Personal Finance Education Series: Introduction

As this blog continues to grow, I try to be very open to advice and suggestions from people who have become regular readers. Today, I got some advice from a friend who, while she hasn’t come clean with me on where her blog is located on the web, has been reading mine regularly.

She told me today that she liked the new aggregated page I made of all my Personal Finance posts to date, now featured in the header of the blog. However, she had a fundamental question about where I get all my information about personal finance, how I learned about these different ideas, and how a person with limited time could learn more.

She suggested I put together a series of posts for people who are interested in personal finance and investing, but aren’t sure where to start.

So, this post is going to be an introduction to a multi-part series on personal finance and investing, based on my own history on the topic. I’ll try to produce posts in the series that cover recommendations on magazines, websites, and books, as well as on basic topics like saving, investing, asset allocation, investment clubs, brokerages, retirement accounts, real estate, derivatives, commodities, and funds. Not necessarily in that order, of course.

I don’t pretend to be an expert in all of these areas, but if through a series of posts I can help people get started on their own personal finance education, I’ll feel like I’ve done a truly good thing with this blog.

As a personal note, I was not one of those people that had an early exposure to personal finance and investing. Although I’d like to think that I learned good personal finance values from my parents and grandparents, when it comes to investing, I didn’t know much about anything other than bank certificates of deposit until college.

Since then, I’ve been mostly self-taught, although now I have had the benefit of coursework at institutions like Stanford and Harvard, direct experience in the venture capital industry, and about fifteen years now of growth and learning.

We’ll see how it goes, and of course, I’m willing to take requests if there are topics people would like to see added to this series. I will try to do at least a few posts a week in the series, and in the end, I’ll group them together on the Personal Finance page for easy reference, as well as link them back here for navigation.

So, a special thank you to Rebecca Nathenson for the great suggestion.

Articles (complete index here):

5 thoughts on “Personal Finance Education Series: Introduction

  1. Hooray!

    Thank you, Adam. Looking forward to it. I think I grew up in much the same situation as you–bright, savings-oriented families that didn’t invest aggressively, primarily because they didn’t have the kind of information we have available to us now.

    And really, how much interest could you have in a blog that talks mainly about wedding planning, my attempts to get my fiance to exercise, and what I did over the weekend?

    Sorry, but your blog is waaaay more interesting. Mine’s just navel-gazing and kvetching. But, because you’ll complain about this every time you mention me in your blog until…I’ll give you a hint–I’m a lazy bum and use LiveJournal. And I’ve been on LJ since 2003. (Hah! Yes, I’m an old-skool blogger!)

  2. Rebecca – great idea! One of my goals for the year is to start investing more aggressively (i.e. outside of the usual 401k, CD, high-yield savings, etc.). I’ve mostly been scared to invest b/c unlike you guys, my father had a passion for stock/options trading… and without saying too much, life after the bubble has been tough.

    I’ve started to read up on some funds but I really have no structure to my self-schooling… and since Adam is a bottomless pit of (mostly) useful knowledge, I’d love to participate in the series!

  3. Oh my dear.. now you have people really listening. Be Afraid, my dear husband loves to talk about finance and investing (no, really he could do it for hours on end.) But seriously, I’m happy to hear that he is educating friends and regular readers regarding his investment logic and where to find more information from the pros. Keep reading and you could learn more than you ever thought possible without paying for an Ivy League MBA!

  4. Hey, Carolyn, where do you think I got the idea? I’ve heard his “timber is an awesome asset class” speech three times, and I wanted to figure out where he got those kinds of opinions.

    But…I did pay for an Ivy League MBA. I just got the MBA from a school that isn’t in the Ivy League (@#$* CMU raising tuition just after I committed…). And I stayed very, very far away from all but the intro-level finance classes.

    So let’s all learn together! Adam, we await your wisdom. 😛

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