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A Gentle Introduction to Investing

How can people make good investment decisions when they don’t know the difference between a stock and a bond? Many beginning investors are intimidated by the prospect of learning about economics and finance – subjects that, for many, are deadly dull – or of meeting with salespeople trying to push investment products and schemes, or of listening to advisors eager to demonstrate their mastery of investment jargon.

When important objectives meet up with complexity, stress inevitably follows. A lot of your wealth is at stake, and it is important to act carefully. Some stress is unavoidable. However, understanding investing can be made easier – hence the title: “a gentle introduction.” The following sequence of short essays takes you step by step through the process of investing, with as little technical mumbo-jumbo as possible. Many were written as posts for a blog appearing on the Mesothelioma Circle website co-hosted by Kazan McClain Satterley & Greenwood, a law firm located in Oakland, California.

From these essays you will learn only a smidgen about investment strategies, products, and complex portfolio arrangements. But you will learn a lot about how to invest. Just as you don’t need expertise in the workings of an internal combustion engine to drive a car, so also, you do not have to be a Nobel economist to invest your nest egg prudently. If you are interested in finding out where to start, what to do, what – and whom – to avoid, how much to risk, when to do nothing, and other items of basic information, this is the place for you.

An exploration of investment topics on an intermediate level may be found at Portfolio Management: Theory & Practice.

An advanced treatment is in Course Notes: USF Masters of Science in Financial Analysis, written by Patrick Collins for his students at the University of San Francisco.

Please enjoy and feel free to send us your comments and suggestions.

I Investing: An Introduction
II What is Investing?
III Risk & Uncertainty
IV So Who Needs Risk?
V How Much Risk is Suitable for You?
VI What is the Risk of Avoiding Risk?
VII What is the Risk of Avoiding Risk: An Example
VIII Twelve Things About Investing that You Should Know Before You Invest
IX How Can I Invest When I Don’t Know the Difference between a Stock and a Bond?
X Winning the Investment Game: Part One
XI Winning the Investment Game: Part Two
XII Whom Do You Trust: Part One
XIII Whom Do You Trust: Part Two
XIV Whom Do You Trust: Part Three
XV Whom Do You Trust: Part Four
XVI What’s a Good Investment?
XVII What About Track Record?
XVIII How Can Track Record be Gamed: Part One
XIX How Can Track Record be Gamed: Part Two
XX How Can Track Record be Gamed: Part Three
XXI Cooking Up a Diversified Portfolio
XXII Investment Themes: Fact or Fiction?
XXIII The Stock Market: A Brief Overview
XXIV When Should You NOT be in the Stock Market
XXV What is the Equity Risk Premium, and why is ‘Risk’ the Key Word?
XXVI How Did 2014 Financial Forecasts Turn Out?
XXVII The Difficulty of Predicting Financial Market Performance
XXVIII Investment Issues for Retirement Income Planning
XXIX Will You Live Longer than Your Retirement Income Portfolio: Part One
XXX Will You Live Longer than Your Retirement Income Portfolio: Part Two
XXXI An Illiquid Project Can Dry Up Your Wealth
XXXII The Investment Trap: Is More Money Better than Less?
XXXIII Jumping Into the Pool

Click here to download file containing all the articles in the series.

One Response to “A Gentle Introduction to Investing”

  1. Suzanne Demers

    Thank you very much for all this information.

    It helps to better understand the Investment World and it’s responsibilities.

    I have truly appreciated all your advice.

    Sincerely, Suzanne


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