Thursday, 13 November 2008
Free Investing Information
I hear so many people say "I don't have the money to start investing, and I wouldn't know where to start...", and then I think back to my start, and realise that I thought to same thing.
I bought a few books on property investing while I was still at university, just because they looked interesting (yes, they actually did! These were not dry investing books - check out my book list!), but it wasn't until we were absolutely on skids that I really got stuck in and started to learn in earnest.
The fact is that even though you don't have any money to start investing in anything at all, there are still many, many free resources out there to help you.
Start at the library.
I know... dull boring it might seem, and yet you've probably spent hours in bookshops trying to decide which one you can afford to buy this week/fortnight/month, and then getting out the credit card and getting into more debt, right? DON'T DO THAT! There's absolutely no need.
Just go to the library. And then check in the catalogues for all the books you've drooled over in the bookshop, and see if they've got anything else. If they don't have what you want, see if there's an alternative, borrow that, and/or ask at the front counter for them to get in the ones you're really after. I did that for Losing My Virginity (Richard Branson), Rich Dad, Poor Dad & Cashflow Quadrant (Robert Kiyosaki), and while waiting for them to come in didn't provide the instant gratification of walking into a shop and buying something, I actually found that when they did arrive, they came into my life at the right time for me to read them and get the most out of them.
Karma is like that, strangely, even if you don't believe in it. :)
So it's okay not to have the money to start investing. In fact, it's probably better that way:
For a start, you're not going to try and jump in the deep end with every penny of your savings and lose it all first try. You don't have anything to try with!
Taking the money-free time I have been given has actually turned me into a more sophisticated investor. So I didn't have the "been there, done that" experience. But I was able to learn from other people's mistakes that I read about, or heard in conversations. I became a sponge. And I soaked in all the information, learning more in a weekend than I did in good chunks of my university degree!
And there are other ways to get free information too: find local investing groups like The Investors Club (membership and meetings are free, and they operate worldwide) so you can get their newsletters and talk to their members. Sit in on their short classes in your area. Listen. Learn.
I fell over the 21st Century Academy when I was desperate for information, hunting the web for anything that might give me some ideas, or some answers. They sent me their Free DVD, and a few weeks later were kind enough to invite me along to one of their weekend seminars on property investing. Feeling like I should be a bit cautious (because these guys actually charge a fair bit for their courses), I rather cheekily asked if I could bring my Dad along as well, figuring he was another sensible ear to help me listen. They agreed.
We went along, met a lot of wonderful people who were genuinely doing very well out of all they were learning in the course, and we walked away, once again, having learned more in a weekend about planning for our futures than we had learned in at least the previous ten years. In Dad's case, it was in his entire 60 years! What a great experience!
So, don't you dare give up and say "I can't..." or "I don't have..."
Since I walked into my local library, joined these free clubs, and took up 21st Century Academy on their offers, I have learned. I have grown. I know where I want to go and I have been helped in working out a plan to get me there.
And strangely enough, somehow that learning has brought me to being able to DO the things I wanted to do a whole lot faster than I ever would have been able if I had simply waited around for the magic amount of money to come along.
So start. It really is free investing information.