March 2014: Investing Newsletters & Magazines

This Broker Monitor Report looks at all of the online and printed newsletters and magazines we received over the last six months. For both publications, we first reviewed any materials that we received directly from the firm or from our advisor, based on the accounts we hold at each firm. Since most materials are also available online, we also searched firms’ client sites, advisor homepages and mobile offerings to see if there were publications that were targeted towards individual retail investors. For the purposes of this report, we defined magazines as lengthy publications that include a cover page, feature stories and long-form articles, along with other elements (e.g., letters from the editor) that we traditionally see in magazines. On the other hand, we defined newsletters as shorter publications (no more than a few pages) that either highlight key stories or provide short articles to investors. As we investigated the investment newsletters and magazines offered by each Broker Monitor firm, we focused on the following issues and features:

  • Do the firms offer newsletters or magazines?
  • In what format are these provided in?
  • Are any supplemental resources offered along with them?

In our review of all
Broker Monitor firms, we were surprised to find that nearly 80% of firms offer some type of branded newsletter and magazine, whether in print or digital format. Overall, 31% of
Broker Monitor firms offer investment magazines and nearly 60% offer investment newsletters to their client base.

 

Since the last time we reviewed this topic, a myriad of changes have taken place. First, several firms no longer offer print magazines; some either got rid of them entirely or transitioned content to periodical online newsletters. Out of all firms that continue to issue print publications, eight issue their publications as PDFs. Also, 85% of brokerages in this report also issue interactive versions or accompanying sitelets, and four firms offer related mobile applications.

 


Additional key findings include:

  • Four full-service firms offer publications that are personalized or branded with advisor information.
  • Two firms utilize current marketing campaigns as taglines for their publications.
  • Seven firms offer newsletters printed on at least a monthly basis.