About Kiplinger

Kiplinger (pronounced KIP-ling-er) is a Washington, D.C.-based publisher of business forecasts and personal finance advice, available in print, online, audio, video and software products.

Our best-known publications are The Kiplinger Letter, a weekly business and economic forecasting periodical for people in management, and the monthly Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. The total paid circulation of our periodicals exceeds 850,000, and our Web site, Kiplinger.com, receives nearly 1.2 million unique visits per month.

Kiplinger Washington Editors Inc.,
1100 13th St., NW
Suite 750
Washington, DC 20005

Executive and Editorial Offices: 202-887-6400
Subscriber Services: 800-544-0155
E-Mail Us

Started in 1920 by a former AP economics reporter, Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc., is a closely held company managed for more than eight decades by three generations of the Kiplinger family--founder W. M. Kiplinger (1891-1967), who served as editor in chief of all publications; his son Austin H. Kiplinger (b. 1918), today editor emeritus and non-executive board chair; and Austin's sons Todd L. Kiplinger (1945-2008), vice chair and vice president for investments, and Knight A. Kiplinger (b. 1948), editor in chief and president. [1]

In 2001 Kiplinger received one of the three American Business Ethics Awards given nationally that year by the Society of Financial Service Professionals. [2] In 2007 and 2008 it was named "one of America's most ethical companies” by Ethisphere magazine. Judges in both competitions cited Kiplinger's long tradition of progressive employee relations, profit sharing, and business practices. [3] In 2010, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) named Kiplinger’s Personal Finance the winner of its 2009 General Excellence Award for giant magazines (circulation of 500,000 and higher).

Unusual among modern media companies, the Kiplinger organization is run by its editorial leadership--senior executives whose careers are rooted in journalism, rather than the business side of publishing (such as advertising and circulation sales). Like the founder, both Austin and Knight Kiplinger had extensive experience in daily journalism (newspapers and broadcast news, respectively) before joining the Kiplinger organization, and they have continued to report, write and edit.

Unlike most other publishers, Kiplinger answers the queries of its readers as a regular feature of their subscriptions, filling requests for additional information on any subject its publications covers, by phone, mail or email.

Like most large-circulation magazine publishers, Kiplinger has been experiencing a shift of advertiser support from its printed publications to its Web site, which has grown significantly in traffic and ad impressions in recent years. [4] Kiplinger.com was honored in 2007, '08, and '09 as a finalist or winner in several competitions (MIN 's Best of the Web, EPpy and Webby Awards) for content and design. [5]

Business Publications

The Kiplinger Letter

With a paid circulation, in print and online combined, of 135,000 (June 2010), The Kiplinger Letter is considered the most widely read business forecasting periodical in the world.

Its subscribers include people in the management of for-profit and non-profit enterprises, both large and small--businesses, government agencies, universities and schools, trade associations, unions, etc. In four pages of text each week, the Letter tries to alert its clients to what is likely to happen in business and the economy, legislation and regulation in Washington and the states, demographics, technology, world affairs, politics and investing. The Letter is nonpartisan and does not advocate for or against any particular outcome or point of view. [6]

Launched in 1923, The Kiplinger Letter pioneered a terse, colloquial writing style in which the key points of each topic are underscored for easy scanning. In a technique W. M. Kiplinger devised and dubbed "sweep-line," each line of copy--the full width of the page--ends in hard punctuation (a period or comma) at the right margin, not breaking awkwardly to wrap around to the next line.

The Kiplinger Letter rose to prominence, and experienced strong circulation growth, during the Great Depression, when W. M. Kiplinger and his staff had very good contacts within FDR’s "brain trust," enabling the Letter to give its readers very accurate early warning of key programs in the New Deal that would transform the American economy. [8]

None of the various Kiplinger letters quotes or cites its sources, both to save space and to encourage sources to speak candidly without the risk of being identified in print. However, in longer versions of similar stories written for Kiplinger.com, sources may be identified and quoted, if they wish.

Like all business forecasters, The Kiplinger Letter has a mixed record of hits and misses over eight decades. Its longevity as a widely read publication--and its high annual renewal rate (85+% after three years)--suggest a strong track record of accuracy. Longtime readers in management apparently find it to be useful in their business planning and generally on-target with key trends—business cycles, interest rates and inflation, government policies, commodity prices, etc.

The Letter tends to be skeptical of euphoric investment booms, such as the dot.com and high-tech surge that sent the stock market to record highs in the late '90s, before a brutal plunge into bear market territory. On March 10, 2000--just a few days after the Nasdaq set a new record above 5,000--the Letter declared, "Today's market in tech stocks is a dangerous speculative bubble, as foolish as any in history." It urged taking some gains and rebalancing into blue chip stocks. Conversely, the Letter has often rebutted the deep public pessimism that is prevalent during recessions and bear markets, urging business managers and investors to place their bets on the likelihood of a strong recovery. Such advice--offered during U.S. recessions in 1982, 1991 and 2002--was later validated by robust economic growth and rising equity markets.

While not primarily a political analysis newsletter, The Kiplinger Letter has correctly predicted the outcome of every presidential election since 1924—including exceptionally close races in 1960, 1976 and 2000--with the notable exception of the 1948 contest between incumbent Harry S Truman and GOP challenger Thomas Dewey.

Kiplinger said Dewey would win easily and get reelected in 1952. The Kiplinger Magazine created a special issue—mailed to subscribers before election day—titled "What Dewey Will Do." The fact that Kiplinger had plenty of company in its faulty prediction was no consolation to editor in chief W. M. Kiplinger, who apologized to his subscribers and criticized himself for failing to keep on reporting right down to the wire.

Kiplinger.com Your Business Channel

The forecasting and management channel of Kiplinger.com is Your Business. It contains long-form versions of forecasts from The Kiplinger Letter and other Kiplinger business periodicals, summaries of current economic forecasts, a political blog (Washington Matters), and the Kiplinger Economic Recovery Index, an ongoing analysis of six key economic indicators that reflect the real pace of recovery.

The Kiplinger Tax Letter

With 89,000 biweekly subscribers, The Tax Letter is the most widely read tax advisory newsletter, with readers at law and accounting firms, corporate CFO and general counsel offices, and the homes of high-net-worth individuals. In four pages each issue, covering both business and personal taxation, the Letter tries to advise its readers on coming changes in tax law and regulations, recent rulings and interpretations by the IRS, Tax Court and states, and strategies for minimizing taxes. It was launched in 1925.

The Kiplinger Agriculture Letter

The "Ag Letter" serves farm producers, equipment and seed manufacturers, rural bankers and suppliers, food processors and others interested in American agriculture. The Letter covers trends in production, prices, world trade, marketing, technology, and energy. It was started in 1929.

Kiplinger Audio Conferences

These dial-in, real-time telephone seminars explore subjects of broad interest to people in management--the economic outlook, human resources (hiring and motivating workers, controlling health care costs, etc.), tapping global markets, emergency preparedness (avian flu), etc. They are typically conducted by leading experts in each field, and are available from Kiplinger on audio CDs after the conference.

Personal Finance Content

Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine

The monthly Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine advises its readers on managing their money, covering investing, retirement planning, taxes, insurance, real estate, buying and leasing a car, health care, travel and financing college. It has a paid monthly circulation of 800,000 copies per month (verified by the Audit Bureau of Circulation), sold mostly by subscription but also on newsstands.

Founded in 1947 as Kiplinger Magazine (subtitled "The Changing Times"), it was the first magazine to offer money management advice to the American people. Kiplinger Magazine changed its name to Changing Times (subtitled: "The Kiplinger Magazine") in 1949, and it was known by that name until 1991, when it renamed itself Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. [9] For 33 years after its founding, it existed entirely on subscription and single-copy revenue, but in 1980 it began carrying advertising within its pages.

Editorially, Kiplinger's magazine has championed over the decades a number of personal finance strategies and investment products that later became popular "conventional wisdom": the superiority of systematic investing (dollar cost averaging) over market timing; growth stocks that paid little or no dividends but invested in new technologies; mutual funds, especially no-load funds; stock index funds; term life insurance, rather than whole-life; and global investing.

Kiplinger's Retirement Report

This 80,000 circulation monthly periodical, begun in 1993, covers all the key concerns of affluent older Americans--investing, estate planning, health, long-term care, leisure and travel, housing.

Special Issues and Products

Kiplinger publishes an array of single-topic newsstand issues and special products, including a mutual fund annual; Success with Your Money, the Retirement Planning Guide, and the Family Records Organizer. It also produces DVD guides to such subjects as long-term care insurance, college financing and annuities. In partnership with The History Channel, Kiplinger produced a series of brief features, "Money Milestones," highlighting important innovations in financial services. For nearly two decades, Kiplinger tax advice was included in the best-selling income-tax-preparation software sold in America.

Kiplinger also offers personal finance and investing advice in a series of a dozen books, including Practical Guide to Your Money, Buying and Selling a Home, Guide to Investing Success, Money Smart Women, Raising Money Smart Kids, Financing College and Retire Worry-Free; all are published by Kaplan Publishing.

The Custom Publishing Division creates house-branded newsletters and pamphlets for a variety of enterprises, including banks, associations, and military organizations.

To read more on the rich history of Kiplinger, click here.