How to Read the Financial Times (App and Podcasts)
The Financial Times is recommended as one the main sources of your financial news. Whilst what you should read will depend on your division of interest, this guide should help you to identify the most important parts of the podcast and app versions. The best way to access the FT is through the Student Digital subscription. There is also, of course, the broadsheet version, which is useful if you would prefer to read a hard copy of the content.
The FT is split into the following sections: Home Page, UK, World, Companies, Markets, Lex, Comment, The Big Read, Business Life, Arts Daily, Markets Data, Blogs, Special Report, Weekend and fastFT. Below are the sections recommended for daily reading:
Home Page: The Home Page features the main stories of the day. These are the stories that you should keep up with and at least skim through, if not read properly, everyday. It will include a range of the most important national and international stories, which you should follow up over time.
Lex: The FT calls Lex its ‘agenda-setting column on business and finance’. It provides a succinct and interesting column on the latest global economic and financial news. Lex often focuses important companies in a wide range of sectors and examines their recent activity and problems. You should read this column and follow up on any stories that particularly interest you.
Comment: This section provides you with excellent articles that both present you with a problem and an opinion. It should be useful in helping you develop your own views on current affairs so that you are able to discuss such topics in interviews. They will also provide you with good topics about which you can ask interviewers at the end of an interview.
Companies: The top stories about global companies are presented in their own panels at the top of this section. If you scroll down to the bottom you will be able to find these stories split up into different sectors such as Media, Retail and Energy. It would be useful to read up on the top stories throughout the week and to focus on one sector in particular
The Big Read: This section is a heavier read, or alternatively you could listen to one of the Big Read stories as a podcast. It provides a detailed explanation and analysis of specific interesting topics
Special Report: Under this section you will find interesting topics with several in-depth articles. It is useful to have a skim through these on a weekly basis as you could pick up on some interesting news to discuss in interviews.
FT Weekend: FT Money is found within this section. It gives a close analysis of how this week’s news affects private finances and would be useful to those interested in Private Banking.
The FT Podcasts are a great way to keep up with some of the major stories of the week. The podcasts are free to subscribe to and download. Of the many podcasts offered, these are the most relevant:
FT News: a podcast featuring a range of global financial, economic and political stories. There are on average three or four podcasts each week, each lasting around 10 minutes. They should help you keep to date with the current affairs but also help you form your own opinion through the succinct insights and analysis they offer.
FT World Weekly: this podcast focuses on one of the big international stories each week. It normally provides a 15 minute analysis on the significance of events in international politics. It will help build your understanding of major political events that affect economies and markets around the world.
FT Big Read: one story from each week’s FT Big Reads, lasting about 15 minutes. It is an easy way to get through a longer story reported in the week, covering a range of themes such as business, economics, politics, science and markets.
FT Hard Currency: one podcast each week lasting about 15 minutes on average. It offers a great summary of the week’s outlook of the currencies markets and a great explanation of how the political and economic stories of the week will play into the markets. Listened to along with the other news podcasts, it should help build from your understanding of current affairs to give you a good understanding of how these global events impact markets.
FT Banking Weekly: a more technical and longer discussion of the week’s global banking news. On average 20 minutes long and focuses on international developments. It is more specific that the other podcasts and therefore slightly more complex. However, the podcast should provide you with interesting industry specific story you could ask an analyst about.
FT Money Show: a weekly podcast on personal finances, lasting about 20 minutes. If your interest is in Private Banking, this is fantastic in providing you with useful insight into the new developments in personal investment.
FT Alphachat: a long-form weekly conversation-style podcast providing clear explanations about business and economics news. It lasts about 50 minutes on average but several interesting themes are explored during the podcast. The podcast will provide you with more thought-provoking stories you could bring up in interviews.
FT Alphachatterbox: a longer conservational podcast lasting about an hour. They include insightful interviews with many excellent authorities on a range of themes such as economics, finance, business, media and more. It will provide you with some really interesting information you could use in interviews.
FT Investigations: a weekly podcast of around 15 minutes. Perceptive investigative journalism, often running and building up a story over a few weeks. The podcasts could potentially provide you with some interesting topics for discussion in interviews.