Now that my wife and I have, for the most part, settled in our new hometown of Chicago, I have decided that my vacation from working out is officially over. So last week I actually completed my first full week of the P-90X workout (haven’t joined a gym yet). I must tell you that in some of the workouts, yoga and kenpo for example, I felt like an absolute klutz! That got me to thinking about how many people might feel when they want to learn about investing on their own for the first time. The good news is that like learning yoga (and kenpo), with time, continued education and practice, you will become more confident in your investing. With that, take a look at these tips to get you started in the wonderful world of investing.
Be careful of where you’re getting your information. Let’s face it, there is no shortage of information regarding finances out there. Unfortunately, a lot of the information is provided with a biased slant due to the organization providing it. Some good sites that I like to frequent are: Yahoo Finance and The Motley Fool primarily because of the range of education they each provide and the clarity with which it is presented. You may also take a look at some basic investing classes offered through your local university or adult education facility.
Practice what you’re learning. Throughout your learning process, you will want to begin to implement what you are learning and while you could go it alone, there is something that can be said for “strength in numbers.” Consider either joining or starting an investment club. This will enable you to not only employ real life buying and selling strategies but also get feedback and insights from other club members. Clubs are great for all investing levels, but especially for those just getting their feet wet. In general, you will need to devote a small amount of time each month to research and be willing to invest a set dollar amount each month (could be as low as $25). A great place to get information on either starting your own investment club or finding one in your area is www.betterinvesting.org (National Association of Investors Corp.). You can also check out your local college or adult education campus to see if any type of club is available through them.
Remember, losses happen! We all inherently know that not every trade will result in a winner, but a loser trade is an opportunity to further your education. Ask yourself questions as to what might have minimized your loss or if the trade should have even been made. If you are in an investment club, tap into their thoughts as well.
Obviously, this only scratches the surface of the education process, but even with a minimal amount of education, you will feel a bit more confident in what you (or your financial adviser) are doing.