Over the past six years I have built up quite a body of work here on MeaningfulMoney. And that’s especially true when it comes to how to invest. In today’s show I am going to bring together some of the best investing resources on the site and try to fit them into a path to take you from zero to elite investment skills.
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How to invest
With 303 videos and 149 podcasts here on MM it can be hard to find what you need, though there is a very efficient search system. I am in the process of designing and building a new home page which will hopefully help new visitors find their way round, but until that is done, this post should help you navigate the best stuff when it comes to investing.
Of the resources listed, more are podcasts than videos. Many of the videos are somewhat out of date now, and while I am redoing some of them, the podcast is generally where the meat is.
Ready? Here are eight steps to become and investing ninja:
Step 1 – Get into the right mindset
Video number 246 talks about getting into the savings mindset. You need to start form a good place, as the changes you will make need to be deep-seated to last for a lifetime. This involves being future focused, getting mad at the financial services industry, and committing to taking control of your own future.
Step 2 – Get started
For those who are right at the very start of their personal finance journey, and are looking to pay off debt and begin saving for an emergency fund, I have a dedicated index page just for you.
If you have done those things, and you're looking at how to invest, what's next? Podcast session 6 was a chat with the erstwhile Justin Urquhart Stewart of my sponsors, Seven Investment Management. In that show we agreed that investing should be dull, above all. You should understand your risk tolerance (more in a minute) and understand what makes a core investment portfolio.
Then in Podcast session 10 we looked at Asset classes, or things you can investing, and a little bit about how they interact. And we followed this up with Podcast session 11, where we covered the platforms, wrappers and funds that these assets are held inside. this is the basic architecture for investing success.
Step 3 – Understand Risk
It has been proven beyond doubt that risk and reward are related. Risk is a multi-layered subject, as I discussed with my friend Richard Allum in Podcast session 16.
Much later, I chatted to Paul Resnik of risk measurement firm Finametrica in Podcast session 119, and looked into the science of risk tolerance, and whether or not it changes in response to external factors.
Finally, video number 300 covers the three main ways in which investment risk can be managed by ordinary folks, such as you and me.
Step 4 – Educate yourself
We're better at most things if we learn something about them in advance of diving in. The same is true for investing, which is why this site exists, and why you're here. You need to learn how to invest, before you start to invest.
Podcast session 76 was a chat with journalist Robin Powell who created a documentary called How To Win The Loser's Game. Listen to the show and watch the film; it'll set the scene.
Then I embarked on a four-part investment masterclass covering:
Those four podcast sessions will give you a superb grounding of education and equip you to make good choices.
Step 5 – Get practical
Armed with all that good information, it is time to get your hands dirty with some practical investing.
Back in Podcast session 41, I took listeners through how to build a portfolio from scratch, exactly how I would do it. I then chatted subsequently with Mark Polson of platform consultancy the lang cat, in Podcast session 75. If you're going to go it alone and not seek professional advice, there are plenty of online systems to help you invest in various ways, and Mark's guide helps you decide which is best for you.
Once a portfolio is built, it should be reviewed. In Podcast session 96 I cover what to do when you sit down each year to look at the year just gone and the one coming up. What should you be looking for? What should you ignore?
Step 6 – Learn about behavioural finance
We are so often our own worst enemies. While investing is a science, as humans we are driven by emotion, and as such we can make some very bad decisions. Half the battle with learning how to invest is understanding why we make mistakes and putting in place a framework to minimise these.
Back in Podcast session 43 I covered nine classic investing mistakes that I see people make over and over again.
Then, in one of my favourite conversations I have had for the podcast, I chatted to Greg Davies from Barclays Wealth over two shows, session 108 and session 109. Greg is the UK's foremost authority on behavioural finance and gives us some very practical tips on how to make good investing decisions.
Finally, I make my own attempt to give some practical tips for making smart decisions in Podcast session 118.
Step 7 – Get things in context
As I often say here on MeaningfulMoney, money is never an end in itself, but a means to an end. It is there to serve your life goals, and to enable them, never to be a goal in itself. It is therefore vital to invest with this context in mind.
In Podcast session 48 I asked some important questions, crafted by the father of financial life planning George Kinder. These three questions will help put money in its proper place.
I then interviewed my good friend Tina Weeks in Podcast session 85, and she shared her approach for putting money into perspective.
Step 8 – Take things to the next level
Finally, for those plucky few who make it this far, there is the opportunity to level up, and take your investing to the next level.
I chatted to financial guru Todd Tresidder in Podcast session 123, and asked the question: How much do I need to retire. Todd himself retired at 35 or something incredible, so he's a good man to learn from.
And then in Podcast session 113, I covered ways to put your finances on autopilot, so you can grow your wealth while you sleep.
Phew! I think that is plenty for most people to be going along with. If you can apply the information about how to invest contained in these podcasts and videos, your financial success is pretty much assured.
As always, there is a full transcript of this show available by clicking the big blue button below:
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