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Tuesday, 11 December 2018

2018 Is A Wrap

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2018 is a wrap! 
We are fast approaching mid-December, and by now everyone is probably wrapping up (did you see what I did there?) and preparing for some well deserved downtime – myself included.

So this will be the last blog post for the year, and I thought I would use it to look at some off-topic numbers around the blog and to take care of some admin.

In terms of the markets, 2018 is looking like a year to forget!

I have seen myself slipping further and further behind of where I'd hoped to be (more than 25% off as of the last reading and looking like it will get worse by end December - more info on that in the first blog post of next year).

I know it’s frustrating, but we need to remember that this investing thing is for the long term, and even though the last year (or 4) has been disappointing (to say the least), this is just what markets do. This is the risk you take, but at the same time this is the exact reason why long term market returns are inflation beating - because the down and long sideways periods make most people quit, which means that the investor’s who are patient and continue to make their monthly contributions will be well rewarded when the good times return.

So let’s hope 2019 gives us something to get excited about!

Some Stats From The Blog

I threw together some interesting stats (well at least interesting to me) and thought I would share them with you so you can get a little insight into your fellow blog readers.

Location

First up, where is everybody from? The table below summarises the location of people who visited the blog in 2018.

1.
Cape Town
(19.38%)
2.
Sandton
(17.04%)
3.
Pretoria
(11.04%)
4.
Johannesburg
(9.55%)
5.
Durban
(4.52%)
6.
Centurion
(4.37%)
7.
Randburg
(2.94%)
8.
Roodepoort
(2.06%)
9.
Midrand
(1.37%)
10
Port Elizebeth
(1.21%)

It seems that Cape Town is the South African personal finance capital. This is a recent development (last year Sandton lead the pack). Maybe the recent water restrictions made the Cape Townians more conscious of their spending in general?

Acquisition

Next up a quick peek at how people arrive at the blog.


Around a third of visitors find the site through search engines. I guess this represents people who put something personal finance related into the Google search bar and then decide to click on one of my articles - pretty cool.

The direct category represents people that type in the URL and go directly to the blog. These are most likely the peeps who come back to the blog to check if there are any new articles, comments, etc.

The Social category mostly represents traffic from my Twitter account and Facebook page and from blog posts which people have shared. Email represents the traffic generated from the new post alert mails which get sent out every time there is a new blog post published (sign up to get on the email list over here)

Demographics

Next up, some demographic stuff - age and gender.


I was a little surprised at the skew towards younger people - although I view this as a very good thing! The younger you are when you make the decision to get on top of your finances and start appreciating the power of compound interest working for you instead of against you, the better off you will be!

As for gender - I guess the ideal is a 50/50 split? In that case, not too far off.

Site Search

I also find it interesting to check out what people search for when they are on the site. The top 5 searches are:

Search Term
% Total Unique Searches
1. TFSA/Tax Free
9.36%
2. ETF
8.26%
3. RA
1.94%
4. Budget
1.58%
5. Car
1.34%

In my view this is fantastic - people searching for TFSA and ETFs = awesome! (Of course the only thing awesomer is putting ETF's inside a TFSA!)

Most Popular Posts

And finally, the most popular (most read) posts for the year are listed below. 
  1. The Best RA In South Africa
  2. Pay Off Bond Or Invest?
  3. A Retirement Plan No One Will Tell You About
  4. How To Become A Millionaire - It’s Easier Than You Think
  5. The 4% Rule – Does It Work In South Africa?

No e-Book This Year

I know there were some readers who asked about and were looking froward to this year's e-Book, but I have decided against it for a number of reasons:
  1. I have always found sites peddling e-Books to be a little sleazy. Although the e-Book sales did help cover the costs of running this blog, I don't want the blog to look like it has a hidden money making agenda. The purpose of the blog is, and has always been, to help fellow South African’s be better with their money which also has the selfish side effect of keeping me motivated on my own journey to financial freedom.
  2. If you do want to find all the blog posts in one place, the archive is your answer. Yes the e-Book had some extra anecdotes around each story, but 95% of the book could be read by just iterating through the year of interest's archive. In fact here is cheat to find all of 2018’s blog posts in one place. - http://www.stealthywealth.co.za/2018 (roll down to the bottom to start at the first blog post of the year).
  3. It takes time to put an e-Book together, and time is something which I am trying to find more of (especially now that I am training for Comrades 2019 – finally managed to twist the wife’s arm hard enough to allow me to do it J)
  4. If I am gonna do an e-Book, I would rather do a proper job of it and create something unique and exciting – which I still hope to get round to one day (roll on early retirement....)

Reader's Meetup

I am starting to give some thought to the next Stealthy Wealth Reader's Meetups which will go down towards the beginning of next year. The plan is to have the meetup on the same day in various cities across the country.

If you would like to be informed about the when’s, where’s and hows of the meetups, then make sure you get on the mailing list for your particular city. You can sign up here - no spam I promise, you will probably get around 2/3  mails a year. Oh and if your city is not on the list, let me know - if there is enough interest I will be sure to include it!

Also, I am going to need people to assist with the booking of venues, running of the meetups etc. If you would like to help with any of that stuff, please let me know by getting in touch (just also indicate which city you are from.)

Thank You And Happy Holidays!

Okay so that's that. All that's left to do is to thank you for reading the blog, you guys are truly awesome! I learn so much from the readers, and you keep me motivated, excited, and on my toes, which I am really grateful for.

I wish you and your family a fantastic holiday season. Take it easy, and I will catch you on the other side of 2018.




Till next time, Stay Stealthy!
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