Many of us want to improve ourselves in various ways, and financial literacy has always been on my mind. I have a close friend whom I look up to as a great example that embodies financial and career success.
(He works for a top NYC trading firm, and what he earns in a month is more than what most of us make in a year.) Recently, he asked about my financials and the conversation that followed both humbled and inspired me.
We concluded that my financial literacy in both fundamentals and applications needed a serious jumpstart, so I proceeded to mine his treasure trove of knowledge over several weeks. Some of it I will share today, and more in time to come. Without further ado, here are 5 tips to jumpstart your financial literacy journey (for beginners like me!)
1. Stop Procrastinating. Yesterday!
The key is to start today, not tomorrow. When you begin to understand the time-value of money and the effects of compounding profits, your future self is going to wish you started your financial literacy journey a lot earlier.
2. Start Tiny, Start Small
When you begin, don’t let the giant of unknowns paralyse you. You don’t need to navigate scary dark storms from the get-go. Start with baby steps, you don’t have to be a warship commander to row a small boat in a calm lake.
3. Google Everything, Now
Don’t glaze over a term you don’t understand. Make a list of terms to understand their definitions, and make it a habit to google a term or a concept when it’s fresh in your mind. Don’t get comfy with the fuzzy.
4. Get Chummy with the Honey
Don’t stray away from the business and money sections of newspapers and magazines. Take baby steps to read titles that catch your eye and gradually ingest them. If you get stuck, see point 3. Take the effort to mix with and ask friends who know more than you. Not everyone is always correct, but always have an inquisitive mind and a posture of learning. Have no shame in revisiting point 3 whenever you need.
I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.”
– Vincent Van Gogh
5. Practice Makes Perfect, Practice Makes Perfect, Practice Makes Perfect.
A lot of folks expect to get this whole investing / savings game right from day one. It’s unrealistic! Always start off with small incremental amounts, to get a taste of it before committing more. Head knowledge is very different from experiential knowledge. So spread out your ammunition, keep practising & you’ll keep getting better. (We have an article on how to practice investing coming soon!)
There you have it, 5 great tips to help you get started with your financial literacy journey. Do you have some more tips to add? Share them with everyone below as we help one another kick it up a notch. Subscribe to our newsletter so you won’t miss out more good stuff when we release it!