Where did you first learn about investing?

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Nowizard
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Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by Nowizard » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:19 pm

There are obviously many extremely knowledgeable people who willingly and helpfully share their expertise with the rest of us on this wonderful site. Each of us has a history of learning about the ongoing process of investing whether formally or self-taught. It would be interesting to know where people were first introduced to the topic.

Some of us, the OP included, grew up in families with little interest in investing, little money to do so, or both. My father was an extremely intelligent person, one about whom it was said with some seriousness that he was possibly the only living human being who knew every word in the English language. Words and ideas, yes, but no investing knowledge. In his later years he once asked if every stock price was one dollar.

Personally, I knew nothing more at that point than the fact that stock prices fluctuated, but it was the first time I knew more than my father on any topic. Investing the small amounts available first began with individual stocks before "learning" about something called "Diversification." That led to discovery of mutual funds, and since they were diversified, one fund obviously answered all investment questions. Fortunately, the ignorant are sometimes fortunate and placing all assets into Michael Price's Mutual Shares fund and, later, all assets into Vanguard Healthcare Fund during the best days of each resulted in substantial appreciation with both funds. Knowledge and luck have brought us to the point of being financially secure in retirement. There is more to the story, but that was the start. If you think others would be interested in your introduction, please post.

Tim

jebmke
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by jebmke » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:25 pm

When A Random Walk Down Wall Street was first published it was required reading in my economics class that year. 1972 or 1973 if I recall correctly.
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livesoft
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by livesoft » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:28 pm

My dad had Securities Analysis by Graham and Dodd on the family bookshelf, so I read it when I was around 13 years old.

I was going to turn my paper route money into a million dollars. Instead, I spent it on 2-week trip to Mexico without my family when I was 14 years old.
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saltycaper
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by saltycaper » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:32 pm

Started trading stocks just before the summit of the 90s bull market, having gotten caught up in the interplay between the spread of online stock trading for the masses and the excitement over the Internet itself. Made a lot of money. Lost a lot of money. Had a lot of fun.

I happened to pick up a copy of Graham's The Intelligent Investor and Malkiel's Random Walk about the same time.

No doubt two vastly different ways to get an education, and a strange combination for sure, but I was 15.
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SimpleGift
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by SimpleGift » Thu Nov 16, 2017 4:57 pm

First from Roger Gibson's classic book, Asset Allocation in the early 1990s, and then from William Bernstein's online journal, Efficient Frontier in the later 1990s.

Gibson's book taught the basic principles of balancing risk and reward in portfolio construction, and Bernstein's journal showed how this could best be accomplished with passive index funds. I'm indebted to both of these gentleman, as their guidance convinced me I could manage my investments myself — saving me tens of thousands of dollars in advisor and mutual fund fees!
Cordially, Todd

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GerryL
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by GerryL » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:22 pm

Until I was in my early 40s, all I knew about investing was ... nothing, really. I'm a serious saver and started an IRA as soon as I could (mid 1980s), but the only "investment vehicle" I knew about was CDs. I'd heard that to make your money grow you needed to be "in the market" and I'd heard of something called "mutual funds," but that was ALL.

When the CDs where I held my IRA were about to mature (early 1990s), the clue about what to do next arrived in the mail, in the form of a Consumer Reports issue with a feature on stock mutual funds. !!! I studied the article and used what I learned to really invest my IRA. The key takeaway from the article was about the importance of cost. (I don't recall that it had anything to say about indexing.) I put the bulk of my ~ $24k IRA into Dodge & Cox Stock fund, largely because it had about the lowest ER in the Consumer Reports table of funds. (A portion went into a socially-responsible fund -- "putting my $$ where my mouth was -- but I eventually transferred that into the D&C account.) About 22 years later the D&C account had grown to almost $200k with no further contributions.)

The rest of my education has been in fits and starts -- and it continues.

furikake
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by furikake » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:09 pm

I learned about it from my husband and he asked me to pick a fund when we first got married.

GibsonL6s
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by GibsonL6s » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:19 pm

I was a finance major in college and loved investing classes but went into real estate as a career. Later in life I read quite a few value investing books, some technical analysis books and some "macro" type books. I also learned quite a bit at the school of hard knocks :happy

dbltrbl
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by dbltrbl » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:24 pm

For the first time used to hear Don MacDonald ( May be different last name) on Business radio network. He mentioned Vanguard group and few others. So I started in 1989-90 putting 37 dollars a month in health care. Biggest lucky break for me. Starting 1994 S & P 500 and than switched over to total stock Market. Along the way got rid of other groups except Fidelity. So lucky break before the Morningstar forum. :D :D

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Sandtrap
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by Sandtrap » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:24 pm

Imagine Marisa Tomei in the movie "My Cousin Vinnie". . . (brooklyn accent -- replace "mechanic" with apartments.)

My dad was a landlord and owned apartments. . . .
My uncles all had apartments. . . .
My aunties all had apartments. . . .
My grandmother had apartments. . . . .

So all I knew was R/E and R/E development. As far as "investing". . . .
As a business family, our home was always filled with business magazines and periodicals. Despite a business degree and business in my blood, I didn't "see the light" until much much much later. The power of investing in the market, if done correctly, is formidable indeed.
j :D
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IthinkICan
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by IthinkICan » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:30 pm

I grew up in a family that experienced multiple bankruptcies. There was a lot of lip service about "paying yourself first" and "deferred gratification", but no examples in sight. Don't get me wrong, I love my family. However, they are really bad at basic money management, and have made repeated, unfortunate get rich attempts at investment.

The main reason I've saved what I have today is due to my wonderful college roommate. She worked with inner city kids in the big city where we went to college. She knew I was struggling because my parents were in the middle of a bankruptcy and (without telling me) had stopped paying for my tuition. She was taking the kids to a presentation about money management and investment strategies. She grew up with these lessons and she wanted to give me some hope. I wish I could remember the presenter's name. He really demystified what it takes to build savings, and grow wealth. He was a slow and steady guy, invest a % of what you make regularly, explained the miracle of compounding, avoid debt. He made it all seem so much more simple and doable. I went away with a whole new mindset. It really changed my life and I'll always be grateful.

quantAndHold
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by quantAndHold » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:41 pm

Sitting at my dad’s side while he worked on his investments, when I was 12. I learned to evaluate and trade stocks, options, bonds. Dad worked hard at it and did well. He turned a lower middle class salary in the 70’s and 80’s into 2 commas by working very hard at it and being opportunistic.

Then in a “personal financial planning” class I took at a local college extension program, in my late 20’s. It started with the basics of how to calculate net worth and how to do a budget. That’s where I learned about the magic of compounding, and the basics of asset allocation. The instructor mentioned index funds, but at the time, they weren’t really a thing yet.

Then in my early 30’s, I read Jack Bogle.

That is all.

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WoodSpinner
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by WoodSpinner » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:30 pm

Op,

Great question, here are a few of my experiences....

1. My mother belonged to an investment club and used to pour over the stock charts looking for patterns. She enlisted me, As her 7 year-old sidekick hunting for the right pattern so she could invest her small pile. I don’t think a she got rich on that, but had loads of fun.

2. My serious investing started with Bob Brinker and the Marletimer newsletter and I followed that for years. Overall did very well, he had some bad calls (QQQ :confused ), but had a lot of good principles. Strong proponent of diversity, paying yourself first, and mutual fund investing. helped me avoid lot’s of the predatory sharks.

3. My Mom was a great budgeter and saver! Definitely the queen of the envelope stash for annuitizing expenses and planning for a rainy day. When she passed last year we were delighted to find her manual spreadsheets outlining all of our expenses from birth through launch! Delighted to find out I was the bargain, even being the oldest.

4. Started seriously thinking about retirement early this year and came across the Boggleheads site—boy have I gotten an education! Radically simplified my portfolio and shifted from an accumulation focus to a retirement focus. Most important education to date.

I have exactly 8 working days left to Retirement and I wouldn’t have been prepared without all of these influences. Been working for 40 years—time for something different!

WoodSpinner 8-)

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bengal22
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by bengal22 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:40 pm

Parents opened up a savings a count for me when I was 8. I learned the importance of compound interest and the importance of saving regular when my account grew.
"Earn All You Can; Give All You Can; Save All You Can." .... John Wesley

rgs92
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by rgs92 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:43 pm

I started watching Wall Street Week. Lou and his panel guests influenced me. Peter Lynch inspired me every time I saw him. He seemed very honest and down to earth and not trying to sell me anything.

billfromct
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by billfromct » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:47 pm

While working as a ski bum in VT in the early '70s after college, I was a bell hop at a ski area hotel & I had to sit in the lobby waiting to take care customers when checking in or out.

There were various newspapers in the lobby for guests to read positioned around the fireplace, including the NY Times, Boston Globe & Wall Street Journal.

Even though I majored in economics in college, I didn't know anything about investing. With all the time I had waiting for guests, I would read the WSJ from front page to back page.

From this WSJ exposure, after my ski bumming days, I would go to the library & read all the financial magazines I could then moved onto investment books.

Would I have gotten interested in investing if not for reading the WSJ at the VT ski lodge, who knows.

And as they say, "the rest is history".

bill
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SrGrumpy
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by SrGrumpy » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:54 pm

My parents also opened bank accounts for my siblings and I when we were young, and I spent years obsessing about getting to $100. I bought my first stock when I was about 14. Shortly after it was taken over and I made $110 profit. As soon as I turned 17 I left high school and ended up working as a clerk in a brokerage. A year later I got first-hand experience of the '87 share crash, and that has informed my investment philosophy ever since.

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jimgour
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by jimgour » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:03 pm

My wife and I were always good "savers", but we were totally clueless about "investing". Somewhere back in the early eighties, my in-laws came for a visit. My father-in-law was always a tough person to have a conversation with. He fought in the Second World War (as a Dutch soldier in Indonesia). He was captured and spent years in forced Japanese slave labor camps in Southeast Asia. He survived, probably because he was a VERY stubborn man.

After the war, he went back to The Netherlands, and put in for immigration. He applied to Australia, New Zealand and the United States. The United States came through first, so he, his wife and his first daughter (my wife) moved here. He loved to argue and was very opinionated. During that visit in the early eighties he asked me what we were doing for retirement. My response was very vague. I mumbled something about the place I worked had a retirement plan and money came out of my salary every month and went into the retirement system. He asked what I was invested in. My response was “whatever they put it in to”. He was very unhappy with my know-nothing responses. He began a ten minute lecture about how I had to take control of our retirement money. He told me to subscribe to Money magazine, to learn about investing in mutual funds. He went on and on. My eyes glazed over.

A month or three later, while sitting in the dentist’s office I saw an old copy of Money magazine. I picked it up. A card for a subscription fell out. I subscribed, and within a few months I knew everything there was to know about mutual funds. I studied the ones with the best records. Finally, I bought five of the best mutual funds out there (actively managed, of course)! I invested $2,000 in each one. I followed the ups and downs of each fund, and when they went down, I traded them for better funds. I was doing okay. One day while reading my latest edition of Money, there was a brief, but very flattering description of a small group of people called “Diehards”, and there was a link. I started reading the posts, and they became my everyday reading.

A few years after their early eighties visit, the in-laws returned. For once, I was glad. I finally had something in common with my father-in-law. We now had a mutual interest. Investing! One afternoon I sat down with him and told him I had followed his advice. He mumbled something. I added that I now owned some mutual funds. He responded with something like “uh-huh”. I was getting a bit discouraged. He just didn’t seem to want to talk. Finally, I asked him what mutual funds he had. He gave me a puzzled look and responded, “I’ve never owned any mutual funds.” That was the end of that conversation. I was flabbergasted!

The bottom line here is I owe that man a lot. He is gone now, but I still fondly remember him giving me the advice that got me started. If it were not for him, I might never have found the Bogleheads. Sorry this was so long. Don't blame me, blame the OP for asking.

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steve roy
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by steve roy » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:14 pm

My FIRST lesson/experience were negative lessons from my unhelpful financial advisor.

He was warm and folksy during our breakfasts together. Everything else he did ultimately left a sour taste.

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goingup
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by goingup » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:21 pm

I learned a bit from my Dad, co-workers, and in Business school. Then I read Bogleheads Guide, books by Jack Bogle, Bill Bernstein, and Rick Ferri and learned what was important. Almost every day I read some bit of wisdom on this forum that adds to my understanding.

BrooklynInvest
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by BrooklynInvest » Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:32 pm

From my girlfriend's dad, 30+ years ago.

Was working crappy jobs for not much more than minimum wage right after college. He told me to set up an automatic investment for $50 a month into 20th Century Ultra. Back then $50 a month was a pretty big nut for me.

"What's a 20th Century Ultra" says I
"It's a mutual fund" says Dan
"What's a . . . "

And so on.

I put away my $50, plus a bit more if I worked overtime. A year or so later my statement says I'd made $74. And then it dawns on me. I made $74 without going to my crappy job. The lightbulb went off.

CookEMstr
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by CookEMstr » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:06 pm

My co-worker retired at 55yr old. I had never seen this before, I thought that was young to retire and then I was interested to do the same! I asked him for advice and he told me about Jack Bogle, Vanguard, index funds, and S&P 500. I read Jack Bogle's Common Sense to Mutual Funds, then Random Walk, then found Bogleheads. I am no longer in contact with my coworker but he changed my life, and I am forever grateful!

Johm221122
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by Johm221122 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:20 pm

My roommate an co worker traded options using a system with WSJ,he said something about 3 factors,The front page,heard on the street and a third factor.Needles to say he didn't appear to be successful(needed roommate and we both worked tons of overtime)

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FreeAtLast
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by FreeAtLast » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:25 pm

For several years I traveled to and from Manhattan on a commuter train. Other commuters would leave the WSJ and the NYT on their seats as they departed the train. I received a free education from the financial sections. 8-)
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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:43 pm

Motley Fools. Learned about indexing, foolish 4 and valuing stocks (didn't really learn how to value stocks). Never bought stocks. So didn't do their foolish 4 (which later the Fools abandoned because the returns weren't outperforming as they had in the past). Did buy the S&P500 as my first investment because of the Fools recommendation and Suze Orman which I listened to at that time.

Early in 2000s heard Jack Bogle on cnbc say he thought the total stock market index fund was more representative of the total market (instead of the S&P500) and I looked into it and switched over from S&P500 to TSM.

Only started investing in total international stock market as of reading here at bogleheads, learning about the Three Fund Portfolio and reading books by Dr. Bernstein and others. Learned about lazy portfolios from Dan Solin, Paul Merriman and others.

Thought Jack Bogle's little book of commonsense investing was great and would recommend it to anyone starting out.

Wished I had learned these principles earlier in life, but I'm still on track so all's well. Try to pass on what I've learned to anyone willing to listen.
"Invest we must." -- Jack Bogle | “The purpose of investing is not to simply optimise returns and make yourself rich. The purpose is not to die poor.” -- William Bernstein

2015
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by 2015 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:44 pm

WoodSpinner wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:30 pm

<snip>

I have exactly 8 working days left to Retirement and I wouldn’t have been prepared without all of these influences. Been working for 40 years—time for something different!

WoodSpinner 8-)
Congratulations! I do hope for you that your retirement will be as fantastic as mine has been for the past 2 1/2 years. Every day gets better. For me, retirement has been like that scene in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy opens the door and the movie goes from black and white to color. :sharebeer

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randomizer
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by randomizer » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:57 pm

I learned 95% of what I need to know from "The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing".

Still working on the remaining 5%, and I'm about 30 books deep so far.
75:25 — HODL the course!

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:58 pm

Where did I first learn? From my father, who explained, complete with an anecdote, never to invest because that's the way them rich people get rich. It's by stealing from we poor people.

Fortunately for me I thought about it some more later.

PJW

S&L1940
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by S&L1940 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:03 pm

read several "only investment book you will ever need" and then somehow (still maintain it was alien abduction) discovered the Bogleheads. Still have the books but my real education - as a late bloomer - started and continues with the many rock stars here at Bogleheads.org. Maybe the thread should be 'where did you learn about successful long term investing'.
As Taylor almost said, 'there are many roads to Tel Aviv'; and Bogleheads.org provides the maps...
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rosylenm
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by rosylenm » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:18 pm

My parents and high school Econ class.

My parents used to buy U.S. savings bonds for me and my sisters on a monthly basis for a long time. I used to love going through them and marveling at their beauty and counting how much money we had and being sad that I didn’t have the most. We had savings accounts too over the years, but I had the habit of taking money out instead of putting money in.

Ninth grade economics class taught me about the stock market and we did the buy penny stock experiment. It didn't dawn on me then that that was ever an option (buying stocks) for me because that was just school stuff NOT real life. I can be, and was, a real dumb dumb sometimes.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:20 pm

I never had a clue. I received a small inheritance in 1974--seemed large at the time--and my parents' attorney who was executor of the will advised me to invest it in stocks and not touch it for a long time. That was maybe the best investment advice I ever got, all things considered. I had no idea how to do that, but I wound up at a Merrill Lynch office and invested in 5 (maybe 6) stocks and one bond. Lots of trial-and-error learning followed--some good, but most bad. I would have been a lot better off had I interpreted "not touch it" to mean not to trade rather than simply not to cash out.

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topper1296
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by topper1296 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:54 pm

My first real job was with Toys R US. I started at age 16 when I was in high school and when I turn 18, I qualified for the 401(k) even as part time employee. My manager handed me a brochure about the 401(k) that showed me what X amount would be worth after X number of years. I thought it was magic at the time and was my first lesson in compound interest, so I went to Best Buy and bought my first financial calculator which hooked me on finance. I ended up graduating from college with a degree in finance.

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GerryL
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by GerryL » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:58 pm

jimgour wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 8:03 pm
...
Finally, I bought five of the best mutual funds out there (actively managed, of course)! I invested $2,000 in each one. I followed the ups and downs of each fund, and when they went down, I traded them for better funds. I was doing okay. One day while reading my latest edition of Money, there was a brief, but very flattering description of a small group of people called “Diehards”, and there was a link. I started reading the posts, and they became my everyday reading.
...
I hope the Diehards/Bogleheads got you to stop doing that -- i.e., buying high and selling low.

mindboggling
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by mindboggling » Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:12 pm

I first learned about investing in the 1980s by reading the AAII Journal. I can't say I'd recommend it now, but back then there were a lot of articles about no-load mutual funds and indexing. I started with Vanguard in 1987. Retired now.
In broken mathematics, We estimate our prize, --Emily Dickinson

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Noobvestor
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by Noobvestor » Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:46 pm

Surprised this isn't a more common answer, but: right here. All I knew before Bogleheads was 'diversify' (so I bought expensive, active and overlapping funds without much strategy) and 'don't sell during a crash' (so I hung in for 07/08 though didn't have much on the line).
"In the absence of clarity, diversification is the only logical strategy" -= Larry Swedroe

ClaycordJCA
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by ClaycordJCA » Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:10 am

My father taught me to save when I was a child. He explained the need to invest for retirement and the joys of mutual funds in an IRA after I graduated from law school. (Almost 30 years later those $4k in contributions is almost six figures. :D

My dad is a Fidelity die-hard and for years subscribed to the Eric Koben Fidelity newsletter and Money Magazine. (And I still read the Fidelity newsletter he now gets.) That led me to the Sheldon Jacobs’ No Load Mutual Fund Nesletter and Money Magazine. Which eventually led me to Kiplinger’s, Morningstar and then Bogleheads.

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unclescrooge
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by unclescrooge » Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:47 am

My mom taught me the power of saving and compound interest.

Her mom, and my dad's dad, were both avid investors, and investing was discussed frequently.

When she graduated college, she wanted to buy jewelry with her first paycheck. She lived at home with her parents, and my grandma advised her to buy Unilever shares instead.

She still has those shares. Fifty years later, the annual dividends far exceeds he initial investment.

Unfortunately, neither of my parents were good investors. Despite the initial family advantage, they were pretty mediocre investors.

Most of their wealth came from saved income, not from investment returns.

bert731
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by bert731 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:14 am

Grew up outside Detroit, MI in a split family with little money and no investment knowledge. It wasn't until I joined the Navy at 22, 7 years ago, that I started getting interested in, my now favorite past-time, investing. I jumped on Amazon and looked up generic investing books. Fortunately, the book that caught my attention was the Boglehead's Guide to Investing. After reading it cover to cover twice, I joined this forum and began reading several of the recommended books linked to this page, as well as some of the recommended readings from those books. My next read is the newest revision to The Little Book on Common Sense Investing. I often recommend this website and associated books to my shipmates, as I promote the TSP's low cost funds. Thank you everyone for passing down your vast wealth of knowledge!

Brett
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MnD
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by MnD » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:17 am

Mid 1980's when we were in our early-mid 20's.

Money Magazine
Not the greatest education but they always highlighted Vanguard Prime MM as one of the highest yielding MM funds due to low expenses. That became our savings account. It also got me excited about regular dollar-cost averaging investing in stock and bond mutual funds which we have done individually and/or through work every 2 weeks since mid-1986.

American Institute for Economic Research
My first boss in my first real job recommended I join with an education-class membership which was like $12 a year. He had subscribed for decades. Every month they would send a small paperback booklet usually on a topic of personal economics like investing, college costs, careers, wills and estates, housing costs, total costs of vehicle ownership mutual fund expenses etc. Also some more general and complex national or global economic topics. Best $12/yr I ever spent. i still have a whole shelf of those little booklets. They are still around and still have personal economics as one of many missions and looks like a lot of their booklets on personal economics are now on-line articles. https://www.aier.org/personal-economics

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WoodSpinner
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by WoodSpinner » Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:37 am

2015 wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:44 pm
WoodSpinner wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:30 pm

<snip>

I have exactly 8 working days left to Retirement and I wouldn’t have been prepared without all of these influences. Been working for 40 years—time for something different!

WoodSpinner 8-)
Congratulations! I do hope for you that your retirement will be as fantastic as mine has been for the past 2 1/2 years. Every day gets better. For me, retirement has been like that scene in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy opens the door and the movie goes from black and white to color. :sharebeer
Fingers and toes crossed.

:beer

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goingup
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by goingup » Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:40 am

CookEMstr wrote:
Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:06 pm
My co-worker retired at 55yr old. I had never seen this before, I thought that was young to retire and then I was interested to do the same! I asked him for advice and he told me about Jack Bogle, Vanguard, index funds, and S&P 500. I read Jack Bogle's Common Sense to Mutual Funds, then Random Walk, then found Bogleheads. I am no longer in contact with my coworker but he changed my life, and I am forever grateful!
Great post! Welcome to the forum!

retire57
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by retire57 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:09 am

A high school class included a months-long assignment that entailed choosing, trading, and tracking stocks. By newspaper, of course; it was the 70's. We even had a field trip to a brokerage firm.

LawyersGunsAndMoney
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by LawyersGunsAndMoney » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:17 am

When I was in 5th Grade my math class played a stock market game. We each had a fixed amount of fake money and had to choose individual stocks that we would invest in. Mind you, this was in the early 1990s before computers - so the teacher gave us the stock symbol/reports sheets that the newspapers used to print and hand-calculated everything.

Anyway, being the good student that I was - I talked to my parents and my great aunt who at the time was working for a stock brokerage. I "did my research" and chose to invest my fake money in Coca-Cola, Merck (which I'd never heard of before), and a few others.

Despite my "research" and solicitation of advice I didn't come close to winning the competition, and in fact, the kid who did just randomly picked a single company's stock symbol without knowing what that company was.

I'm not going to say that I fully learned the folly of stock picking in 5th grade, but later on in life when I got a job and had $ to invest it was that much easier to embrace the idea of mutual funds, and then as I read more and more Jack Bogle, low-fee index funds.

deltaneutral83
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by deltaneutral83 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:29 am

Learned about the stock market as a teenager in the tech boom, had no idea what a mutual fund was as family member traded single stocks (bad idea). This family member was religious about saving money though. I thought money managers (themselves individually) traded 8-10 single stocks for people to make them money. Had no idea they were just brokers or salespeople that put clients money in third party mutual funds with high ER's at 2% AUM. Understood the concept of mutual funds in late 20s and also dabble in options (on single stocks) starting in March 2007, that ended abruptly within 12 months. Moved in the mutual fund direction and have been here the last 4 years. Official BH in terms of indexing with the 3F for about 18 months. Having two of the worst three bear markets in the last 100 years occur nearly back to back over the last 17 years I think has been good for investor education.

andypanda
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by andypanda » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:46 am

The first things I learned about investing were from my mother's older brother. Investing was his hobby, along with weekly bridge matches.

I was a young child in the '50s and he had worked for DuPont in Wilmington throughout WWII and made a lot of money with the required hourly overtime. DuPont had him exempted from military service and even though he was 26 and wanted to enlist the government wouldn't take him. He acquired a lot of GM and DuPont stock during the war and bought their house for cash in 1950 - the only house they ever owned as it turned out. He was just another thrifty Virginia country boy. :)

I'm not saying he taught me all about investing, but he got me thinking about it and encouraged me.

bikechuck
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by bikechuck » Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:58 am

When I was 14 my mother (a single parent) pulled me aside and told me that if I wanted to go to college I would need to pay for it myself. Based on that conversation I got a part time job at the local IGA store at the age of 15 and began saving my money. This was a lesson in saving more than a lesson in investing but it was a great life lesson. I got through college and felt terrible in my senior year when I had to borrow $1,000.00.

I always saved after that taking advantage of 401K opportunities etc throughout my career but I was not very sophisticated about the choices I was making. I had good instincts in not selling equities during market crashes etc and understanding that I should just keep buying all the way down and all the way up. That behavior made it possible for me to retire.

About three years ago as I approached my retirement years I started reading blogs and at some point found Bogleheads where I began to learn about investing. This helped me to restructure my portfolio in a manner that gives me more confidence going forward.

vested1
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by vested1 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:30 am

My family was poor to the point of destitution, most likely due to my parents not having a clue about finances, nor any desire to learn. They both died in their 90's still having a mortgage with zero savings. You would think that their track record would have been a wake-up call for me, and in a way it was, as I worked full time from the age of 12, before and after school except in the summers. I remained blissfully ignorant into my late 40's, but luckily had access to a 401k and a good retirement from megacorp, although what I was invested in, other than company stock was a mystery to me.

This site opened my eyes and allowed me to stop the bleeding, along with suggested reading material. Luck in timing had much to do with it, a fact not lost on me.

While interesting stories of the path of others on this thread are compelling, it would seem that required financial education in high school and college would go a long way in improving the future prospects of our young. If only that had been the case 50 years ago, who knows what progress would have been achieved by now.

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triceratop
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by triceratop » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:36 am

Bogleheads.org, 2014, age 21.

I read Swedroe, Bernstein, Thau, Graham, and Ferri as well.

I think this is a useful place to realize that it's not where you first learned about investing that counts, it's where you first learned correctly about investing that counts. (I was lucky)
"To play the stock market is to play musical chairs under the chord progression of a bid-ask spread."

sjwoo
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by sjwoo » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:50 am

I knew nothing about investing or the stock market until around 1998. The first stock ever bought was Covad, which was a DSL service provider. When it went up by 25%, I sold it all and was extremely happy that I made money.

Things were great for the next year...until they weren't!

It's taken me almost 20 years to get to Bogleland. Hasn't been the smoothest or the smartest of journeys, but I'm glad I'm finally here.

GLState
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Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

Post by GLState » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:54 am

My mom was a stock and bond investor, so we always had BusinessWeek, Money, Kiplingers's, Sylvia Porter, Wall Street Journal, and other newspapers and magazines around. She signed my up for USA Today's stock picking contests. Those contests were quite advanced for their day....we had to call in our orders. Also, I had a stock market assignment in Junior High which taught speculating rather than investing.

I bought my first stock about 40 years ago. Astrotech International was trading for $2/share. I bought 100 shares and paid a $35 commission. Sold a couple of years later for 1.875/share and again paid a $35 commission. I began to invest in Schwab index funds after the tech crash...bought S&P 500, small cap, and international. I've been an index fund investor ever since. Moved to Vanguard in 2002.

I was fortunate to have a good 401k that got even better in time. I also had a Roth to which I contributed monthly in good times and bad.

A most influential book was The Intelligent Asset Allocator: How to Build Your Portfolio to Maximize Returns and Minimize Risk by William Bernstein
Last edited by GLState on Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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