Reading and education (self-taught or formal) is a timeless strategy for self-improvement and one that women should fully embrace. There are plenty of fabulous books addressing investing, but since this subject is near and dear to my heart, it called for a shout out.
I’m not a fan of anyone else managing my money. No one could possibly care more about safeguarding and growing our retirement than me. I’m positive most brokerage firms would not agree. Many years ago I decided to learn as much as I could about investing. After all, I am the CFO of our household and thought I should up my game.
Untold hours were spent reading on-line investment publications and books on every imaginable investment option. I also spent time talking with friends, both female and male, about their preferred investment vehicles: corporate stocks & bonds, mutual funds, 401(k), IRAs, ETFs, penny stocks, indexes, and precious metals. And I spoke with a few folks that had no clue about their investments – they used an investment broker. The entire process was a great experience from the perspective of learning something new or confirming what I already knew – either way it was good.
I have never deceived myself into thinking I’m smart enough to outsmart the market – rarely is anyone, despite what they tell you – it’s a crapshoot at best (risky and unpredictable). Professionals make their money, regardless if you win or lose, through fees, commissions and numerous “hidden” charges.
Such attentive students
During my research I came across this little gem, “The Little Book of Common Sense Investing”, and loved it. If you only read one investment book, this should be it. You’ll learn to leverage your investments through various low-cost index funds and why they frequently provide the greatest return. It is easily understood and very informative.
To be clear, I’m not advocating how you should invest, whether you should ditch your broker or if you should hire one. I am suggesting you educate yourself and become a participant so you make better investment decisions. Remember, it’s not how much you make, but how much you save that will have the greatest impact on your retirement. Understanding investments is empowering and a skill we should want to pass along to our daughters, sons and friends!
Keep it simple, because simple can be very smart!
The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, By John C. Bogle
Sidebar: When my oldest son was 12 he came to me and asked if he could start investing in mutual funds. At 40 he probably has more money tucked away for retirement then most people. It is never to early or to late to start investing.