Advantages This is the best quality paper in Britain
|Quality of journalism|
|Quality of features|
|Value for money||Excellent|
|Quantity of advertising||Very high|
I love the F.T. I first started reading it about six years ago to check the price of some shares my parents gave me, and I have been reading it faithfully ever since. It's not just that it's taught me everything I know about finance, but I also feel it's the most neutral, least politically biased newspaper published in Britain.
The Financial Times was first published in 1888 and adopted the distinctive salmon coloured paper in 1893 to distinguish itself from other papers. The paper is owned by Pearson Plc (who publish Penguin). In 1997, it launched the US edition and by 1998 it became the first UK-based paper to sell more copies internationally than in the UK. FT Deutchland which is in German, was launched in 2000.The Financial Times is rated higher than the Wall Street Journal, primarily because it is so accurate, authoritative and neutral (the Wall Street Journal by contrast has a neo-conservative slant and is not trusted in Asia and Europe). Rumour has it that the F.T. is the only UK paper to be delivered to the White House every day.
The daily FT has two sections, the main paper and Companies & Markets. This tends to get supplemented occasionally when they are doing special features on the Far East, Eastern Europe, or on particular industries. I tend to get the Weekend paper, which is published on Saturdays. In addition to the two main sections, the Saturday issue will have FT Weekend, FT Money, The Magazine and once a month the How to Spend IT supplement.
The main paper covers political and economic news from around the world. This is the main joy of the paper - it has such a Global perspective. You'll read about how soaring interest rates are affecting the New Zealand economy, or about the new man-made islands being built off the coast of Dubai or how online shopping is taking off around the world (the Germans are the most enthusiastic apparently) or about the Italian senate approving electoral reform. In short a whole lot of very interesting stuff that the other papers ignore entirely. There is always solid European coverage.
The Main Section
Everything is reported straight without distortion. There are usually only two opinion columns apart from the editorial (which makes a nice change from other papers who seem to have nothing but opinion). The main paper also has the famous Lex column, which comments on the business issue of the day. This section does include a TV guide and a page of sport.
This section is the business end of the FT. The back of the paper will list the closing price of the previous day, of every share listed on the London Stock Exchange, and the closing price of all insurance funds, pension funds, unit trusts and OEICs. They also list the closing price of the major shares from stock exchanges around the world; Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, through to Turkey, India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and of course shares from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ (the exchange based in Chicago). In addition you can find bond prices and yields; currency rates (spot and futures) against the dollar, euro and pound; commodity prices (aluminium, copper, gold, oil, soya beans etc) and money market interest rates from around the world.In short, if you require financial data, this is where you go for it.
The FT, together with The Institute of Actuaries, also compiles the famous the famous FTSE index of share prices (for the technically minded, this is a number derived from the weighted average of the share price of the 100 biggest companies in the London Stock Exchange). So when people say "The Footsie was up five points to 5542", now you know what they are talking about! This number is published every day in this supplement.The front part of this supplement carries stories about individual companies. For example, stories of companies issuing profit warnings, potential takeover bids, major products being launched, chief executives being appointed (or sacked). Most holders of shares will read these articles keenly as they may have information that could move the share price.
This is the lifestyle section of the FT. The front page will carry a long feature. Recent ones have been about cycling across Egypt, the dating habits of New Yorkers (the etiquette is more complex than in Jane Austen!) and so on. There is usually a big interview with a writer, artist or politician, the subjects come from around the world in keeping with the FT's global perspective. They usually cover wine, food, restaurants, jewelery, clothes, galleries, antiques. There's always lots of features on travel, a minimum three destinations will be covered. The back page has two columns, "Slow Lane, by Harry Eyres and "Fast Lane" by Tyler Brûlé. I personally enjoy the Brûlé column as he seems to spend all his time whizzing round the world, so you hear about the shops in Tokyo and his adventures in Toronto and so on.
This section is for private investors. They'll discuss pensions, ISA's, tax planning, mortgages. Peter Temple (the legendary fund manager from Fidelity) usually does a column. There is usually a money makeover feature and a readers questions feature. In this supplement you will find a list of the latest mortgage and savings rates from all the banks and building societies.
The magazine always has a long in-depth feature of serious journalism: recently they had a fascinating piece about Kazahkstan, which is the size of Europe but has only 15 million people, and oil and uranium galore and how they were using the money to build a cutting edge city, hiring the best architects in the world, in the middle of this ice zone (the city's name was originally Kazahk for "white grave"). The magazine always carries book reviews, cinema, theatre and art reviews, some interviews and the personal ads.
This glossy magazine comes with the FT once a month on Saturdays, and yes it's about luxury goods. They'll feature sumptuous articles with a lot of colour photographs, on clothes, jewelery, watches, cars, very expensive gadgets for the boys like solid gold memory sticks. You get the picture. These features wouldn't be out of place in Vogue (though unlike Vogue there is plenty of stuff for men, gadgets, cars and so on)
How to Spend IT
Why do I enjoy this newspaper so much? Because it's so different to everything else on offer both on the newstand and on television. I find it both more balanced and realistic: life isn't one disaster after another, or confined to the Westminister village, it's more interesting and varied than that, and the FT covers this variation. I am also interested in finance and this paper is the rolls-royce of financial news. I like the global reach, I like reading about what the latest fad is in Finland and elsewhere, the good things as well as the disasters. I particularly like the lack of heavy politics. Finally I never feel depressed after reading the FT; I never come away thinking, God the world's a mess. After reading, I usually feel the world's a pretty stable, interesting place.
You can buy the FT at newstands for £1.20.They also have a web-site www.ft.com. The web-site is a mix of free articles and subscription articles. Many articles are free on the day published and subscription afterwards. During the stock-market's opening hours, you can also look up share prices with a fifteen-minute delay on this site, and they even have graphs on each one. I understand that most of their subscription users are investment banks who want access to the FT's archive of articles and prices. The site also has a link that takes you to the German FT Deutchland version.
Attention, this is the first review from this author
Instead of giving a negative rating, consider:
Help this member by giving your advice
Report fraud (for example plagiarism) or other issue with the review to the Ciao support team
Add your comment