Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A free investing education

I have two words that I wish I could hear every day "free education." Aren't those two words just musical? At once they say "won't cost a thing today" and "will help you earn more/be more fulfilled tomorrow." Couple the words "free education" with "investing" and I'm so happy I don't know what to do (other than take a few deep breaths and stop dancing on the chair because it might break).

Well, in a brilliant move, the morningstar company has decided to make my day. They have an incredibly comprehensive and well designed investing classroom that is not only free, but in which you can earn points to more free stuff (like a premium membership = free stock and mutual fund research valued at $100 a year). This is better than free education, it is "paid to learn."

All you have to do is go to the Morningstar Investing Classroom and start taking their bite-sized courses. No previous experience or knowledge of investing is required.

If you're more interested in getting more meal-sized advice, head over to Pathtoinvesting.org for a comprehensive well written investing education by some of the leading professors and practitioners in the field.

Another excellent learn to invest website is Investopedia.com which has articles targeted at beginners, experienced investors, active traders, and retirement. In comparison to MorningStar's curriculum, this is more of an 'a la carte' menu where you can choose individual articles on a topic as opposed to full courses. They also have one of the best investing glossaries i've found anywhere. (Thanks to Loi Tran of Investing Guide for pointing out a glaring omission).

Once you've completed a few sections on the Morningstar and PathtoInvesting sites, you'll be ready to head over to thestreet.com's Apprenticed Investor for beginning investing advice that has more attitude (and less coherence).

MSN Money also has a number of good articles on basic investing and money management, but they are organized in such a convoluted fashion that they are more of a (poorly organized) magazine while these are more textbooks.

An open question to end this post: Where did you first begin to get your investing education, and what were some early mistakes you wish you had avoided? Post your answers in the comments below.

3 comments:

Loi Tran said...

I started learning a lot about investing from www.investopedia.com. That site also has a dictionary of investment acronyms and definitions. There are articles beginners, intermediates and advance investors.

RS said...

I unfortunately came out of college during the tech boom and had no investing education. So, I started buying random stocks that were going crazy at the time. What a mistake that was...now I have learned some more and am taking the slow and steady approach to investing with index funds. If only I had known back then what I know now...
-Rick
Young Professionals Financial Blog

Internal Medicine Doctor said...

I started learnign about investing online at Philtown.com

After that I cought a few books and am currently reading "The Intelligent Investor" by Benjamin Graham. I was told it is the bible of investing.

I haven't yet made my first investment though I am interested in beginning. I'm watching as much CNBC as possible.