Once upon a time -- actually not that long ago, there were a plethora of personal finance magazines. I subscribed to most of them so I could be up to speed on what my clients might be reading. From an investments perspective, these periodicals usually featured headlines like “top funds to buy now” or “stocks for any market.” How did these recommendations turn out? Well, I can’t recall seeing any follow up articles documenting how prior recommendations had turned out. Suffice it to say, this isn’t a recipe for success in financial markets.
The main problem of looking to financial publications for financial advice is the magazine doesn’t know you. Rarely is financial advice a “one size fits all” proposition. Working effectively with clients requires both art and science – a person’s risk tolerance, risk capacity, life experiences, income levels, and views towards wealth all formulate a perspective that advisors must sort through to help clients achieve successful outcomes. Advice that comes without this interactive give and take is bound to come up short.
So it wasn’t a surprise when earlier this year, Money magazine announced it was ceasing publication. While much of print media struggles to compete in the digital age, the difficulties of financial print media have been especially hard hit. Over the last several years Smart Money, Bloomberg Wealth Manager and Worth have all gone out of business.
I believe that markets work. It would seem that generic advice from financial magazines doesn’t.