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August 22, 2005


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Are your really looking at the right stats? How much does each issue cost, or better yet so far what is the cost per good article from each publication?

David --

Based on my criteria, I am looking at the right stats. I'm trying to determine what the BEST personal finance magazine is, not do a cost/benefit analysis (which would not only include the cost of each magazine, but the time costs associated with reading them, ordering them, etc.). I don't want to do this. Hence I'm comparing the three based on the criteria that works best for me. (and fits the title of the post, I might add.)


One thing you're missing is the general target of each of the magazines, each one targets a slightly different reader. I find that Smart Money targets more of the less personal finance focused consumer (not to say they're uneducated, but the language used is simpler, which may lead a personal finance blogger to find them too simplistic) whereas the other two magazines target a more conscious reader. Depending on your level of interest in investing in securities, your "usefulness" rating would vary tremendously on those magazines.

Ultimately though you are simply gauging your own interest and for those purposes, your "rule of thumb"-esq grading is probably what would be useful for you anyway.

Jim --

I consider myself "average", so hopefully I'm directing people to what makes sense for most of them. (I guess we could also look at circulation numbers and see which is most widely accepted, though the one with the most readers isn't necessarily the best.)

Personally, I find Smart Money to have too many "hype-driven" investment pieces (the best mutual funds, the best stocks, etc.) -- and they have different ones every week! The other two have more practical savings, spending, money management tips -- things I write about here.

There's no doubt that I am evaluating them through a certain perspective, but my thoguht is that if people like the type of articles here at FMF, then they'll probably be in sync with my thoughts on the "best" magazine too -- wouldn't you think?



I understand why are you doing this and the benefit it could bring to your blog (article wise). However, are you including any of the investment idea articles? Seeing as they were written about 2-3 months before the publication date, most investment magazines are out of date before they even go to press. Just my $0.02.

Oh and if it really matters, the only personal finance magazine I have read in the past is Money magazine, so it seems I was reading the right one!

Financial Fruition

FF --

I include the investment-related articles that deal with strategies, ways to invest, etc., but I don't count "five hot stocks to buy now" sort of articles. I don't think they know any more than anyone else and, as you say, they are written far in advance.


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