8 Books that will teach you more about investing than you ever learnt at school.
A little warm up on the importance of surrounding yourself in quality content and why we need it — before I reel off a bunch of book titles buzzfeed style.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember learning about investing or attending a finance class at school.
We had plenty of English, maths, art, random religion classes — but nothing on how to manage money when you get a job, support a family budget or even contemplate the idea of investing in stocks.
At 14, I knew more about the Indian god Ganesha than about how to save and spend my money.
Fast forward 20 years and looking at my son’s school timetable for the next year ahead, it appears that sadly, little has changed.
Money basics are nowhere to be seen.
And thus, financial literacy remains at zero for another generation.
Is it really any wonder why students are leaving university with so much debt?
We continue to rely on our parents, and our parents parents, on the ‘correct way’ to mange money and grow our wealth. Our habits are based on theirs.
If your parents didn’t invest in the stock market, chances are you’ll view it as risky gambling and won’t either. If they did, you likely understand the opportunity to increase your wealth and reduce your retirement age.
For some, that education might mean putting away 25% of your income every month into an index fund. For others, it means living for the weekend, paycheck to paycheck, and borrowing money (but at 0% APR for 12mths!) to buy a bigger TV.
Great for the few that get the opportunity to consider a savings mindset. Less so for those who aren’t as fortunate.
But unlike maths, science or geography class — there is no ‘penalty’ in life for not remembering the capital city of Switzerland (answer at the end of this article btw) from your geography lesson, or PI to 7 decimal places from maths on a Wednesday with Mr Jenkinson.
But on the subject of finance and investing, you do pay for this knowledge gap. Bigtime.
Leaving your cash in a bank account. Taking out a car loan. Not bothering to check your fund fees. Not living within your means. Not checking your employers pension fund contribution. Not setting a budget.
…Thousands and thousands of CHF left on the table.
» Related reading: ‘8 Common Investing Mistakes to Avoid‘
Which ultimately means, you’ll work more and have less options later in life.
And that sucks.
How can we bridge that gap?
You could campaign for policy change and school reform. Become a pain in the ass at parents meetings. Or even setup a website to reach beginners on investing basics — shameless plug 😊
Maybe in the long term that’ll pay off. But let’s be realistic — these are long term strategies.
What can you do now?
As Jim Rohn said in relation to the law of averages:
We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.
Which means, hang around with 5 people that don’t exercise, chances are you won’t exercise either.
Fat guys that eat pizza? Chances are, you’ll start to eat pizza and get fat.
But that also flips to the positive things. Surround yourself with 5 quality sources, which you interact with regularly, and you’ll lean toward that positive dialogue.
And that includes books, websites, blogs, and newsletters too.
You get the idea. Build a positive circle of quality learning.
Please, I came for books. Just give me the books.
Ok — here are a selection of 8 books to immerse yourself into in order to balance out your ‘average’ negative investing experience through school into the positive, and level up your investing knowledge.