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Why you don't need to understand the world's financial markets to start investing.

Updated: Nov 5, 2023

Everyone's starts as a beginner - whether you're an accountant or a stay at home mum of two

Before I started investing, I always felt you had to be super knowledgeable about the stock exchange and what the Dow Jones before you could start investing. In my earlier blog on how to overcome the analysis paralysis of investing, I addressed how I overcomplicated investing in my mind which put me off investing for years.

Turns out there are resources out there to help build your confidence and understand the financial world in simple and straightforward terms. I wanted to use this blog to highlight a few of the resources that helped me and why I would recommend them to others starting out of their investment journey.

For those who have no time to learn about investing...

I totally understand the feeling of "I'd love to learn but honestly do not have the time of day to sit down and read books." I've been there, in fact I'm there pretty much every day now with the juggle of children, work, gym, socialising and all of life's admin. So how could you squeeze it in?..... by listening to podcasts! Honestly, to me podcasts on the way to work or gym have been the key behind a lot of my investing journey. Those 25 minutes on the treadmill in the morning or behind the wheel stuck in Dubai traffic have been the most productive. Often feeling I walk into the office more prepared for the day having digested 10 investing terms on that car journey.

So which podcasts would I recommend?

I've found a lot of podcasts blend investing, saving and side incomes so you may get a mix of financial education which hopefully might provide food for thought on diversifying your earnings.

Girls That Invest

For an easy going weekly podcast I'd recommend Girls that Invest which is hosted by Simran Manglani and Sonya Mann, two millennial investors who are passionate about making investing more accessible to women and minorities. Like me they are hugely passionate about supporting women where ever they are in their stage of life. The podcast covers a wide range of topics related to investing, including:

  • How to start investing

  • How to choose investments

  • How to manage your investments

  • How to make money in the stock market

  • How to avoid common investing mistakes

Often, they feature interviews with experts in the investing world, including financial advisors, investment bankers, and entrepreneurs. While they are not financial experts, they are able to break down complex financial concepts into easy-to-understand terms. I've found the hosts quite relatable and inspiring when it comes to discussing their own stories of success and failure when it comes to the investing world.

The Motley Fool

If you're keen to follow the markets more closely and want more regular content to enjoy on your daily dog walks or school drop offs, the Motley fool is a good one. Perhaps one to build on your knowledge of the stock market once you understand a few of the basics, the Motley Fool Money is hosted by financial journalists Alison Southwick and Robert Brokamp. Their entertaining podcasts provide listeners with a comprehensive overview of the stock market and investing news. In each episode, Southwick and Brokamp discuss the top headlines from the day, interview experts, and provide their own insights on the market. They also offer advice on how to invest your money and make smart financial decisions.

Also worth reading their how to guides on how to invest which I found useful to navigate the different ways to invest in the stock market.

Making Money

A relatively new one on the block but one I'm rather enjoying is Making Money with Damien Jordan and Timeyin Akerele. More down to earth in terms of supporting people with their finances, I've found them very relatable in their day-to-day chats on investing, pensions and building long term wealth. They've really interesting guests too for instance economists from the Bank of England and Clae Barrett, Consumer Editor from the FT.

A couple of episodes to listen to if you want to start at the beginning are Episode 1 - First Step to build wealth and Episode 3 - How to start investing.

Ok, so I enjoy books instead...

So, of course the benefits of books is how easy they are to come back to when you want to remind yourself on how exactly the stock market works again or to pick up at your leisure. A few of my favourites to read if you have the time:

Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should have Learned in School by Andrew Hallam

As a former high school teacher who became a self-made millionaire by following a simple investment strategy, this book is a great guide to investing for beginners, and it provides a step-by-step plan for building wealth over time.

Hallam argues that most people don't need to be financial experts to become wealthy. Instead, they can achieve financial success by following a few simple rules. These include:

  • Invest in low-cost index funds. Index funds are baskets of stocks or bonds that track a particular market index, such as the S&P 500. They are a low-cost and low-risk way to invest in the stock market.

  • Rebalance your portfolio regularly. As your investments grow, you will need to rebalance your portfolio to ensure that it remains aligned with your risk tolerance and investment goals. Rebalancing can be done by selling some of your winners and buying more of your losers.

  • Don't try to time the market. Trying to time the market is a fool's errand. It is impossible to predict when the market will go up or down, and trying to do so will likely lead to losses. Instead, focus on investing for the long term and let the market do its thing.

  • Don't panic sell. When the market takes a downturn, it is natural to panic and sell your investments. However, this is the worst thing you can do. Panic selling will lock in your losses and prevent you from reaching your financial goals. Instead, stay calm and ride out the storm.

The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing by John C. Bogle, Taylor Larimore, Michael LeBoeuf, and Mel Lindauer.

A great guide to investing for everyone, regardless of their age or net worth, the Bogleheads' guide offers sound, practical advice based on the philosophy of Vanguard founder John Bogle.

Similar to the Millionaire Teacher, their philosophy is based on the idea that most investors are better off investing in low-cost index funds than trying to beat the market. Their guide includes:

  • How to set financial goals

  • How to choose investments

  • How to manage your portfolio

  • How to avoid common investing mistakes

A few takeaways:

  • Investing is a long-term game. Don't try to time the market or pick individual stocks. Instead, focus on investing in low-cost index funds and holding them for the long term.

  • Costs matter. The lower the cost of your investments, the more money you will keep in your pocket.

  • Diversify your portfolio. Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Spread your money across different asset classes, such as stocks, bonds, and real estate.

These are just a couple to get you started. I'll do another blog on more great finds in the next few weeks. For now happy listening/reading!


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