We’re more than a few days into 2017, but since I’m still signing checks* with “2016”, I’m going to go with it.
Many bloggers will highlight their most popular articles. That may work for them, but my articles aren’t popular at all. (I’m joking… self-deprecating humor is en vogue, right?)
Instead, I’m highlighting the articles on Lazy Man and Money that I thought were interesting or might not have received as much love at the time of posting.**
- Investing Tip: Focus on Accumulating Shares – I was honestly thinking of this in the shower the other day. (Too much information?) The idea is to think of investing as simply buying as many shares (of quality funds such as Vanugard Star) as possible. If the price goes down, don’t think of it as losing money, but think, “Hey, the cheaper price means I can buy even more shares!”
- Why MLM is NOT a Business
Yes, I’ve written MLMs a lot here… far more than I wanted to. This general summary of this article shows that MLM isn’t a business and isn’t a true entrepreneurial endeavor. Unfortunately, it’s marketed as if it is, because recruiting people to believe that is believed by some experts to be all that MLM is (sorry no time for citations see on the topic.
- How I Work – Not a flashy title, but I think there are ton of useful tips. I wish every blogger (and non-blogger) would write an article like this… I would read them all day. I can’t take credit for the idea, Lifehacker inspired me to copy them and write my own.
- The Craziest Week of My Life? – It’s not often that the Department of Health and Human Service considers suing the Department of Defense on your behalf, but that’s what we were looking at. This may have been a precursor to understanding later in the year just how weird and nonsensical our government system is. Oh and that was just about 40% of the craziness for the week.
- My Mammoth DisneyWorld and Universal Studios Review – If you are heading to either for the first time (especially with young toddlers), this article is for you.
- Many Americans Can’t Afford $400 in an Emergency – It feels like everyone wrote about this as it seemed to be a big national story. I feel like it can’t be covered enough because so many people are on the verge of bankruptcy.
- Would You Pay $629 for a Bandage? – Before we had the EpiPen fight there was this article about a $629 bandage. It’s amazing to me how messed up health care is… and how easy it seems to me it would be fix it. I’m hoping to write about it. I might not be able to fit it in this month, but maybe next.
- How To Be a Millionaire in 20 Years – Twenty years might seem like a long time, but it will sneak up on you faster than you think. Should I do a follow-up on how the second million may take you less than 10 years?
- Betting On Zero with My New BFF, Billionaire Bill Ackman – It’s not everyday you can meet a billionaire, but I was able to do that this summer. It wasn’t just any billionaire, but the billionaire who shined a floodlight on Herbalife’s scheme.
- College Planning is Impossible (But Do It Anyway!) – Our greatest future expense may be paying for college. Or it might not be. (Maybe health care is a similar concern.) You might need to save a couple hundred thousand to pay for it or zero. There are loans and other financial aid to make it easier. Overall, this is one area where the crystal ball is cloudier than any other in personal finance
- Gambling on the Election – Nostradamus better look out because Kosmo has a bead on him, “If you bought $500 worth of Trump shares (2941 shares) and he wins in November, you could cash out for $2941. It seems like there might be an opportunity to make a few dollars betting on Trump.”
- NEST Thermostats Do NOT Save You Money – Two of two my Nest have failed in the the 2.5 or so years that I had them. One failed early enough to be covered by warranty. Another failed afterwards.
The lesson I learned is that sometimes spending money on expensive technology to save money doesn’t always add up. If it’s something that is expected to last more than a decade (like a thermostat), check the warranty and make sure it really lasts that long.
- The FTC, Truth In Advertising, and John Oliver Eviscerate MLM Scams – Three heroes of the consumers protection wage a war on MLM scams. I had never been more optimistic in my nearly 10 years of covering these scams.
And then the American public voted in an administration with some strong ties to MLM scams. We’ll see what happens, but at least Americans have the information to see that they are scams.
- Make Bacon Great Again! – Either no one got the humor or decided it wasn’t funny.
That attempt aside, it really is good advice on how to make bacon. You might be surprised how much having some bacon around helps when the question comes up, “What’s for dinner? Should we go out to eat again?”
- How Cox Prevents Me from Saving Money with Their Competition – I wrote about Cox Communications twice this year as neither experience was satisfactory.
It seems that everyone hates their cable company. My favorite new show of the year, Adam Ruins Everything, explained how the cable companies eradicated competition, which explains why I simply have to take my lumps with Cox. (That link has the source list for his arguments, and it is a very compelling read even if you didn’t see the show.)
- The Season of Giving – This is a great story about how a strong personal finance focus allows one family to give back to another who is less fortunate.
I can’t think of a better way to end the the year and this list.
That’s it for now. I’m going to turn my attention to making the articles for 2017 even better.
* I use “signing checks” metaphorically. I think I write one check a month.
** I apologize clip-show. My wife’s long-awaited highly-discounted Hamilton tickets from AmEx were this weekend, so I had solo kid coverage. Mother Nature decided to whoop us with a foot of snow. I’m the last person in a snow region who doesn’t own a snowblower, so it was a lot of shoveling. On the plus side, that time with the kids has made me about as fluent in Vegimalese as anyone on earth.