‘Bests’ of the decade with a money twist
Time to look back at some personal-finance highs (and lows) of the past 10 years -- and a bit of silliness.
Now that the Aughts or Ohs or whatever this decade is called are nearly over, let’s reflect a bit on the best they produced when it comes to our money.
- Bing: The greediest people
Let’s hope so. Here are some of the “best (or most notable) of the decade” lists with a personal-finance twist:
Let's start with SmartMoney’s “defunct product of the decade.” What has disappeared in the last 10 years that you’ll miss the most? Among the findings of SmartMoney’s reader poll:
- Payphones: About 24% mentioned their demise -- making them No. 1.
- Yankee Stadium: 15%.
- Tower Records (and probably the experience of going to a record store): 14%.
- Polaroid film (although this product may make a comeback): 13%.
- Floppy disks (yes, really): 12%.
- Saturn car: 11%.
What would you add to that list?
- Apple’s Steve Jobs.
- Nouriel Roubini, known as “Dr. Doom.”
- Our personal favorite, Elizabeth Warren, chair of the committee that oversees TARP. Does anyone have more credibility in Washington these days?
Who would disagree with Frank’s worst -- Bernie Madoff?
“Top 10 money movies of the decade” comes from Adam Baker at Man vs. Debt. You're sure to find one of your favorites on Baker's list, which includes his favorite quote from each movie (salty language alert). Our favorite movie quote from among them is from “Startup.com”: “What do you mean … it’s over?”
On a more serious note, Madison at My Dollar Plan presented the “Top 10 financial stories of the decade” -- one for each year -- with help from other PF bloggers, including this positive note from the Financial Samurai about 2008: “If we can survive 2008, we can survive anything. There will never be a bigger financial downturn in our lifetimes than in 2008!” Thank goodness there were 11 things to celebrate about 2009. (For another take, check out SmartMoney's "The financial decade in review.")
Finally, we nominate this response from a customer-service rap at Steep and Cheap as the best customer service of the decade. Backstory: Andrea of Fools and Sages had requested free shipping even though her husband had previously screwed up that part of their order. In part, the CS rep said:
We would marry you if you weren’t already married. And we weren’t a company, but rather a young shy boy lost in the throes of love, yea, a misty-eyed dreamer looking towards the future, still unscathed and unpolluted by the hardships of mid-adulthood. We would ask your housemaid to deliver white flowers to you, with an anonymous note that read “Heaven nor hell could provide me the joy and pain your approval or lack thereof might impose upon me.” ...
It ended: “But none of that could ever happen, so instead I just gave you a full refund on your shipping costs. I think it was like 8 bucks. Thanks for the love.”
Honestly, can you top that customer-service story? Enter your nomination below.
And while you're at it, give a little thought to what the decade without a name should be called: You can do better than the Oh-Ohs, no? How about the Greeds or the Dirty Aughts, or the Lost Decade? Goodness knows the 2000s were the worst decade for stocks -- in history.
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ABOUT SMART SPENDING
Editor Bev O'Shea lives and works in the foothills of the Appalachians. A former copy editor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Orlando Sentinel, she joined MSN Money in 2007. She's a fan of sunsets, college football and free shipping, among other things.
Having worked as a writer, reporter and editor for more than 25 years, Editor Julie Tilsner is the sort of person who can't help but correct grammar in Facebook postings and on billboards. She's written for BusinessWeek, the Los Angeles Times, Parenting, Redbook, AOL and others. She lives in Los Angeles County with her family and loves to drink wine and practice yoga, although not generally at the same time.
A writer for MSN Money since January 2007, Donna Freedman won regional and national prizes during an 18-year newspaper career and earned a college degree in midlife without taking out student loans. She also writes about smart money tactics for magazines and on her own site, Surviving and Thriving.
Mitch Lipka has been warning people about scams and shining light on questionable business practices for more than 20 years. Mitch, the consumer columnist for The Boston Globe, has also been a reporter and editor at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Consumer Reports, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and AOL. He won the 2010 New York Press Club award for best consumer reporting online and was honored in 2011 for his reporting on child product safety.
Marilyn Lewis is an award-winning writer with a passion for getting readers clear, straight information that helps them stay out of financial trouble. A former reporter for The San Jose Mercury News, she works from her home in Port Townsend, Wash. Contact her at MarilynLewis@Outlook.com.
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