scenarios in order to plan better.
8) How To Pay Little Or No Taxes For The Rest Of Your Life - After paying six figures in taxes every year for a decade, I decided to go John Galt and protest government waste. If you’re sick of paying taxes and getting very little in return, then this should be one of your favorite articles.
9) Benefits Of Converting A 401(k) Into A Rollover IRA - After leaving my job in 2012, I converted my 401(k) into an IRA. It was one of the best moves because a rollover IRA provides more flexibility and tons more investing choices. The risk is that you become hooked on trading.
10) What Does Early Retirement Feel Like? The Positives And Negatives - Here’s a candid assessment of early retirement life the first year in. Not everything is great. I may do a follow up article every year or two to see if my feelings change over time.
11) How To Build Passive Income For Financial Independence - An update 1.5 years after writing, Achieving Financial Independence One Income Slice At A Time. The new article starts to incorporate the X Factor into the passive income equation. I really try to get into the nitty gritty of passive income with a discussion on mindset, action items, and charts. The next update will probably be in a year and show how I’ve reallocated my CD assets.
12) How Do People Live On Less Than Six Figures In Expensive Cities Like NYC? - To live comfortably (not luxuriously) in places like Manhattan, San Francisco, Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Tokyo, you’ve got to make at least $100,000 a year. I spent a week with my buddy who makes a little over $100,000, and after maxing out his 401(k) which equals ~17% of his salary, he’s left with little to no disposable income every month. I’m still waiting for people who live on less to highlight their budget in a guest post if anybody is interested.
13) CD Investment Alternatives: Why I No Longer Invest In CDs - My 10+ year run in methodically allocating ~30% of my savings into long term CDs is coming to an end because rates are pathetically low. The 10-year bond yield is at roughly 3% while a 10-year CD is only at around 2.5%. This makes absolutely no sense, and I don’t recommend CDs anymore. I’d much rather keep my money in a 1% online money market account that is fully liquid and invest in a muni fund or P2P.
14) Horrible Jobs That Can Eventually Make You Rich - Bad jobs builds character. The worse the jobs, the more you’ll appreciate your future work. The more you appreciate your work, the better you’ll do, the happier you’ll be, and the more money you’ll make until you eventually burn out and contemplate the meaning of life.
15) Subsidy Amounts By Income Limits For The Affordable Care Act - There are four charts to highlight subsidy amounts for Obamacare for singles, couples, a family of three, and a family of four. The charts clearly show how much the government will help you out on a sample Silver Plan. Obamacare is still going through massive growing pains, but it’s a gift for entrepreneurs, people who work at jobs they hate just for their health care, and early retirees.
** The most viewed articles of the year tend to be the ones that get published earliest in the year because they have more time to be viewed.