Gaining access to investing information has never been easier.
Back in those fuzzy olden days of the early 90s, when I was but a small child, would-be investors had to venture out into the world and search for collections of bleached paper gathered together with glue, which some affectionately named ‘books’. In these ‘books’ they might read about earnings reports and valuations and price-to-book ratios (‘book’ being different to ‘books’ of course). And they would likely stop reading shortly after due to overwhelm, that and their hands torn to shreds from paper cuts.
But occasionally there were brave souls who pushed through the jargon and decided they would enter the world of investing.
Here’s to the trail-blazers.
Taking a first step in the journey, our would-be hero steps out of his front door, faces the wintry wind, and visits a learned gentleman called an investment broker. If he had been feeling particularly adventurous he might have tried using an experimental technology called a telephone to make his investments.
Note: the telephone at the time was a newly discovered technology that used pulses of electrical current to transmit information through wires around the world. Exact figures around usage are difficult to find, being lost in the ravages of time.)
Anyway, once our adventurous investor was talking to the wise man gate-keeper of the stock market, the investment broker, he would open his wallet and either: a) pay an arm or a leg for advice; or be taken advantage of through a ridiculously high commission on whatever he bought.
But it was worth it, for our lone explorer of the markets was now an investor!
So our hero is now a fully fledged investor
But if he wanted to keep track of his investments he would need to wait until the paperboy delivered another piece of bleached paper to him in the form of a ‘newspaper’. On its pages would be printed the valuation of popular shares. Whizzy.
BUT NOW WE HAVE THE INTERNET.
The internet allows us to learn about investing and actually invest, all from our laptops. And we don’t need to use rip-off brokers or wait for the paperboy to tell us how much our investments are worth over time. We can buy Shares, or unit trusts and funds, and all manner of investments, from home.
What is standing in your way?
What will it take before you start investing in things that, over time appreciate in value rather than decline?
The internet has taken away excuses for access.
But there are still problems:
- Finding the money.
- Overcoming overwhelm.
- Magical Penny archives show you how to find money
- Other articles from this site or others such as the excellent Monevator
In summary, you should be saving what you can, and invest the money you won’t need in the next 5+ years largely in index funds that track key markets across the globe for as low a cost as possible using a low cost investment broker/online fund supermarket.
You don’t need a lot of money to start investing. £50 is very doable for almost every working person and getting started is more important than waiting for the perfect time. DIY investing might seem like it’s beyond the reach of the average person, but it really is not. Even on a strict budget you can begin investing with many institutions for just £50 a month.
Are you ready to change your life?