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Old 13.07.2019, 11:17
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Investment / Economics etc research advice wanted

Hi,

If I want to do a trip to the US (for example) then I can google the cities that I want to visit, check flights, hotels, car hire, work out a route, costs etc. A straightforward process....

If I want to learn about financial products, investments, stock picking, company financial statements etc, then where would I start? I'm not looking for investment advice, I want to understand how "the city" works and understand the financial system.

Can you recommend some books/Blogs/Journals that give good information so I can start to build knowledge in this area? I'm anticipating 2-3 years would be required to really gain useful knowledge.

I'm looking for shortcuts because if you google anything financial you just get ads and products pushed at you and not knowledge.

Any help appreciated, I realise this topic covers a lot of specialist areas. The aim would be to have a decent conversation in 2-3 years with people who understand this stuff and not look like a fool, if that makes sense.
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Old 13.07.2019, 11:24
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Re: Investment / Economics etc research advice wanted

Can start here:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...l_Is_Beautiful

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Old 13.07.2019, 11:27
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Re: Investment / Economics etc research advice wanted

“Nothing less than a full-scale assault on conventional economic wisdom.” —Newsweek


Thanks but I need to understand conventional wisdom before I can challenge it. I will give it a read though.
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Old 13.07.2019, 12:31
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Re: Investment / Economics etc research advice wanted

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If I want to learn about financial products, investments, stock picking, company financial statements etc, then where would I start? I'm not looking for investment advice, I want to understand how "the city" works and understand the financial system.
https://www.bogleheads.org/

You will find everything you need on this website/wiki/forum. Click "Start Here" and ... happy reading.

Then there are also international sections on the forum to help you tailor your portfolio optimally as an investor domiciled in Europe/Switzerland.
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Old 13.07.2019, 13:48
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Re: Investment / Economics etc research advice wanted

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Any help appreciated, I realise this topic covers a lot of specialist areas. The aim would be to have a decent conversation in 2-3 years with people who understand this stuff and not look like a fool, if that makes sense.
How much time have got over the next two to three years and do you want to just understand them or be able to challenge them....

Thirty years ago when I started out at a big four, I was been send out on an audit of an insurance company and the advice of the audit partner was - you’re going to meet a lot of smart people who will try to mystify you with maths and fancy theories, but always remember: they are not very good at their jobs! It took me about five years to understand what he was saying.
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Old 13.07.2019, 15:13
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Re: Investment / Economics etc research advice wanted

what exactly do you want to achieve? you gave a range of topics, each one could conceivably take the best part of a career to develop a deep understanding.

maybe if you clarify what you want to achieve and which specific areas, then you can narrow down and prioritise the learning plan.
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Old 13.07.2019, 15:16
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Re: Investment / Economics etc research advice wanted

Buy low.
Sell high!
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Old 13.07.2019, 18:15
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Re: Investment / Economics etc research advice wanted

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what exactly do you want to achieve? you gave a range of topics, each one could conceivably take the best part of a career to develop a deep understanding.

maybe if you clarify what you want to achieve and which specific areas, then you can narrow down and prioritise the learning plan.
I would like to spend the next 2-3years getting an overview of finance so that I can understand different investments and make my own financial decisions and not rely on off the shelf products.

I would also be interested in investing in or buying a small business and would like to know the different financing options, what to look for etc.

I understand P&L, cash flow etc, but need to learn about corporate/business finance.

I don't want to be the next Warren Buffett, just not lose my pension/savings to a dodgy wealth management firm.
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Old 13.07.2019, 18:54
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Re: Investment / Economics etc research advice wanted

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https://www.bogleheads.org/

You will find everything you need on this website/wiki/forum. Click "Start Here" and ... happy reading.

Then there are also international sections on the forum to help you tailor your portfolio optimally as an investor domiciled in Europe/Switzerland.
Start either with the wiki or the book The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing, then ask questions on the forum. They are much friendlier to clueless newcomers than EF, so do not be afraid to ask.
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Old 13.07.2019, 22:41
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Re: Investment / Economics etc research advice wanted

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I would like to spend the next 2-3years getting an overview of finance so that I can understand different investments and make my own financial decisions and not rely on off the shelf products.
Let me give you one bit of advice - stay well away from anything that is not of the shelf.

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I would also be interested in investing in or buying a small business and would like to know the different financing options, what to look for etc.

I understand P&L, cash flow etc, but need to learn about corporate/business finance.
Buying a business as a going concern, it not a DIY exercise. You need to have a lot of knowledge and experience to be able to do due diligence on business and you will not get that from a few books. It is not about understanding the accounts and corporate finance, it's about being able to identify what is not in the accounts....
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Old 14.07.2019, 18:21
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Re: Investment / Economics etc research advice wanted

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Let me give you one bit of advice - stay well away from anything that is not of the shelf.



Buying a business as a going concern, it not a DIY exercise. You need to have a lot of knowledge and experience to be able to do due diligence on business and you will not get that from a few books. It is not about understanding the accounts and corporate finance, it's about being able to identify what is not in the accounts....
Off the shelve investments are not necessarily in the best interest of the investor, they are there to earn fees for the provider. They may be ok, but I want to understand them and the alternatives.

It won't be a DIY project, as I said in the OP the goal is to understand finance and be able to have meaningful conversation with people who are more knowledgeable.

I'm looking to invest between 10-15 hours a week doing the research, not just read a few books.

Can you recommend anything?
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Old 14.07.2019, 19:18
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Re: Investment / Economics etc research advice wanted

It's hard as a lot can be local, the London market operates with subtle differences to NY etc, is there a particular place you're interested in?
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Old 14.07.2019, 19:46
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Re: Investment / Economics etc research advice wanted

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Off the shelve investments are not necessarily in the best interest of the investor, they are there to earn fees for the provider. They may be ok, but I want to understand them and the alternatives.

It won't be a DIY project, as I said in the OP the goal is to understand finance and be able to have meaningful conversation with people who are more knowledgeable.

I'm looking to invest between 10-15 hours a week doing the research, not just read a few books.

Can you recommend anything?
Have a look at betterinvesting.org. Get a subscription, read their mag and learn their techniques. It’s no fool proof but if you stick to their rules you should not have too many FUs.
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Old 15.07.2019, 09:14
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Re: Investment / Economics etc research advice wanted

If you are serious about devoting a couple of years to this topic I would look into the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) program. It's a 3 year program that covers pretty much everything you want to know. You will learn about financial statement analysis, business valuation (both public and private businesses), corporate finance analysis, fixed income analysis (all about bonds), and get an overview on derivatives, commodities and alternatives like real-estate and hedge fund investments. Obviously you need to be working with these concepts to get a real-world feel for how they are applied but you will be able to understand almost all "off the shelf" products and have the ability to question any investment presented to you.
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Old 15.07.2019, 10:41
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Re: Investment / Economics etc research advice wanted

I would recommend reading "The Simple Path to Wealth" which helped me to better understand how to invest on my own. Stock picking isn't really worth most people's time given that you likely don't have millions to invest.

Plus it's more likely that you will lose against all of those people (and trading algorithms) who do it professionally, unless you get lucky?
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Old 15.07.2019, 11:30
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Re: Investment / Economics etc research advice wanted

I'd also recommend a professional programme. Having qualified as a Chartered Accountant, I'm most familiar with that route and can say that it provides a solid foundation over a decently broad base. Next up would be CFA as recommended earlier. You can also look into the CII offerings - I did this and requested all the materials necessary to study and qualify as a certified financial planner - I didn't take the exams however it was just for my knowledge.

If you're disciplined you can cover the materials for all the above in 3 years.

HOWEVER. I would say that the above only provides a foundation. In theory, practice and theory are the same. In practice, theory and practice are different.

After a couple of decades working on the financial industry I can say that the above provides the foundation to build on but is only maybe 5%-10%. The rest is in the experience and doing.

Having bought and sold small business and helped others do the same, I can say that financial analysis of the materials provided factored in zero. I take whatever the seller gives and throw it in the bin and build my own models based on experience and knowledge and use the seller model to compare (and see what they try to hide).

Many unsophisticated business owners I know (who have no knowledge of accounting/financial analysis) are nevertheless great at buying and valuing companies because of the experience and gut feeling they have tuned over time.

I even had one former client buy a 3 digit million business off a single 1 hour viewing and zero due diligence (not something I'd recommend). Yes, we later found problems, but he knew with the price (and pressure he put on the seller) it was a bargain even if problems cropped up later.

The best course is to of course combine the business knowledge with a robust financial model.

When it comes to business, I say you're either born with entrepreneurial flair (i think of the kids at school who started their own businesses selling to other kids at the age of 11) or you develop some sense of it over time. Either way, you need it, else you will be the patsy in the game.

I'd also say it is important to enjoy it. Otherwise, it's probably the most boring thing in the world.
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Old 15.07.2019, 11:50
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Re: Investment / Economics etc research advice wanted

I would also say that the CFA is a good foundation if you want to understand better financial instruments. I am not too sure I understand your goals but I my case I wanted to get a better hold of financial investments to better look after my investments myself.
I also agree that until you start investing yourself and learning from doing you don't still start learning for real. That being said, I think the money and time I took for the CFA was a good deal, at least for me. So I would encourage you to have a look!
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