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On June 17th, I announced the coming arrival of the 2nd annual 2012 edition of the Tour de Personal Finance with an introductory post laying out several goals I had for the event. Over one month later, the 2012 Tour de Personal Finance has ended, a winner has been crowned, and I can decisively say that the 2012 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! **Cheers fill the streets!**
AWARDS CEREMONY and Charity Selections
In the Tour de France, there are 4 main winners' jerseys that are fiercely contested. These include the Yellow Jersey (overall winner), Green Jersey (best sprinter), Polka-Dot Jersey (King of the Mountains), and White Jersey (best-placed young cyclist).
As such, along with crowning the overall winner with the Yellow Jersey and the 2nd and 3rd podium placements, the Tour de Personal Finance will recognize 3 additional winners, as described below:
- Yellow Jersey - Winner of overall competition. Article voted "best" by readers. Way to go!
- The Yellow Jersey winner for 2012 is Maria from The Money Principle with her article entitled, "Money for all seasons I: income, spending and age." A brief description of the article is shown below:
- Using the four seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter – as a metaphor for the four different stages in our lives, I have set out some age related expectations regarding income, expenditure, investments and cash-flow. It is a common sense way to illustrate how our financial situation today carries into our future and that it is never late to change one’s financial trajectory.
- As the Yellow Jersey winner, Maria received $75. However, she was very generous to donate all of her winnings to the Alzheimer's Society of the UK.
- Yellow Jersey Charity Selection - As the Yellow Jersey winner, Maria also decides which charity she wants to have receive the $123.05 charity give back amount.
- As with her winnings, Maria elected for the $123.05 to be donated to the Alzheimer's Society of the UK.
- This is really a great cause to donate to and one that I feel very strongly about since I do Alzheimer's disease drug research!
- Podium Placings - The 2nd and 3rd placed articles that are on the podium with Maria are shown below. Congrats for making it so far in to the competition!
- 2nd Place - Glen from Free From Broke (and last year's Polka-Dot jersey winner!) with his article entitled, "Should You Charge Your Boomerang Kids Rent?" A short description of his article is shown below:
- It's no longer a given that kids will move out on their own when college ends. In fact, there's a term for this group - Boomerang Kids. Should you charge rent to these boomerang kids?
- As the 2nd place podium finisher, Glen received $50. However, he was very generous to donate all of his winnings to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
- 3rd Place - Todd from Financial Mentor with his article entitled, "Pay Off Mortgage Early or Invest– The Complete Guide." A brief description is as follows: Should I pay off my mortgage early or invest? Forget the dangerous half-truths and over-simplified conventional wisdom about getting out of debt. Instead, learn the many dimensions to paying off your mortgage early in this complete guide so you can make a smart financial decision that perfectly fits your personal situation.
- White Jersey - Goes to highest placing, new blog (blog that was started less than one year ago).
- The White Jersey winner for 2012 is Jefferson from See Debt Run. His article ("What If You Find Out Your Co-Workers Are Making More Money Than You") made it to the 3rd Round of the competition. Nice work Jefferson!
- 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 2012 is Donna Freedman from Surviving and Thriving (and the winner of the 2011 Tour de PF I might add!). Her article entitled, "The value of work," won one of the Stages in which it was competing by 32 votes over her competitor! Quite impressive! Nice work Donna! The sprinters of the Tour de France (such as Andre Greipel and Mark Cavendish) would be proud of you! Your next goal will have to be to win 6 stages like Cavendish did last 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 2012 is Todd from Financial Mentor (also our 3rd place finisher for this year!) with his article entitled, "Pay Off Mortgage Early or Invest– The Complete Guide." Todd's post made it to the 5th Round of competition and features a great walk-through of the decision between investing or putting extra money towards paying off your home loan debt! Nice work Todd!
RACE RECAPThe 2012 Tour de Personal Finance began on July 2nd (same day as the first Stage of the 2012 Tour de France) with 52 participants/blogs (up from 46 in 2011!).
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. In the last two Rounds of competition, voting was extended, when possible, 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 2012 Tour de PF Bracket.
When all was said and done, the month-long event featured the following statistics:
- 18 total Stages
- 32 blog posts
- 544 total comments/votes - Wow! That is an awesome amount of participation! Thanks to everyone involved!
- 1,798 page views of Tour de Personal Finance Stages and posts.
- 1,500 unique visitors to Tour de Personal Finance Stages and posts.
2012 REFLECTIONS AND GOALS FOR 2013 TOUR DE PERSONAL FINANCEAs I mentioned above, I think that overall, the 2012 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 2012 Tour de France. I thought that was really cool!
- We were able to get a larger number of blogs involved in the event this year (52 vs. 46 blogs/articles last year).
- Having done the event last year, I had more of a well-defined system for running this year's event that made things go smoother.
- I was able to reserve the June and July 10% blog income charity and reader give back amounts as rewards and charity selection options for coming in first and second place in the competition.
- I was able to get experience putting together a sponsorship kit to attract potential supporters to the event.
Listed below are some things that I see as areas for improvement:
- First, in this year's event, we had 52 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 want to improve 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.
- This year, I started gathering entries to the event about 2 weeks before the start. I figured this would be enough time, but have since realized that I need to give people more notice because a lot of people were on summer vacations. Lesson learned, so no worries! :)
- Second, in the coming year's of the Tour de Personal Finance, I need to be more proactive and get an earlier start on obtaining event sponsors.
- This year, I was actively seeking out platinum, gold, silver, and bronze sponsorships from various contacts in the PF realm throughout the entire month of June with a sponsorship kit I put together.
- The plan was to donate half of all sponsorship proceeds to a charity selected by the overall competition winner (Yellow Jersey).
- At first, it was looking fairly promising in that I had gotten a couple sponsors interested, but nothing was finalized in the end.
- Third, increasing awareness of event prizes.
- This year, I made the mistake of not spreading the word about the specific prizes on offer for the 1st and 2nd place finishers until the 2nd or 3rd Round.
- I think that if I finalize and share this information earlier on (even before the 1st Round), everyone will have a better idea about the ins and outs of the competition.
Share your experiences by commenting below!