It’s common knowledge that to be financially successful you need to invest at least some of your money so that it can earn more money. Of course, if you want to be financially successful, you probably shouldn’t just dump all of your money into a single stock or mutual fund. You want to invest that money wisely and to do that, you need to be able to understand the market and how it is behaving.
Why is it so important to understand how the investment markets work and shift? Because the market is variable. The value of a stock or mutual fund will shift from day to day. It will sometimes even shift from hour to hour! This means that you have to know when to buy and when to sell and when to let something ride. And you cannot know these things without knowing what the market is doing.
So how do you keep up? Surely you can’t be expected to sit at your computer and watch the market tickers every minute, right? Of course not! Here are a few simple ways that you can make sure you stay up to date on your investments’ performance and market trends.
Yes, seriously! Your Direct TV subscription offers channels like Bloomberg, CNBC, etc. These channels are dedicated to business and financial reporting. Other news channels, like MSNBC and CNN also regularly check in with financial experts and will dedicate air time to updating viewers on what the market is doing (and how they predict it will behave in the future). Pick a couple of shows to watch in the morning before work or when you get home (or DVR a favorite). Or, even better, have these channels on in the background as you go about your daily routine. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll learn!
Pretty much every newspaper devotes at least one section to financial news and analysis. There are also newspapers that are dedicated to the markets–both domestic and international. Financial Times, for example, is a newspaper that focuses on helping people understand how the markets are performing and keeping readers up to date with corporate happenings that might cause shifts in the market.
There are also some great magazines that keep up with Wall Street and the financial and corporate worlds that fuel it. Money, Kiplinger’s, BusinessWeek, Barron’s, Investor’s Business Daily, etc. are all great magazines that are worthy of your subscription dollars.
Ah, the good old internet. You were wondering when we’d get around to talking about financial websites, right? Here’s the good news: there are literally millions of websites devoted to financial news and analysis. The not so good news is that figuring out which websites to trust can be difficult.
Start with the websites for the television channels you’re watching and periodicals you’re reading. The Motley Fool is the next logical step. You can also peruse Google Finance and the financial sections of Google, Bing, and Yahoo news.
What the web offers that other mediums don’t, though, are columns and blogs that are written by regular people, just like you. Expert analysis is great, but it is often written or reported from the point of view of someone whose budget allows for major financial shifts. On the internet, you’ll find blogs written by people in the process of paying off their debt and learning about the investment market. The great thing about these sites is that the writers behind them help take expert analysis and break it down to help you figure out how it is applicable to your real world circumstances.
The point is: there is no excuse for not keeping up with the market, especially if you’ve invested your money into it. Choose your favorite medium for analysis, advice, and reporting and start learning! Trust us: your investment portfolio will thank you for it.