Money and personal finance magazines

Personal finance is a hard-fought sector, especially given the extent of competition from daily newspaper columns on business, money, investing and wealth management. The advent of day trading has created a new sub-division in the past decade, with the emphasis on website support and real-time information. There is also extensive coverage – and dedicated sections – in the Saturday and Sunday papers. Even many of the strong titles have seen sales fall, for example Investors Chronicle dropping from about 38,000 in 2005 to 31,000 in 2017. The great exception is the Economist where sales have risen to 1.1m globally in 2017, with about a third as many digital subscribers. In addition, the Economist has 6,879 digital sales an issue, mainly as subscriptions.

Aceville Publications

What Franchise is a free magazine sent five times a year to people interested in buying a franchise and starting their own business. It carries a listings section with details of franchise offers.

Ashville Media Group

The Investor, which claimed to be Ireland's only magazine for the private investor, was published 10 times a year. The website says it is being 'reconstructed' and the company is focusing on customer magazines.

BBC Worldwide

In September 2005, launched How to be Better Off, a £3 one-shot personal finance magazine, with FT Business. It featured content from TV and radio shows such as Money Box, You and Yours and Working Lunch. The editorial strategy was to sell to 'readers who are interested in personal financial management but find current sources of advice in the market daunting'. The website stated:

BBC Magazines and Financial Times Business magazines have joined forces to produce How to be Better Off. Combining the consumer affairs expertise of major BBC television, radio and internet brands with the financial acumen of FT Business, How To Be Better Off aims to target readers who are interested in personal financial management but find current sources of advice in the market daunting. Flagship BBC shows such as Moneybox, You and Yours and Working Lunch all feature strongly in the new magazine, as do contributions by experts including Adrian Chiles, Declan Curry, Paul Lewis and Liz Barclay.

BBC Worldwide profile


Charterhouse specialised in investment and financial magazines, books and websites with mortgage and wealth management divisions, but suspended trading in its shares in February 2008 and in April went into administration. Its consumer monthly since 1982 What Mortgage magazine for prospective house purchasers, borrowers transferring between lenders or types of mortgage, and financial intermediaries was sold to Metropolis International Group.

Cobweb Information

Cobweb publishes information for business start-ups, small business owners and their advisers. Better Business magazine, a subscription title published every two months. It was launched in 1992 by Sophie Chalmers and Andrew James at Active Information, which sold Better Business in September 2007

The Economist Newspaper

The Economist was founded in 1843. It is an international magazine of economics and politics rather than personal finance. The Economist call itself a newspaper though its format is that of a weekly magazine. From 1928 to 2016, it was half owned by Pearson's Financial Times Group, but was bought out by its private investors when the FT was bought by Nikkei, the Japanese media group (Pearson profile). Editorial independence is guaranteed by a board of trustees. To mark its first 150 years, it ran an article by Ruth Dudley Edwards* . This began: 'The main virtues of today's Economist - reverence for facts and figures, integrity, consistency of principle, rational analysis and absolute clarity – were already visible under the editorship (1843-57) of its founder, James Wilson, a Scottish hat-manufacturer. So too were the main defects: arrogance, priggishness, absence of doubt, frequent failures of imagination and too-clever-by-halfery.'
*The Pursuit of Reason: The Economist 1843-1993 by Ruth Dudley Edwards, Hamish Hamilton (1993)

FT Business

FT Business Publishing is the specialist publishing arm of Financial Times Group, which is owned by Pearson (profile). It publishes 14 titles, including:

Guardian Magazines

The Guardian gained control of Money Observer, which was founded in 1979, when it took over the Sunday Observer newspaper in 1993. It sold the title to Moneywise in February 2008.
Guardian profile

Incisive Media

Your Mortgage was founded in 1986 as a monthly magazine for mortgage borrowers. Website includes news, mortgage calculators and best buy tables.
Incisive profile

Market Publishing

The Market was a consumer magazine published 10 times a year covering investment, business, property and finance. It was launched in October 2010 with financial backing from James Caan, one of the investors who came to public attention in BBC TV's Dragons’ Den series. The Market had a print-run of 40,000 copies, most distributed through newsagents and 5,000 through controlled circulation by post to entrepreneurs and business people. However, by 2017 the website was no longer active.

Metropolis International

Publishes about 25 business and consumer titles, including:


Among the facts MoneyWeek – 'the best-selling financial magazine' – quotes to advertisers is that 20% of readers are company directors, and that the mean value of investments is £715,000. MoneyWeek sends out Money Morning, a free investment email.

Moneywise Publishing

Moneywise claimss to be the 'biggest-selling personal finance magazine' in the UK. The website (December 2005) quotes an ABC figure of 60,035, but this dates back to 2003, as does the NRS readership figure of 182,000. It gives data on products its readers buy:
Product Readers Index
ISA/PEP 93,000 225
Personal pension 51,000 191
Private health insurance 35,000 274
New mortgage in past year 18,000 185
In February 2008, Moneywise Publishing bought personal finance monthly Money Observer from Guardian Media Group. The deal came a month after GMG combined with private equity group Apax Partners to buy the trade magazines arm of Emap. The website carries stories from Money Observer, a free weeky newsletter of investment tips and news about personal finance.

Moneywise was bought by Capital Accumulation from the UK arm of Reader's Digest Association in October 2004. Capital Accumulation also owns investment website Interactive Investor.

MSM Magazines

Shares was launched in 1999 and aims at analysts, fund managers, stockbrokers, company directors and private investors. It comes out on every Thursday. About a third of the 15,000+ circulation is through newsagents and subscriptions. The rest is controlled circulation on airlines and the offices of banks, financial groups and the Financial Times. Subscribers gain free access to the web edition, app and digital edition, and sister website, MoneyAM, where live data and share prices are available.

Other MSM websites include:

Seven Publishing

Who Wants to be a Millionaire was launched in October 2005 by Seven Publishing but has since closed. It was published under licence from Celador, who make the TV series of the same name. Seven's main title is the food monthly Delicious.
Seven profile

Spear's Publishing

Spear's is a 'wealth management and luxury lifestyle media brand whose flagship magazine has become a must-read for the ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW) community'. Spear's, which sports a cover price of £25, is sent four times a year to 30,000 rich people.

The company was started in 2006 as Spear's Media, a contract publisher, by journalist William Cash. It published Spear's Wealth Management Survey, a quarterly sent to 25,000 wealthy people and families across Europe, and Annabel's, for the London night club. The titles aimed for the 'super rich' and 'high net worth individuals'. The company was sold to upmarket customer publisher Luxury Publishing – which produced Quintessentially for the personal concierge company – in 2007. A Russian edition of Spear's was launched in 2008. In August 2009, Cash and private equity firm Nectar Capital bought back control of Spear’s and Luxury went into administration a month later.

Your Trading Edge

Your Trading Edge magazine has been published every two months since 1997 for traders and investors covering trading strategies for contracts for difference, stocks, options, futures, forex and commodities. It is distributed in Australia, the UK, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the US.

Money and personal finance titles (2012)

Title Publisher Launch date Print sales
Jul-Dec 2016*
(2012 figure)
Better Business Cobweb Information 1992 n/a
Economist, The (UK edition) The Economist Newspaper 1843 160,931
Digital: 81,170
How to be Better Off BBC/FT 2005 one-off annual
Investor, The (Ireland) Ashville Media closed
(was 5,045)
Investors Chronicle (weekly) FT Business 27,031
Market, The Market Publishing 2010 40,000
(print run)
Money Observer Moneywise/Guardian Magazines 1979 11,748
MoneyWeek (weekly) Moneyweek 46,498
Moneywise Moneywise Publishing 8,946
Shares MSM Media 1999 13,594
Jan-Jun 2016
Spear’s Spear Media/Luxury/Spear Publishing 30,000
(controlled circulation)
What Franchise Partridge Publications (2000)/Aceville 11,152
(controlled circulation)
What Mortgage Charterhouse/Metropolis ? n/a
Who Wants to be a Millionaire Seven/Celador 2005 closed
Your Mortgage Incisive 1986 n/a
Your Trading Edge Your Media Edge 1997 n/a
*Source: Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC,