How Do I Start Investing?

Since starting this blog, we have written about a lot of topics related to personal finance, wealth building and early retirement.  We have never had any formal education or training in these subjects, but we  have found almost all of these things to be very intuitive and easy.  Many of the things that we write about on this blog are not at all technically hard and could be easily accomplished by anyone.  Success is simply a matter of thinking for yourself and living your personal values rather than following mainstream thinking and buying the ideas and things that marketers want to sell you.  This has worked extremely well for us, allowing us to be in a position where we should be financially independent within the next two years by the time I am 40 years old (Mrs. EE only 38) despite living amazing, fairly luxurious lives, and despite coming from modest backgrounds and rarely if ever sacrificing anything that we truly valued.

The exception for us has been investing.  We simply felt that this task was too complicated to do on our own and so we followed the conventional path (of those that actually save anything) by using an investment advisor.  This has led to many mistakes which we’ve documented extensively here on the blog.

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The problem is not that the information that we needed about investing wasn’t out there.  I have written full posts recommending what we feel are some top blogs and podcasts, and we highlight others nearly every week on the blog.  While these resources alone could provide you with a year’s worth of listening and reading, I’m sure there are many others as good or better out there that I’ve never heard of.  The problem is sorting through all of this information to find what is good, true and practical for you.  Even for someone like me who has a serious interest in these topics, the sheer amount of information is overwhelming.  I also find that you often have to sort through a lot of fluff to get the specific information you may be looking for.  In many ways this can lead to paralysis by analysis as you don’t know who to listen to or where to even start looking.  This is particularly true when it comes to a topic that is not intuitive or easy such as investing.

Over the next few posts, we’d like to share our experiences getting started investing.  We hope this will encourage anyone who feels overwhelmed to see that the process of investing is really not that hard and it does not have to be complicated or confusing.  Next week, we’ll share the framework used to shape our investment philosophy.  Then over the following few weeks we’ll share a few very focused resources that have been most helpful to us in building our portfolio and becoming very confident DIY investors in a short period of time.

This next few weeks of the blog is specifically designed to help those who, like us, have used a financial advisor or worse have avoided investing completely because you have been fearful or intimidated to start the process.  We hope to take much of the mystery out of investing to allow you to invest with confidence.  If you are one of those people please let us know as we go if we hit the mark, or if you have any other specific questions, experiences or resources of your own that have been particularly helpful.

*Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Elephant Eater

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