When it comes to financial education, there is not a lot of good information out there for women. And what is out there borders on being downright demeaning and debilitating—how to balance a checkbook, how to buy car insurance, how to cut down on spending, or how to save pennies at the grocery store.
It’s downright ridiculous.
Do we need to know the basics? Absolutely. That’s all very important. But that alone is not enough. Once you understand the basics, then it’s time to take an active role toward attaining your financial goals.
And that starts with financial education. Something you have to be responsible for in your own life. The following are 13 ways to get the education you need:
1. Read books
There are hundreds of books about money and investing for those of you who are just getting started and for those who are seasoned investors.
2. Listen to audio books and podcasts
Your drive time is a great time to learn. Load up your smartphone with great audio books and subscribe to podcasts about finance, investing, management, personal development, and more.
3. Invest in educational seminars, workshops , and conferences
These may be free programs in your area or classes you pay to attend. Various community colleges, businesses, community clubs and organizations, and local investment groups often offer such programs. And some are geared for women.
4. Read financial newspapers and magazines
The Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, and Barron’s are three newspapers heaped with investment information. Reading those daily will dramatically increase your financial knowledge. And to get a beat on what is happening in your area, subscribe to your local business journal newspaper.
5. Talk with real estate, stock, and business brokers
Ask them questions. They can give you a ton of information. Just be aware they also are there to sell you something. So keep your eyes open. I have found the most successful brokers are the ones very willing to share information and education with others.
6. Talk with other investors
Seek out people who are investing in what you are interested in and talk with them. Again, you’ll probably find that the more successful investors are happy to share what they know with you.
7. Join a women’s investment club
According to Ken Janke of Better Investing, women now account for the majority of stock market investment clubs. They’re over 60 percent women now, as opposed to 10 percent in the 1960’s. Personally, I recommend clubs that are focused on investment education, not those that pool money to invest. To find these types of clubs, look online through Google and places likemeetup.com. Don’t find what you’re looking for? Start your own.
8. Join a CASHFLOW Club in your area
There are almost 2,000 CASHFLOW Clubs throughout the world. You can find a local one by you by searching “CASHFLOW Club” on Google. Most clubs play the CASHFLOW game on a regular basis, support one another with their investment goals, bring in guest speakers, and learn together how to make the most of their financial futures. Can’t make a club meeting?
9. Surf the web
Go online and seek out all sorts of information about the investments of your choice. The Web is an incredible source of quick reference materials, meetings and conferences, contacts, blogs, chat rooms, and discussion forums.
10. Drive around town
Get a feel for what is happening with real estate and business in your own backyard. You don’t need to find the “right” city or market to invest in. You simply need to find what’s “right” about your city and market.
11. Watch financial news programs on TV
There are a number of cable programs that are focused on business and investing news. Turn them on when you get ready in the morning. Watch them while you work out. Always find a way to stay informed.
12. Subscribe to financial newsletters
Newsletters can give you a quick summary of what is happening in the various investment markets, economic trends both regionally and globally, and insights into what to watch for in the future.
13. Ask questions
Remember, women, we have the advantage here. Since most women have had such little financial investment education, we don’t have to pretend to know all the answers. (Plus, unlike men, we’re not too stubborn to ask for help, or directions.) The more questions you ask, the smarter you become. Plus, you may find a new mentor in the process.
There are many ways to educate yourself, but this will give you a great starting point. Remember, education never stops. As long as you want to keep growing your investments and expanding your portfolio, there are always new levels of learning.
As the markets change and my investments grow, I find I have to keep updating and expanding my financial knowledge—and so do you. Have fun!