Updated: Oct 5, 2020
Gain confidence and take control of your own financial freedom. You already know more than you think you do.
Everyone feels intimidated by investing. We all feel that money controls our freedom, but in reality, we control money.
There are two different ways of handling money
1- With your eyes closed, hoping for the best, fearing the worst while being absolutely resistant to making financial decisions or 2 - Taking what you know, building on that knowledge, and building financial freedom as you learn.
Personally, I'll take method number two any day of the week. However, I do know, from personal experience that it is normal to feel intimidated by money. I used to think I'd have to work my fingers to the bone for forty or fifty grand a year and just be thankful that I had that much to budget with.
For twelve years, I worked in the travel industry. I worked through holidays, weekends, and vacation seasons -- always putting my own life off until later. It wasn't all bad, but it was physically unhealthy and had a cap on earning potential. I had to learn to earn some other way. Thank the universe or God or whatever it was that made me drift blindly toward investing. Somehow, even though I was afraid I'd get bad info and destroy my financial state I faced my fear and plowed ahead. I took several courses -- some giving good information and some giving not so good information. I waded through a sea of conflicting messages until I finally started to realize where the starting line was.
These three tricks helped me know where to start:
Know that you do not have to understand every industry, every financial product, or every market to make money investing. I've never worked in oil, tech, or pharma so I don't invest in those areas. It's fine, they're either outside my experience or I'm not interested enough to spend all my time researching them. I like food, cosmetics, bargain hunting -- things like that. Start with what you know and what you like.
Learn one thing first. Based on the first trick you already know what you'll learn about. If you like certain restaurants or stores. Research those first. Find out if they are well run companies. Find out if they are good citizens of the world. Start with what you already know and dive a little deeper. **I liked Phil Town's books to learn how to dive into a company and discern whether it is well run or not. He breaks it down in layman's terms and makes it easy to understand -- but it will still take some practice. See links below to learn more about Phil's books.**
Practice with paper money. Fear of losing money is real. It is also useful. The one thing you want to avoid is losing money. Build your confidence with a paper money account like Think or Swim or Warrior Trading. They use real market data and you can use virtual money to learn and gain confidence without having to jump right in with your hard-earned cash.
Once you've got a company or two that you can feel comfortable investing in you'll start to learn about other ways of making money through the market. Just like anything else you just need a little gateway to walk through and then you'll see a world of opportunity before you. Take baby steps. Learn in manageable, bite-sized pieces. Be kind to yourself. Celebrate every win. Be guided by your own preferences.
*I am not a financial advisor. These comments are for your education and entertainment only.
**Daniella Bozzone is a lifestyle and habit writer and a private investor. She is a regular contributor to ThriveGlobal.
Books recommended to learn how to value your chosen companies:
(*the following are paid affiliate links)