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How You Can Increase Your Financial Knowledge

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Seven ideas to get started on the path to financial literacy

The more financial savvy you become the better investment and personal finance decisions you will make.  The seven ideas below are a great way to get started.  Some ideas are related for example you can find a finance guru, follow them on social media, and then read their books or find a book you like and the author becomes your finance guru.  The last two ideas are more things to keep in mind as you learn and grow your financial literacy.

Ted Talks

There are some thought provoking finance lectures on ted.com.  The knowledge available from a  TED talk goes beyond personal finance topics.  The concepts there can serve someone who is financial savvy or just getting started with financial planning.  If you need a tip on where to start try and find the finance talk that has the most views.

Apps

There are a ton of apps out there that can help you gain some financial wisdom.  Twitter is a great resource to bring you up to date on financial news.  If you are looking for more investing advice then you can use an app like Openfolio where you can see what top portfolio managers and finance experts have invested their money in and set up your portfolio the same way.  There are some other apps like Acorn that will take your change from credit card transactions and invest them into a portfolio for you.  As you use the app you can see how it re-balances your funds to make sure your portfolio doesn’t take on too much risk and stays diversified.

Find a finance guru

Much like finding a mentor using a finance guru can teach you a lot.  It is difficult to follow more than one person if they are putting out great content so when selecting a guru you want to make sure they have the same strategy and interest that you do.  If you want to trade bonds find a bond a guy if you want to trade stocks then find a guy like Jim Cramer.

A lot of these financial gurus have gotten famous from producing books.  Dave Ramsey is a great financial adviser he has a blog and his book “The Total Money Makeover”. Then there is Robert Kiyosaki who wrote “Rich Dad Poor Dad”.  You can start out reading books and if you find a book that really resonates with you then find the author’s social media presence and start reading their blog.

Read finance blogs

There are a lot blogs out there that you can use to increase your financial knowledge.  You might have to read a few articles until you find someone that you like and doesn’t bore you to tears talking about financial jargon.  Investopedia is a great site for learning about anything related to investing it is more of a financial dictionary than a blog..  Usually finance gurus also have their own blogs.  Following guys like Jim Cramer on Twitter is a great way to stay on top of current events and how they might affect your wallet.

Follow one stock

If you are really new to investing you can  pick one stock and learn everything about it.  Yahoo! and Google have news articles related to the stock directly below their charts.  By reading these articles you can get a feel for where a stock is going to head and if there is some breaking news you can see how the stock reacts.  It’s a great way to learn how macro economic principles like interest rates and inflation interact with the stock market.

Consider the source

If you have ever seen Wolf on Wall Street you probably know that sales people sometimes can’t be trusted.  If someone is offering amazing returns, they are probably too good to be true.  Some financial bloggers get paid by financial companies to push their products on people and they get a kick back when they plug a company’s product.  So you have to consider where the expert is coming from as you being your journey of learning more about personal finance and investing. If you know where the advice is coming from then you will be better able to judge whether the information provided is useful to you.  If you are 23 and someone is always talking about generating income through investment that might not be the best strategy for you since you want to grow your wealth.  Align your strategy with your research.

Diversify information

There is a lot of information out there.  It is impossible to read and learn all of it.  What you can do though is consider both sides of the argument.  For stocks there are the bear and the bulls that will say the market is crashing or it’s going to sky rocket.  Looking at both sides of the argument can give you more information to make better investing decisions.  No one can predict if the market is going to go up or down so it’s up to you to find the best information in order to make the best investing decisions.

These seven ideas can help get you started on your path to increasing your financial knowledge and capital.  Spending a few minutes a day reading or watching guys like Jim Cramer can help you spot what to look for when investing.  I got started by watching my uncle day trade stocks which led me on the path to learning about technical and chart investing. Maybe one of these ideas will spark an interest for you.

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About Shaun Archer Tatum Shaun works in corporate finance in New York City. He has done financial consulting for several start-ups and has worked at several Fortune 500 companies. He has contributed several finance/investing articles on Seeking Alpha which have been published on Yahoo! Finance.

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