Friday, September 26, 2014

Thanks for the deal

Memo to The Mothership:  Wake up!

By The Mothership I mean, of course, The New York Times.

By Wake Up! I mean this:  I already subscribe.  Seven day electronic access and the Fri/Sat/Sun hard copies.  So I wasn't looking for it, but somehow stumbled onto part of The Times' web site that explained that if you subscribe to The Times Replica Edition you get the first two weeks free, then it's $19.99 every 4 weeks.  Alternatively, you can pay $259.87 in one lump sum and you get the same two weeks free, then a full year of the service.  You can see the deal here.

Okay.  To simplify the math, let's forget about the two free weeks in both cases.  Moving on, 52 weeks divided by 4 is 13.  Everybody knows that.  $19.99 times 13 equals ... drumroll ... $259.87.  Exactly the same as the lump-sum yearly price.

Let's argue that you, instead, put your 259.87 in the T. Rowe Price Tax Free High Yield Fund.  They returned 15.98 percent last year, minus a .68 expense, according to this.  Let's call it 15%.

Can that possibly be right?
I don't know.  Shit like this has never been my long suite.  I feel certain I'm missing something.  How the hell are they getting 15% tax free on a bond fund?
Probably Chinese bonds.  Or Kazakh.
Maybe Alibaba!
I doubt it.
This is why I keep my money under the bed.

Anyway, at the end of the year, you'd have $299 bucks in the bank.  Of course that's not true, since you're peeling twenty bucks a month out of your principal, blah, blah, blah.  But you might have an extra ten or twenty bucks to use on other things.  Like an afternoon in the friendly confines of the Peter McManus Cafe.  Which some would call priceless.

The larger question, however, remains.  Dude?  What the fuck?  Why would anybody pay for the full year when they can pay monthly and actually save some undetermined amount of money?  Do they think we're idiots?

Also not entirely clear to me is the fact that I pay the same twenty bucks a month, I think, and I'm getting real newspapers three days a week, plus access to the Replica Edition.

The whole thing's a mystery.  It's enough to make me switch to the Daily News.

Whoa, Nelly!


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