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Best Business Magazine(s)?


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Apologies if there are threads about this already but I couldn't quickly find any. I'm curious for the community's opinions on the best business magazine(s) today for use by investors. For example, is Fortune better than Forbes? Are any of them still good? I am curious for actual magazines, rather than newspapers, since I already have a good sense of the best options there. I was inspired to ask from a 1997 (I think) clip of the Berkshire AGM where Charlie answered a question about recommended texts with something like (complete paraphrase from memory): ~"I've found business magazines [rather than particular books] to be the best resource for learning about a whole host of businesses." My impression is the quality of all the major ones has gone down since then, but if I'm wrong, I'd love to subscribe to a one or more based on community recommendations.

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A decade ago I would have strongly recommended BusinessWeek.  I liked it because it provided straight reporting on businesses, both in short and long form articles, and without an investment spin.  That meant I could learn about what was happenig to businesses without an angle and decide for myself whether something looked interesting.

 

Unfortunately, I found that politics started infecting their reporting to the point where a substantial portion of their magazine was no longer straight business reporting.  After subscribing for 20 years I dropped it.  Their current issue is the "Equity Issue" and has an article about fat people supposedly being fired for their weight.  Not exactly helpful in providing me with meaningful business information.

 

Fortune would be my recommendation right now, with the caveat that many articles approach a story from an investing angle.

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I am diligent reader of The Economist for more than 15 years. I guess I subscribe to their world view. I like the quality of their articles. As someone who is originally from middles east I found their analysis to be spot on. Extrapolating that into other regions that they cover, my assumption is that they are spot on as well 🙂

 

I subscribe to businessweek twice only in 15 years. The second time this year and I can only one find article (if any) worth reading. I hate their visuals too.  
 

now funny enough I love Bloomberg TV, so something is amiss when it goes to paper. 
 

I used to sneak in my town’ library for Barron’ and WSJ. I like their work but with Covid paper copies are gone.  
 

 I do maintain a digital Barron’ subscription. 

Edited by Xerxes
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I think Warren and Charlie have enjoyed reading specialist trade magazines for many decades - stuff like American Banker and similar for a bunch of different industries.  Fortune, Forbes and Barrons used to be sometimes helpful and can still be occasionally interesting - but you aren't going to learn much from those types of titles.  Maybe an interesting interview every once in a while.  The internet has helped lots of stuff rise to attention, so if there is a valuable or interesting interview somewhere - chances are people will be talking about it.  Even stuff the RH CEO says on a conference call gets passed around instantly these days so it doesn't seem necessary to subscribe to general business magazines.  I do still read them when I visit my Mother as she always has Fortune and Forbes in the bathroom.  Bloomberg purchased business week and I only got that one for a year or so in connection with a separate subscription to Bloomberg.  It wasn't something I missed when it stopped arriving.

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Business magazines used to be pretty good, but today? would you really buy the magazine, were you not already a subscriber?

And when it did arrive? - did you actually read anything 'in the moment', or did you really just toss it aside 'for later'? If the answer was 'yes', it's clearly a pretty sh1tty product !!

 

Trade magazines offer far better value for your time; not newsletters.

They come at a cost/magazine, tout product for the industry, and are written by industry experts for industry experts, in real time.. In o/g it has been well known, and for quite some time, that there are serious shortages of mud, sand, transport, chemicals, and drill crew. And that in some basins, it is much worse than in others. Yet most investors are only going to discover this in early May - when Q1 earnings come out? Obviously, if you can apply what you read, you should do very well!

 

If you just want to keep up on the 'market', you can do no better than the 'market' At any given time, either buy the index or hold cash, according to your view.

If you want to keep up on 'industry circles of competence', you need to invest in ongoing maintenance. If you don't think it worth the cost of the subscription, you obviously don't have the 'industry circle of competence' that you think you have!

 

Journalists will hate you, 'cause it costs jobs!

And neglect to mention that the few employed to write for trade magazines, earn multiples more than most business columnists.

Same total bill, just spread over fewer and better paid journalists!

 

SD

 

 

Edited by SharperDingaan
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I think it depends on the type of angle you're looking for. I used to love Fortune magazine. They'd go deep on companies. It was just a great magazine that talked about business. I've always kept an article that I read in 2010 or 2011 that predicted a massive housing short-fall (that we're now in the midst of). I enjoyed The Economist too for it's more global and macro analysis. Never was a huge fan of Businessweek. Forbes was OK. However everything seemed to change over the last decade as everything went digital. This is my totally subjective opinion but it seemed like the content of most business magazines began to wane and I let my subscriptions go except for the WSJ. 

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10 hours ago, SharperDingaan said:

Trade magazines offer far better value for your time

For real estate I enjoy and find value in subscribing to the local business journals (biz journals.com). It’s local stuff that doesn’t get reported on elsewhere, like SD says you can tell where development pockets and opportunities lie years in advance based on purchases, ecomic activity, business growth etc. 

 

I’ve never subscribed to any others but, although many have free content. it’s likely you can get access through your local library. Hotel news now (now owned by costar) has good hospitality and other real estate news, Argus has decent stuff on metals/mining, automotive news for auto sector, there is a wood products one whose name that is escaping me. Would be interested to hear if anyone has any others. 

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On 3/31/2022 at 9:33 PM, hasilp89 said:

For real estate I enjoy and find value in subscribing to the local business journals (biz journals.com). It’s local stuff that doesn’t get reported on elsewhere, like SD says you can tell where development pockets and opportunities lie years in advance based on purchases, ecomic activity, business growth etc. 

 

I’ve never subscribed to any others but, although many have free content. it’s likely you can get access through your local library. Hotel news now (now owned by costar) has good hospitality and other real estate news, Argus has decent stuff on metals/mining, automotive news for auto sector, there is a wood products one whose name that is escaping me. Would be interested to hear if anyone has any others. 

 

I enjoy The Real Deal on real estate, published monthly in print.  It has pretty broad coverage of the national real estate market and there are usually pretty good longer articles on various topics.  I look forward to getting it.

 

https://therealdeal.com/

 

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