Nooooooo… SmartMoney was one of my favorite personal finance mags! Right up there with Kiplinger and Money, jeez… 20 years of publishing and that’s that. I don’t know if this was in the works for a while or not (after researching a little, it looks like they made the announcement in June?), but either way it’s a sad day for the publishing world indeed… as well as my magazine addiction 🙁
SmartMoney was one of the first finance magazines I ever picked up a good 7+ years ago, and they had one of my favorite columns of the group too – “Dumb Money.” Remember those? Where they’d highlight crazy-ass products like $1,000 doggy perfume and $50k diamond cell phones? Haha… They always cracked me up. I also became fond of their special retirement edition cover pictures too, as they always seemed to capture that dream lifestyle. You know, the ones with a good looking couple sitting on the beach with no care in the world? They were always hand-picked stock pics of course, but they never ceased to grab my attention and get me sifting through ’em even faster 😉
But alas, it seems the digital age finally killed them,
and now they’ll only be functioning at SmartMoney.com. Booooo… I know the online world is THE place to be these days, especially running a finance blog myself!, but the truth is I’d MUCH rather prefer reading everything in print when possible and flipping through real physical pages. I feel like one day health scientists are gonna tell us that too many hours staring at screens will eventually melt our eyeballs or something equally as scary. It already hurts if you stare for more than 4-5 hours, right?! Or is that just me?
The only cool thing about them shutting down was the way they compared the last 20 years of our financial world in their last ever commemorative issue. Like how pensions were still pretty common, and no one trusting places online especially with banking (okay I threw that last one in there myself, but it’s still true. Remember when people would freak out if they had to enter personal info online? And you couldn’t attribute any resources you found there in any school papers? Haha… good times…).
Here’s how they led into their final piece, Parting Lessons From SmartMoney Magazine:
“When SmartMoney launched in 1992, the youngest baby boomers were in their 20s, the Dow was under 3500, the 401(k) was a novelty, and nobody had ever heard of a smartphone. Here are eight of the most important lessons we’ve learned along the way – the ones we’re most confident will remain true 20 years down the road.”
Pretty interesting stuff, you should totally give it a read when you’re done here. They also shared some other fascinating facts from life back in 1992 (their inaugural year):
- Gas was $1.14 a gallon (!!!)
- A movie ticket cost $4.15
- You had to pick up a phone to make a stock trade (and talk with a real live person ;))
- Apple shares were $11 a piece (Now they’re over $650)
- The S&P 500 was at 403 (compared to over 1,400 now)
- The yield on a 10-year Treasury Bond was at 7.7% – way different than the 1.5% today
- The largest company by market cap was Wal-Mart at $120 Billion (Now it’s Apple at $565 Billion)
- And our national debt was at a “low” $4.0 trillion dollars, compared to today’s $15.8 Trillion 🙁
Makes you wonder what the next 20 years will bring too, eh? I feel like that if you’re paying attention to your money year in and year out, though, it won’t really affect our overall game plan much. The basics of finance have remained the same for hundreds and thousands of years: save your money, stay out of debt, and always invest in your future. And of course, the ever popular “spend less than you make” rule – one of the simplest ones around, however always the hardest to follow.
- What happens to all those advertising deals? Do they just go away or move online?
- What about customers’ pre-paid mag subscriptions? Do I just lose all future months now?
- What happens to all the employees? Do they move online too or to other areas of the parent company (Dow Jones)?
- And even more importantly, is this a sign of what’s to come in the future? Will our other beloved magazines go down in flames next??
Overall a lot of freaky stuff if you ask me. Seems like the internet will continue to cause a lot of trouble over the years as it grows and adapts, but hopefully the benefits continue to surpass the fall outs at the rate it’s currently going. I’m gonna greatly miss SmartMoney, but at the end of the day I can’t complain too much cuz after all, my job depends on it 🙂