Welcome to My Personal Finance Journey! If you are new here, please read the “About” or “First-Time Visitor” pages to find out more about us. If you would like to receive free updates on articles like this by email, then sign up here or you can subscribe to the RSS feed. Also, check us out on Twitter or Facebook. Thanks for visiting! Keep on learning!
On June 24th, I made the somewhat “last-minute” decision to organize an event/idea that had been incubating in my head since about February of this year. What solidified from this jumbled mesh of ideas and random “shot in the dark” intuitions was the introductory post and goal layout for the 2011 Tour de Personal Finance.
Over one month later, the Tour de Personal Finance has ended, a winner has been crowned, and I can decisively say that the 2011 edition of the event has been a great success! The success could not have been possible without tremendous support from the participants and readers/voters. A big round of applause is in order for all of you!
- Yellow Jersey – Winner of overall competition. Article voted “best” by readers. Way to go!
- The Yellow Jersey winner for 2011 is Donna Freedman with her article entitled, “This isn’t your grandparents’ recession.” A brief description of the article is shown below:
Ever since the recession began I think there’s WAY too much blaming of the victims. I’m good and sick of hearing pundits grumble about how lazy and soft Americans have become, and how we ought to take a few lessons from the Great Depression. Here’s the thing: The world was a different place back then. Heaven knows I’m no apologist for slackers, credit-card spendthrifts or people who won’t take anything but the “right” job, but a lot of the advice our elders offered/modeled isn’t relevant today. Plenty of folks are in big trouble not because they’re lazy, but because of complex personal, local, national and global economic issues.
- Podium Placings – The 2nd and 3rd placed articles that are on the podium with Donna Freedman are shown below. Congrats for making it so far in to the competition!
- 2nd Place – Paula from Afford Anything with her article entitled, “If I Had a Million Dollars, I’d Go Into Debt.” A short description of her article is shown below:
- What would I do if I won a million dollars? This post describes how I’d invest every last penny, scrutinizing tax benefits, risk, returns, real estate, and why I would go into debt — yes, I would go into debt — if I were a millionaire. And don’t just take my word for it: Einstein backs me up, and so does third-world poverty theory. Read this post to find out more.
- 3rd Place – Jesse from PF Firewall with his article entitled, “What The Piano Tuner Taught Me.” A brief description is as follows: You can learn a lot from a person by their chosen profession even if that profession is not something you fully understand or are familiar with. Their passion, their spirit, their seemingly perfect fit with the intricate details involved – these things are clear when someone truly loves what they do. That and much more is what I learned from Howard the piano tuner. Read this article to learn more!
- White Jersey – Goes to highest placing, new blog (blog that was started less than one year ago).
- The White Jersey winner for 2011 is Paula from Afford Anything. Her article (“If I Had a Million Dollars, I’d Go Into Debt“) made it to the final, championship (17th) Stage.
- Quite impressive for a blog that was only started back in March of 2011! I wish I had grown my readership and support base that quickly when I started blogging! haha
- Green Jersey – Goes to the blog whose article wins a single stage “the fastest.” In other words, the Green Jersey goes to the blog who wins a single stage by the biggest margin against their competitor.
- The Green Jersey winner for 2011 is Jesse from PF Firewall. His article entitled, “What The Piano Tuner Taught Me,” won one of the Stages in which it was competing by an 11:1 ratio over his competitor! Quite impressive! Nice work Jesse! The sprinters of the Tour de France (such as Thor Hushovd and Mark Cavendish) would be proud of you! Your next goal will have to be to win 6 stages like Cavendish did this year in the Tour de France!
- Polka-Dot Jersey – Goes to the best placing blog article entered which details information on “climbing” out of the debt “mountain”.
- The Polka-Dot Jersey winner for 2011 is Glen from Free From Broke. His article entitled, “The Greatest Impact On My Finances And My Best Financial Tool,” made it to the 3rd Round of competition and features a great story about he and his wife created a powerful combination to get out of debt and keep their finances healthy! Nice work Glen!
The 2011 Tour de Personal Finance began on July 2nd (same day as the first Stage of the 2011 Tour de France) with 46 participants/blogs.
In order to start and finish in the same approximate time period as the actual Tour de France, the competition proceeded quickly through the first round with 8 blogs (4 intermediate sprints per day). Each sprint was given 3 days for voting to occur, and because of the time frame needed to keep pace with the Tour de France, no adjustments were made in voting based on weekday/weekend scheduling. In the last two Rounds of competition, voting was extended to a four day time period to give everyone a chance to vote.
You can view the complete story of how each Stage played out by viewing the 2011 Tour de Personal Finance Bracket.
When all was said and done, the month-long event featured the following statistics:
- 17 total Stages
- 26 blog posts
- 753 total comments/votes – Wow! That is an awesome amount of participation! Thanks to everyone involved!
- 3,000 page views of Tour de Personal Finance Stages and posts.
- 2,083 unique visitors to Tour de Personal Finance Stages and posts.
2011 Reflections and Goals for 2012 Tour de Personal Finance
As I mentioned above, I think that overall, the 2011 edition of this event went very well.
Listed below are the things that I very much enjoyed about this event the past month:
- It’s enabled me to interact and get to know many new bloggers and readers.
- I’ve learned a lot by reading some of the best articles from each blogger’s site that have participated in this competition.
- I liked how the race started and end of the race stages coincided with the start and finish of the 2011 Tour de France. I thought that was really cool!
Listed below are some things that I see as areas for improvement:
- First, in this year’s event, we had 46 participants. Even though this is a round number and event pairings/bracket placements were chosen with a random number generator, the participants in the “lower-half” of the bracket had one less Round of competition to get through. Even though I don’t think this ultimately affected the final placings, it is something I could see improving in the coming years.
- Because of this, I’d like to start promoting the event earlier next year and get a total of 64 blogs involved to make everything evened out.
- If I were running this contest in an ideal world, I would want the voting for each Stage to start and stop on a weekday in order to take advantage of the increased readership that happens during the week. However, in order to keep up with the pace of the Tour de France, the contests had to be started/stopped on weekends, as needed.
- I’d like to get everyone’s input on this subject – do you think it’s more important to align the event with the actual Tour de France or to provide better timing for weekday voting for each article?
- I think that at a minimum, for the 2012 edition (with 64 participants), I will at least start the even 1 week prior to the start of July.
- Lastly, in the coming year’s of the Tour de Personal Finance, I’d like to offer some sort of prize to the winner(s) of the competition.
- At the very least, I would like to offer a gift card to the yellow jersey winner sponsored by my site.
- However, what I will likely try to do for 2012 is to promote the event earlier (using the traffic stats above) and get some sponsors (maybe even a title sponsor).
- With the money generated from sponsorship, I would then look to donate half of it to the charity that the winner elects.
- What does everyone think of this idea? Anybody have any ideas for companies/websites that would be interested in this sponsorship?
How about you all? What did you think of the 2011 Tour de PF? What would you like to see the different or the same for next year’s event?
Share your experiences by commenting below!
***Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/phillipo/3574507782/sizes/l/in/photostream/