As I have recently noted, last month The Amateur Financier had its fifth birthday. By human standards, that’s barely a kindergartner, but for blogs, which have a tendency to last for only as long as the original writer (frequently a teenager) can stay motivated and focused, it’s practically ancient. Surrounded by all the younger, hipper blogs, this blog would likely be holding its hip, waving a cane, and complaining about how much better things were ‘in the good old days’. (That I’ll be like that myself before too long is a little bit distressing…)
To mark the occasion, I thought that I should take some time away from my usual posts and go through some of what I’ve written and published over these past five years. After all, with over 1100 posts currently on the website, it’s unlikely you’ve had a chance to read them all, and I don’t want you to miss any of the particularly good ones. So here are 25 of the best posts I’ve written (so far), in roughly chronological order:
25 of My Favorite Posts
1. The Bright Side of the Economy For Youth – Back in 2009, when I was first getting started on this blog, the economy and stock market was in pretty bad shape. But if you happened to jump in while things were hitting the bottom of the barrel, you’d have benefited from the impressive (if, I will admit, far from perfect) financial comeback we’ve had since. A good thing to keep in mind when considering where things stand in the world, even at their worst.
2. 7 Things You Don’t Know About The Amateur Financier – Here’s an oldie but goodie; once upon a time, I wrote an article covering several things about myself that I hadn’t yet shared in my blog (and as I go over them, which I haven’t discussed since). If you think you know all about me and haven’t read this article, you’re definitely in for a surprise or two!
3. Things I Wish I Had Learned in High School – This is far from a complete list, but there are plenty of things that, had I known about them 15 years ago, my life might be much better off now. (Of course, I might never have met my wonderful wife, so there’s that, but I’ll leave that for the sci-fi discussions.)
4. Ten Steps to Control Your Finances Reviewed – I did a major special on how to get your finances in order back during my first year, and posted a huge summary here. Definitely worth a read for what I thought (and mostly still think) are the best ways to get your finances in order.
5. Things I Will NOT Do For Money – It’s good to have your moral lines straight, in case anything should arise. Just for record, here’s where I stand on some of the worst of the worst things you can do and whether I’d be willing to go that far (for most of them, no).
6. Stop Talking About ‘The Rich’ – This is a pet peeve of mine, where people complain about ‘The Rich’ as a homogeneous group, usually to demagogue and make their desired point without actually creating a reasonable argument. I’d love if it would just cease.
7. Financial Samurai’s Alexa Challenge – It’s probably the biggest influence on my blogging for these past four years, and the resulting group the Yakezie have been some of my best blog-related friends. Definitely something worth checking into for any bloggers.
8. Fifteen Things to Tell a Younger Me – I can’t be the only person to have Back to the Future fantasies, and when the opportunity arose to share some of the things I’d like to pass along to a Roger from the past, I thought I should share some of them.
9. Wacky Wednesday – Not a single post but rather an entire series, here was when I tried to employ exceptional amounts of humor in my posts, including in a few series of posts. Of all the things I wish I kept doing from earlier articles, this one definitely strikes me the most.
10. Does Success Skew Your Perception? – One of my favorite articles, about one of the most interesting thoughts I’ve had, blogging or otherwise. It’s interesting to see just what leads to everyone making their choices. How you’d do things differently if you had better luck in an area is a particularly interesting thought.
11. Some Kindly Advice For Would-Be Bloggers – I’ve learned a lot from blogging this long, and I’ve liked being able to share suggestions with fellow bloggers at times. Here is some advice you might want to consider before you attempt to become a professional blogger.
12. What I Want to Pass On to My Children – Now that I’ve gotten my first child, I’m even more intrigued by what I said I would focus on back before she was born, as this entry does. I think it’s still a pretty solid approach, one I hope that I am able to follow as Elaine gets older.
13. What Percentage Am I? – I tried to stay out of the way of the Occupy Wall Street politics that was, ahem, ‘occupying’ the time of many personal finance writers back when this post was written, but the ‘what income percent are you in?’ apps that came out at the same time were interesting (and kind of fun).
14. My Wedding Day – I can’t write a list of my favorite posts without noting how much I love and appreciate my darling wife, and love when I made it official. Not a long post for a not very elaborate marriage, but vitally important to my life nonetheless.
15. Getting Your Life Back In Order After a Fire or Other Disaster – There have been a lot of rough spots in my life the past few years (with some of the roughest noted here), but as I was at least (semi-) prepared for them, I managed to get through everything alive and well. Here’s hoping this advice can help you do the same.
16. What’s Luck Got to Do With It? – With everything going on in 2012, I was in a contemplative mode when I wrote this article about peoples’ lives and luck. While it does have a lot of impact on what we do, I hope you agree that it doesn’t completely determine how our lives progress.
17. Fighting Denied Insurance Claims – It’s something I’ve spent the last year and a half doing, as sometimes insurance companies don’t want to pay what they promised to pay (granted, doing so lowers their profits), so having some thoughts on how to handle things are quite helpful.
18. Elaine Myra Raby is Born! – Even more important than my wedding (if just barely), my daughter’s birth has been one of the most wonderful things that has ever happened to me, plain and simple. I love her, and my wife, with all my heart, soul and mind.
19. The 10 Most (and 5 Least) Profitable College Degrees – I like this post, and not just because my degree is on the most profitable list. While it shouldn’t be THE factor that determines your college career, it is something for you (and my Elaine) to consider when planning a college course.
20. 25 Pieces of Life Advice For High School Graduates – Wow, it’s almost like having a child of my own inspired me to share a lot of information directed at younger people. Weird, hunh? Anyway, while not strictly personal finance, here are more than a few things I’ve learned in (now more than thirty) years on the Earth that can be helpful at the end of high school.
21. How Much Does It Cost To Travel The World? – An interesting question (at least, to my mind), albeit one I don’t need to have a good answer to right now. Perhaps in the near future, though…
22. Back Up Your Data! 10 Ways to Prepare Your Site For Being Hacked – Another article for my fellow bloggers, hopefully helping them to avoid some of the same problems I’ve had in recent months. To paraphrase the colloquialism, ‘blogging ain’t easy’.
23. How Many Email Accounts Do You Need? – The number is probably higher than you expect (but given how many people are, lower than you actually have). As with many of my most recent posts, I wanted to write about something that was interesting and provided helpful advice, if not something strictly money related.
24. Roger’s Rants: The Real Reason American Politics Sucks – I try not to get too involved in politics in this blog, but let’s be honest, there are some basic troubles that sometimes, even I can’t let pass. Here’s hoping you enjoy the read.
25. 7 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Charity – Let’s end with a happy note: there is lots of charity around us, and if you know where (and how) to look, you can do a lot of good. Here’s hoping you find some good charities yourself.