Financial Education for under $100

These days everyone seems to have a bachelor’s degree. The degree itself is starting to be more and more meaningless, as more and more people earn bachelor’s degrees that are unrelated to any particular profession field. Of course there are those professions that require a degree, possibly higher degrees, such as medical professions, legal professions, and engineering professions. But what if you are simply looking to improve your financial situation without working towards a particular job or market? With the free movement of information so readily available on the internet, you can educate yourself about finances for less than $100, and turn that small investment into big returns.

Not every education has to cost tens of thousands of dollars. If you are considering improving your finances by learning what it takes to invest in the stock market, balance your own budget, and manage a safe portfolio that includes a reasonable amount of potentially profitable risk, the information is all there for the taking. Take your time and do your reading. The more you know, the less likely you’ll get burned.

Nobody should just jump into the stock market blind. If you have no idea how shares work, it’s time to study up. For example, a woman with $14,000 in savings invested in relatively safe shares of a competitive and dependable firm. When the stock market took that big tumble in 2008, she saw that she had lost a considerable amount of that money. She sold her shares, worried about losing even more.

The big mistake there should be obvious to anyone who wants to get ahead by buying and selling stocks. When her shares were low, she should have been buying more rather than selling. At that point, there was a lot of financial panic and things looked very bleak. And yet, 4 years later the stock market has recovered and if she had kept that stock, the value would be what it was before the crash. She didn’t realize that she still owned the same number of shares. Additionally, she didn’t realize that what goes down always goes back up again.

If you have any questions about what it takes to make money using online investment tools and brokers, make sure you find the answers before leaping in with your life savings. To start with, don’t put your money into stocks until you’ve practiced. There are services that allow you to play the stock market with pretend cash, investing in stock and seeing what the result really would have been, had you invested money. You can also write down the value of a certain stock and track its movement.

Online, you can view not only stock performance, but history, cash flow reports, and business reports that the companies publish. There are an incredible number of variables that go into what a stock will do, but learning a few of the basics can help you to choose wisely when you do invest money. You should not only learn as much as you can about the workings of the stock market, you should also learn as much as you can about the firms you are considering investing in. Find out the history of a business, and whether or not they innovate regularly and draw market attention.

You can learn a lot by reading business and financial newspapers, magazines, and blogs. You should probably subscribe to at least one financial resources so that you get in the habit of reading about the way businesses perform when certain announcements are made. There are so many free resources that this may seem unnecessary, but consider that if you have a magazine in front of you, you’re more likely to try to understand what is written down. If you don’t understand, do the research to find out what things means and why they happen.

It’s also likely that you’ll learn a lot if you attend a class or seminar on financial planning, management, or investing. People who have had experiences with building their own portfolio can tell you a lot about investing and what to avoid. For example, most experienced investors will tell you not to hover and second guess yourself once you’ve invested. In fact, you should probably just forget about the money for a few months and let the stock mature. Start by investing in something safe, that will rise slowly over time. Of course, nothing is completely safe, but if you have time and make an effort to complete your research before investing, you can avoid the pitfalls and probably come away with more money than you started with.