Practical financial investing: can it be done?
My co-workers have asked me to put together a class on investing. Currently we are in a fairly remote place with lots of time on our hands so I have decided to do so. The catch is that many of my co-workers are very practical. They don’t want a class on how to read a 10-K or balance sheet. They don’t care about the plethora of ratios that are out there such as P/E, debt/equity or ROAs. They care about the basics:
- How do I buy stocks?
- How can I do so and have a good return?
I have been clear since we started discussing this. Investing is not a short term profit making scheme. The average return for any long period of time on the market is 8%. Those that have asked about day trading I have actively discouraged to do so, at least at this stage. Those that do not have the discretionary income to invest, or don’t have the stomach to withstand any losses, I have steered towards more safe investments such as CDs or Money Market Funds.
However I am left with a core of close to 15 people that just continually ask me when I am going to teach them. Keep in mind this is at no cost to them, my business is not focused on this, I don’t see myself as a financial adviser nor do I want to be one. They are my co-workers and I truly want them to be successful. In our line of work we form close and lasting bonds.
Tomorrow I will start putting together the first in the series of classes that I intend to teach. It will cover very basic stuff like:
- What is a common stock?
- How to read the most common (and free) sources of financial information such as Yahoo Finance and Google Finance.
- How to open a brokerage account on a discount broker.
- Basic market, limit and stop orders.
It should be enough for the first class, I have a feeling I will end up doing alot more classes than I plan to.