Admittedly, the days of following up stock movements in the Financial Times are long gone. Nowadays, savvy investors follow their investments either online or through well-informed magazines such as Investors Chronicle (IC). Originally published in 1860 as the Money Market Review and merging with the Journal of Finance in 1914, Investors Chronicle is an excellent tool for individual investors, who are interested in the stock market and an exceptionally highly regarded magazine in the financial sector.
Published every Friday by the esteemed Financial Times group, Investors Chronicle is an 85 page edition full of financial information, and arranged in a way that attracts investors, provides information and addresses issues that even small investors could need.
In the first twenty pages, Investors Chronicle focuses on financial news about listed companies, short market review of how the market has performed over the last week, general economic outlook, and financial predictions about the following week. The news section is well written, comprehensive and unbiased informing not only the average investor, but also the lay person in the street about the trends in the stock market and the expectations of the analysts for the forthcoming period.
Discussion on company fundamentals, company news, company results, share splits, mergers and acquisitions and future market trends takes place in the largest part of the magazine. In particular, the Investment Trusts section covers news on US stocks and provides useful information on how companies use their money to buy shareholdings in other companies. Investment Trust is, in effect, funds of funds that can help an average investor to allocate risk in emerging markets in Latin America and East Asia.
The market coverage changes every week based on financial developments that affect market performance. Besides, Investors Chronicle provides historical data on past market trends as well as ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ recommendations based on reasons to estimate that certain market trends are likely to continue or not. Similarly, the sector coverage provides a balanced overview of sectors that can ensure a proper risk diversification in a portfolio, but also gravitates on those sectors that can make investors more knowledgeable. For instance, the magazine explains the difference between value added and knowledge-based industries so that investors know in which sectors to invest, but mostly why it makes more sense to invest in some industries over others.
The Tips section is perhaps the most significant section of IC for individual investors, who are provided with ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ recommendations based on fundamental analysis, typically for three large and three small companies to a maximum of six tips. Each company is fully reviewed by major brokerage houses with explanations on why they are tipped and presented with a chart that shows stock price performances and each company’s financial statistics. Besides, the Tips section provides an update on previous recommendations and explanations on why the recommendations have changed from ‘buy’ to ‘sell’ or vice versa.
The companies reviewed in the Tips section are usually from the Banking, Retailing, Biotech, Construction, Technology or Pharmaceutical sectors and the advice provided is well balanced covering both the pros and the cons of each company offering the investors a well-rounded perspective. Besides, shares that are tipped on Investors Chronicle on Friday are typically marked up on Monday, which shows how well respected the magazine is from investors and how highly influential is considered. On the other hand, it makes sense for investors to cross-check the information provided in IC and to use the Tips section as a starting point for their investment strategy.
Another interesting section of Investors Chronicle is the Statistics Section which provides information on worldwide economic indicators, while the magazine has different features every week that are helpful and enable investors to gain a broader understanding of the market.
Overall, Investors Chronicle is a useful tool for individual investors who have an idea about the markets and their mechanisms. Although it aims at reaching a broader audience, IC is a specialist magazine that provides straightforward and insightful information, interesting debate and reliable data. Coming currently at a retail price of 3.25, Investors Chronicle is considered by many rather expensive. However, an annual subscription of 115 can save investors a substantial amount of money.