Before finally swiping left on 2020, let’s take a quick look back at all the reasons (and there are many) that it’s a year we’d love to forget, but definitely never will.
Indeed, it’s been an absolutely terrible stretch for much the world, but an amazing one for voracious consumers of news, and, really, the news business, in general. At MarketWatch, we’re happy — and exhausted — to have done our part in delivering the stories you needed and, occasionally, the stories you didn’t but, hey, you read, anyway. (Thanks for that!)
With that in mind, the following are some of the biggest themes that drove our coverage in 2020 and the most-read stories that helped capture them.
When the coronavirus first exploded in the U.S., the thirst for news was off the charts, and we did our best to explain what it could mean for you, your family, your money and the broader economy.
• ‘The attack rate is relatively high as there’s no immunity to it’: Here’s why the coronavirus was never going to be just another flu
• America should be ready for 18 months of shutdowns in ‘long, hard road’ ahead
• These 23 companies are working on treatments or vaccines — here’s where things stand
• Small-business owners could face jail time as DOJ launches investigation into loan program
• ‘I woke up in a free country’: Costco shopper gets bounced from store after refusing to wear a mask
Show us the money!
Our most read story of the year overall was published in May and asked this question: Are you still waiting for your stimulus check? Make sure you meet this deadline before noon on Wednesday.
But it wasn’t just that one traffic magnet. The stimulus checks were, and still are, fodder for several of our most popular stories of the year:
• I’m retired and claim Social Security — do I still get the $1,200 stimulus check?
• If those stimulus checks are arriving on schedule, you wouldn’t know it from all the complaining
• This is how fast Americans are spending their checks — and here’s what they’re buying
Playing the market
Our ticker pages are the most heavily trafficked areas of the site, led by that of the Dow Jones Industrial Average
Other tickers racking up the most clicks included Tesla
in that order.
Then there are the investing stories that struck a chord:
• Rookie trader kills himself after seeing a negative balance of more than $700,000
• To survive the next few months, you only need two assets
• A bearish ‘death cross’ has appeared in the Dow’s chart
• You can be ‘practically stealing’ quality stocks now, according to Jefferies
Can I retire yet?
The golden years always make for a popular topic among MarketWatch readers, and this year, despite all the distractions, was clearly no exception.
• I’m 52 years old, won’t live past 80 and have $1.6 million saved up. ‘I am tired of both the rat race and workplace politics.’ Should I retire?
• I’m a 32-year-old stay-at-home mom, and my husband earns $150,000 a year. Will I ever be able to enjoy a comfortable retirement?
• This advice from Warren Buffett will help you retire rich
All finance is personal
Need an assist with your finances? We’re here to help:
• The Fed just cut rates to 0% — here’s what that means for mortgage rates
• My husband watches TV all day while I cook and clean. He has a monthly income of $8K and a P.O. box to hide his finances. I found his will — and it left me reeling
• ‘Fortunes are going to be made’: Suze Orman on investing amid the coronavirus pandemic
• My father left everything to my son. I now need financial help. Should I ask him for money?
The likes of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates continue to draw the clicks as the economic divide in the U.S. has only widened in the past year:
• Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett says it took him 89 years to experience something like this
• Here’s the case for Elon Musk, Warren Buffett and the rest of America’s billionaires sending $3,000 coronavirus stimulus checks out to everybody
• From multibillionaire to relatively broke and living in a small apartment — just like he planned
• He’s 34 years old and owns $550 million worth of Apple — so why is he hoping that shares of the iPhone giant gets hammered?
And, finally, those random reads
We needed a break from the dreary news flow — that’s pretty clear judging from how many readers flocked to these hits:
• Elon Musk’s newborn might have the strangest name you’ve ever heard
• Video of a tearful cop accusing McDonald’s of withholding her breakfast on purpose goes viral
• New York City is ‘dead forever,’ according to this proud New Yorker