“How many millionaires do you know who have become wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case,” American investor Robert G. Allen famously wrote. It seems to go without saying that it’s impossible to achieve lofty financial aspirations without investing. You can only work so many hours. Even at the highest income levels, there is a stringent limit on what your salary alone can fetch you. If you truly want to create wealth of any substantial amount, you will have to dip your toes into the market. Still, we often hesitate to participate out of fear of losing it all. Despite the years-long bull market, 53% of Americans persist in avoiding stocks. There’s no reason for this to continue. Everyone, regardless of education or background, can take advantage of free online resources that can provide you with a well-rounded knowledge of the stock market.
Here are the 4 best places to learn all about the basics of investing:
Investopedia has it all for beginning investors. Just as the name implies, it has an ever-expanding compendium of investing terms, famous investors, historical investing events and investing strategies, replete with easy-to-read explanations and supplementary educational video clips. It’s a free encyclopedia written and maintained by qualified professionals.
In addition to their in-depth definitions of financial jargon, they have a wealth of tutorials, guides and test preparation material. Their Investing 101 guide is a wonderful place to start learning. Their guides steadily ramp up, so you’ll have more than enough to ingest and learn.
- Khan Academy
You’ve probably encountered Khan Academy, in some capacity or other, before. It’s a free educational resource that offers courses in the form of short video lectures and practice exercises. The site allows users to learn about anything and everything from calculus to world history, and the site continues to expand. In fact, in a study conducted by SRI International, they found that 86% of teachers recommended its use by students. Thankfully for new investors, they offer multiple mini-lecture series on the world of finance and capital markets. Current economics, the housing market, inflation, taxes, and stocks and bonds are all covered in easy-to-understand lessons.
- The Motley Fool
The Motley Fool is one of the most respected investing sites out there. It’s been around many years, more than most other blogs and financial services sites as it was established some twenty years ago. It provides financial news and guides, but is geared more towards those who have an operating knowledge of the stock market. Indeed, it’s primarily used by professional investors. Because of this, you’ll want to have gone through a few basic tutorials and guides about investing before venturing into its forums and consuming its articles.
- Virtual Stock Exchange
Market Watch’s Virtual Stock Exchange is a proving ground for young investors. It’s a simulator that acts as a real market – the only difference is that there’s no real money at stake. It’s a fun game to play once you’ve learned the basics of investing and may provide you with some much-needed insight into your investing strategy. While nothing compares to learning the hard way, their virtual stock exchange gives you a chance to experiment with virtual cash in ways you’d never dream of with your actual money.
Delving into the world of finance can be quite a daunting task. If you feel underprepared, placing your money outside of your savings account and into a continuously fluctuating marketplace can be terrifying. Like most things, learning takes trial and error. Becoming truly proficient at any skill requires learning from your mistakes, picking up the pieces of your numerous failures and from their scraps stitching together a success. When you invest, mistakes can cost you, however. Egregious mistakes can have a monumental impact on your financial health. The consequences of bad investing may deter you from entering the market. Educating yourself about good investing strategies can greatly ameliorate your worries, help lessen the impact of poor investment decisions and assist in bolstering your successes.
Online resources like Investopedia, The Motley Fool and Khan Academy can provide you with a foundational knowledge of the stock market. The Virtual Stock Exchange presents you with an opportunity to apply the basic knowledge of stocks you’ve acquired, allowing you to test strategies and theories at no risk. These resources can act as your first steps to acquainting yourself with the stock market in a meaningful way. After researching thoroughly and honing your skills in a virtual marketplace, you’ll be ready to start creating a portfolio. Continue researching and consider consulting with financial experts to assist in your endeavors to maximize your wealth. With a lot of hard work and a bit of determination, you will see returns in due time.
|About the author: Greg Robinson is a tech entrepreneur with interest in emerging technologies particularly VR/AR, 3D technologies as well as how artificial intelligence will impact the future of work. You may connect with him on Twitter.|