Investing books are the medium which is often overlooked when potential investors, or those who have never put money in stocks are assessing their options for learning more about the exciting financial world.
Students to investing have more choice than they perhaps realise, when deciding where they’ll pick up essential tips and useful pointers for starting out.
They could turn to personal finance books – the featured method we’ll return to in this article – but there is also a whole host of other learning methods, which I’ll give a quick overview of now:
Financial education methods:
- Financial theory courses from Universities.
Students could pay to attend lectures at a university as part of a BSc or MSc in Finance (this is British terminology for a Bachelors or Masters degree). Finance is the topic which will cover financial markets, return on investments, measurements of risk, portfolio management etc. However other associated topics such as accounting and business studies can also really broaden out a students knowledge and improve their ability to:
- Read and analyse financial statements
- Independently value companies
- Understand financial journalism
- Online investing courses
Online investment courses have exploded in recent years (and have been turbocharged by the number of individuals staying at home, looking for ways to develop professionally and increase their income during lockdown).
It’s difficult to describe the ‘average’ investment course, as they vary widely in scope and ambition. For example, you can find dirt-cheap investing courses for as little as £7.99 online, which will provide you with 3 hours of videos about how to begin investing. These might be useful, but they aren’t in the same league as a 200-hour course accessible for a cost of £769 which is recommended to be studied over 20 weeks.
- Financial mentoring
An alternative with a very personal touch is financial mentoring, where you use a formal network or your informal network to find an individual who is happy to teach you everything they know about investing.
If you do this externally, then this is similar to ‘life coaching’ or consulting, and you may be charged per hour of meetings. If you are lucky enough to find someone who would be happy to share their time to teach you about managing your money, it might not cost you more than a few beers or chocolates given to your teacher as a gift!
The timelessness of investing books
Investing books are the favoured approach that I have leaned on to develop my investing approach, because of the excellent value that they offer.
In effect, an investing book is a short course written by an author, to be enjoyed by tens of thousands, or even millions of users. Economically speaking, this is a very efficient way to deliver educational material. One teacher for a million students! It’s no surprise that investment books turn out to be the cheapest way of getting access to quality investing content from a credible professional, who may indeed be a leader in their respective field.
That being said, I personally did also undertake a bachelor’s degree with a UK University in a finance-related field. It’s difficult to measure the advantage this gave me, and I have no doubt that the general background knowledge I gained through that three year course, meant that I could understand and digest complex finance books more effectively, allowing me to get through them quicker and extract even more insight.
That being said, the best property investment books can be approached in a staggered manner, whereby you start with shorter and very accessible books which are aimed at total newbies. These will contain no confusing acronyms, and will clearly explain financial concepts rather than assume knowledge.
After you’ve graduated from this type of book, you can then begin reading books aimed at more sophisticated and veteran investors.