Have we given up on financial education?
Parent company Interactive Investor told staff about the closures during a video call, confirming that their August editions will be their last.
Part of my role here at Informed Choice is speaking to journalists at a range of personal finance publications.
In a typical month, I’ll speak to 20-30 different journalists, sharing my opinions for their stories, and offering technical guidance too.
Since I started doing this back in 2002, I’ve provided hundreds of comments for Money Observer and Moneywise articles. I’m sorry to see them go and feel for the editorial team and freelancers affected.
What I found particularly interesting with news of the closures was details of the circulation figures for each publication.
The latest available ABC figures, for 2019, show a circulation of 12,125 for Money Observer, following a 29% year-on-year drop.
Moneywise experienced a 15% fall in circulation, falling to 8,706 last year.
Now, we know that the print publishing sector is in decline, with readerships falling across most publications.
Analysis of ABC circulation data by Press Gazette earlier this year found UK national newspaper sales have fallen by nearly two-thirds over the last two decades.
Print newspapers were dying before the coronavirus pandemic arrived, with Covid-19 likely to be the final nail in the coffin for many well-known titles.
Are Money Observer and Moneywise casualties of this wider decline in print publications, or does it signal something else? Have we given up on financial education?
With these publications missing from the shelves of newsagents, only the weekly publication Investors Chronicle remains in place for interested investors.
There’s speculation that Investors Chronicle could fill the gap of broader personal finance topics currently covered in Money Observer and Moneywise. Still, for now, it is a more specialist investing publication.
I don’t believe that investors and others with interest in money management are abandoning their financial education. They are only going elsewhere to find and consume knowledge.
The circulation figures for Money Observer and Moneywise last year are broadly equivalent to the monthly downloads we see for our podcast, Informed Choice Radio, and visits to this website.
We’re all spoilt for choice these days, in terms of money podcasts and money bloggers.
The shift in consumption of money news and information should remind us to consider our sources carefully.
The articles published in a magazine, while not always totally aligned to best Financial Planner practice, do at least come from an independent source, written by experienced journalists. They source their information from trusted experts.
What you stumble across on the web, in search of answers to your money questions, could easily be #fakenews, or worse a nefarious attempt to part you from your money.