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Saving Money

Yes, We Can

We have the most experienced staff of journalists offering advice when you need help the most.

President Obama and I have something in common: We both have the dubious distinction of taking over a financial enterprise in the midst of a financial crisis. Why would either of us want such a job?

Speaking for myself, becoming editor of Kiplinger's Personal Finance is certainly a challenge (that's a euphemism for "I must be nuts"). But it's also an exciting opportunity. As one pundit observed about presidents, those who have been judged truly great (think Washington, Lincoln, FDR) all served in times of crisis, so President Obama should welcome his opportunity to make a mark. I certainly welcome mine.

In fact, Kiplinger's has been making its mark in financial journalism since 1947. For years our magazine carried a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: "This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it." And this is our moment.

A name you can trust

While other magazines have been rife with layoffs and buyouts, our editorial staff hasn't suffered the same fate. Furthermore, we have behind us the Kiplinger brand -- noted for dispensing trustworthy financial advice that you can act on -- and the Kiplinger name on the masthead.


We're also a throwback, a family-owned company in a world of conglomerates. That no one on our editorial staff has lost a job is a credit to the family that runs our company: Austin Kiplinger, who at an active and charming age 90 still serves as chairman; editor in chief Knight Kiplinger, himself an economic journalist who writes a regular column for this magazine; and Knight's late brother, Todd, who passed away last year after enriching the company (and his co-workers) with his own irrepressible personality.

Now the family's loyalty to their colleagues gives us a huge advantage over our competitors: We have the most experienced, most knowledgeable staff of personal-finance journalists offering advice at the very time when you, our audience, need help the most.

Power of the press

With the publishing world in a crisis of its own as a result of competition from the Internet, some periodicals have dropped their print publications altogether and switched to an online-only format. (In our own offices, where the magazine is affectionately known as KPF, we've joked that if we ever go that route we can always call ourselves KPDF.)

At Kiplinger, the same people produce quality editorial coverage for both the magazine and our Web site, But we have no plans to give up on paper and ink. We're a throwback in another way as well: We like making a magazine you can hold in your hands. It's portable, lighter than a laptop, doesn't have to be hefted out of its case when you go through airport security, and never runs out of juice. At $3.99 per issue -- and a lot less if you subscribe and have it delivered to your door every month -- it's a real steal.


This month's issue alone will pay the tab hundreds of times over. The lineup includes a spot-on story in which we show cash-starved families how to save $50 a day (or $18,250 a year). We also give gun-shy investors an attractive alternative to stocks, and choose our favorite wheels and deals in our annual rankings of new cars.

And as editor I get to work with the top-notch pros who produce all this great stuff. Why would I want this job? Why wouldn't I?

P.S. I've been nurturing the kids-and-money beat since 1993, and I plan to continue my "Money-Smart Kids" column periodically.