Monday, April 7, 2014

Personal Investing @ GDL

April is Financial Literacy Month
Personal Investing @ Genesee District Library


Genesee District Library is committed to increasing the financial literacy of Genesee County residents and preparing them (you!) to make informed decisions concerning money. 
In this first of several posts, we'll explore some introductory resources for the beginning investor. Not sure where to start? Let us help! Click below to read full post.

Getting Started
If you're confused by the stock market or what exactly all those commentators on CNBC are talking about, you're not alone. The financial industry is steeped in jargon and endless acronyms and it would be easy for the beginner to feel shut-out. Luckily, there are many resources available to assist you as you explore the markets and consider whether investing is right for you.

First, be mindful of what you read. Not everyone wishes to provide unbiased information (especially investment firms). GDL is committed to providing investment information not written by individuals selling the products about which they write. Two significant resources for introductory information is the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Both FINRA and the SEC regulate the financial industry, and both sites are a great place to start.


The FINRA link takes you to their "Smart Investing" information which is easy to understand. FINRA also provides information on all licensed stock brokers and traders via their BrokerCheck tool. If you decide to utilize an investment professional, be sure to check their credentials first, to reduce the risk you are being scammed.

Second, read as much as possible before giving money to anyone. Investing is always risky, no matter what anyone leads you to believe. In fact, if someone promises a big return on your investment, be wary, it might be a scam.
As I mentioned earlier, there are countless terms, acronyms, and abbreviations in the finance world. Try using Investopedia's free online dictionary for further explanation if you come across an unfamiliar concept. In addition to the online resources listed above, there are many books perfect for the new investor, some I have shown below. The GDL Business Center, located in the Grand Blanc branch, houses extensive print resources to explain the many different investment types. Some are general, such as Investing for Dummies, while others are more focused (How to Select Winning Stocks). Below is a small sampling of titles for the new investor, all currently available in the business center collection.

Morningstar: Investing for the Long Run



 In next week's post, we'll explore some additional (free) online resources that provide analysis and third-party reviews of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Check back soon.

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