Making Your Money Last

We Do Personal Finance Advice, Not Politics

When it comes to recommendations for your finances, we strive to be staunchly nonpartisan.

I started working for Kiplinger during the 1980 presidential campaign, when a Democrat incumbent was running against a telegenic, smaller-government Republican. Sound familiar? Federal power versus states’ rights is a political divide that goes back to the founding fathers. And, as evidenced by our 44 presidents, the U.S. electorate’s sympathies have ricocheted back and forth ever since.

That divide is dramatically explored in the musical Hamilton. My wife and I finally saw the show a couple of months ago, and we were smitten by the story, the music, the acting—and the clear message that it is a love story to America, where a talented, smart, ambitious immigrant could help lay the foundation of a great country.

Hamilton is also the hottest ticket in theater today, with stratospheric prices and long waits to see the performances. The cover story in our last issue, “Great Ideas for $1,000,” included an item with strategies on how to see the show, which is now touring the U.S., without breaking the bank. So I was flabbergasted when I got an e-mail from a reader who said he was considering canceling his subscription because we were recommending this musical. He went on to say that “only loony leftists or violent antifa members would waste their money to go see a racist musical like Hamilton.

As Washington, D.C., journalists, many on our staff are probably more liberal-leaning than conservative. But we do not identify with extreme leftists (or the alt-right), and we certainly don’t support violence or intimidation to promote a political cause. In fact, our code of ethics at Kiplinger prevents us from campaigning, demonstrating or in any way expressing a political viewpoint in public. Likewise, when it comes to recommendations for your finances, we strive to be staunchly nonpartisan.

Something has shifted in America. Many people have taken sides and dug in. They see the enemy even where it doesn’t exist. The divisiveness has accelerated since the last presidential election, and it occurs on both sides of the political spectrum. Our January 2017 issue included the cover line “How to Ride Trump’s Coattails,” and we heard from a reader who claimed we were unethical for suggesting that investors profit from the Trump camp’s propaganda. On the other hand, after we published a column in the November issue mentioning that the stock market has soared despite “political bickering, congressional investigations, neo-Nazi marches, devastating hurricanes and the threat of nuclear war,” we heard from a reader taking issue with our “highly prejudicial, stereotyping, left-wing opinion.” Our staff talked about why our words hit a raw nerve and how we might avoid that in the future.

Political differences in a democracy are something to cherish. What saddens me is when civil conversation and a desire to understand opposing opinions—and the truth—is sacrificed. Most of you who have written to complain about a perceived bias have been courteous and noninflammatory, and for that I thank you. I want all of you to know that our mission at Kiplinger is to give you the best and most trustworthy financial advice we can, without any spin. If you think we are letting our biases show, send me an e-mail. I promise to respond politely.

Most Popular

Retirement: It All Starts with a Budget
personal finance

Retirement: It All Starts with a Budget

When you’re meeting with your financial planner, do you talk about your budget? If not, you should.
November 10, 2020
Planning to Sell Your Home in Retirement? Downsize Costs Along With Space
Budgeting

Planning to Sell Your Home in Retirement? Downsize Costs Along With Space

In this hot real estate market, consider the costs of buying and selling a house along with the expenses associated with your new digs.
November 13, 2020
What Biden Will Do: 24 Policy Plays to Expect From the Next Administration
Politics

What Biden Will Do: 24 Policy Plays to Expect From the Next Administration

The Kiplinger Letter forecasts President-Elect Joe Biden’s biggest priorities -- and the likelihood of progress on them.
November 19, 2020

Recommended

Find Higher Yields for Your Cash
Financial Planning

Find Higher Yields for Your Cash

Interest rates are scraping bottom, but here’s a road map to accounts that will help your money grow.
November 24, 2020
How to Automate Your Savings in 6 Easy Steps
savings

How to Automate Your Savings in 6 Easy Steps

Take advantage of technology to make building your savings and investing it a seamless – and pain-free – process.
November 19, 2020
10 Best Financial Benefits for Military Families
savings

10 Best Financial Benefits for Military Families

Service members face a range of threats – from the lethal to the financial. A wide array of generous benefits and programs are meant to offset some of…
November 6, 2020
Americans Are Stockpiling Cash
Coronavirus and Your Money

Americans Are Stockpiling Cash

With no place to go and businesses closed, we are saving more than ever.
September 30, 2020