Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine Review

Kiplinger's Personal Finance

I have been avidly reading Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine since I have been in college, when I would read the latest edition at the library.  I am probably an outlier for the average readership age, but I have always found Kiplinger’s to be educational and also provides sound advice on money management in addition to investing.  While other financial periodicals have gone the way of the dinosaur, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has been able to stick it out year after year!

  • Periodical Name: Kiplinger’s Personal Finance
  • Publishing Frequency: Monthly/ 12 issues per year
  • Cost: $12 for first year & $24 every subsequent year
  • Recommended: YES

What Is Kiplinger’s?

Kiplinger’s Personal Finance is a monthly publication about stock & bond investing and money management in those big expense areas of life such as home ownership, buying a vehicle, and retirement.

In my opinion, the magazine is geared more towards middle-aged families and those nearing retirement, but they also include a special column for Gen Xers and Millennials. Plus, their stock and mutual funds tips can be applied by any reader.  Kiplinger’s advocates long-term investing and low-cost investing (no-load funds or index funds with low expense ratios).

Each month they have several columnists that cover a variety of topics.

Kiplinger’s Articles for February 2019

Here’s an overview of the articles from the February 2019 issues. The format is very consistent each month, but every few months they have their annual and “best stocks/ETFs/Mutual Funds to buy” and a mid-year checkup.

  • Opening pages usually provide a brief summary of the latest financial trends
    • In this issue, you can read short articles on how to brace for stock market corrections, investing in an HSA, and avoiding identity theft.
  • Up to three articles on investing in individual stocks that are normally 1 to 4 pages in length.
  • Three short articles on mutual funds and ETFs.
    • Normally more focused towards mutual funds and the “Kip 25” (Kiplinger’s mutual fund & ETF select list) But they might also focus on a specific brokerage (i.e. Fidelity) or investing themes (i.e. small caps, infrastructure, or cybersecurity)
  • One article about bond investing
  • Two or three articles on retirement planning & managing money when retired
  • One or two articles on real estate & living (i.e. 10 Best Places to Retire or 10 Cheapest College Towns For 30-something families)
  • One short article a piece on the best rates for bank accounts or credit cards, automobiles, and technology.

*Every issue can vary a little but the bulk of the magazine consists of stock recommendations & money management for retirement.

Why I Keep Reading Kiplinger’s   Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine Review

I like Kiplinger’s because it’s not all one big advertisement.  I opened up the pages to one of my wife’s subscriptions and literally, every page was an advertisement.  Even the articles were so busy they looked like advertisements themselves.  They do have advertisements every couple pages (it’s how they pay their rent) but are tastefully spaced between articles.

As I mentioned before, I am most likely an outlier from my peers because I read this magazine.  But how many people think financial advice is cool?  In my free time, one of my hobbies is reading the news & finance.  I used to have subscriptions to several finance magazines: Kiplinger’s, Money, Forbes, Barron’s, Wall Street Journal, and Smart Money.  In addition to an occasional investing strategy newsletter that I would subscribe to for a year or two, just to see a different perspective.

Of those listed, Kiplinger’s is the only one I still maintain a subscription due to the lack of time to read (I got married and have one child so far) or the magazine went out of print 🙁 (Smart Money).

Discover my 6 favorite stock investing newsletters. Kiplinger’s is one of the recommendations.

I like Kiplinger’s because it is affordable and because it’s a monthly publication.  I have all month to read the articles that are concise yet full of knowledge.  I dropped my subscription to the weekly and bi-weekly magazines because I no longer had time to read them as soon as they arrived.  I enjoyed the content, but life is busier than only sitting on the couch with a magazine in my hands.

In the internet age, you can get stock recommendations in quicker, more efficient methods.  You can argue this makes printed publications “obsolete.”  I even occasionally visit several websites where people have up-to-date similar investing information.  With all the ups & downs in the market, knowing what to do after the Volkswagen scandal is more crucial when the news breaks than at the next publication date to maximize your earning potential.

But I like the well-balanced and detailed articles of Kiplinger’s.  I think its strategy is timeless and pairs well with the advice you might receive from the broker or read on the internet.  Their money management articles are also what keep me a subscriber.  The articles get me to think and evaluate about my own financial decisions and what I can do differently to save enough for retirement.

In a nutshell, Kiplinger’s provides the basic investment advice that can allow you to generate decent passive income while helping you make daily money management decisions to help you live your life today and during retirement.

Kiplinger’s Pros & ConsKiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine Review

I will quickly summarize what I like & dislike about Kiplinger’s Personal Finance


  • Great, Affordable Magazine For Beginning & Experienced Investors
  • Understandable
    • Not very technical like other publications so anybody can read it and understand their recommendations.
    • DISCLAIMER:  With any investing, some individual thought is still required & you need to make the decision you feel is best.
  • Good mix of conservative & aggressive investing.  (No “penny-stocks” however.)
  • Articles on investing, real estate, insurance, and retirement in a single publication.
  • Not overwhelmed with advertisements 🙂

It only costs $12 to subscribe which means it can be easy to recoup your subscription cost with one winning stock or simply using their money management tips to spend less in your daily life.


  • Published Monthly (Some info could be old & commonly known for free by the time you receive the magazine).
    • Admit it, we love having an unlimited abundance of information instantly available even though we all suffer from “information overload.”
  • More geared for people nearing retirement…but their stock tips and Gen X/Millennial-specific advice helps ensure this magazin offers something for everybody.

Will You Read Kiplinger’s?

Do you like reading information about financial advice?  If so, I think Kiplinger’s is a good read.  For $12, it’s an affordable way to get sound financial advice.  It’s cheaper than other investment newsletters that you might receive advertisements for in your mailbox.  Plus, they offer more than just investment advice.

Do you read Kiplinger’s or another financial magazine?  Do you prefer print or digital subscriptions?

Link: Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance for only $12 a year!







About the Author

I'm a personal freelance writer.

6 Comments on "Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine Review"

  1. Kiplinger’s is my favorite too (although I liked Smart Money until it disappeared). I like the broad range of articles and find that while there’s still some articles that go way over my head, most don’t. And over the last 6-7 years of reading it, less and less go over my head, which is a nice way of measuring my increasing financial literacy.

    • Thanks for stopping by. Smart Money was my favorite as well and it was a sad day when I received the final issue. I’m glad Kiplinger’s is still around and I can share the same sentiment that my financial literacy has improved partly due to this magazine. I like the variety of topics that are covered and the content is always seems encouraging and new!

  2. I like Kiplinger’s because it’s still low cost and for $1 month there is always some useful article. Their articles are useful for the average self-managed investor and I find the “you’re getting closer to retirement age” articles very useful for planning, even if it’s still 10 years away.

    • I think the low cost is a huge selling point & they need to keep a low cost to remain in business. When Smart Money quit publication, Kiplinger’s ran an article addressing the issue. When Kiplinger’s first went into print, several decades ago, they charged noticeably more for an annual subscription, around $50 if I recall. Now you can get a subscription for $12 and auto-renew for $24 per year ($2 an issue) and you still aren’t bombarded with advertisements on every page and still get quality content.

      Thanks for leaving a comment!

  3. Hey, Josh. Mrs. Groovy and I have made a sacred vow to avoid subscriptions for the time being. But I do run across a Kiplinger article every now and then via Real Clear Markets. Nice post, my friend. Cheers.

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