Today I’m sharing a list of my most popular articles and podcasts from 2020.
On top of that, you’ll find out the best books I read this year and why I enjoyed them.
The idea is to provide you with nicely curated list of content for the holidays. For those who missed it the first time, and for those who want to enjoy it again 🙂
So have a browse and pick out a few that interest you. Also, let me know which is your favourite piece of content in the comments section!
I’ve even got a special podcast blooper video for you. But first, let’s kick things off with the most popular blog posts of 2020.
Most Popular Strong Money Articles in 2020
An in-depth look at the trade-offs between paying down debt and investing. One of the classic personal finance questions. Includes a brief look at renting vs buying with ultra low interest rates. I also share 6 mortgage strategies for optimising your cashflow in retirement.
The most thorough and accurate step-by-step guide to using Peter Thornhill’s income focused investing strategy you’ll find on the internet. There’s a lot of incorrect assumptions about the strategy, but it’s really very simple. I break it down into 10 easy steps and also explain what NOT to do 🙂
An epic list of 60 jobs that pay more than $60,000 per year. One of the best Aussie job idea lists you’ll find. Most other articles are 10 jobs or less (or have ridiculous jobs nobody has ever heard of). Check this out if you’re considering a career change, or you just want to see what other jobs can earn.
I wrote this article right at the worst point in the market – around March 20. Since then, markets have had a strong recovery. It’s interesting to see my own thoughts at the time. I shared my thoughts on common questions at the time, actionable tips on dealing with crashes, and why we should keep investing.
A controversial topic, which shouldn’t be controversial at all! Home ownership is optional, and you can live a perfectly happy and prosperous life – even be financially independent – without ever owning a property. This post discusses both sides the argument and how it relates to becoming financially independent.
A fantastic compilation from a wide range of Aussies bloggers. A lot of thoughtful advice from each contributor. Topics covered – goal setting, mindset, insurance, politics, action vs talent, super, and much more!
The article where Mrs SMA and I considered selling shares to buy a house to live in. In the end we decided not to, but man this idea ruffled some feathers! You can read my thinking at the time as I lay out why we were considering it and how it would work in practice.
In this post, I look at multiple examples of whether FI is possible for singles and low income earners. The answer is yes, it is. Sometimes it just takes longer. Other times it means becoming a bit more creative with your living situation or ruthless with your finances.
Updating my thinking on diversification, and how I think of our investments going forward. I also cover a “what if dividends didn’t exist” scenario, and some mental gymnastics which helped me become more comfortable with the idea of selling shares to create income in retirement.
Most Popular FIRE & Chill Podcasts in 2020
We only started the podcast in May, but we’ve had a number of popular episodes. That being said, we’re still beginners and the podcast does NOT always go to plan.
Enjoy a laugh at our expense with this 2 minute clip of bloopers from the show 😉
And now, in an effort to redeem myself, here are the most downloaded episodes for 2020…
We discuss the most important things we’ve learned about money over the years, and the timeless principles of becoming wealthy. This was our most popular episode of the year!
In this episode, we break down property and shares, taking an in-depth look at the pros and cons of each. Pat and I share our thoughts on how we choose to invest and why.
In this show we talk about how inter-connected these three things are. We dive into what makes humans happy to bust the assumption that lower spending means less happiness. As you can imagine, this has a huge effect on what a satisfying lifestyle looks like, our savings rate and therefore, our ability to retire early!
We devote a whole episode to explain the importance of your savings rate! You’ll also hear our thoughts on earning more, emergency funds, and how long it will take to retire based on different savings rates.
Pat and I take a deep dive into super and share our thoughts on how it fits into our FIRE plans. We cover the pros and cons of super, choosing a super fund, member direct options, tax issues, and when it makes sense to focus on super.
The elephant in the room! We tackle everything related to housing and how to live in a nice place without it destroying your dreams of early retirement. A very important topic, since housing is #1 in the big book of excuses “why financial independence is only possible for freaky outsiders.”
You’ll hear the reasons behind why index funds are recommended so often in the FIRE community, as well as some lesser known but very important reasons. We explain some of the misconceptions about index funds and why they’re a great option for long term investors like us.
My Favourite Books of 2020
This was an incredible read. I actually read it about three times. Learn how to attack habits from lots of different angles for the highest chance of success, and avoiding some of the common traps when it comes to making changes. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend you read this book.
A fascinating book explaining the unique position of Australia to become a global leader when it comes to renewable energy. Ross lays out the ‘how’ ‘what’ and ‘why’ of making this happen. In turn, this would not only help local business due to low-cost abundant energy, but there’s also an opportunity for storage, export and advanced manufacturing.
A solid read. Great advice on how to carve out time for undistracted work, which is becoming increasingly hard in the modern world. When you have no structure or set working hours, it’s hard to commit to being productive and create a time for concentration. This book (and the next one) really helped me think about structure and work.
As a minimalist at heart, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and read it multiple times. Some overlapping themes to Deep Work but more about our lifestyles as a whole. Cal how to get the most out of technology and social media without losing your mind or your soul. The FIRE movement and Mr Money Mustache even gets a mention! Cal also explores the importance of something that has almost disappeared – quality non-tech leisure time.
The author spent a year taking repeated visits among a diverse group of average folks in their 80s and 90s. He got to know them, their families, the pain they endured and their various health issues. But he found that every single one of them, despite the challenges of their age, had managed to create meaning in their lives. John shares the elders’ stories and wisdom on what makes a happy life, and shares how writing this book changed his own life in the process.
That’s enough from me. I hope you enjoy this list of content and have a safe and happy holiday break!
Thanks again for reading in 2020. Wishing you all the best for the New Year, and I’ll see you in 2021!