Todd Romer, excecutive director of Young Money magazine, recently sent me a couple of copies for review. Romer writes:
Young Money is published bi-monthly and is the only national money magazine for the college market. Our editorial objective is to inspire, inform and motivate today’s young adults to begin managing their money at an early age. We have increased our distribution now to nearly 140 schools.
I didn’t expect much from the magazine, but I’ll admit I was pleasantly surprised. Despite a couple of flaws, Young Money provides solid personal finance information aimed squarely at its target audience.
Each issue features a cover story profiling a celebrity. The April/May 2007 issue contained an interview with Cleveland Indians centerfielder Grady Sizemore. The June/July issue hooked up with “hip-hop’s new sensation”, Miss Issa. Each of these celebrity spotlights takes four of the magazines 32 pages. That’s too bad. While they’re mildly inspirational, they don’t have anything to do with personal finance.
Fortunately, the rest of the magazine is more focused, covering a variety of money topics. Each of the two issues I read included smart articles on entrepreneurship, one of the most-overlooked aspects of personal finance. Each issue also included information on cards, internships, and travel.
The April/May issue included an introduction to money market funds, information on maximizing your scholarship eligibility, and a seemingly irrelevant piece about the Macworld Expo that introduced the iPhone. The June/July issue offered two great articles on job hunting — one on résumés and one on interviews — three stories on entrepreneurship, and a special section on how to buy a car, including tips for responsible use of credit.
My favorite part of each issue was the last-page column from Sanyika Calloway Boyce, a financial fitness coach. In one issue she wrote about reaching financial goals, and in the other she described how to make the leap from living on a college budget to maintaining a real-world salary.
I didn’t find any bad advice in Young Money, and I found one or two things that could be of use for future stories at Get Rich Slowly. My only real complaint is with the celebrity profiles. Perhaps these are used as bait. Perhaps they’re the best way to attract a student’s eye. Perhaps a young woman will pick up Young Money to read about Miss Issa and then stick around to read about responsible use of credit. If this is the intention, I have no complaints.
Also, the layout is confusing at times, at least for an old guy like me. In more than once instance, the header information for an article — the title and author, etc. — were at the bottom of the page, which left me scratching my head.
Ultimately, I think Young Money does a good job of presenting personal finance topics in a way that’s accessible to college students. If you have a kid in college, the magazine would make a fine gift. If you’re a college student who has read Young Money, what are your thoughts?
You can learn more about the magazine, as well as sample actual articles, by visiting the Young Money web site.
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