Where to Get an Investment Education?

Investment education is sorely lacking in America, and this is nothing new.  The problem is that the need for investment education is now greater than ever, with traditional retirement plans becoming a thing of the past.  These days your retirement plan is likely to take the form of a 401k or IRA, where the individual (you) manage your own investment portfolio.  Your future financial security depends upon your investment decisions – how well you manage your investments – how well you do at making your money grow.

How well prepared for the task of investment management is the average American?  As a former financial planner who has discussed investments and investing with thousands of folks I think I can answer that question.  The vast majority have little if any investment knowledge to speak of.  Simply put, Americans need a good basic investment education.  Where can you learn investment and investing basics?  First, let me share with you my own personal experiences to serve as a guide to where you WILL NOT get a good financial or investment education.

I received an MBA (finance major) at age 25 from a major university.  Did I get an investment education from courses with names like INVESTMENT ANALYSIS?  I knew nothing about the real investment world when I started graduate school and knew virtually nothing when I received my MBA degree.  In my experience (and my 3 kids who have received college degrees in recent years agree) college courses rarely provide practical knowledge.

Then, I entered the real investment world as a new stock broker.  First, we new trainees were sent to school to learn investment basics so we could pass our exam to get a securities license and sell investments to the public.  Did we get an investment education?  No, we learned how to pass the securities test.  Then we went through a training period to prepare us for the job of stock broker (registered rep).  Did we get an investment education?  No, we learned what we needed to know in order to SELL INVESTMENTS to folks.  Over a twenty year period I worked for 5 different investment firms and was subjected to ongoing “training” with each one.  Was this continuing education an attempt to further my investment education?  No, the seminars and workshops focused on sales training.

I got my investment education through self study, reading every investment book or magazine I could get my hands on.  This was time consuming, but I enjoyed learning investment stuff.  I also had the advantages of an MBA and work experience in the investment business.  The language of business was not foreign to me.

So, where can the average person with no financial background get an investment education?

You could go to free investment seminars to further your investment knowledge.  Will you get an investment education?  No, you’ll get a sales line.  That’s what investment seminars are for – they are sales tools – designed to convince you that you need to invest your money with the folks presenting the seminar.  You could pay for college classes or sign up for pricy learning programs.  The problem here is that you rarely get what you pay for; and you probably won’t pick up the important investment basics you need to know and apply in real-life investment management.

Until our education system gets serious about investment education and starts providing it, it’s up to the individual.  I suggest you start the education process by taking an investment quiz to determine where you stand.  Do you have a handle on basic investment terms and financial concepts?  Do you understand the investment alternatives that are available to you and popular with average investors?  If you score poorly as most people do … you need to start at the beginning and learn investment basics.  You need an investment guide that starts at square one and leads you through the investment maize one step at a time.

If you start your investment education with a down-to-earth investment guide written in plain simple English, you will be surprised at how easy it can be to get an investment education.  I’ve dedicated the past 5 years of my life to writing and publishing an investment guide that starts at the beginning, and then moves into the subject of investing strategy … so you can learn how to invest and manage your own investment portfolio.  My COMPLETE GUIDE TO INVESTING is called INVEST INFORMED.  Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.

If you can find another good investment education with a price and guarantee like that I’d like to know about it.  Invest informed or don’t invest at all.

NOTE: If you wish to evaluate your understanding of investments consider taking our quick investment quiz.


James Leitz