Stepping into a new territory can be daunting for most people, including myself. This is especially true when I first started my investment/trading journey. The big question of “Where do I start?” comes to mind. I’ll share with you on how I actually started.
Well, where do we start? The first thing you need to do is to know yourself. You need to ask yourself a few questions like:
1. What is your risk tolerance level? Are you a low-risk, medium-risk, or a high-risk investor/trader.
2. What are you interested in? To trade or to invest?
3. What is your time-frame? Are you investing/trading for the long-term or do you need your money back in the next couple of months.
4. Do you have a full-time job or other commitments? If yes, how much time can you commit to your investment/trading venture?
5. What sort of products do you want to be involved with? Properties, shares, derivatives, bonds, mutual funds?
Knowing yourself is imperative to know where to begin learning about investing/trading.
Personally, I had a burning desire towards investments since I was really small, just that I hadn’t got the resources to actually learn about it in detail. Only since 3 years ago did I start taking this seriously.
When I started, I made it a habit to start buying investment/trading magazines on a regular basis. A few Australian magazines that I still read today are Smart Investor, Money Magazine, Your Trading Edge, Property Investor, and Wealth Creator. In Malaysia’s context, I came across a couple of good ones. They are Smart Investor and Money Magazine. Also, try to keep a habit of reading the business press as well.
In addition to that, I usually scout around for seminars to go to. I try to go to as many free seminars as possible. I do occasionally go to the paid ones but I don’t usually spend more than AUD150 for them.
Where can I look for these seminars? A good place to look for them is on the last page of Your Trading Edge magazine. Another good place is from your stockbroker’s website. Most stockbroking companies have their own in-house free seminars to cater for their current clients and prospective clients. You don’t usually have to be their client to attend one. Australian Stock Exchange and Bursa Kuala Lumpur also has their own seminars. These seminars don’t provide in-depth information but they do give you a feel of what’s out there.
Another important place you can get information from are from investment/trading books. These can be easily obtained from most bookstores. Buy as many books as possible and read them.
Oh, by the way, Australian Stock Exchange (www.asx.com.au) offers pretty good online lessons. The best thing is that they’re free! Bursa KL (www.klse.com.my) also has links to online learning resources.
Alright, let’s get on to discussing about the paid courses and seminars. Let me tell you that most of these courses cost a helluva lot of money! Some can cost a few thousand dollars. I recommend that you know yourself and know what you’re comfortable with first before committing to any of these paid courses. Some of these courses are not suitable for individuals of certain circumstances. Ask these people a lot of questions and understand what they are offering. I’m sure you do not want to be paying AUD5,000 for a day trading course if you can only commit a few hours per week on your investing efforts.
I myself have not been to any of these expensive courses. Mainly because I don’t have that much money to burn and also because I prefer self-educating myself. Though I might consider attending some of these courses in the future. So, at the present moment, I’m not at liberty to tell you which ones are good, which ones are bad.
If you’re interested in share trading, there are a few books and courses that I think are not too bad. They are:
1. Louise Bedford Books and Courses. I’ve read the books, I think they’re pretty good. I’ve never attended her courses though.
2. Christopher Tate “The Art of Trading.” Never attended his course as well but the book has really useful information.
I’ll post up updates in the future for other books and courses that I think are not too bad.