A Review of 6 Popular Business Magazines
I have had the opportunity over the last few years to subscribe to six different business magazines: Fortune, Inc., Fast Company, Money, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and The Economist. After reading through so many different publications, I felt that it would be helpful to others if I published my thoughts concerning each magazine. Hopefully this will help others to make a more educated choice before they choose to subscribe. Fortunately, through various benefits and perks I did not have to pay for many of my subscriptions. However, my readers may not share my same good fortune and so I will do my best to inform you before your hard-earned money is spent.
Fast Company is a magazine that focuses on small business. Although the publication covers a wide variety of different topics, there are very few full, in-depth stories. A majority of the articles span one to two pages at most. I find this magazine particularly annoying because they often split their longer stories in half, with the remainder of the story located in the back. This creates a lot of unnecessary page flipping, which I have never seen in any other magazine I have ever read, business-related or not.
Of course, unnecessary page flipping is not a huge reason to forego the purchase of any magazine. However, I also find that Fast Company doesn't deliver on the same level of journalism as the other business magazines, and has proved itself to be of very little use.
Inc. magazine is published by the same company as Fast Company, and although it would be reasonable to expect the quality of the two magazines to be similar, this is not the case. In my opinion, Inc. magazine provides far more value to its readers.
Like Fast Company, Inc. also provides information about small businesses, with a focus on start-ups. The magazine is well known for its "Inc. 500" - a list of the 500 fastest growing small businesses in the United States. Inc. publishes far more in-depth stories than Fast Company, which to me, are far more useful. The magazine covers business strategies that have both worked and failed, and provides insight into the minds of the owners who developed such strategies.
If you are interested in reading about small business, I would recommend subscribing to Inc. magazine over Fast Company.
Fortune magazine has become one of the most widely recognized and prestigious magazines in circulation today. It has proven itself as a leader in business journalism, as well as a go-to source for company and personnel profiles and information. Unlike Fast Company and Inc., Fortune is focused on a much broader sense of business, and usually reports on large corporations, rather than small businesses. The magazine is also news-focused, meaning it provides less strategy and tips, and more coverage of major news stories and personal opinions.
I like Fortune magazine mainly because there is so much content packed into one, nicely bound publication. The average issue is about 100 pages, and the "Fortune 500" special edition issue was over 300! Each issue usually contains several well written cover stories, a few professional editorials, and a synopsis of the technologies, businesses, and people that have been in the recent spotlight. I always find that the quality of the magazine is above par, however, in my opinion the magazine is usually very wordy, which probably contributes to its great length.
Not to be confused with "Smart Money" magazine, Money is one of my favorite magazines that I have received thus far. This magazine is more like Fast Company and Inc., in that it provides tips and advice rather than news coverage. However, rather than focus on small business, Money also focuses on personal finance issues, such as investing, retirement, tax planning, estate planning, and employment.
Money magazine is full of professional advice, usually from around the country, that I find very useful and relevant. Instead of stories that distance themselves from their readers, the writers at Money write to involve the reader, and many of the magazine's articles include reader questions and comments. The magazine is always of superb quality, and Money does a very good job of making mundane information (e.g. interest rates) entertaining. I would highly recommend this magazine to anyone interested in personal finance, financial planning, or investing.
Bloomberg's BusinessWeek is my latest subscription, and most undoubtedly my favorite. If I could only choose one magazine to remain subscribed too, BusinessWeek would take my vote. The publication is more like a weekly newspaper than a magazine, but it still arrives in magazine format, so for all practical purposes I am considering it a magazine.
Like a newspaper, BusinessWeek includes all the latest news, with well researched facts and information, laid out in a format that is easy to follow. The magazine starts with the latest headlines in short, mostly half-page articles, that are sorted by the following categories: Global Economics, Companies & Industries, Politics & Policy, Technology, and Markets & Finance. After the headlines, BusinessWeek reports several, very high quality cover stories that quickly bring you up-to-date, even if you've never heard of the material. As an added bonus, the pages are always filled with beautiful images and graphs that enhance the journalism, which creates a very pleasant read. To my amazement, every time I read an issue of BusinessWeek, I always walk away feeling so much smarter.
Our final magazine up for review is published by our good friends across the pond. "The Economist" is a British magazine through and through, and as such, provides helpful insight into how outsiders view American ideologies. Published weekly, the magazine succeeds very well at covering the most current of topics, and usually focuses on politics and economics.
Warning: I just noted that The Economist covers politics and economics, so if those topics aren't your interest, this magazine might become a bit of a bore. However, if you would love nothing more than to curl up by a fire and read how the new Venezuelan president differs in policy from the old president, than this magazine is for you!
A truly international magazine, The Economist scores high for it's breadth of coverage and unique independent voice. The only downsides to subscribing to this magazine are the wordy articles and the mature, high-level topics (but is that really a bad thing?).
Remember, presented here are just my opinions. I would love to hear yours and any experiences you may have had, so please leave me a comment below!
Thank you for reading!
- FastCompany.com - Where ideas and people meet
- Inc. Magazine
Small Business and Small Business Information for the Entrepreneur
- FORTUNE on CNNMoney
Fortune 500 Daily & Breaking Business News
- Money Magazine on CNNMoney
Personal finance advice, ideas, tips and financial planning
- Businessweek - Business News, Stock Market & Financial Advice
Read the latest international business news & stock market news. Get updated company profiles, financial advice, global economy and technology news.
- The Economist - World News, Politics, Economics, Business & Finance
The Economist offers authoritative insight and opinion on international news, politics, business, finance, science, technology and the connections between them.
Have you read any of these magazines before?
© 2011 Micah