• Brett Schafer

Where to go to Learn About Investing

The first few months can be tricky when trying to get into the investing game. I struggled, as many of you reading this probably will too, to know where to get information and learn about owning securities. After three years of what I would call amateur investing, here is what I think is the best list of things to do when starting out in the daunting investing world.

Use Investopedia

Investopedia is, like the name entails, the investing encyclopedia. There are a ton of definitions you need to know in order to understand a balance sheet, in-depth analysis, and what the market is doing. I found time and time again that I was going to Investopedia to learn new terms because they have detailed and easy-to-understand definitions.

Listen to Podcasts

Podcasts are growing tremendously quickly, and many of the sharpest minds in finance host/go on different shows. Here are a few of the better ones I listen to regularly (besides our own): Animal Spirits, Motley Fool Money, Invest Like the Best, and Masters in Business.

Read a Select Few Business Sites

Sometimes it can be detrimental constantly following current events in the business world, but unless you’re strictly in a broad-based ETF, then you still need a little news in you’re diet. This doesn’t mean watch CNBC and Fox Business. I believe it is best to formulate your own opinions when investing in individual securities, and not regurgitate the same ones peddled by Jim Cramer every day. A herd mentality will likely net you average to below-average returns anyways.

But back to the sites. I like to read TechCrunch, Bloomberg, Recode, and the Motley Fool. If you have access to a WSJ subscription, definitely read that as well.

Read Earnings Reports

There is a steep learning curve when it comes to earnings reports and SEC filings, but once you understand them they become the fastest way to consume information about an individual company. If at first 95% of the balance sheet looks like it is in Chinese, don’t get discouraged, it happens to everyone. Just push through (and visit Investopedia) until you know a good earnings report like the back of your hand.

Use Twitter

Finance Twitter is a place where you can read and even interact with experienced investors, advisers, basically anyone in the business world. This doesn’t mean you have to tweet (although you can), but it can be really rewarding to see real-time reactions from multiple experts on news items and stocks.

I hope this list can be helpful for anyone wanting to improve, or just know more about investing. Reading books can help as well, although I would recommend not overdoing it on strict “investing” books since they can get repetitive.

Disclosure: The author is not a financial adviser, and may have an interest in the companies discussed.


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