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What are good resources to start learning about investing and personal finance if you know nothing about it?

Even if you know absolutely nothing, you need to know what you want from investing (and or trading). Investing is such a broad industry, so to speak, that you will not be able to read everything and learn. You will start jumping from one topic to another and soon get confused and lost.

So, first, you need to narrow this topic to the part of investing you want to learn and then focus on that only and ignore everything else. And by ignore, I really mean deliberately ignoring it no matter who tells you what and what CNBC is currently broadcasting about it.

You need to start with yourself and ask and do the following:
 

  1. Set your goal – that means, think about what you want your investments to do for you. Do you want income? Or do you want growth? Do you want speculation or save investing which will grow but also reward you for waiting for appreciation?
  2. Next, you need to look at how much money you have available. Do you have a large sum or just started? If you just started how much can you invest? Is it $100 a month or $2000 a month? Or you inherited $350,000 or sold your old house and rent?
  3. Next, look at the time horizon you are willing to give your money machine to churn some money for you. Will it be 1 year, or you can let it run for the next 30 years?
  4. Be as specific as possible. Write it down. Think about it, think about what you want your money machine to do for you, with how much money you are available to pour in it to multiply and how long it can run before you turn off the switch.

 

All that is really important to know before you jump in because all that will determine the strategy you want to adopt and based on that strategy you will narrow your learning path (unless you want to start an investing University and learn everything – and for that you may need the rest of your life).

Once you have your narrative and answers to what you want, use the Internet to look for investment types which can provide you with that result. Once you have it, here is your topic to study. Then go to Youtube and find people who post about that topic, watch their videos, evaluate, and eventually subscribe to their vlogs. Buy or rent books (I rent with Kindle Unlimited and if I like the book and want to have it, I buy it). Find blogs, there are many investors who blog about their investments and portfolios, find them and follow their posts. You can also ask them questions. Many will gladly answer and help you to direct you toward more resources. Join Facebook groups with the same topic you want to learn about, find people you like their views and follow them (this may be tricky, if you join a group of investors which is 10,000 members large, you won’t be able to follow them all, so pick one or two members and follow just them).

Here is an example of what I did myself many years ago. I wanted an investment, which would help me to generate income. I didn’t care how the income was generated, I just wanted a monthly income which I could take and invest to grow my portfolio.

But I also wanted an income, which would pour into my account no matter what the stock do. I was aware that during crisis and bear markets stocks may lose 50% or more of their value. If you are a growth investor relaying on selling some of your shares to generate income and you happen to need to sell during panic (like the one in 2008) in order to pay your bills, well you have a problem (that’s why I didn’t like the 4% rule investing).

So, what kind of investment will provide you with decent return, good “interest rate” and safe, continuously growing income even if you do absolutely nothing about it, or every night when you sleep?

I won’t answer the question this time. I leave it up to you to find the answer. It is however easy. Once you have the answer, then go and rent or buy a few books about this type of investment. As you read them, they will point you to more resources and you will be reading, and reading, and reading…





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