The Best Investment of the Week Issues of the Year

With only two weeks left in 2012, we continue our look back at the past year in investing. Last week I announced the best-performing Dick Davis Digest Top Picks of the year. Today, I’m looking back at Investment of the Week, to highlight some of my favorite issues that you may have missed.

As you know, one of my favorite things to write about here are the investing trends that I notice while reviewing our contributors’ newsletters for the Digests. And I noticed a few new trends this year, especially in the tech industry.

Most recently, I wrote about investments related to Big Data, which refers to databases (like maps of the universe, or a log of all Wal-Mart’s customer transactions) that are so large they require new tools to store and use.

I wrote about new payment technologies twice, exploring new credit card technologies  in February and looking at the transition to mobile payments in August.

Way back in January, I identified several investments that were benefiting from the coming-of-age of the video game industry.

In non-tech trends, I wrote about the rebound of financial services companies, and about ways to position your portfolio to benefit from the potential for water shortages.

Another recurring feature of Investment of the Week this year was our new series of interviews with our Digest contributors. My favorite conversations included talking to Dividend Detective Editor Harry Domash, who had some great rules for evaluating dividend-paying stocks, and Bob Brinker, who gave some good advice for generating investment income in a low-yield environment. I also liked Brinker’s investing philosophy in general, from his approach to market challenges to his focus on becoming financially independent. For value-oriented investors, the highlight was what John Buckingham had to say about value investing when I interviewed him in March.

I’ll also mention a few personal favorites that touched on broader topics.

In June, I wrote about how access to credit has become segmented in the U.S., and how the credit gap may be holding back our economic growth. A week later I published some of your responses to the piece, which ranged from dismissive (“That’s the way it’s supposed to be!”) to constructive (“better education on credit to youth” and “The Fed should be being proactive and helping the economy get back on its feet [and] the self-interested politicians should be passing legislation designed to create jobs.”) You can read all the reader responses here.

In April, I wrote about how oligopolies and persuasive marketing are used to keep diamond prices high and rising, and why that makes the diamond market a terrible place to be an investor. Read this piece before you buy shares in any of the new diamond-based funds or any new diamond jewelry.

In February, I wrote about an issue that’s very important to my heavily-indebted generation, as well as to any parents planning to send their kids to college: the rising cost of a college education.

In January, I wrote a piece called “Let the Market Fix It” that was about a resource not commonly thought of as even being part of a market: parking spaces. I really enjoyed doing the research for this piece, and it totally changed the way I think about the relationship between urban environments, transportation options and parking spaces. It was also shocking to find out how much parking policy affects people’s behavior.

Lastly, a reminder that you can read all past Investment of the Week articles any time here. I look forward to another year of interesting discussions ahead. (And if there’s anything specific you’d like to read about here, just leave the comment below, and maybe I’ll write about it in 2013.)

Wishing you success in your investing and beyond,

Chloe Lutts

Editor of Dick Davis Investment of the Week

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