Financial Wellbeing - Knowledge is Power
Updated: Dec 9, 2020
Growing up most of us don’t learn how to have healthy conversations about money. We also don’t learn about options to grow our money. There is a focus on working hard to be able to pay the bills rather than how to make money work for you.
INVESTERA's mission is to help you achieve peace of mind with your investments. Our three step framework for financial wellbeing -- Awareness, Knowledge, and Plan of Action -- is designed to boost your confidence in your plan for securing your financial future.
Last week we focused on awareness and understanding your relationship to money. Today we’ll talk about “knowledge”.
If we do get curious about making our money work for us, we may hear, “Invest to your level of education.” What education? Financial literacy, at least for our generation and the ones before us, was not taught in schools. Lack of knowledge (aka financial intelligence) is a key reason why people feel paralysis about managing their money and investing. Or worse, some invest without sufficient knowledge. Studies show that the average person does not feel equipped to make informed financial decisions or to confidently manage their money.
Good news, it’s within our power to change that - and it is up to us to take the decision to make the time to learn. Making time is critical. In the words of economist Sylvia Porter “Invest in yourself, in your education. There’s nothing better.”…Why not start with these two steps?
The Lingo: understanding key personal finance terms and concepts
Resources & Mentorship: Identifying learning resources and support
“If you can’t explain something in simple terms, you don’t understand it” - Richard Feynman. Financial jargon can be overwhelming and even sound like a foreign language. It doesn’t help that financial terms are not intuitive. Quantitative easing? What the heck? Or you may roughly understand compounding but given it’s how you build wealth through investing for the long-term it’s a really important concept to truly understand. With the right resources to guide you and a willingness to learn - you’ve got this. Taking the time to learn the lingo is an essential step in the journey of achieving financial wellbeing.
Even if you are working with a bank or financial advisor, it doesn't exempt you from the importance of learning the lingo. Be honest and direct in your engagements. When you don’t understand something, ask for an explanation. Don't be shy to ask for educational resources. If someone you are working with is not willing to take the time to walk you through explanations to your questions, that’s a red flag.
If you understand the lingo and how investing works, you can confidently define your objectives, risk tolerance, and investment strategy. You are empowered to make informed decisions and sniff out when something smells fishy.
So how to learn the lingo? There are great resources for learning at your own pace whether you’re new to investing or have been investing for decades. Although finding quality resources can be like finding a needle in a haystack of junk...which is why part of what we’re doing at INVESTERA for our community is vetting resources that are already out there and then creating content where there are gaps.
We’re committed at INVESTERA to breaking down “investment speak” in a way that is relatable and easy to understand through our resources, events and workshops to help you build your financial intelligence. Check out this presentation from a past event for an intro to key fundamental investment terms.
If you’re just starting out, it’s good to review your personal finances and whip them into shape in order to be prepared to invest. Check out resources from Clever Girl Finance. For those who have been investing for a while and are interested in diving deeper into complex topics in finance, business and economy, tune into Real Vision. They are the closest thing to an on-demand financial TV channel and offer a free daily briefing.
Resources & Mentorship
In addition to self-directed learning, we recommend learning with the support of a mentor and/or a group. Whether it’s someone in your life you look up to with how they handle their finances, a financial professional or a local group. This takes your learning journey to another level being able to share knowledge, vet decisions, and have the accountability to take action on your learnings. It can also lend to discovering unique investment opportunities.
Part of the reason we (Mel and I) are creating INVESTERA is because of the challenge in finding trustworthy financial mentors and groups...we searched high and low. In our research for building this startup we’ve come across plenty of scammy or opportunistic groups.
So...we’re creating a welcoming, trusted community where you can build your financial intelligence, get answers to your questions, exchange ideas, and be connected to vetted professionals. We're here to support and hold you accountable.
We will launch groups to allow you to connect with other women on this journey locally. We’re also excited to spread the word about the few gold nuggets we came across in our research like the Austin Women’s Investment Group founded by Sara Glakas who was also seeking a safe space where women could discuss questions and exchange investing knowledge.
It’s clear that at INVESTERA we believe the best investment you can make is in yourself and your financial education. Taking ownership of your personal finances and learning to invest doesn’t have to be overwhelming, intimidating or confusing.
We’re bringing you the tools, resources and support so that you can be confident in making informed decisions. And we're going to hold you accountable.
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