Once you start earning a paycheck, you should start saving. If you are able to and, if one is offered, participate in an employer-sponsored retirement plan (i.e. 401(k)). When you receive your paycheck, set an additional amount aside for emergencies and other savings.
The first important step is complete and now you have money in a retirement account. What do you do with it? The answer, you invest it. Investing in the market, be it stocks, bonds, gold, mutual funds, what have you, has been the best way to outpace inflation. However, investing is confusing and challenging for someone who is just getting started.
So how do you learn about investing? There is a multitude of resources at your disposal.
This has been how individuals and financial professionals have learned about investing since forever. Warren Buffet read every book about investing in his local Nebraska library before he was 12 years old.
It seems everyone these days is writing a blog ;). There are blogs about any topic you can think of, but one topic that always has authors of great, useful content is finance/investing.
There are two that I found that offer awesome educational material on this topic. The Vanguard Blog – Vanguard is a mutual fund company with Assets under Management (AUM) in the trillions. Their claim to fame is low expense ratios, not to mention they are one of the best at what they do.
Betterment also has a blog designed to educate experienced and beginner investors. Betterment is an online investing platform designed to make investing simple and affordable.
Another online platform that has seen an influx of popularity is podcasts. One that is very educational is KPP Financials’ InvestTalk. This podcast airs every day and covers a multitude of topics that every investor should familiarize themselves with.
The Motley Fool also has a list of educational podcasts they produce on a weekly basis.
In addition to blogs and podcasts, there are also hundreds, if not thousands, of free online courses you can take to learn more about investing. One site I have always found useful is Coursera. All of the courses are from top-tier universities from around the globe. Most courses are free with the option of purchasing a certificate of completion at the end if you choose.
This doesn’t really need further explanation. An easy way to find educational material about investing is to type investing or investing for beginners into the search bar. Change the content type to channels. In front of you will be hundreds of channels you can go to. Look for ones with a large view count and a large number of subscribers.
Once you have learned a fair amount about investing, you can put your knowledge to the test with stock market simulators. Investopedia has a great simulator that lets you start with $100,000. You can test yourself without risking your own money.
Investing is a difficult subject to understand. However, it is a big part of your financial life. Educating yourself using some of these resources will give you a leg up when you start investing your money. Working with a financial advisor isn’t a bad idea either. Be picky when selecting an advisor. There is a guide here that will help you in this process.
The resources listed in this post are designed to educate beginner investors. For resources that I’ve personally found helpful, go to the resources page.
So readers, what’s something you’ve used to learn about investing?