What were you reading on Investopedia in 2015?
It was a mixed year for investors. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped steadily – unless you worked in the oil and gas industry. Prices remained relatively stable: the cost of most consumer goods rose a very modest 1% in 2015, though the price of gasoline fell below $2 per gallon for the first time in 6 years. More and more people in the Baby Boomer cohort reached retirement as the year passed, and now, for the first time, Millennials outnumber Boomers in the workforce.
These trends were reflected our readers' preferences. The following is a list of the top 10 articles Investopedia published in 2015.
10. How Robinhood Makes Money. Robinhood is an investing app for your mobile phone that allows you to trade stocks commission free. Its founders, two digital natives, saw how technology had made trading stocks less costly for brokers and decided to pass the savings on to users. It's another bold, disruptive move in the fintech sector, though its detractors wonder how it can make money without significantly more assets under management.
9. 7 Oil Companies Near Bankruptcy. 2015 was hard for the oil sector. OPEC, led by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia refused to cut production, perhaps hoping to drive American frackers out of business. The fallout has included the junk bond market, which suffered significant losses toward the end of the year.
8. 3 Shark Tank Failures That Made Millions. Not all aspiring entrepreneurs founded unicorn tech startups. Sometimes even the humble ideas rejected by the judges on the successful reality show "Shark Tank" can make their inventors rich.
7. Find The Top Retirement Cities In The Philippines. One of the biggest surprises at Investopedia this year was the success of stories about places to retire outside the of the United States. Of all the places we gave you advice on retiring to after you've made your fortune on Shark Tank, the Philippines topped the list. Not only is it warm and inviting, the U.S. dollar goes a long way, and I'm told if you're named Philip, you might get a discount.
6. This Is How Retirees Live On $1 Million Dollars. You might think $1 million is a lot of money, but what if you had to live on that lump sum for 15 years? Retirement is traditionally at 65 years of age, but if you live in Connecticut or Minnesota, you can expect to live past 80. Over fifteen years, $1 million is only $67,000 a year. That isn't much for a couple, and it's nothing if you need end-of-life care.
5. What Happens to Retirement Accounts if a Spouse Dies? No one wants to think about the death of a loved one, especially the one with whom you built your life. But there are two unalterable events in this life, and paying taxes is the other one. #truth.
4. How Much Cash Should I Keep In The Bank? One might be tempted to answer: as much as you need. But the question is trickier than that. In a low-interest-rate environment, when inflation also is very low, it might make sense to hold on to cash instead of putting it in, say, bonds. Add in volatility in the equities and commodities markets, and stuffing money in the virtual mattress of a low-yield bank account looks more and more intriguing.
3. Retire In The Philippines With $200,000 Of Savings? As noted above, retirement is expensive, and living abroad can be relatively cheap. Put those two popular topics together, and you get our third most popular post of the year.
2. The World's Top 10 Economies. For a moment in 2015, it looked like China had surpassed the United States as the world's largest economy, according to the IMF. But the IMF's estimate was based on purchasing power parity and China's dodgy GDP numbers, and soon economists in the West were disputing the validity of China's coronation as the world's new reigning economic power.
1. Most Iconic Restaurant Chains That No Longer Exist. The more things change, the more we miss the things no longer with us. More than any other piece published this year, the Most Iconic Restaurant Chains That No Longer Exist appealed to something in our readers. Maybe it was nostalgia, or maybe you just miss the fried ice cream at Chi Chi's.