May 6th, 2008 by k8gu Leave a reply »

My father-in-law is an avid reader of Consumer Reports.  He got us a subscription a while back.  I frequently let Sarah read and summarize new issues.  But, a new issue arrived today touting their latest computer evaluations.  I was compelled to read it.  By the way, the MacBook and the ThinkPad still top the list of laptops.  At least someone agrees with my sentiments there.

As the son of an physicist who used to do performance testing for a major home appliance manufacturer that was not always treated favorably by CR, I have a healthy skepticism for the reviews.  (It’s very easy to design experiments that favor certain outcomes.)  Although, they frequently tend to bear-out my own recommendations and choices upon things I consider myself an expert about.

But, I digress.  In the February 2008 issue, they spent some time on investments.  One of the investments they recommended avoiding was an annuity.  In the latest (June 2008) issue, an advertisement touts a “Consumer’s Union Annuity.”  I didn’t bother to read the details, though.  It seems that an investment in CR‘s parent company is fine, despite the earlier discouragement.  Ok, so this is a relatively minor inconsistency.  But, it never hurts to know what influence a buck has…