Year in Review 2014 Edition

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 11.42.57 AMWell, I lied. I didn’t get around to writing or publishing those posts on why the news is bullshit and why I’m a terrible personal finance blogger. Maybe in 2015? Oh, and my plans have changed on where I’m heading in the new year with projects: it looks like email WON’T be how I go about things. What’s with all the flip flopping? I’ve been psychoanalysing myself and it’s actually quite fascinating what’s transpired throughout my thought process on where I am heading. Let me indulge you with my thoughts. Then, I’ll walk you through 2014 for Kapitalust.


 

So I suffered 2 very debilitating – albeit short lived – crises to wrap up 2014. First, I got obsessed with taking the LSAT and going to law school… even though I have absolutely-positively no desire to practise law. Then, I suffered a brief blimp of career turmoil, obsessively applying for all sorts of random jobs – the highlight of which was a cover letter I wrote for a job with alumni relations at my alma mater in which I opened with the line “Whenever I see an email from SFU Alumni asking me for money, I roll my eyes and instantly hit delete.” As I never heard back for an interview, I can safely assume the cover letter went over very well.

It was interesting that these crises flared up as a big goal of mine – paying off $54,000 in student loans – came to an end. Even though I have an even bigger financial goal I want to achieve in the next decade, my leading hypothesis is that as one big goal came to an end, an inefficiency in transitioning from goal-to-goal occurred, opening a temporary void which questioned the deepest, most fundamental aspects of my life: what am I doing? where am I heading? why am I doing?

Anyways, I think I got over it because now I am firmly prepared for building the next big project I want to achieve. A big part of the absence from writing was due to this internal crisis I was suffering. Also because it was the holidays and I was having much more fun with family and friends.

So that about explains the last month or so. Let’s dive into the year in review.

2014 Highlights

What were some of the highlights of 2014? I’ll run you through a list of personal and blog-related highlights.

1) Student Loans Eliminated

Student loans were fully paid off in 2014. I’m not going to lie, it’s an amazing feeling having zero debt. You can read about it in full details in this post where I outlined how $54,000 was paid down in under 3 years.

2) $100,000 Net Worth Surpassed

We surpassed the $100K mark in December 2014. Being a rather private person in general, I’m not sure I want to outline our net worth going forward. Perhaps I’ll just give the number without going into details. We’ll see.

Interesting note about the net worth figure. We both have pension plans through our employers and I have always calculated just our contributions into the pension plan in the asset column, even though the true lump sum value – if we were to take it into a LIRA today – is a much, much higher monetary figure. This situation reminds me of accounting quirks in GAAP accounting rules which can distort true asset values in company balance sheets – Berkshire Hathaway and their float is an example.

3) World Record #2

We can officially say we are 2 time world record holders in the Guinness Book of World Records – in the most absurd world records ever conceived. In 2013, we went to WDS in Portland and participated in the world record shattering “The Longest Floating Human Chain“.

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We went to WDS again this year and broke the world record for “The World’s Longest Yoga Chain“. Not only were these 2 events tremendously enjoyable, we can forever put on our business cards “2 Time World Record Holders”.

Year in Review 2014 Edition

4) Best Month of the Year

October 2014 was the best month, stats wise, for the blog. That month saw 22,731 page views, 4,240 unique page views, and 2,752 unique visitors.

Year in Review 2014 Stats

October blew every other month out of the water, nothing came close. I should go back and do a deep case study on what made that month so successful.

5) Top Content

To little surprise, the blogger investing styles mega-post was the most popular post of the year, garnering 5,659 page view, 1,606 unique page views, with an average time on page of 45 seconds.

Outstanding Financial Pornography was the second most popular post with 3,564 page views, 1,103 unique page views, and an average time on page of 29 seconds.

Rounding out third spot was the post on finishing off student loan debt, gathering 2,271 page views, 1,436 unique page views, and an average time on page of 2 minutes.

These were the top content as shown by the statistics, but were they my favourites? My favourite articles of the year included:

Readership Demographics

Kapitalust saw 69,154 page views, visited by 9,664 unique visitors, logging in 15,883 unique page views.

Year in Review 2014

Over 50% of the readers are in the age category 25-34 and over 70% are male.

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Readers come primarily from the United States and Canada. Brazil, surprisingly, is third, followed by the UK.

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Chrome was by far the preferred web browser, followed by Safari and Firefox. Safari had the longest average session duration at 3:26, meaning Apple users read the blog 1 minute more on average than others.

Desktop computers made up 69% of all unique page views, with smartphones capturing 20% and tablets 11%. The iPhone and iPad made up 64% of all smartphone and tablet access to the blog. Hmmm, perhaps I should write more content related to all things Apple?

Most of you are “avid investors”, “news junkies”, “avid readers of business and economic news”, “technophiles”, “movie lovers”, “tv lovers”, “travel buffs”, and “home decor enthusiasts”.

I’d love to know more detailed statistics like average household income and education levels – maybe with more detailed data in the 2015 year in review.

2014 is a Wrap

And that was 2014 in a nutshell. What do I forecast for 2015? Now that the student loans are gone and we have shifted entirely into wealth creation mode, I predict a lot of the posts will centre around investing. I think you will see a heavy emphasis on value investing, portfolio construction, and case studies into major companies.

Another big reason I did not write very frequently in December was because I was heavily wrapped up in all things investing/portfolio/companies/financial statements/etc. As I start building the foundations of our investment portfolio, be on the lookout for much, much more of those topics in 2015.

P.S. Remember how I lamented about not buying the iPhone 6? Well, I ended up getting one and it is absolutely amazing, especially going from an iPhone 4. I’ve gotten so much utility out of the phone that I am glad I made the purchase!

30 thoughts on “Year in Review 2014 Edition

  1. I can’t believe your wife bought you an iPhone 6. Sell it! Think how much you could make in dividends, reinvested, over the next few years!

    Anyway, Steve, I think you’re right about having a bad time transitioning from having completed one goal to not having anything in between, apart from a really big, distant one. I guess I understand this, because I kind of do similar things. I need to have regular, small goals, or else I just flounder about like an idiot.

    Um omg I didn’t know you’re a world record holder, although I am unsurprised that it’s kind of a weird pair of records.

    I still think about your post on all those poor people who lost money on the GT Advanced Technologies play. But then, that is why I said ‘play’, because as you mentioned in your post, it is silly playing, not investing, and there is no intelligence involved.

    Looking forward to you getting back into the swing of things for 2015!

    Cheers

    1. Haha my wife is wondering how you knew that she had bought the phone for me rather than just assuming that I had bought the phone myself!?

      I do wonder about opportunity cost all the time – but one must also balance opportunity cost with living and enjoying life now. It’s why I don’t understand super frugal people who frugalize everything – what’s the point? The point of life is being happy and enjoying it. The point isn’t to be the richest guy in the cemetery.

      Of course that’s oversimplifying to an extent, but it’s true in a fundamental sense: we must all come to our own conclusions on what’s worth our time and money. If a new iPhone brings someone joy and they can afford it, I say go for it!

      You might be interested in the portfolio I am constructing – stay tuned.

      1. coz I just knew that would happen, especially after you mentioned the whole calculation of shares you could have bought instead of paying for a phone outright…

        and yes, I am interested in your forthcoming portfolio of course.

        cheers!

    1. I’ve read that the bounce rate shown by Google Analytics is probably not super accurate in terms of real bounce rates – I know it differs tremendously between the methodology used by Clicky. I didn’t really mention the bounce rate because I’m not sure how accurate it is – I’m sure the true bounce rate is much higher.

  2. Steve,

    Glad to see you back! Got me worried you had given up blogging. Als, only a 12% bounce rate? Where can I sign up for your magic formula!

    It seems like your two crises gave you on a new perspective on things. Looking forward to what 2015 will bring for you!

    All the best,
    NMW

    1. Haha not given up – just focus was somewhere else entirely for awhile there. A lot of it having to do with building up a plan for this coming year and the portfolio of assets I want to put together for this year. Since it isn’t as simple as index funds, it took me awhile to put together my roster.

  3. Great to see you back! Those are some great blog numbers.

    That’s really neat that you are a two time world record holder. Can’t say I have that kind of record.

    1. I don’t know if it says much except for the humour of being able to casually throw into a conversation “Did you know I’m a two time world record holder……… in the most ridiculous records you can think of?”

      Would love to get your take on the TFSA portfolio I’m building up for this coming year – I’ll write about it sometime soon.

  4. Great to see you back Steve, you’ve got a fantastic site going here, as the stats also support, so I’m very excited to hear you’re ready to go again for 2015 – and especially look forward to hearing more about the foundations of your investing portfolio and a focus on investing content!

    Cheers,

    Jason

    1. I don’t think I can thank you enough for your post on GT – it led me to Joshua Kennon’s blog and that blog has become my instant favourite of all time! So thank you very much for having written your post on GT Advanced Technologies!!

      1. So glad to hear it Steve! It’s a pretty fascinating blog which I’m really enjoying too, and I have notice the odd comment from you on there!

        1. Haha I was just taking a jab at Jay. But seriously way too many lawyers especially here in the states. We have 80% of the lawyers in the world but only 5% of the world’s population.

          1. Haha perhaps because an advanced economy is so complex you need all these specialized people to interpret just what the hell any law means???

  5. Ha ha, love the admission at the end there and how great it is 🙂
    Some things are worth spending a bit of money on if it helps your productivity etc… just make sure you don’t end up playing Angry Birds 3D (or whatever is out now) on it all day!

    Sounds like a bit of a pickle of an end to the year for you but overall it was a massively positive one for you. Good luck for 2015 with your kapitalism goals in both the blog and financial realms.

    1. As long as you can afford it and are contempt with the opportunity cost difference, one should be free to do whatever they want with their money. Money is just a tool, not an end in it of itself.

      Haha the novelty of smartphone games wore off in 2011 for me – haven’t touched any of my games for years. I use my phone 99% of the time to read.

      I do however still dabble in classics such as Starcraft on my main computer.

      Thanks for the kind words – I hope for much success for you in the new year as well!

  6. TWO world records?!?! That’s very impressive. 😛 It’s funny how both of them had to do with long human chains. I remember during my frosh week at my alumni they were trying to set a world record for something too. I can’t remember for the life of me what it was.

    Regarding phones, I am eyeing the Blackberry Classic. What can I say, I am a QWERTY keyboard person.

    1. I imagine the thought process that went through the WDS planning committee was: “we broke an amazing world forming a long human chain in the water last year, what amazing thing could we try this year? [everyone scratches their chins and head] …….. I KNOW, says no one in particular, we should form the world’s longest human chain….. ON LAND…. WITH YOGA”

      I am super competent with technology, but you should see what happens to me the second my wife gives me her Blackberry to operate for her when she is driving – I handle it like a landmine and don’t even know how to start phoning a number! It is hilarious and I blame it on the fact that BBY can’t make things super obvious to operate… like an iPhone, ha!

  7. Happy new year and glad to see more content from Kapitalust. Good thing you decided against the LSAT, I considered going that route while I was doing my undergrad but decided against it. Ultimately I wanted more of a work-life balance (that and the fact I hate reading 300 page contracts). Looks like the investing roundup did well, you should do another one

    1. Happy new year to you as well! Ya it went through a bit of a void here for the better part of a month and a bit – looking forward to giving more attention and time in 2015. As I mentioned below, I was busy coming up with a portfolio and allocation of assets for the TFSA in 2015. Being a lawyer is definitely not for me, and would not synergize with my other interests and what I wanted in life. If it did, I might have considered it more seriously. I think accounting would be a better fit for ‘synergy’.

    1. Thanks Michelle – you had some incredible accomplishments yourself in 2014. I’m sure 2015 will be another bumper-crop year for your digital empire!

  8. Sounds like you had an awesome year for 2014 – debt eliminated, $100K networth and TWO world records! 😀 I’m sure 2015 will be equally awesome. 🙂

    1. Maybe my expectations are too high… scratch that, my expectations ARE high – it doesn’t feel like I’ve accomplished that much, as odd as that may sound. There is still so much to build and do. I probably should slow down and smell the roses because it ain’t good getting too caught up in whatever it is you’re striving to accomplish; I think I need to work on slowing down and enjoying the small victories. Thanks for making me realize what I constantly seem to forget to do!

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