2018: The 20somethingfinance Year in Review

2018… Bye, Felicia.

I’m anxious to put this one in the past. And anxious is the key word. Anyone else a little stressed these days? I’m not sure if it’s just me paying closer attention to the news than I used to, but yikes… on a broad scale, 2018 was a cluster.

A short list includes mass corruption and scandal in Congress and the White House, the wildfires in California, the hurricanes on the east coast, the award-winning melodrama that was the Brett Kavanaugh hearings (at least PJ, Squee, “I like beer”, and boofing entered our lexicon), family separation and the demonization of asylum seekers, Brexit foolishness, the trade war and its impact on consumer prices and markets, rollbacks of critically important environmental regulations, the wars and famines in Yemen and Syria, the absolute economic dud that was the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, a rapidly ballooning national deficit during a time of economic expansion, the Mattis resignation (yikes), the government shutdown over “steel slats”, and the stock markets in a savage free fall this month. Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where’s the Tylenol?

That which does not kill us, I suppose?

2018 did have a few high marks:

  • The election: it was really encouraging to see a strong voter turnout and a lot of firsts. With a 49.3% turnout, 2018 saw the highest turnout for a midterm election since 1914. There is more room for improvement, but compared to 2014’s 36.7%, this was a voting earthquake. More voters = more accountability for elected officials. And having a bi-partisan Congress moving forward will bring even more accountability. Millennials – at a much lower 31% turnout – can and must do much better in future elections, as I pleaded back in November.
  • Positive developments for investors: Vanguard and Fidelity are in a race to the bottom on pricing, and we’re the winners. Fidelity and Lively launched a few of the best HSA accounts we’ve seen to date.
  • Bi-partisan criminal justice reform: more needs to be done here, but this was a step in the right direction. And better is good when you have a polarized and mostly ineffective Congress.
  • Unemployment numbers: We’re not seeing the wage growth that 4% unemployment would historically drive, but 4% unemployment is a good thing. Let’s hope it stays this way.
  • Gritty.

2018 review

But enough about us…

20somethingfinance is celebrating its 11th anniversary this week. This site saw a record-breaking 4.7 million visits, an all-time high in subscribers and social followers, and 53 published posts were added to the archives this year (mostly brand new, with a few major re-writes worked in). I will be giving a self-assessment of 2018 and set some goals for 2019 within the next week.

As a note to newcomers, this site is still an independent, 1-person show and has been since day 1 (with the support of wonderful friends, family, subscribers, and readers/commenters, of course!). All of the articles here are written by me – no ghost writers, no fillers, no guest blogger pandering, no sponsored post garbage, etc. I write about the stuff that I find interesting and think most of us can benefit from knowing. Hopefully, some of it resonates, inspires, entertains, or educates.

As always, feedback is welcome. What has stuck with you? What influenced positive change? Are there any particular topics that you’d like me to explore, re-explore, or dig deeper on? Please share your feedback and requests in the comment section.

Also, if you are relatively new here or haven’t yet done so, you can follow the 20SomethingFinance Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, or subscribe to get new posts – for free – via email.

Here are my and your picks for the top posts of 2018:














  1. Brad

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