‘Hoping you’ll give me some guidance about this thing called money’
The Daily Mirror and personal finance, c. 1960–81
in People, places and identities
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In the 1960s the Daily Mirror ran a weekly feature offering financial and investment advice about stocks and shares and it dealt with thousands of letters a year about financial matters from readers who found its advice more accessible and less intimidating than speaking to financial professionals. The social optimism of the sixties dissipated in the 1970s, however, as the economic situation deteriorated and the Daily Mirror’s financial advice had to adapt to a climate in which its own circulation was declining and as its core readership started to age the column became more conservative, dealing with queries from older readers and worries about unemployment, and focusing more on ‘mitigating’ the effects of inflation and redundancy payments. Porter argues that the Daily Mirror had, in fact, misinterpreted its readers’ interest in ‘popular capitalism’ during full employment and rising living standards in the 1960s, when its advocacy of financial investment reflected contemporary beliefs that the values and aspirations of the working-class were changing, with greater opportunities to borrow, save and spend. As he points out, its financial journalists were forced over time to adapt to more pragmatic queries about family budgeting and personal savings rather than focusing on larger investments.

People, places and identities

Themes in British social and cultural history, 1700s–1980s

Editors: Alan Kidd and Melanie Tebbutt

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