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It can feel daunting to learn about investing. However, it doesn't have to be as overwhelming as you think. Even the most seasoned investors spend time studying and learning so they can improve their investment skills — and you can follow their lead.
There are plenty of ways to start building and improving your current investment skills in order to feel more confident. Here are some ideas to help you get started.
1. Ask Plenty of Questions
So many people feel awkward when it comes to asking questions about their new pursuits — new investors are no exception. But when you're learning, there's no such thing as asking too many questions; it's a great way to start building knowledge on a topic.
You could start by speaking with your financial representative to see if they have any resources that may help. You might also have a friend, family member or colleague who is knowledgeable about financial planning and can help you answer some of your questions.
2. Have Patience
Building investment skills isn't something that happens overnight. There's so much to learn and understand about everything from mutual funds to individual retirement accounts (IRAs), so try to give yourself the time to learn about investing.
As with anything else that you devote time, energy and money to, consider focusing on the long-term results, even if it's tempting to track your daily progress. Some concepts might take time to make sense within the bigger picture, and that's OK. There's a lot of investment knowledge to manage, but as long as you keep at it, the dots will likely start to connect.
3. Debunk the Myths
Have you ever heard that you need a ton of money to start investing, or that there's only one right way to save for retirement? There are a lot of misconceptions out there when it comes to investing, and as you start to dig into research and learn more, you'll want to learn where you can separate fact from fiction.
Look for good, authoritative sources of information via books, articles, podcasts and financial professionals, and you'll likely soon be able to see the signal through the noise.
4. Spend Time Studying
One way to build on your financial education is to read about investing. Consider reading articles about current trends, backgrounds of famous CEOs and even the history of the stock market.
Reading won't provide you with all the answers, but it can help you expand your mind and learn about different topics, which can come in handy as you determine your investment strategy.
5. Understand Your Finances
For many, investing sounds like something they want to jump into right away. But first, consider your finances. After all, ensuring your own finances are in order is important as you to start investing and planning for your future.
Consider starting with a simple financial planning checklist and go from there. Using a checklist can help you manage your budget, take a hard look at your debt and set up your goals over both the short and long term.
Once you have a solid understanding of your finances, including your objectives and goals around money, it might be easier to create an investment strategy that ties into those.
It's About the Journey
As you build your investment skills, you should take the process seriously but also try to enjoy it. You'll learn a lot, and likely make a few mistakes. Just remember that what you're doing now is helping to build your future. While it's not always easy, spending some time and energy trying to become a better investor can pay off.