In the multiple paths to becoming an investing expert, beginners must pick their own options.
Different educational options will have:
- Different cost
- Different medium
- Different levels of flexibility & timetabling
- Different levels of difficulty
And it’s important that you choose the investment training option which is right for you. You know where you want to get to (mastery of investing), but how to get there is anyone’s guess. Multiple options could be perfectly acceptable as well, making the task of picking the perfect selection all the more harder.
In this guide I will explain 5 reasons why the simple investing book is more effective than receiving a bachelor’s degree in finance at a University. This is written from the perspective of someone looking to educate themselves in how the stock market works, and how investments work, to the extent that they will feel very comfortable designing their own financial plan and placing their own money into investments.
- Investment books are affordable
The cost of investment books is clearly one of its key differentiating factors when comparing to ‘classroom’ or ‘lecture hall’ type options. Some investment books can be bought for $6 or less. That’s pocket change – perhaps even less than what you might have spent to simply travel to a single lecture.
This has the downside of sometimes making books feel ‘disposable’, and lowers their urgency. A book which took so little sacrifice to obtain is not likely to hold the same level of respect as a course that you paid $5,000 to attend.
That being said, so long as you’re excited about the book and are genuinely curious about what learnings it may hold, I’m sure that you will find the time to work your way through the chapters and suss out what lessons it may hold.
- Investment books can be read at their own pace
Anyone who has attended University will recall the jolting realisation that lecturers and professors move through content at a terrific speed. It’s often barely possible to keep up with note taking, never mind building a full understanding, as the professor makes one logical leap after another.
While some professors allow participants to ask questions, this isn’t a practical way to try and ‘slow down’ the pace in a class of 150 other students.
With an investment book, you can read at your own pace, faster on chapters which are making instant sense, and slower on chapters where you’re struggling.
- Investment books allow for ‘repeats’
Even in the digital age, lectures are not filmed and uploaded online for students to re-watch at their own leisure. This is probably for fear that these videos would make their way into the hands of non-students and reduce the appeal of spending money to actually attend the university.
This means that you have no opportunity to ‘relive’ the learning experience once you’ve finished the series. Whereas with the best investment books you can re-read the book from cover to cover until you are satisfied!
- Investment books cater to beginners
Similar to the point above about lecture speed, professors inhabit a world in which everyone they encounter is as smart as them. This can sometimes make them unapproachable and intolerant of beginners.
You will notice that even the words and language used by a lecture is often a cut above what you’re used to hearing, for example ‘The triviality of this point means we may disregard it’.
This doesn’t help beginners who are looking to start from scratch. Investment books are usually written with investors in mind, and therefore definitions and basic explanations are found in the introductory chapters.