There was a time when I had several magazine subscriptions – yes, those rolling subscription contracts that you always forgot to cancel and only remembered when the amount had been taken out of your bank account already!
I recall that I only really flicked through the magazines, reading certain articles, skimming over most of them – they were mostly full of adverts so it was a fair amount of money to pay for just a few minutes of actual reading.
I dread to think how much I wasted on such subscriptions, during a time when I could ill afford to spend money – a time when I should have been paying down my debt. Those were the days before vast amounts of information about stuff you were interested in were freely available on the internet. (Yes kids, once upon a time – shock horror – there was no Google! 🙂 )
Anyway, despite so much free information being available at my fingertips these days, sometimes it’s nice to read about one of my favourite hobbies (personal finance!) on a medium other than a pc or tablet screen.
Hence I was drawn to certain financial magazine subscriptions on offer, which I’m sure many readers will have seen being advertised, Moneywise
and Money Observer
I signed up for Moneywise first (four issues for £1, normal price £3.95 per issue) and then Money Observer (three issues for £1, normal price £4.95 per issue). So for 7 months, I had a magazine delivered to my doorstep – how very 90s! 🙂
These magazines cover general financial topics of the sort that you would read in say, the money section
of the Daily Mail.
In the issues I received, articles included guides on controlling debt, how to save money, active vs passive investing, how to purchase a holiday home, info on the recent changes to pensions and how not to get scammed.
In one of the issues, I also received a supplement on investment trusts, which I found very useful.
This magazine was aimed more at people who already had some knowledge of investing. Articles and information had a lot more detail about investments, funds and shares, but they were well written and easily understood.
In the issues I received, articles included how investors could avoid the yield trap, what will happen when the bond market crashes, the opportunities and dangers of penny shares, lump sum vs pound cost averaging.
Ros Altmann also had her own ‘Pension Clinic’ column in the magazines I read, probably her last pieces before she took on the role of Pensions Minister.
Also useful were the comprehensive lists of all funds and investment trusts available to invest in the UK, showing top performers etc,
All in all, I thought it was worth getting seven magazines for just £2. As it was so novel and different to receive magazines in the post, I looked forward to them being delivered and pretty much read all of them from cover to cover.
However, although I did enjoy reading them (in particular Money Observer) personally I would be reluctant to shell out full price on a subscription – useful and enjoyable they might be, I just can’t justify that kind of spend, not when I’m trying to cut costs and ramp up my savings rate.
I’ve since found that if you wait a bit, some of the articles in the magazines appear on-line, so I now check out the respective websites regularly for updates.
For now, the magazines are in a pile and I have occasionally returned to them for reference, although at some point, as regulations change and the government makes further inevitable tweaks to pensions, ISAs, etc, they’ll be binned as they’ll be out of date. (One’s gone already as it was pretty much all about the elections).
I’ve not been tempted yet to go for the special offers on weekly financial magazines, but will probably give them a go too at some point.
Are there any other offers/magazines worth checking out?