As 2017 comes to a close, short-term nostalgia abounds. Out of the thousands of articles produced on fool.com over the past year, seven stand out as the most read.
The articles cover topics as diverse as video games, Instagram ads, and retirement planning. Each one is worth reading heading into the new year.
7. Uh-Oh! Marijuana Prices Are Plunging, and You're Not Going to Be Happy With the Reason Why by Sean Williams
Just making the cut for our top seven list is one of fool.com's top healthcare specialists, Sean Williams. The Fool has traditionally categorized marijuana articles under the healthcare umbrella, but it might be time to start thinking of them more as consumer goods articles since recreational legalization and use is expanding!
In this article, Sean dives into the market dynamics that determine the price of marijuana in recreation-legal states. Surprisingly, plunging prices are the responsibility of Big Weed, which is flooding the market with more supply than needed, much to the chagrin of smaller growers and dispensaries. This modern David and Goliath battle story is well worth a read.
6. What Are the Maximum 401(k) Contribution Limits for 2017? by Matthew Frankel
Have you maxed out your 401(k) contribution for the year? It's not too late! But, in order to do so, you'll need to know exactly what that maximum contribution limit is for the year. Personal finance expert Matt Frankel tells you everything you need to know in "What Are the Maximum 401(k) Contribution Limits for 2017?".
Ready to leave 2017 behind? Fool.com has you covered for the year ahead, too. A new year means new rules, so check out the 2018 maximum 401(k) contribution limits for the most up-to-date information (and to help the article make next year's roundup!).
5. Wal-Mart Has a Unique Way to Cut Down on Shoplifting by Daniel B. Kline
It's no surprise to see Dan Kline make this top 10 list. Dan always has his finger right on the pulse of what people are most interested in. This story is no letdown: Did you know that Wal-Mart loses $0.02 to shoplifting for every dollar in sales? That's more than double what competitors like Costco suffer.
Wal-Mart won't rest until it finds a way to reduce its share of the estimated $45 billion that shoplifting costs retailers each year. In "Wal-Mart Has a Unique Way to Cut Down on Shoplifting," Dan details Wal-Mart's creative approach to reducing the need to call in law enforcement and lowering the rate of repeat offenses.
4. 3 Reasons It's Dumb to Take Social Security Benefits at 67 by Maurie Backman
Surprisingly for an investing website, we get a ton of readers looking for information about retirement topics like Social Security. And it makes sense! We like to think that readers have come to trust us for years when investing leading up to retirement, and we're flattered that you turn to us when it comes time to leave the workforce and make all the associated financial decisions.
One of the most important issues facing retirees is when to claim Social Security. In "3 Reasons It's Dumb to Take Social Security Benefits at 67," retirement guru Maurie Backman explains a handful of situations in which it doesn't make sense to claim your Social Security benefits at 67.
3. Video Ads Are Blowing Up on Instagram by Adam Levy
Video ads are taking the place of static ads across social media, and market dynamics have yet to catch up. Is this good news for Facebook (the owner of Instagram) investors? In "Video Ads Are Blowing Up on Instagram," Adam Levy walks us through the puts and takes of the new frontier of digital advertising.
2. GameStop Corp. Lowers Outlook as Video Game Hardware Sales Slump by Demitrios Kalogeropoulos
Demitrios Kalogeropoulos breaks down GameStop's second-quarter results in "GameStop Corp. Lowers Outlook as Video Game Hardware Sales Slump." The highlights? A higher-than-expected double-digit drop in comparable-store sales, a rise in mobile and consumer electronics revenue driven by Pokemon, and an uptick in both net and gross profit margin.
Check out the full article to hear what management has to say about the business and find out expectations for the stock.
1. Disney Gives ESPN Anchors the Pink Slip by Billy Duberstein
I hope you aren't too attached to ESPN's biggest personalities -- because they're on the chopping block. An increasingly tough environment for Disney's sports network requires cost-cutting, and high-earning on-screen talent was the biggest target in this recent round of layoffs. What does this mean for the future of sports commentary, and should Disney shareholders recoil or rejoice? Find out our most-read article of 2017: Billy Duberstein's "Disney Gives ESPN Anchors the Pink Slip."
To all the readers who came to fool.com this year -- be it for retirement advice, stock insights, or trend analysis -- thank you for being a part of the Fool family, and Happy Holidays! We'll see you in 2018.