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June, 2015


It is said that 10,000 hours of focusing on a particular skill area can assure success. I doubt there is any such magic number or that just anyone can master whatever field of endeavor by merely applying himself or herself to it a certain length of time. Even with 25,000 hours (if I could by some miracle live long enough) I should not be anything like as good a dancer as Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, or a certain nephew of mine with fancy footwork. Nonetheless, it seems to me most anyone who wishes can acquire valuable knowledge about investing. Even 1000 hours of dedication to this enterprise can put one well ahead of the game. Fortunately, there is no great mystery or alchemy involved. Abundant resources are available for the curious, many accessible online. Here are five of my favorite such sites:

Buying and selling on the Sao Paulo stock exchange (Wikipedia)

  1. Scottrade offers a neat Knowledge Center with live webinars, news about in-person investor educational seminars or conferences that may be located nearby, online investment strategy sessions, and trader podcasts.

  2. Tweedy, Brown provides access to a ton of useful, downloadable research papers and speeches about what has worked well in investing over the years.

  3. Vanguard has an Investor Education department which covers a variety of practical topics for the beginning investor: financial planning, stocks, exchange traded funds, mutual funds, tax and estate planning, emergency funds, saving for college, personal finance, growth investing, and basic fundamentals for new investors.

  4. T. D. Ameritrade offers the most complete array of brokerage-sponsored investor educational opportunities I have come across. For instance, there are an assortment of tools and calculators as well as a "comprehensive suite of resources," with interactive courses, archived and live webcasts, tutorials, multiple investor-related videos, online up-to-date commentary, and publications.

  5. The Motley Fool's online "How to Invest" pages cover just about any beginner investment topic one could imagine and in addition have scores of investor discussion boards on which to share questions, answers, and ideas about building wealth through stocks, mutual funds, closed-end funds, exchange-traded funds, real estate, silver, gold, and so on. There are even references to pork bellies.

With the availability of so many cool resources but a mouse click or finger slide across a screen away, one might find proceeding with an investor education a bit daunting merely because of information overload. It may be wise to take it a bit slowly at first, perhaps with a small step at a time, then continuing this habit daily or weekly. Very soon, though, even after hesitant beginnings, one may look back and be surprised how far he or she has now come. Each of the sites above make this kind of progress easy, and with greater knowledge comes increased confidence. Before we know it, we may be building a bountiful nest egg, maybe even retiring early. Good luck.


Larry is not a professional. Don't take him seriously!

Actually, the investment article provided here is for general information only and should not be considered as professional advice, a solicitation to buy or sell any security, or the Word of God. Investors are encouraged to do their own research while considering their personal goals and circumstances, or consult their own professional financial advisors, before making investment decisions. Neither Larry nor LARVALBUG will be liable for any losses sustained by any visitor to this site.

(Disclosure statement: Larry and Val have holdings in some of the suggested assets but do not "make a market" in any of them and do not derive any direct benefit from recommending them, except perhaps for a bit of smug self-satisfaction.)

Value Investing / Main Index / previous / next