September 24, 2016

Best Investment Magazines for Beginners

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How do you sort out the good financial tips from noise? We’ve compiled the top finance magazines to get the most important news and investment advice.

We love to read about money matters, but we’ll be the first to admit that personal finance topics can seem pretty dry at times.

Some sources give you boring or preachy advice and throw a bunch of numbers at you that may not make sense if you’re new to the world of investing. And many try to give you breaking news. But up-to-the-minute updates over your smartphone are not for everyone.

Magazines — whether in print form or on your tablet — are a great way to get up to speed on money matters and current events, without the burden of the 24/7 news cycle and a barrage of alerts on your mobile device. The good ones will give you information in easy-to-digest chunks, with analysis thrown in along with interesting stories and crucial advice.

After all, the markets can change with the wind. And a large part of success in investing comes with staying informed on what’s going on in the world and gaining new insights that can make or break your portfolio. You should be in this for the long haul, and that’s why thoughtful articles in well-respected publications can be key tools for building your wealth. You want to get a handle on what drives the markets, the companies behind the stocks you’re investing in, and insight into trends that could change how your investments are performing.

Here are the best investment magazines to keep important information continually flowing into your mailbox (or delivered to your tablet). Choose just a few and you’ll be as much in the know as the pros.

Best All-Around Personal Finance Magazine

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance:
Kiplinger’s gives you a little bit of everything and does it all well. It has articles that teach you the basics of personal finance and how to be smart with your money, such as getting out of student loan debt, buying a home and saving for retirement (check out Stacy Rapacon’s take on the “10 Worst States for Retirement”).

Kiplinger’s devotes part of each issue to helping you make wise investments, including mutual fund recommendations (such as its annual article on the 25 best no-load mutual funds). Many in the media make investment picks, but what Kiplinger’s does well is revisit those picks and compare their success to index funds to give you insight into where those picks went wrong. No one gets every stock pick right, but at least Kiplinger’s isn’t afraid to admit it and gives you some value in the process.

Must reads:

  • Lisa Gerstner, a contributing editor, keeps tabs on the latest personal-finance news and gets to interview many interesting people. One such person is Amelia Rose Earhart, a woman who is not related to the more famous Earhart but who has managed to complete a flight worthy of the history books, and has some essential financial lessons to share with the world.

  • Columnist Kathy Kristof pays attention to the stock market and shares her lessons learned from her actual investments (she’s not afraid to share her mistakes).

Best Magazine for Retirement Strategies

Kiplinger’s Retirement Report:
Kiplinger’s also takes its no-nonsense, objective approach to personal finance in its monthly Retirement Report, which provides dozens of strategies for a successful retirement plan. The magazine looks at which investment vehicles, including mutual funds and money market funds, are the best bet for enlarging your retirement nest egg. It doesn’t stop at just giving advice on your retirement account; it provides the entire picture for personal finance at retirement by advising how to maximize Social Security, develop an estate plan, and minimize insurance costs.

Best Magazine to Stay on Top of Breaking Financial News

Bloomberg BusinessWeek:
If you’re going to be investing in the market, then you need to keep your fingers on the pulse of what’s going on in the world financially, and Bloomberg BusinessWeek has a pulse on financial news. The articles span all subjects, ranging from finance to politics, and the magazine does a solid job integrating news and illustrating how it impacts the economy and investing. Bloomberg’s space devoted to mergers, acquisitions and company changes is of particular interest to investors looking to keep ahead of the movers and shakers in the market.

Best Magazine for Keeping Up with Current Affairs / Big Picture

The Economist:
The Economist does a great job not only keeping you informed, but also analyzing what the news means in a global, big picture sense. The British weekly magazine also comes with a business-friendly, tell-it-like-it-is tone. There’s a slant to the coverage, but in the end, you will be informed, and that’s the key for investment success. If you don’t have time — or the interest — to keep up with daily business and international news, you can lean on this one magazine to get a sense of what is going on in the world.

Best Magazine to Learn from Successful People

Forbes:
If you haven’t read Forbes, you are probably at least familiar with its list of the wealthiest people in the world. The best way to become wealthy or successful is to take a look at what someone successful has done and to follow that strategy. Forbes gives you the info with its profiles. Remember that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and if you came here to learn to be a better investor, why not learn from someone who has actually walked the walk instead of just talking the talk?

Must reads:

  • Staff reporter Lauren Gensler is on top of company news and personal finance trends. She provides wry commentary about companies’ latest moves on her Twitter account and shares insights about places to park your money (such as Puerto Rico, which she notes is becoming a tax haven for the 1%).

  • Samantha Sharf, a staff reporter, focuses on the youngest group of investors — Millennials. She notes trends and gives them tips for socking away their nest egg, even though many of them are wasting money even as we speak.

Best Investment Magazine for Business Owners

Inc.:
Similar to Forbes’ list of the richest people, the Inc. 500 is the list of the 500 fastest-growing companies in the U.S. If you’re learning to master the markets, then it’s a good idea to know who the up-and-comers are. The magazine interviews CEOs from this list to find out how they went from a small business to explosive growth. While this is a good publication for investors, it’s really aimed at small business owners, with advice for handing their finances and taxes, as well as the trends and challenges that are facing them.

Must read:

  • The Inc. Life: Who has time for all work and no play? This section of Inc.com gives you a breather from stressing over the details of your business and trying to manage it right, with tips on reaching something that resembles a work-life balance and developing a culture in your company that actually works

Best Magazine for Investing in Blue-Chip Companies

Fortune:
On the flip side of Inc.’s list is the more famous list, the Fortune 500, which lists the 500 largest companies ranked by gross revenue. This list falls in line with Fortune’s market as a whole, as it is geared more toward the corporate side of business. Actual investing articles are limited in Fortune, but the purpose of adding this magazine to your arsenal is to get insight into major corporations and CEOs, such as what they’re doing to turn a business around or grow their business to the next level. Because the Dow Jones Industrial Average is based on averaging blue-chip companies, it’s a wise investment of your time to learn about the upper echelon of businesses.

Must read:

Best Magazine for Market Analysis

Barron’s:
Barron’s is one of the few magazines that is entirely focused on the financial markets. It also features strong stories about the companies that are making an impact in the markets, both positively and negatively.

Every week, Barron’s delves deeply into one main company or industry and how it is affecting the market. The investment articles and advice in Barron’s are driven by fundamentals, looking directly at the businesses rather than the technical aspects of investing. Every issue features interviews of people who play an active role in the market, from asset managers to CEOs to investment managers, to give you insight into the market from people who actually work in it every day.

Must read:

  • Columnist Johanna Bennett pays attention to the latest corporate moves and offers analysis throughout the day on the website.

Conclusion

As part of your investing routine, pick a few magazines on this list that best suit your investment style and mentality, and carve out some time to dive into the issues when they arrive in your mailbox. Investing is an ever-changing world, and magazines are sometimes a forgotten, albeit vital, piece to the puzzle of keeping you in tune with what you need to know to make the right investment decisions.

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