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What are the Best Sources of Investor Education?

Keith Koons
Keith Koons

When searching for the best sources of investor education, there are several options available for consumers that are willing to invest their time to better understand market trends. While many experts would argue that a degree in finance from a leading institution would grant the greatest benefit in investor education, there is simply no replacing the on-the-job type of experience that comes from working within the field. Many of the most prominent investors have educated themselves by studying market trends and reading every possible investment guide available in print and on the Internet. Others have found success by specializing within certain industries that face situational shifts revolving around the economy, like precious metals, cash crops, and petroleum.

Possibly the most traditional path of investor education is attending a four-year university, where students can receive formal educations in finance, investing, and how to properly evaluate the stock market. While these types of degrees provide an excellent foundation in investor education, they are merely a stepping stone that is often required to gain an entry-level position within a leading bank or investment firm. The knowledge gained from formal studies within a learning institution allows for a well-rounded investor education experience, which is why many more opportunities are available to college graduates.

Businessman with a briefcase
Businessman with a briefcase

Many aspiring investors will bypass this route in favor of immediate employment of a lesser capacity because they feel the most direct means of investor education comes from hands-on experiences. While there is possibly no better way to learn a skill than to actually perform it over and over again, this is definitely a risky investor education choice. If the financial institution does not readily promote from within, it is entirely possible that this path would require a much longer time investment than just seeking a traditional education alone. Since many of the larger firms offer college tuition as part of their benefits package, it may be a worthwhile path for those with limited resources.

There are also multiple sources available on the Internet and in print that will grant ample investor education, and while independent study may seem like a difficult path, it also exposes the investor to plenty of insight coming from multiple angles. Places to start for this type of investor education would be libraries, financial seminars, certification workshops, and even broadcasts on the radio and television. Another successful strategy that many novice investors have found beneficial is to study what prominent worldwide experts are doing within their portfolios, because it often grants insight that would otherwise not be available.

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