Barron’s Magazine Review – A Treasure Trove of Investing Ideas

Advertising Disclosure This article/post contains references to products or services from one or more of our advertisers or partners. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products or services
After only a few weeks of Barron's I was ready to call the single best financial publication out there. It is comprehensive, inexpensive, and dedicated to a single topic: the financial markets.

I'll break Barron's down into a sum of the parts to go through what you get with each issue and explain and review the publication as a whole.

Our Rating: - 10

10

Barron's is one of the country's most trusted financial publications. Readers get weekly articles containing investing ideas, trends and concepts. The articles are well written yet not too complicated. The only drawback may be Barron's relatively high price tage, but the quality more than makes up for the cost.

First Things First: Barron's Focus

Barron's is entirely dedicated to investing, differentiating the magazine from the Wall Street Journal (our review here), which is a business and world news with some investing content and other magazines like Money Magazine, which focus primarily on personal finance.

Each week, Barron's highlights a major cover story, usually about a single industry or company. In the October 22, 2012 edition, Barron's featured a story titled “Death Knell for Desktops.”

Each edition is full of investment ideas in the main weekly edition. These investment ideas come from authors' own research, and may be topical (the company has been a recent critic of Facebook) or not so topical analyses of lesser-followed businesses.

Barron's offers five investment ideas each week for individual stock pickers. Investment ideas are entirely fundamentally driven; you'll find analysis of businesses, not their charts or so-called “technicals.”

Each issue also contains a weekly profile of an investment manager, an interview of a CEO, Q&A with an asset manager, and finally an editorial commentary. Spanning 58 pages in the most recent edition, it's certainly not thin for a weekly.

Market Week

Inside each edition is a pullout known as “Market Week.” Market Week focuses on news-driven analysis from the previous week. Market Week features several different trading ideas, which run the gamut from options strategies to ETF trades of whole industries. This differs from Barron's in that Market Week follows the “big ideas,” with macro perspectives on international markets taking center-stage.

Market Week also lists closing prices for the most active stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, closed-end funds, bonds as well as prices for foreign stocks, indexes, bonds, commodities. Investors who remember eagerly checking newspapers for daily closing prices will enjoy this bit of black-thumbing nostalgia.

It also collects various economic data points to an extent you won't find in many other resources. For example, on page M54, I learn that for the week ended October 13th, the United States produced 70.3 billion kilowatt hours of electricity.

Oh, and if you wanted to know the line-up for corporate conference calls in the next week, it has that, too, with dates and times for each call. Market Week is 56 pages from cover-to-cover, though much of this is dedicated to lists of securities prices and data from economic events, which may or may not be useful to every investor.

Our Rating: - 10

10

Barron's is one of the country's most trusted financial publications. Readers get weekly articles containing investing ideas, trends and concepts. The articles are well written yet not too complicated. The only drawback may be Barron's relatively high price tage, but the quality more than makes up for the cost.

Writing Style

Barron's makes the assumption that its readers are familiar with investing analysis and ideas. The target audience includes senior managers and executives, institutional investors, finance professionals, and dedicated individual investors.

Make no mistake — Barron's is not a resource for personal finance. It rarely, if ever, covers issues involving individual tax law or asset allocation. The magazine presumes the reader is familiar with these concerns and is looking solely for investments to actively-select.

Readers will need some familiarity with investing ideas, trends, and concepts; however, articles are not overly technical. Writers use plain-language and I've always been satisfied with the content of each article, feeling as though I was left with a solid explanation of individual companies as well as a quick and dirty valuation of each company based on the explained metrics.

A Subscription You'll Actually Use

I have subscriptions to most business and finance publications, but Barron's is the only one I can say that I truly read from cover-to-cover. Each article is interesting and informative, and I'm left with the feeling that, even if I do not follow its trade recommendations, I have learned something actionable from each article in every weekly edition.

Barron's is more expensive than most other publications, coming in at $99 for 30 weeks, or $179 for the full year for print and online access. Online-only subscriptions (for computer or iPad users) are $99. Quality more than keeps up with the cost, however. Investors actively-involved in the markets will find the subscription price easy to justify. Do note that Barron's does not have an Android app, so readers will have to use the mobile site on Android devices.

All in all, Barron's is an excellent read for anyone interested in true investing analysis and news. Due to its extreme focus on all things investing, I would recommend pairing it with a subscription to a business news weekly like Business Week to stay fully-informed. For a pure publication on the financial markets, there is no better choice.

Larry Ludwig

Larry Ludwig was the founder and editor in chief of Investor Junkie. He graduated from Clemson University with a bachelor of science in computers and a minor in business. Back in the ’90s, I helped create some of the first financial websites for firms like Chase, T. Rowe Price, and ING Bank, and later went on to work for Nomura Securities. He’s had a passion for investing since he was 20 years old and has owned multiple businesses for over 20 years. He currently resides in Long Island, New York, with his wife and three children.

Related Articles

7 Comments

  1. Don’t bother subscribing to Barron’s unless you only want to read the digital version. I ordered Barron’s in November 2020 and never received a single print version. I have notified them of delivery issue and spoken to customer service and still no print issues. If you like the digital version and have not been receiving the print version call and tell them you want to cancel your subscription and maybe they will offer you Barron’s for free through December 2022, which they offered me.

  2. Correct! Actually getting a physical PRINT edition of Barrons seems next to impossible. After spending time emailing customer service and on the phone – they seem great at one thing – Wasting your Time and $$$. 3 weeks in a row – NEVER get what I am paying for !! Buyer Beware if you prefer physical PRINT edition!

  3. Seems Barron’s is walking away from print. Rarely arrives on Saturday. Time for me to renew and decide. Online subscription doesn’t even offer option to buy print. I prefer both.

  4. Awful Customer Service. I was able to purchase the Digital Edition only via phone, because Barron’s web platform would not accept my application. Barron’s managed to double-charge me and after calling them 6 times, were able to solve my issue. No compensation for their mess has been offered.

  5. Beware! If you want the print edition, yes some people actually like the print, you may have a hard time getting it. I called several times still no print edition. I received one because they mailed it to me because of the headache. Barron’s provide great information but bad service. PRINT BUYERS BEWARE!

  6. I am a digital and delivery subscriber. Great publication, however, they cannot seem to deliver the actual newspaper. Be warned.

  7. I agree with the insight and value of Barron’s.
    I just wish I could get it in Saturday mail, which doesn’t happen.

    When it gets delivered on Monday afternoon, Barron’s is just about useless to me.

    Anybody else figure out how to solve this problem?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button