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20 Reasons To Be Excited for 2020
Updated: September 24, 2023 |
Taylor Kovar, CFP

Resolutions were set, holidays happened, the ball dropped, and suddenly we’re in the new year, fighting to make it feel different from our last trip around the sun. Before the day-to-day bogs you down and you lose sight of the year ahead, here are 20 things I think we should all be excited about in 2020.

1. Summer Olympics

Just a few months away! Four years ago the U.S. had an incredible run and it feels like we’re in a Golden Age of women’s gymnastics. I love how the games manage to bring people together no matter what else is going on, and I feel like we could all use a dose of togetherness.

If you’re completely out of the loop and need a refresher, this year’s summer games will be held in Tokyo, starting on July 24 and running through August 9. The 2020 summer games feature a handful of new sports in addition to the classics, including karate, skateboarding and surfing.

2. Presidential Election

If you follow politics closely, November of 2020 can’t come and go soon enough. If you live for the drama of a heated presidential race, this will be a thrilling year for you.

The enormous Democratic Party field means this race will last all year, narrowing down to the one candidate that will challenge President Trump. Starting in the summer, we’ll have endless TV ads and debates until we cast our ballots on Tuesday, November 3. It blows my mind that it’s been almost four years since the last election, but it’s already time to get registered to vote and start mentally preparing for another.

3. World Expo in Dubai

Exciting things come from these massive, global events, and 2020 in Dubai is shaping up to be one of the most intriguing to date.

In addition to the incredible architecture developing just for this Expo, participants will be delving into important topics and discussing the latest innovations that might help make our world a better place. The 2020 theme is “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future,” with subthemes focused on mobility, opportunity and sustainability.

This will be the first World Expo held in the Middle East / South Asia region, something that will no doubt shine a light on emerging markets and ideas that wouldn’t garner as much attention with another European Expo site.

4. Electric Vehicle Advancements

While the Tesla truck may have a unique look, it’s about to get some company in the electric truck department. Multiple manufacturers are set to unveil powerful electric vehicles in the coming year, and we can expect to start seeing unfamiliar rigs cruising on city streets sooner than later.

5. High-Speed Rails

It might take a while before you can board one, but a handful of states will break ground on high-speed rail projects in 2020. If you see a massive construction site with a “Coming 2023” sign, it just might be a new mode of transportation that will soon have you zipping from city to city.

6. New Streaming Services

Disney and Apple have already shaken things up by joining the streaming fray, and HBO Max, Peacock and a handful of additional services will crowd the field even more in 2020. For people who love binging the latest TV shows, more content is coming your way. For those of us interested in how additional channels will affect market share and provide investment opportunities, it’s going to be a busy year.

7. A Second Mars Rover

Just as we’re gearing up for the 2020 Olympic Games, we get another rare treat as Mars 2020 launches.

As of this writing, the new rover doesn’t yet have a name, but it will by the time it gets launched into space to go join Curiosity on the Red Planet. With all the findings the last Mars rover has delivered, anyone intrigued by extraterrestrial analysis should be pretty excited about this latest endeavor. Unfortunately, 2020 will only deliver the launch. We’ll have to wait for 2021 before the new rover touches down and gets to work.

8. 5G Arrivals

5G is already here, but this is the year we’ll really start to see the impact. Once the floodgates open and the world’s fastest connections become widely available, we will see some unprecedented changes and activity. Whether or not you can picture what the 5G future will look like, just know incredible developments are on the horizon.

9. Cryptocurrency Advancements

It’s weathered countless storms and proved to be a lasting commodity, so the next step is for vendors en masse to start incorporating crypto into their interactions. We’ve already seen the tip of this iceberg, and 2020 should give us a better idea as to how big the thing really is. It’s certainly not too late to invest in digital currencies, but the investment landscape will start to change quickly once bitcoin and others get a firmer foothold with regard to transactional use.

10. Real Estate Shifts

We will likely witness both good and bad real estate developments in the coming year. Historically speaking, we’re overdue for a setback, and the housing shortage and affordability issues have some people thinking a bubble could burst. Sales numbers are mixed and homebuyer sentiment is still high, but economic indicators make many analysts question whether there’s a lag in metrics and we’re closer to a drop-off than expected.

From an investment standpoint, as long as you’re not taking out bad loans to buy questionable properties, it’s an excellent year to add real estate to your portfolio. New developments are paving the way for new vacation destinations, so 2020 might be the year when that beach house makes its way onto your asset list.

11. Environmental Action

The way we view the environment and our impact on the planet continues to evolve, which presents as many opportunities as it does hurdles. While companies look to move away from single-use plastics, new entrepreneurs are working on systems for cleaning and disposing of garbage. Breakthroughs in the energy sector will lead to a variety of cost-cutting techniques for consumers and producers alike in the coming year. Even as the discussion around climate remains politically charged, industries are making moves to address concerns and improve services and products.

12. Foreign Market Growth

A lot of attention has been paid to international trade for less than ideal reasons this past year, but those issues don’t negate the fact that small markets in Africa and the Middle East are emerging into viable areas of commerce. The coming year will present dozens of exciting investment and growth opportunities for international businesses, producing revenue options for those who get involved at the right time.

Obviously, certain regions carry more volatility than others and you have to be thoughtful when looking at expanding your portfolio overseas. As long as you don’t take too wild a gamble, you should be able to find a worthy foreign investment.

13. Yahoo!’s Time Capsule

In 2006, Yahoo! asked users to contribute to a digital time capsule. For about a month, people from all walks of life submitted a variety of media to create a digital anthropological experiment, and for the company’s 25th anniversary in 2020 we’ll all get to take a peek at what made it into the capsule. 2006 might not feel like that long ago to us adults, but a lot of changes have taken place in the last 14 years. It’ll be fun to look at the contents with kids and teens who have no memory of the movies and music we all obsessed over at the time.

14. 400 Year Anniversary of the Mayflower

Anniversaries happen every year, obviously, but when they land on nice, even numbers, people tend to get a little more excited. Between September 6, the date the ship left England, and November 9 when it anchored in Cape Cod, I’d expect a fair number of pilgrim-themed events and parties to commemorate that historic voyage and the subsequent building of our nation. If you’re in or around New England, I imagine the festivities will be particularly fun. And, if you don’t make it to a Mayflower party, it’s a good time to crack open a history book and relearn about the settling of the New World.

15. Impossible Foods

Burger King has made enough waves with the Impossible Burger to capture mainstream attention. The burger’s maker, Impossible Foods, has already turned heads at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas with Impossible Pork, and the availability and variety of these plant-based imitation meats should spike in 2020.

You don’t have to be a vegetarian to appreciate a good meatless product, and the broadening distribution will make it easier for friends with different dietary needs to get food at the same spot. It’ll be interesting to see what gets added to the Impossible menu over the next year.

16. DNA Travel

If you ever watch TV, you’ve seen a commercial for one of the companies that helps you identify your ancestry and connect with family members you might not know you had. With a growing number of people traveling to see the towns where great grandparents lived, Airbnb has teamed up with 23andMe in an effort to make heritage travel a little easier.

Through either company’s websites, you can quickly view the available rentals in whatever region your DNA results determine you have family history. Technology keeps making the far corners of the world more accessible, and this little union between 23andMe and Airbnb will be a cool way for people to find out where their family members came from and then go see those places in person.

17. Automation in Marketing

From emails to SEO, 2020 will make everything easier for the small business owner. Software and marketing companies continue improving how analytics are processed so those of us trying to spread the word about our companies don’t have to spend as much time doing work on the backend. With more programs incorporating the single customer view (SVC), automated campaigns and responses are becoming less annoying and more effective.

If you didn’t keep up with the latest marketing trends in 2019, make this the year of your reeducation. It’s not worth falling further behind and the latest developments can have an immediate impact on your marketing success.

18. Leap Year

Can’t believe it’s already been four years since the last time we leapt. 2020 will deliver us a February 29, which means you have an extra day to set and achieve goals before Spring rolls around. Even more exciting, February 29 falls on a Saturday this year, so it’s almost like we get an extra day of weekend. It’s actually not like that at all, but when something only happens once every four years, I think it’s important to make the most of it. Start thinking of ways you can capitalize on an extra sunset and sunrise this year.

19. Airport Renovations

More than 15 airports across the country are pumping money into big overhauls within their infrastructure that should make things easier for travelers like you and me. From Los Angeles, CA, to Columbus, OH, our trips through the terminals should become a little more accommodating by the end of 2020. If you spend a lot of time in and out of airports, hopefully this year will have you enjoying those long travel days a little bit more.

20. Everything

This list could be 1,000 items long. There is so much to be grateful for and enthusiastic about as we dive into 2020. You might not feel different than you did at the end of 2019, and maybe there are a lot of things on your plate that are causing more anxiety than excitement. Nevertheless, it’s a thrilling time to be alive and it’s up to all of us to find new ways to make this year better than the last and set ourselves up for an even bigger and brighter 2021.

So make this the year you travel more, invest more, pay down more debt, or just enjoy your time a little more actively. Think of the personal sources of happiness not on this list, like time with family or new hobbies you can pursue. If I can make a list of 20 things with almost universal appeal, you can find 120 reasons why this year will be particularly special for you. The first month is almost gone, so don’t waste any time taking advantage of what’s left of 2020.


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