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Chuck Jaffe: When Money Runs Out: Magazine’s Demise Puts Consumers On Alert

FYI: The five dirtiest words in personal finance are “now, next, best, top and must.”

As in “Five money moves to make now,” or “The best funds for the new year,” or, doubling up “The next move all investors must make.”

For years, lines like those — appealing to base instincts of consumers — were a staple of Money magazine covers. The magazine used focus groups to test for cover lines that would make its product jump off the newsstand, and the same basic themes came up again and again.


  • The problem is not just finding reliable and conflict free personal finance advice. It is an extension of finding reliable and conflict free news. There is so much content generated online that is driven by various interested groups that objective, useful information is hardly available anymore. It will get worse and worse.
  • edited April 2019
    If there’s such a thing as good financial porn that was it. Remember grabbing a copy or so off the supermarket stands in the spring of ‘97 and enjoying them outdoors as it warmed in these parts. Those were transitional years. One year from retirement and had recently let go of my fee-based plan advisor - ill prepared to manage the accumulated assets on my own.

    Some other things which helped shape my thinking back than were Andrew Tobias’ The Only Investment Guide You’ll ever Need and a recent book by John Bogle: Bogle On Mutual Funds: New Perspectives for the Intelligent Investor. The WSJ was still pretty good reading. And, of course, Rukeyser’s weekly interviews with the likes of John Templeton / Perter Lynch were influential. Bill Fleckenstein had some good free columns online in those years and helped instill in me a wariness of markets (probably excessive) which still prevails today.
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