Financial Times vs The Wall Street Journal Comparison

LondonE1's picture
Rank: Orangutan | banana points 269

Which is better? FT or WSJ?

FT or WSJ: Which is Better?

Generally speaking - our users prefer the Financial Times; however, the Wall Street Journal is preferred for coverage of US companies and industry trends. Our users shared their thoughts below.

User @LeggoMyGekko well summarized the opinions of commentators:

WSJ:

  • Americas focused (both cover markets quite evenly)
  • Sometimes misstated facts (later corrected)
  • Too long (filler words)
  • Watered down (allows average Joe who took micro/macro-econ to understand)

FT:

  • Euro focused (both cover markets quite evenly)
  • Rarely misstated facts
  • Very concise
  • Intellectual read - (i.e. connect textbook theories with markets - sometimes at very high levels)
  • They assume you're very well educated in finance, accounting, economics, politics, legal, markets - so when you don't understand something, you're influenced to go look it up via google
mergerarb15:

FT is superior. Concise, intellectual, global, accurate, and relevant. Also, I like the size a lot better, I don't like how thin the WSJ has become. And in addition, the color really stands out in my mind, and when I see that pink I crave some Martin Wolf, what a genius.

GoodBread:

Depends on where you live. You're better off reading the WSJ in NYC/America and the FT in London/Europe. While the FT is consistently good, the WSJ can either be great (Buffett writes an op-ed) or awful (columnists who are blinded by their own conservatism, don't understand a thing about the markets).

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Comments (45)

Mar 5, 2009

Depends on where you live. You're better off reading the WSJ in NYC/America and the FT in London/Europe. While the FT is consitently good, the WSJ can either be great (Buffett writes an op-ed) or awful (the retarded columnists who blinded by their own conservatism, don't understand a thing about the markets).

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Mar 5, 2009

I just attended a talk last night given by the Publisher and the Managing Editor of the International Herald Tribune. They gave some pretty interesting statistics.

While WSJ ad revenue and circulation is down year over year, FT's up in both categories, even in this market climate.

I'm not sure that's a value judgment, but advertisers are not often wrong about where they commit their dollars.

That being said, I'm a big fan of the Urinal and have been most of my life. I like FT, but for my money I prefer WSJ.

Mar 5, 2009

^I mostly agree. If you're looking for a US perspective/focus (that still mentions world events), then go for the WSJ. If you're looking for a European focus, then take the FT.

Personally, I subscribe to the print edition of the WSJ, and subscribe to some FT.com RSS feeds

Mar 5, 2009

FT is superior. Better writing. More condensed. No bullshit. And they rarely (if ever) misstate facts and tend not to ever deal in conjecture. Martin Wolf is dat ninja. Also, it does not have an overly european tilt despite what you might think. It's a solid paper and defintiely recommend it over the Journal.

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Mar 5, 2009

Real men wear (and read newspapers colored) pink

Mar 5, 2009

FT FTW.

I like the blurbs on the front page of the WSJ more than those on the FT, but I prefer the articles in the FT.

Mar 5, 2009

FT wants me to pay to read their website. Therefore WSJ wins.

Mar 5, 2009
nauru:

FT wants me to pay to read their website. Therefore WSJ wins.

You're not in college, but there's a chance this works if you're on the facebook - give it a shot

http://apps.facebook.com/ft_student_offer/
For my money, FT every time. Much more consistent in article quality

Mar 5, 2009

Majority has it right...

WSJ:
Americas focused (both cover markets quite evenly)
Sometimes misstated facts (later corrected)
Too long (filler words)
Watered down (allows average Joe who took micro/macro-econ to understand)

FT:
Euro focused (both cover markets quite evenly)
Rarely misstated facts
Very concise
Intellectual read - (i.e. connect textbook theories with markets - sometimes at very high levels)
They assume you're very well educated in finance, accounting, economics, politics, legal, markets - so when you don't understand something, you're influenced to go look it up via google

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Mar 5, 2009

Does one really have to be better than the other? What's your metric? Or are you really asking 'Which one should I subscribe to?'

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.

Mar 5, 2009

the new sports page is awesome by the way. they have a number crunching, statistician's take on the games. odds, percentages, and so predictive modeling.

Mar 5, 2009

King, I don't know what paper you're reading, but the FT is arguably as blatantly UK-skewed as the WSJ is right wing. I'm a right winger myself so I prefer the journal. I also work in NYC, so it makes more sense to read the journal. I think the writing and reporting in the FT is on par with the journal, I just get fed up with the whole euorness of it.

FYI, I subscribe to both papers. In the morning I start with the journal and then I read the FT, skipping over any overlapping stories. Although if I lived/worked in the UK I would only read the journal's editorials online and keep the FT as my main paper. They're both great, just depends on where you live.

Mar 5, 2009

Our bschool has free WSJ delivered every day, so that's what I usually read, but I've got an FT feed on my Google Reader and I still read as much as I can from there. Definitely say FT is superior, especially since it's more globally focused.

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Mar 5, 2009

both

Mar 5, 2009

Tried both, prefer WSJ

Mar 6, 2009

At my school, FT is given away for free, WSJ is not. But read both if possible.

Mar 6, 2009

At my school, FT, WSJ, NYT are free.

Mar 6, 2009

FT is superior. Concise, intellectual, global, accurate, and relevant. Also, I like the size a lot better, I don't like how thin the WSJ has become. And in addition, the color really stands out in my mind, and when I see that pink I crave some Martin Wolf, what a genius.

Mar 6, 2009

I get both, prefer the journal but I do enjoy when FT has special pieces, like the piece by Soros back at the end of January.

Mar 6, 2009

Prefer FT. More concise as others have said. Despite their differences reading both seems a bit redundant. I barely have the time or mental stamina to get through one!

Mar 6, 2009

In Europe, definetely FT, although I like the WSJ format size for reading ease.

Mar 6, 2009

...Pink!

Mar 6, 2009

read both

Mar 6, 2009

Much more global view, condensed, no bullshit, you can read it in 30m on the train, no distractions such as sports or main street. Plus, the regulars such as Wolf, Taleb, Roubini, Summers, Mohamed the PIMCO guy, the BRIC guy, etc...

A much better paper, period.

Mar 6, 2009

FT

Mar 6, 2009

I read both. Everyone should. They're not substitutes for one another.

WSJ's second section is a must-read if you do anything in investments. On American company news, especially trend items, the FT doesn't begin to compete.

WSJ editorial page sucks bigtime, not because it's rightwing but because it reflects trailer trash values. Which I don't understand because Wall Street/Corporate America don't much care for stuff that gets corn-shuckin' banjo-pluckin' sister fuckin' hillbilly retards all fired up.

The FT's got a far more sophisticated outlook on the world. Conservative without being deranged. The weekend FT is why I get out of bed on Saturdays.

And that monthly weekend supplement -- "How to Spend It" -- wow. They're not pretending their demographic is anybody but the very rich and those of us who plan to become very rich.

Mar 6, 2009
Auto:

And that monthly weekend supplement -- "How to Spend It" -- wow. They're not pretending their demographic is anybody but the very rich and those of us who plan to become very rich.

The editor and publisher of the IHT also admitted to an elite slant, and didn't shy away from it at all. It was actually pretty refreshing to hear someone in the media embrace their elitism and hold their journalists to a higher standard.

To paraphrase what the managing editor said, people who read the International Herald Tribune regularly are equipped to discuss any of a myriad of subjects (business, fashion, architecture, etc...) at a high level with anyone they happen to meet at a dinner party.

They are committed to NOT dumbing down their paper, and the FT is as well. I think the ad revenue speaks for itself.

Mar 7, 2009

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through facebook by searching: Financial Times Free Student Subscription Offer

Mar 7, 2009

FT hands down. Broader viewpoint, killer commentary & analysis and you know that real men read pink.

Mar 8, 2009

FT by a mile. Although I like WSJ for a quick read to.

Mar 8, 2009

...enough said

Nov 7, 2011

First of all hello to everybody, this is my first post here.

After reading this and other threads about FT and WSJ, I decided to give my opinion.

I've noticed that the coverage of the news from FT and WSJ varies greatly. Sometimes FT has the news before WSJ or even news that the WSJ doesn't have. But other times, the WSJ has some news before FT or even news FT doesn't have. Which one is better? I believe they have a different focus, WSJ a more american/global focus and FT a more european/global focus.

I believe the question is whether the WSJ has the credibility it has before Murdoch bought it. This is a question I can't answer, because I'm 18 and just been reading both newspapers (FT always online and just one print edition of WSJ) for some months.

Nov 8, 2011

FT is certainly the more relevant of the two right now, with the euro debt crisis being such a major part of investor sentiment. The WSJ can be excellent at times but the FT has become my paper of reference for its conciseness and the Lex column. Some of the WSJ's op-eds have been patently laughable as well, what with all the guys pinning the crisis on the Community Reinvestment Act and other discredited nonsense.

Nov 8, 2011

For me, FT by a mile. It's better written, much more relevant news for traders, great coverage of global markets, more intellectual and elitist, etc. The alphaville and lex sections are must-reads.

Nov 8, 2011

alphathrottle is pretty much all i use now

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Nov 8, 2011
happypantsmcgee:

alphathrottle is pretty much all i use now

Very nice, I'd never seen that. SB for you.

Nov 8, 2011

content-wise I prefer FT. but more and more i read the news on my iPad. The WSJ app is so sick.

Sep 19, 2012

FT is the better, in my opinion. Simple, short, and to the point.

I'm especially addicted to the Lex...god I love that section so much.

If you wait to be fed, you won't learn how to hunt.

Oct 9, 2015

@KevinFromPorkland : Do you get paper or digital for the lex column

Oct 9, 2015

Where do you work? What do you do?

If you do anything with any sort of international implications a strong case can be made for FT.

For most financial jobs in the US, the WSJ tends to have more relevant content.

If you are in equity research you should read both

just my 2 cents

Oct 9, 2015

Like it was mentioned, depends on what your job requires, but I would go with the FT every day of the week. Then again, I like to stay informed on international news more than the average joe.

Oct 9, 2015
Oct 9, 2015