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The Globe and Mail

Top five most-read Business stories of 2012

From the economy and all it entails (consumer debt, job market and retirement included) to everyone's favourite Dragon Kevin O'Leary, here is what business and investing readers were clicking on this year.

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1. 2012 vs. 1984: Young adults really do have it harder today
Personal Finance columnist Rob Carrick's comparison of who had it harder (the class of 1984 or the class of 2012) was an instant hit. The column ended up on popular social-sharing site Reddit and as much as 70 per cent of the article's traffic came from that audience, making it the most read and shared story on theglobeandmail.com all year.
The Reddit surge gave this story legs, racking up almost 1,000 comments on our site, over 5,000 on Reddit. It led to an Ask Me Anything Q&A with Carrick on Reddit and several readers responded with their own stories of struggle in today's job market and economy.

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2. A 29-year-old on the difficulties of landing a first job
This article came from a reader in response to an earlier piece by Personal Finance Columnist Rob Carrick on how older generations must help dislocated young adults now – or forfeit their own financial well-being later.
This reader outlines his struggle to find work after graduating from university. He thoroughly details the hundreds of applications he's filled out, the numerous interviews he's prepared for and been on, the struggle to afford daily life (or even a drink out with friends), and how the prospects of having a family or owning a house one day are moving farther away from reach.
The comment board lit up with a good mix of sympathy and advice for this reader, as well as criticism and tough love.

Getty Images/iStockphoto

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3. Kevin O'Leary: He's not a billionaire, he just plays one on TV
This indepth profile of Dragons' Den's Kevin O'Leary first appeared in the October issue of Report on Business Magazine. The story chronicles O'Leary's career from the foundation of SoftKey Software Products Inc. in the early 1980s to his current venture with O'Leary Funds and TV appearances on the CBC.
The story was widely shared among readers on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Della Rollins/The Globe and Mail

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4. Why I gave up my six-figure salary and quit Bay Street
After a Goldman Sachs employee quit in spectacular fashion earlier this year (complete with scathing exit letter), The Globe's Tim Kiladze followed up with his own story of time spent on Bay Street and why he ultimately decided to leave for a "less demanding, more fulfilling life."
Just as the initial piece from the 12-year Wall Street veteran garnered a lot of buzz, so did this one, which was widely shared and racked up almost 600 comments.

Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail

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5. For savers in Canada, a sinking feeling
Household debt and saving rates were both big topics in 2012, and will likely be so in 2013 as the economy continues its slow recovery. This article, written by Sean Silcoff and Barrie McKenna, outlines the struggles facing an older generation either on the cusp of retirement or already living on fixed incomes. The article states: "Life for these Canadians has become an uncomfortable squeeze between weak returns on their investments, stagnant incomes and the steadily rising cost of everything from food to fuel to housing."
The article certainly had resonance, generating much discussion among readers with almost 700 comments.

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