How to know where to invest
Investing – education is very limited on the matter. There are loads of so-called Gurus on the internet who believe they have the answers. Truth be told, most of these people are on YouTube and make far more money talking about investing than actually investing. So how do we find out where to invest and where to invest? I mean really.
Not in schools
The education system around the world is fantastic at churning out little worker bees. That’s not necessarily a problem, but too many people live paycheck to paycheck with no savings or investments for their retirements. What they do have ready for their retirement, is a bucket of debt!
There are countless books that open your minds, but it is down to you to open the door to opportunity. First – find out what wealthy/successful people before you have done. Maybe start with some autobiographies of entrepreneurs – like ‘Losing my Virginity‘ by Sir Richard Branson. The place that most people seem to start is ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad‘ – this is a real eye-opener!
However, if you’re looking for answers, most of these books won’t specifically tell you.
If you’re lucky enough to have a mentor, this would be a great place to start. Being able to see what they’ve done can be a big help. This could be friends, family members or business associates.
We live in a society that teaches us to spend money we don’t have! There are millions of people around the world in vast amounts of debt.
Debt that is siphoned from your accounts every month – stopping your wealth-building ability.
There are loads of people in high paying jobs who’s accounts get reset to zero on payday. If they are lucky they managed to use some of that money to pay down their massive credit card bills.
Unfortunately, society has allowed this to become the norm.
What were you taught about money?
- In order to make it you need to get a good job
- To get a good job you need a degree
- To get a degree you need to have done well in school
Firstly, this is a system that ensures little worker bees continue to make the rich richer. Some jobs even give incentives to spend your money at the place you work (offering discounts for example)! This is brilliant for the company but not so great for your pocket.
I was also taught that it’s ok to spend the money you make, ‘what’s the point in earning it if you don’t spend your time enjoying it?’ If you can’t afford it right now, you can pay for it over time!
This is an example of terrible education!
Once we’ve spent more money than we can afford, we are offered another credit card to help pay off the first – the cycle continues!
What did I learn from this mentality?
I spent a lot of time broke! This experience, (coupled with the wise words of my mentors – my wife and father-in-law) taught me to be frugal. Now I like to spend money on things that can make me money or save me precious time.
Hopefully I can pass some of their wisdom onto you.
So where to invest?
We need to educate ourselves to invest wisely. However, before we can invest, we’ll need to make sure we have enough money and utilise any assets we currently have.
This is quite a large amount of things to talk about – I have split this into 4 posts and placed them in a topic called ‘4 places to invest‘.
Places to invest
- Yourself (knowledge)
- Stocks and shares
- Property investing/Your own home
- Additional sources of income
Invest in yourself
If you hate reading, it’s time to start loving it, or at least ‘Audibling’ it. The first place to start is educating yourself, this will be done by reading books that will change the way you view money.
The best place to start?
Pick a book. This will be different for everyone and will perhaps be based on your circumstances and perhaps what you do for a living. My introduction to investing was the ‘Millionaire Teacher’ – a recommendation by a friend. This book had me intrigued; as a teacher, I was desperate to know his secrets.
We follow the author ‘Andrew Hallam’ as he tells us how he made additional money on the stock market and how we can too. Hallam taught a little about index funds and how a small investment monthly could turn you into a millionaire in the future.
A fantastic starting point with not too much technical jargon for a beginner.
Books that change your mindset
Books are a fantastic way to gain knowledge!
The book that changed my mindset completely and taught me a lot, as well as millions of people around the world, was ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad’ by Robert Kiyosaki. If you’re interested in changing your mindset and relationship with money – start here!
This book taught me about ‘assets and liabilities’, two things that will change your life. Kiyosaki suggests that ‘poor people and the middle class have a lot of liabilities and don’t realise.’
A liability is something that costs you money, whereas an asset is something that makes you money.
The idea here is supposedly rich people have assets that pay for their liabilities. Whereas the poor and middle-class work for a wage to pay for their liabilities.
Additionally, Kiyosaki made it clear that it is important to think of different ways to make money, not different ways to earn money by working for it.
The next book that really helped push this investing journey forward was ‘The Richest Man in Babylon’. This is now probably one of my favourite books! I loved following the stories of how different people made their wealth and the tips that are passed on through these stories. Parts in the book are about how people today can apply the principles from thousands of years ago to decrease their debt.
The first thing to do is to portion out your income: “If you are in debt, live on 70% of what you make. Save 10% for yourself. Use the remaining 20% to repay your debts.” You will find that if you “Stick with the plan. Money accrues surprisingly quickly, and debts are gone fast with discipline and consistency.” Points are taken from https://jamesclear.com/book-summaries/the-richest-man-in-babylon.
He also summarises the 5 laws of gold:
- Gold comes easily and in increasing quantity to the person who saves at least 1/10th of their earnings.
- It labours diligently and multiplies for the person who finds it profitable employment.
- Gold clings to the protection of the person who invests their gold with wise people.
- It slips away from the person who invests gold into purposes through which they are not familiar.
- Gold flees the person who tries to force it into impossible earnings.
Above all, if we research and apply the principles learnt to our lives, we too can be free from debt, invest wisely and put our money to work.
The final book I would like to reference is: ‘The Complete Guide to Property Investment’. The author also has a property podcast that has been going for years called ‘The Property Podcast’. A very worthwhile investment of your time!
The importance of educating yourself
If we look at law 4) ‘Gold slips away from the person who invests gold into purposes through which they are not familiar’.
You should start to invest in what you know. However, if you don’t feel you know about anyting, how can you start?
This is why reading and researching are so important!
Educate yourself in other areas
As well as learning about how and where to invest your money, you should also be looking at where to invest your time! This could be different areas of study!
Investing in yourself should also be learning new skills to make yourself more marketable.
Don’t be afraid to spend a little money to learn something. It could really benefit you in the long run. Consider – university isn’t free!
You can find different ways to make money from the skills you’ve learned.
For example – if you are interested in coding. Why not learn to make an app?
You can eventually try your hand at uploading it onto an app store and make some money from it. Once it’s made, it could be generating you some sweet passive income! Which could be used to invest in other areas or learn even more skills.
Try to learn skills that are marketable and in short supply. That way you could be in demand.
Continue your education
Below are affiliate links for other books I have either read or listened to on my journey.
If you don’t have time to read – consider joining audible and getting a 30-day trial with 1 free book.
Disclaimer – We are not financial advisors, lawyers or accountants. We do not recommend anything specific. If investing is something you are interested in, please make sure you do lots of additional research and if necessary contact a financial adviser.