“Knowledge is Power”
Sir Francis Bacon, born in 1561, a lawyer, statesman, philosopher, and author had it all figured out with this quote. When you have knowledge you have the power to achieve many things.
6 ways to improve your financial knowledge today:
1. Ted Talks
Founded in 1984 as a conference for those in technology, entertainment and design, Ted Talks are devoted to spreading ideas through short talks, 18 minutes or less. Ted Talks has spread across multiple industries and into almost any topic you can think of; from “science of happiness” to “how I held my breath for 17 minutes.”
While it’s fun to browse the content in order to increase your overall knowledge we would suggest these TED talks about finance to increase your financial knowledge.
One of the greatest benefits of these Ted talks is that while the speakers are engaging, you can listen to the podcast audio while you are driving or exercising, so that makes it very convenient.
Bonus: somewhat related to Ted Talks, check out Dave Ramsey’s radio show, you can listen and/or watch anytime.
2. Leverage the Internet
The internet is at our fingertips; a great way to increase your financial knowledge is to bookmark some popular financial websites and visit them everyday for 30 minutes of reading.
I know when I try to look things up on the internet for knowledge improvement I sometimes get sidetracked by silly videos and/or latest tabloid news, so I’ll include two sites where you can go to directly to get some good financial information.
CNN Money is a great place for the latest financial news, they have a top story feed as well as a deep library of financial videos to view. The topics cover anything from DIY budget home remodel tips to income tax rate discussions.
Investopedia is one of my personal favorite websites, they offer as section on trending articles, news, and is one of my go-to spots for financial term definitions.
3. Go Back to School
Certainly going back to school full-time for Finance is a sure fire way to increase your financial knowledge, but it does not have to be that dramatic. Many colleges offer the opportunity to take one or two stand alone courses — and some even offer them online.
Two free college courses I found online that might help you out are:
Rutgers free home course on investing for your future, it’s rather comprehensive course that is structured in modules so that you can pick and choose the specific topics you are interested if you did not want to go through all 11 modules.
Utah State University free finance course offers an online family finance course which includes subjects such as Budgeting, Home Ownership, Insurance, and Net Worth.
4. Read Financial Books
It’s no secret that reading books can increase your knowledge, two notable businessmen, Warren Buffett and Mark Cuban both have said they read several hours a day to keep them ahead of the game. My advice, when starting out, is to stick with reading highly recommended finance books – ones on the New York best sellers list, this way you can feel confident you’re getting a “tried and true” book.
Some of my personal favorite finance books are below, all are pretty easy reads:
The New One Minute Manager: this book offers a way to succeed sooner with less stress in changing times, both at work and at home. Its a short book that focuses on One Minute Goals, One Minute Praising, and One Minute Re-Directs. The New One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard is a bestseller and has over 15 million copies sold in 42 languages.
Who Moved my Cheese? by Spencer Johnson is another bestseller with over 10 million copies sold. This is a short, but influential read on dealing with change at work or home in a successful way. I will not give to much away, but the book uses a motivational business fable about two mice, a maze, and cheese. 🙂 The book dives into habits we get into that end up hurting us, fear of change, and ultimately how you can free yourself from fear and discomfort of change by adjusting your mindset.
Rich Dad Poor Dad: Another one of my top favorites, Rich Dad Poor Dad was written in 1997 by Robert Kiyosaki and hammers home the importance of financial literacy and thinking rich. This book touches on investing in assets for passive income potential that will allow you to buy the things you want. This book has over 32 million copies sold, it’s sitting on my desk right now, I would highly recommend it.
5. Read Magazines
Like many people, I’ve signed up for those kid’s school magazine sale fundraisers. You know, when either your child or family friend’s child asks you to donate to their school by buying a subscription to a magazine. I do not have the heart to say no, so I normally subscribe to a few different magazines (I think I’m in the same boat as a lot of people. lol) However, what I found was that in donating my money to my son’s school, I (surprisingly) found value in the magazines I subscribed too.
The magazines I subscribed to where money related and when they arrived at my house, I actually left them on my table and would pick them up to read an article each day. It’s rather interesting that in such a digital world we live in today, reading a paper magazine seemed refreshing.
Some money magazines I recommend are Forbes, Money, and The Financial Times.
6. Get Free Professional Knowledge
Getting free professional knowledge may be easier than you think. If you are a customer at a bank or other financial institution (Wells Fargo or Vanguard) a great way to get some answers questioned is to call and ask customer service if they can put you in touch with anyone knowledgeable on the topic.
For example, if you are interested in 529 plans or had questions on Roth IRAs — they have representatives there that are knowledgeable and will give you some guidance at no cost to you. Plus sometimes it’s easier to pick up a topic if it is discussed with a person rather than just reading about it online.
What do you do to increase your financial knowledge? Share in the comments! ⇓⇓⇓