Do you ever wish that high school had a course called “Life Skills” where they teach you things you actually need to know? You know, something that would educate young, blossoming adults on how to do taxes, selecting the right school for your wallet, why your credit score is important, what a 401(K) is and how much you should put into it… the list goes on and on. Instead we’re taught trigonometry and Pythagorean theorem, both important things to some degrees, however I have yet to whip out my scientific calculator and use either of them since high school.
Throughout the years I’ve approached these hurdles cautiously, having heard terms like FICO Score, Mutual Funds, Fixed Vs. Varied Interest Rates, in conversation, nodding along and pretending I knew what they meant, only to go home and Google them in the comfort of my non-judgmental living room.
Every year of my young adulthood has seemed to bring a new slew of terminololgy. My early 20’s were all around taxes; understanding what to claim, what I could deduct, and how to do them myself online to save money. After that came loan repayment; re-financing, consolidating, fixed vs. varied interest rates. With my first job out of college came the 401(K); what percentage to invest, IRA’s, high risk and high reward. I was constantly self teaching myself about these things I had never had an ounce of education on.
About a year ago came the stock market, something elusive and exciting for those like me who didn’t know much about it except what I learned from Wolf of Wall Street. It seemed glamorous; investing in your future but getting the same thrill we do from gambling, owning minuscule pieces of businesses but being able to say “ah yes, I have stock in that company.” What a thrill, right? Only problem was I had no idea where to begin.
Enter my leather-bound notebook and pencil, ready for note taking on key need to know terms, investing platforms, and stocks I had interest in buying. With the help of the internet and a few stock savvy colleagues, I invested in my first slew of companies.
Fast forward to now. While I haven’t made the millions I had hoped yet, I am learning and investing more daily. In the coming weeks I will be posting an Investing 101 blog series, including terminology, platform reviews, and need to know information, without the complicated jargon surrounding it.
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