Kiplinger’s Personal Finance – July 2023
English | 101 pages | pdf | 30.73 MB
Readers of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine , We hear you
I’m pleased to deliver to you this special double issue. It’s fatter and packed with content, including our annual midyear investing outlook (see page 18) and a profile of Vanguard that explores why the firm that Jack Bogle built has been disappointing account holders when it comes to customer service (on page 28). On page 52 is a comprehensive guide to avoiding fraud and ID theft.
This issue also debuts our newest editorial project, the Kiplinger Readers’ Choice Awards. Some of you participated in the survey in March that asked for your top picks among credit cards, banks, brokers, insurers and more. We listed the most-popular products or largest providers for each category and asked you to rate the ones you use.
For years the media have conducted readers’ choice surveys—typically favorite travel destinations or top doctors. What makes ours special is that the choices reflect the experience and passion many Kiplinger readers bring to their finances, and your top picks serve as a useful financial guide for fellow readers. (If you don’t see your financial provider on the list, it doesn’t mean it’s a loser. In many cases, not enough readers used a particular credit card, for example, or had an account with a particular broker to make the results statistically significant.)
Our parent company, Future, provided support for the project, and senior associate editor Lisa Gerstner did the groundwork and reporting for the survey and wrote up the results. Lisa also leads our best credit cards and best banks projects. You’ll be hearing more from her in upcoming issues.
What you want. Many of you also participated in a reader survey asking what you like and don’t like about the magazine. We’ve analyzed the results,
and we plan to make some changes based on what you told us. First the good news: Nearly 94% of readers said Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine was a “good” or “excellent” value for the money. Nearly 97% found our content “very useful” or “useful.” At the same time, nearly half of you asked for more content—in particular, more investing, retirement, tax and travel articles.
We hear you, and starting with the August pdf magazine, when we revert to the single-issue size, we will fill a halfdozen extra pages with more articles on those topics. Many of you also said you like reading about real people’s finances. Noted.
In your comments, some of you expressed a desire to see less ESG coverage and less “political bias.” Our ESG 20 list of stocks and funds that screen for environmental, social and governance criteria is only one of our investment lists; it doesn’t form the basis for all our investing coverage, and we continue to recommend timely opportunities in energy and other “non-woke” industries. But ESG is a significant trend in investing, and it remains popular with many of our readers. So although we aren’t abandoning the ESG 20, we won’t devote a cover story to it this fall. As for political bias, we can’t please everyone, but we are rededicating ourselves to walking the line between the cultural divide while still covering developments that are important to your finances.
Publishing challenges. Among subscribers who decided not to renew, price is a factor. Back in the heyday of print media, printing and mailing costs were supported by ads, and even though we were charging about a dollar per issue, we usually made a nice profit. Until the Great Recession hit in late 2007, the magazine routinely exceeded 100 pages—but as many as
half of those pages were ads. The internet broke that business model, of course, and our advertisers fled not only to the web but also to TV, social media and streaming. The issue you’re holding in your hands has 96 pages but only 12 ad pages. With so few ads, we need to charge a fair price to cover our costs and make a little profit, too. We’re experimenting with the right price for renewals, and we are working with our circulation experts to find the sweet spot on the price elasticity curve. Stay tuned, and thank you for reading.
MARK SOLHEIM, EDITOR