Financial literacy

How to get financial literacy

Your financial literacy is your ability to make financially sound decisions. You were not born financially smart or stupid; your financial knowledge or ignorance has been developed over a period of time. I guess you’re not ignorant, otherwise you wouldn’t have read this. So, without further ado, here are ways to get financial literacy.

Your own experience

There is no better teacher than your own experience, but that doesn’t mean you have to go ahead and make all the possible mistakes. It is more a case of using your personal opinion based on your knowledge and the advice of others, but you will make mistakes along the way; it is part of the learning process. The point is from whom you are going to take advice and whose advice to treat with a pinch of salt.

A great way to get financial literacy is to register on one or more online stock market platforms where you can buy and sell stocks online. Only a minimum amount of money is required to participate. In New Zealand, sharesies.nz is one such platform, but far from the only one. Similar trading platforms are available in other countries.

Experience others

An easy way to learn from the mistakes of others. All you need to do is keep your eyes open; many people do not do this and instead follow others like sheep. This is not necessarily the best way. In fact history has taught me that following the crowd is often the wrong way. A classic example is the stock market when the stock is overvalued because so many people jumped on the bandwagon and bought the stock of that particular company because everyone else is doing it. Young people without experience in the markets are prone to this mistake.

It is necessary to go against the crowd; which means you are looking for deals in the markets, be it gold, stocks, property and so on. You should not feel what others are feeling when you have the opportunity to evaluate what is a good investment and what is not.

Be prepared to listen to what the older generation has to say. Many of their opinions will be based on their own experience.

Books

Ignorance is no excuse, as your local library will keep books on finances. There are wonderful books on finance. I recommend some of them: “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert T. Kiyosaki of Sharon L. Lechter. They have several other books that are recommended to read. “How to be rich and happy” by Hans Jacobi, a wellness coach in Australia, is another book I recommend. Hans has also published several other books: “Underground Knowledge” and “Proper Verification,” two of them. “Making money is easy,” written by Australian financial advisor Noel Whitaker, is a good read. Mary Holm and Martin Howes are other great financial authors.

Internet

There is a lot of information on finance and investment on the Internet; a simple Google search will lead to them, but like listening to your peers, you should use your own judgment when evaluating information from certain sites and how it relates to your personal situation. Martin Howes and Mary Holm are reputable advisors with good websites.

Newspapers

Most newspapers contain financial information and should be read. Cut out articles that interest you; they read well in a year or so.