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A mother whose young son is on his way to becoming a millionaire by the time he’s 16.
A burned-out attorney who erased $150,000 in student debt by launching a thriving online business.
A Chinese-American money expert who had to forget what her parents taught her in order to succeed in the US.
This year, in the midst of a challenging and volatile economy, we were drawn to the stories of people who became empowered by learning about money and taking control of their finances.
“I am dedicating my life to helping people, especially many people of color who don’t have access to this information, gain access to information because it may be the game changer financially for generations,” Dominique. Broadway, CEO of Finances De mysti fied, told us earlier this year. Broadway is the strategist behind her daughter’s investment portfolio, which is on track to make the 1-year-old a millionaire by the time she’s 16.
“Every time I get a new client, the first thing they say is, ‘It’s so nice to hear someone talk about money that looks and sounds like me,’” Delyanne Barros told us earlier this year. Barros recently quit her full-time job as a lawyer to focus on her investment education business, where she teaches beginners how to achieve financial independence.
Whether you’re writing new rules for your own financial future, reinforcing the fundamentals of debt management and saving, or even buying or refinancing a home, we want to help. This year, millions of readers turned to NextAdvisor for news, actionable insights, and expert advice for every stage of their financial journey.
These are some of our best and most popular stories of the year. From cryptocurrency to investing to paying down debt, they continue to excite and inspire us as we look to the future. Thank you for reading.
NextAdvisor Top Stories of the Year
Cryptocurrency had a big year in 2021, capturing people’s attention and forcing investors to consider whether speculative digital assets belong in their portfolio. Bitcoin and Ethereum, the two largest cryptocurrencies, set multiple new all-time highs and are poised to end the year as valuable as ever.
But how do you wisely invest in something like Bitcoin, for which a 15% drop in value is just an ordinary afternoon? Could the new government regulation of cryptocurrencies put an end to everything tomorrow? And what is blockchain? Many reasonable, everyday investors ask these questions, and we’ve done our best to break out of the crypto bubble and connect everyday investors with guidance from a variety of money experts who tell it like it is.
Invest for financial independence
Dominique Broadway is investing in her daughter’s future. The 1-year-old’s investments put her on her way to becoming a millionaire by the time she’s 16. Courtesy of Dominique Broadway
Time and time again this year, experts reminded us that the best investment strategy has nothing to do with meme stocks, retail, or even cryptocurrencies. It’s much simpler: invest early, invest often, and invest in a long-term, diversified portfolio, ideally with low-cost index funds. We’ve compiled all the resources you need to get started, from recommendations for the best online brokers to tips from a billionaire on the simple investment strategy you wish you’d known when you started.
Investing is one of the best ways to build generational wealth and ensure your financial independence. And you don’t need years of experience or thousands of dollars to get started. From a mother preparing her daughter for a strong financial future, to a money coach who went from debt to on track to retire early, we’ve rounded up the stories and advice of investors from diverse backgrounds who are using the stock market to seek financial independence and challenge old notions of investing.
Home Buying, Refinancing, and the Housing Market
Alex and Whitney Morgan try on wedding dresses while contemplating whether to spend their savings on a marriage or a mortgage. The couple starred in the Netflix show “Marriage or Mortgage” earlier this year and shared their reasoning for choosing to spend their money on a wedding instead of a down payment on a house. Courtesy of Netflix
Between historically low mortgage rates and a red-hot housing market, this year has presented new opportunities and challenges for homeowners and homebuyers. First-time homebuyers struggled to find a home amid rising home prices and stiff competition, while existing homeowners were able to take advantage of low rates to get a good deal on a refinance or take advantage of rising rates. home equity with a cash-out refinance.
This year’s housing market was especially tough, but being well informed and prepared can make the home buying process easier and less stressful. We’ve shared the stories of first-time homebuyers who were able to buy their dream home after losing bidding wars for four months, as well as a couple who decided homeownership wasn’t the right choice for them in this moment. We cover the systemic inequalities behind the vast black homeownership gap and highlight the efforts of people who are working to make the housing market more equitable. We’ve sought the advice of mortgage experts and ordinary homebuyers who have been through the process firsthand, to help you make the best home buying decisions in any market.
Top Housing Market Stories
Creation and use of credit
Credit cards and loans are powerful financial tools, used daily by millions of Americans. But with that power comes a lot of risk, which can easily snowball into a costly, high-interest rate that holds people back and further drives financial independence away. Whether you’re just starting to build your credit profile or working to rebuild and improve your credit score, there are great ways to speed it up.
For people of color, those from low-income households, and immigrants, the US credit system can be difficult to access in the first place. We cover that problem, along with ways people can take action to change it. For those who already use credit cards, loans, and other forms of credit, it all comes down to the basics: Have a plan to make payments on time and in full, and an emergency fund to fall back on if times get tough. difficult. Getting out of debt is hard, but sharing lessons and experiences from those who have done it is a key part of our coverage.
Top Credit Building Stories
A volunteer helps prepare food for pickup at a mobile food pantry in Charlotte, North Carolina, on August 30, 2021. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) saw its largest permanent increase since 2006 in October, a move that it means more money to spend on groceries for millions of Americans. John Puterbaugh / NextAdvisor
The pandemic was once again the big news of the year in 2021. Its enormous impact was made clear in every major news story this year: unemployment, stimulus packages, child tax credit payments. And with the Omicron variant threatening to usher in 2022 with another big wave, it looks like we’re ending the year pretty much where we started it.
But behind every challenge Americans faced this year, there are ways to overcome it. When the news cycle moves as fast as it has in the last two years, it’s even more important to explain not only what people need to know about what’s going on, but also what they can do about it.
More people and their stories
Rita-Soledad Fernández Paulino, in the photo with her family, is a mother and an expert in personal finance. She shared her plans to put her advance Child Tax Credit payment toward child care costs while she saves money for a future down payment on a house. She says parents should feel comfortable using payments in whatever way they feel is most necessary. Courtesy of Rita-Soledad Fernández Paulino
Without people, there is no story worth telling, no advice worth giving. At the end of the day, all we do at NextAdvisor is inform and empower people, and especially those who are underrepresented in positions of power and influence. So whenever we can, we look for people who have their own stories of empowerment. These are just a few stories from some of the people who inspired us this year.
Shang Saavedra, a successful entrepreneur and money expert, moved from China to the US as a child with her family. Saavedra, 12, is pictured here in Acadia National Park in Maine. Saavedra shared her money-minded story with readers earlier this year about how she had to unlearn what her parents taught her to be successful in America. Courtesy of Shang Saavedra