When I first got a call from the Director of Business Development to help develop content for the Daily Capital blog, I was hesitant. Only 20 months had passed since I decided to escape Corporate America in the Spring of 2012. Thirteen consecutive years on Wall Street had beaten my soul. All I wanted to do was write on a warm lanai overlooking the Pacific Ocean back home in Oahu.
But Personal Capital is no ordinary company. Personal Capital is revolutionizing the way in which individuals manage their money through technology. Instead of manually updating your net worth every month in Excel like I had done for years, you can simply link all your accounts onto Personal Capital’s free app, which smartly tracks everything for you. Investors can now figure out how much they are paying in investment fees through the Investment Checkup tab. And if individuals want their money to be professionally managed, Personal Capital has a team of financial advisors who can help as well.
The lure of working for an innovative Silicon Valley firm was too hard to resist, so I signed up as a contractor on January 13, 2014. I didn’t want to look back on my life with regret for passing up on a great opportunity. What if Personal Capital becomes the next Charles Schwab 10 years from now? I kept telling myself during deliberation. How amazing it would be to help contribute early on.
Many of us at Personal Capital work hard to make Daily Capital as interesting as possible. Corporate blogs are generally somewhat dull due to tradition, structure, and oversight. Heck, even many personal blogs are boring and they have all the leeway in the world. The challenge was to see whether we could turn Daily Capital into the best corporate blog in finance that entertains, challenges traditional thinking, and humanizes Personal Capital in a way no corporate blog has ever done before.
The following is a recap of some of the most read and most discussed Daily Capital posts in 2014.
THE MOST VIEWED POSTS FOR 2014
By pageviews alone, the following blog posts dominated with over 700,000 pageviews
1) The Average 401k Balance By Age – A look at what the existing 401k balances by age are compared to what you could have if you focused on maxing out your 401k over your entire career.
2) Five Reasons Why You’ll Never Be Rich And One Reason Why You Already Are – Americans have it great compared to many other citizens in the world. But we lack perspective because we expect others to bend to our way of thinking. Take advantage of our opportunity.
3) Buy vs. Rent: Asking The Question In Mid-Life – What if you finally manage to save up enough money to buy a place in your 40s or 50s. Should you with mortgages amortizing over 30 years?
4) An Asian American’s View On Money And Savings – Asian Americans are largely invisible in race debates, yet Asian Americans have the highest median income and net worth figures in the country for the past couple of decades. I share a personal perspective as to why this might be.
5) A Six Figure Salary No Longer Means You’re Rich – Six figures used to be an amazing income achievement. But thanks to inflation, earning six figures might be a necessity to live a middle class life in many places around the country nowadays.
THE MOST THOUGHT PROVOKING POSTS FOR 2014
These posts that aren’t in the top five most viewed garnered the most comments and sentiment – both pro and con.
1) The Benefits Of Stealth Wealth – With the rise of big government and the widening gap between the rich and poor, it may be a good idea to keep your wealth hidden from society.
2) Are You Rich And Broke? Now, Now, Dear – A woman ends up filing for bankruptcy after making multiple six figures. How is this possible? Poor money management is one of the culprits.
3) The Top Retirement States Based On Taxes And Lifestyle – Given millionaires are highly mobile in retirement, we compare states with the most number of millionaires and the lowest tax rates to come to our top retirement states.
4) Friends Don’t Let Friends Go To Private School Without A Scholarship – Student loan debt has now surpassed credit card debt. With the commoditization of education, I argue that it no longer makes sense to spend outsized tuition money for a private school education.
5) Should You Wait To Tell Your Children They Are Rich? – How do we make sure we don’t raise spoiled and entitled children if we are rich? Eventually, they will find out their family has money.
6) Should I Pay Off My Student Loans Or Invest? – Paying off debt or investing is an age-old question. Generally it’s a good idea to do both.
7) So You Want To Be A Broke Doctor – It often takes a lot of hard work, sacrifice, and debt to become a certain professional. We take a peek at one particular doctor – and his family – who is accumulating six-figure debt to pursue his dream.
8) Why Real Estate Should Be Part Of Your Investment Strategy – There are stock moguls and there are real estate moguls. We take an in-depth look into why real estate is so important for wealth creation.
9) How Can The Average American Pay No Taxes? – Nobody likes to pay taxes. Here’s a case study of how a typical family can pay little to no taxes.
10) The Price Of Love For A Silicon Valley Man – A glimpse into the life of a broken-hearted Silicon Valley male engineer.
And, of course, no corporate blog would be complete without content about what makes the company unique. In the case of Personal Capital, this was the good stuff.
GET TO KNOW PERSONAL CAPITAL MORE
1) Is Smart Indexing A Good Investment Strategy? – Smart Indexing is also referred to as Tactical Weighting where Personal Capital looks to equally weight sector and style exposure for balance.
2) A Chief Product Officer’s View On The Rise Of Wearable Devices – The CPO discusses his view on the future of wearable devices and Personal Capital’s latest smart watch app.
3) Can Your Portfolio Fight And Win? – A research associate discusses the parallels with MMA fighting and building an investment portfolio that can withstand the inevitable hits.
4) How To Minimize 401k Fees With Personal Capital – 401k fees can get very expensive and extend your retirement date if you invest in the wrong funds. The post is a tutorial on how you can minimize your 401k fees with the Retirement Fee Analyzer.
5) How Personal Capital Is Different From Robo Advisors – The media tends to inaccurately lump Personal Capital together with robo advisors even though Personal Capital has human advisors in San Francisco and Denver to help clients with their finances.
TO A BRIGHT 2015
Bill Harris, CEO of Personal Capital has always said that money is emotional and not quantitative. I couldn’t agree more. Money is but a means to an end, namely a better life.
Throughout the year Daily Capital has tried to mix interesting lifestyle topics with financial advice and pertinent company news to keep readers engaged. Thanks to all the Personal Capital employees who contributed to the blog on a recurring basis. It’s not always easy putting thoughts into writing, so thank you all!
We hope that you’ve enjoyed the content on Daily Capital in 2014. Please let us know if there are topics you’d like us to cover in 2015. After all, it’s about making your financial lives better and we’re here to help do that in every way we can.