Best buys: The personal finance magazines to put your money on

Money Observer

Launched 1979

Monthly circulation: 35,000

Cost: pounds 3.25. Annual subscription: by cheque pounds 33, by direct debit pounds 29.70.

Aim/target: "Our readers tend already to have some knowledge of the market."

Strength: Easy to read databank on share, unit & investment trust performance. Tessa and mortgage best deals. Feature-length analysis of subjects like smaller company investment.

Weakness: Too many uncritical fund manager profiles. No coverage of personal insurance.

Investors Chronicle

Launched 1860

Weekly circulation: 61,000

Cost: pounds 2.50. Subscription discount: 10 per cent.

Aim/target: "By comparison to others, we simply are more focused on shares than packaged retail financial products."

Strength: Reviews every share quoted in the UK at least once each year. Weekly, so up to date on market movements.

Weakness: dismissive of retail financial products, little cover on personal insurance.

Personal Finance

Launched 1994

Monthly circulation: n/a

Cost: pounds 2.60. Subscription discount: 37 per cent.

Aim/target: "Novice investors, who know little about money and retail financial products."

Strength: Relates lifestyle to product, with a strong emphasis on insurance and pension planning.

Weakness: Superficial analysis of products, with thin data on product cost and performance.

MoneyFacts Life & Pensions

Launched 1996

Monthly circulation: 6,000

Cost: Annual subscription only, pounds 49.50 (ring 01692 500765).

Aim/target: "We provide hard data across the full range of products, from mortgages to investment trusts. This is a reference work."

Strength: The bottom line without frills or hyperbole.

Weakness: No articles, and only available by subscription, so try your nearest central library for a copy.

Bloomberg Money

Launched 1998

Monthly circulation: first issue 30,000

Cost: pounds 2.95. Subscription discount: 25 per cent

Aim/target: "We're aiming both at committed investors, and people getting interested in the subject. We want to bridge the gap between specialist investment magazines and those that aim [uncritically] for the mass market."

Strength: Early days, but coverage ranges widely from a critical piece on fund manager M&G to the merits of collecting Spice Girl dolls as future investments. Good data on fund performance.

Weakness: picture of Richard Branson on the cover.

Moneywise

Launched 1990

Monthly circulation: 105,000

Cost: pounds 2.70. No discount on subscription

Aim/target: "To give people financial advice they need to make real life decisions, in plain English."

Strength: Could its breezy, easy style account for Moneywise having the highest circulation of titles reviewed? Starter level package with emphasis on practical, every day financial problem solving.

Weakness: Sometimes not enough in-depth critical analysis.

Money Management

Launched 1962

Monthly circulation: 20,000

Cost: pounds 5.50. Subscription discount: 10 per cent.

Aim/Target: "We are the bible of the personal finance magazines. We publish in depth surveys of retail product types and refuse to take providers at their word."

Strength: Tells you all you ever wanted to know about a subject, and has a very good fund performance data. Authoritative.

Weakness: Designed for industry professionals, boringly written, so make sure it has an article you want to read before buying.

What Investment

Launched 1987

Circulation: 35,000

Cost: pounds 2.75. Subscription discount: 30 per cent.

Aim/target: "Geared to experienced investors who already have knowledge of collective investment vehicles."

Strength: Only title reviewed to focus solely on unit and investment trusts, and private pension funds.

Weakness: Not for the beginners. Nothing on personal insurance.

What Mortgage

Launched 1982

Monthly circulation: 35,000

Cost: pounds 2.50. No subscription

Aim/target: "Forty-nine per cent of readers are first-time buyers, 30 per cent remortgaging, so they want simple, informative and unbiased copy."

Strength: Covers main stream mortgages, but also features on self-build and loans for the self employed. Mortgage factfile covers "99 per cent" of available loans.

Weakness: Nothing but mortgages. Extremely repetitive: bit like a wedding magazine, you are only likely to read it for a few months

Your Mortgage

Launched 1986

Monthly circulation: 15,000

Costs: pounds 3. No subscription

Aim/target: "There are fewer lenders offering more varied loans. We try to help you choose the right kind of loan, before you approach a lender."

Strength: February's issue offers you the chance to win a power washer worth pounds 1,000!

Weakness: Thin mortgage factfile, same criticisms as above.

- Iain Morse

News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

    £35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

    Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

    Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

    £35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

    Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

    £45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

    'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

    In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
    VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

    How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

    Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
    They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

    Typefaces still matter in the digital age

    A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
    Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

    'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

    New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
    The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

    Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

    Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

    Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
    Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

    Crisp sales are in decline

    As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
    Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

    Ronald McDonald the muse

    A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
    13 best picnic blankets

    13 best picnic blankets

    Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
    Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

    Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

    Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
    Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'