Author Topic: Best way to learn about investing?  (Read 1723 times)

ForeignServiceWife

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Best way to learn about investing?
« on: January 14, 2017, 01:37:52 PM »
I'm a new member, but we've been working our way toward FIRE for a couple years. My degree is in a STEM related field and what I know about personal finance I have taught myself. Mr. FSW is in a similar boat, although he has a law degree.

Very fast rundown of our current situation: we have 85k in student loans at 6.8%, down from 135k 3.5 years ago. Mr. FSW works for the Feds and qualifies for some student loan repayment assistance which would disappear if we refinance privately. We have one kid, 1.5 years old. Currently contributing $1,000/year to a savings account for her, will convert it to a UGM soon. Including TSP contributions and debt reduction, our savings rate is currently 40%. We have one income, around $85-100k gross, depending on overtime and travel assignments for Mr. FSW.

Current investment strategy: pay off all our freaking debt, goal is to do that in 4 years, stretch would be 3 years. Contributing 5% to TSP because that is max matching. Thinking about upping our contribution to 7.5 or 10%, but not sure we can do that without paying less in debt or less in cash savings (we save a couple hundred each month to keep building our emergency fund, we need to keep a pretty sizable chunk of change on hand due to our lifestyle); our other expenses each month are pretty much rock bottom. We currently have $15,000 in our money market emergency fund, a couple thousand more in basic savings and checking.

So I am looking to learn as much about investing and personal finance as possible. Obviously these resources need to be free, because I'm as cheap as they come. Going to check out what's available at my local library next week, but I'm wondering if someone can recommend good titles vs bad titles or if there is a good web video series. Thank you for any input!

Tyler

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Re: Best way to learn about investing?
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2017, 03:07:40 PM »
Welcome!

I think you're doing good to prioritize paying off the debt.  It's going to be very difficult to consistently beat a 6.8% return with your investments, so that's a great place to start.

Two books I'd recommend looking for at the library are "Fail Safe Investing" by Harry Browne and "All About Asset Allocation" by Rick Ferri.  Both do a good job at laying a solid foundation not just about investing but also how to think about money. 

For investing websites, I highly recommend visiting the forum and wiki at Bogleheads.org.  It's probably the single largest internet community of DIY investors and you can learn a great deal from everybody's experience.  You might also enjoy my personal project Portfolio Charts.

For personal finance (other than MMM, of course), Monevator.com is a cool site with lots of good information.  It has a distinctly UK perspective, but many of the concepts are universal. 
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 04:44:54 PM by Tyler »

neo von retorch

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Re: Best way to learn about investing?
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2017, 07:06:34 PM »
(Your) Goals (presumptuous!)
Minimize (debt) interest payments
Maximize tax advantages
Determine personal investing preference
Invest early and often according to your [Investment Policy Statement.

Something a lot of us enjoy reading - Jim Collins: Stock Series

Heckler

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Re: Best way to learn about investing?
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2017, 09:17:21 PM »

FrugalZony

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Re: Best way to learn about investing?
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2017, 09:26:36 PM »
I second Jim Collins Blog!
http://jlcollinsnh.com/
Especially the stock series!
Or get his book at the library!

Reading his stock series really has changed my investment approach fundamentally!!
Good luck!