When I first started to invest seriously I knew very little but started to access different article and forums to learn whatever I could. I found very quickly that forums/groups had limited benefits (I deal with this in other past posts and will in future posts), One of the things I did learn was the different books that I should acquire and read.
One of the first books pertaining to investing that I acquired was Warren Buffett and the Interpretation of Financial Statements: The Search for the Company with a Durable Competitive Advantage. This book was co-authored by Warren Buffett’s former daughter-in-law and one of his avid followers.This books breaks down the different financial documents that are used by public companies to explain the current condition of the company. They also explain what conditions and criteria Warren Buffett uses to evaluate these businesses and how he determines which ones he decides to invest in and which ones he doesn’t. This is definitely one that you need in your library.
If you’re like me then you are new to the investing you end up being on “intake”. Where you try to absorb as much information as possible. But from where? That’s the key question. I’ve been searching for different groups and forums to try to find someplace where I can find useful information. Unfortunately, they are very few reliable sources of good information.
I’ve joined a couple of groups on Facebook but the most discussion thread I see there are “I have $XXX to invest. Where should I invest it?” Wow! And then the replied come back with almost every conceivable stock ticker. But not single one with an explanation of what it was about that stock that made them pick it. Dumb!
And following certain “investors” on Twitter is no better. I’m starting to limit my follows to actual financial news outlets (i.e. Seeking Alpha. Marker Watch, The Street, etc). Most of the individual people seem to on Twitter just to sell you something. I know that there are no free lunches but you can’t even get the cutlery & place setting without paying for it. When you ask them about how they came about selecting a specific stock or series of stocks they have recommended, what you get back is “Buy my book”. Now, I’m a big proponent of buying books to learn from but I want to be able to vet the author and insure that they’re not just some snake oil salesman. That they really know what they’re talking about.
You can learn from reading:
You can buy books from there guys:
And there are some good videos on YouTube that go through many of the fundamentals:
Learn To Invest
Just to name a few. One source of information that I am currently reviewing in order to subscribe is American Association of Individual Investors. The service sounds exclusive but it’s not. My initial review found that it’s a non-profit financial education company, that manages a real-money stock portfolio to show its members how to capitalize on the most promising academic research. It’s more on-hand than theory. They offer a free guide to profitable retirement planning. I’m still looking into them but it seems to be looking good and I am seriously going to consider subscribing to their service.
One of the key factors for me to follow someone on Twitter or to subscribe to their service or Youtube channel is that they don’t just throw a stock at you, they give you details of why and what details they were considering. Or they’re actually walking you through the calculations and analysis that they went through. You’re not left on your own. Jim Cramer is another good one to follow on YouTube; and YouTube allows you to replay a portion or the whole segment if you weren’t able to keep up with him initially.