Saturday, April 25, 2015

Wall Street Journal Review: How I read it, why I like it, and a personal story

Hello my dear followers!

Hope everyone is having a great Saturday so far. The weather here in New York City is a bit chilly but is nice and sunny outside. After the nightmare winter we had, we'll take any sun we can get.

So anyways, writing this post is a bit bittersweet considering my Wall Street Journal subscription is expiring this coming week. So, so sad. However, by the end of this post you should get a sense of why I may just continue my subscription.

A little bit of a personal background

I was a business/finance major in undergrad and a finance major in graduate school. As you can imagine, reading the WSJ was a recommendation from professors all throughout my entire higher educational 'career'. Professors didn't really force us to read the paper but encouraged us to use it as a complement and source of real-time examples to what we were learning in class. 

Considering this "encouragement" from my dear professors, I tried many times to get in to the paper. We had the luxury of getting discounted subscriptions. My school library even had access to the online version for free. However, for some reason I could never really get in to it. I remember back in undergrad the piles and piles of papers that would build up in my college dorm. I eventually felt guilty and called customer service to cancel my subscription. I explained I was a poor college student and could no longer afford their super cheap rate (now that I think about it, I'm  kinda' embarrassed about that). All I remember is the customer service rep being super nice and understanding. He cancelled it right away (thanks, stranger).

I cant tell you if all the information was too overwhelming or perhaps I just had more "important" things to do (homework, projects and/or cramming for quizzes and exams). In graduate school I was also working full time so add a full time job to all of the above. Who had time to read the paper?

The turning point

So, when did things change? As my passion for finance and investing grew (something that seems to be intensifying as time goes by) I decided I needed a source not only for investment ideas but to keep a close eye on the developments of stocks in my portfolio. 

At some point early last year, I realized my local library had editions of the Wall Street Journal. As I found myself with more time after grad school ended, I began reading those papers. Some of the editions were a week old (or sometimes older) at times but I didn't really mind. The information was clear, solid, super informational and worth my precious time. I am a voracious reader so I read a lot of books, magazines, and in the past, other newspapers. I have to be honest, I couldn't find a source that compared to the information I was getting from the WSJ. 

I soon got tired of being cheap reading the outdated library versions of the paper and decided to pay for my subscription. 

Billionaire Tory Burch reading the paper (I really like this ad campaign)

How I read the paper & my experience with the paid subscription 

So, I paid for the "bundle" which includes getting a paper delivery, Ipad version, and computer access. If you've seen the WSJ you know it has multiple sessions. I have to be honest in that I often skip a few of the sessions due to time. Here is how I organize my reading-- in this exact order:

1. Business & Technology
2. Money & Investing
3. Personal Journal <-- a growing favorite. Awesome lifestyle articles here. 
4. Briefly browse through the rest of the sessions (Front paper, Greater New York, World News, etc.)

The weekend edition comes with a "weekend investor" sessions which is also a favorite.

Paper version

I live in a community within a borough of New York City that is not very easy to find. However, the paper version comes every single morning (Mon-Saturday) without fail. I don't know who delivers the paper to my front door since I've never met him/her but I'd like to shake that persons hand. Even during a nasty snow storm we had earlier this year, the paper still showed up. I bragged about it on certain social media outlets:

The Ipad version 

This has been my motivator to hit the gym. When I have no time to read the actual paper I tell myself I'll catch up at the gym. I completely zone out with my headphones on and simply read away while I  complete the jogging speed walking session of my workout. I highly recommend this! The IPAD version is well organized and you can seamlessly switch from section to section of the paper with one touch of the screen. As soon as you open the WSJ app it prompts you to "today's paper" and you can choose to read that or look at older versions if you missed something. Whatever company/ticker symbol is being mentioned within an article, comes with real time quotes which I think is pretty cool. There is also a real time session where you can check out news as its happenings. You have to be connected to WiFi for this but is truly great. I'd say the Ipad version is my favorite out of the three. 

Computer Version

I rarely every used the computer edition but is nice to have this option, specially working in finance, and its come in handy when I have to look up some information quickly. 

Final Takeaways/What I enjoy about the paper

What I really like about the newspaper is that it keeps me informed about everything that is happening in the world of finance, investing, and companies in general. There are not many resources out there that not only provide this information but make it engaging and entertaining to read. I actually look forward to the paper each day and always feel like I'll be learning something new. With that said, I am strongly considering continuing my subscription. It helps feed my passion and love for investing. 

Even seeing the paper while on vacation brought joy to my heart:

Speaking of vacation, you can suspend and re-start your paper subscription for whichever time period you prefer as necessary. 

And that is all! I tried to make this post as comprehensive as possible but if you have any other questions please let me know. Note: this is not a sponsored post. I paid for my own subscription of the WSJ and opinions are my own. 

Tell me, what is your experience with this newspaper? If you don't read it yet, what sources do your rely on for financial news and information?