AFP Essentials #1 – The Wall Street Journal

I think there are a set of items that a businessperson needs to be familiar with and using to be successful in today’s world. This is the first installment of the A Penny For… Essentials:


Most people’s first reaction to the Wall Street Journal is “only big, important people read that.” With a circulation of 1.9 million people, are there that many big, important people?

I will admit I was one of those people who thought it wasn’t for me. About two years ago, I started reading it secondhand as my mother passed it along from her business. That went on for about six months, and then she stopped getting it. Almost immediately, I started to get the shakes and had to get a subscription myself.

I know I haven’t convinced you yet. Let me tell you how I read the Journal:

1. I start with the “What’s News” Section. It gives you a column of business teasers and news teasers. There is enough room to get beyond the big stories and touch on some things you would have missed from other normal morning news sources.
2. Next I turn to the Marketplace section. I find these to be the most interesting stories and read almost every one. These stories really talk about what is going on with companies and trends in the economy.
3. I usually head back to read the offbeat story off the front page – always worth the read. Todays was a story about the owners of a small shoe store in Detroit that are trying to revive America’s long-distance running program.

Beyond the business writing, the Personal Journal runs three days a week and covers topics from retirement to health to child rearing to gadgets. Great, in-depth coverage of things that are affecting you everyday. The editorials are outstanding. During the Iraq War, it was the place where you could read the op-eds world leaders writing.

I know I probably still haven’t convinced you.

Get the 13 week subscription for $60 and try it out. See if you have the shakes when it runs out.

Some people say they don’t have time to read the paper. My answer is that part of your job is to know what is going on around you. Here is a good start.

I couldn’t end without a nod to the iconic hedcuts.