Investing can be a tricky topic to nail down. As such, the more you learn the better off you’ll be. How do the investment programs work? What products are the best for each situation? How long should I invest in this or that investment? Because of that, lots of people have the question “How much education do you need to invest?”
I recently read a story from 401(k)aos about the man who was the first president of Brigham Young University. This man immigrated from Germany to Salt Lake City was converted to the Mormon Church, and continued his profession as an educator. In Germany, he was renowned and respected. He’d light his pipe and smoke in the conservatories and libraries, and discussed philosophy, and literature, and argued. He comes out to Utah and is now a teacher in a schoolroom. For payment, he gets a wheelbarrow and goes from house to house, and would ask for something like a cabbage because he taught your kid to read that day. His neighbors saw him as indolent and lazy because he didn’t have the calloused hands like the farmers did. In those days whether you learned to read or not was less important than bringing in a harvest.
Fast forward to the industrial revolution. it was acceptable to leave high school, go on to the military, or to join the workforce. If you went to college, you went to college, but in our generation, the 60’s or 70’s or so, there’s a mentality that if you work with your hands you’re dumb, but if you work with your head you were smart. The blue collar worker was put down, and the white collar was exalted. But today, the white collar workers can’t do anything, they don’t know how to do anything and that’s why employment’s rough.
Let’s bring it back to the modern day. We had dinner with a friend the other night who works for a steel company that does glazing. He started talking about his career, what he wants to do, and how he wants to break off and start his own business. I proceeded to ask him why he wanted to start his own business. He said that the older guys are not using the new programs, and they’re really inefficient with this and really inefficient with that.
Now none of these examples have anything to do with investing, and so I haven’t really answered the “How much education do you need to invest?” question. But the point that I’m trying to make is that I’ve seen this in a number of different businesses and individuals where you have this fixed mindset of people that have bought into this societal belief that your formal education is all you need.
So how much education do you need to invest? The real answer is a fair amount. You really need to dive into the different investment products, the strategies, and money management tactics. You need to understand what you’re getting into. That’s education. But what you’re asking is “how much FORMAL education do you need?” and the answer to that question is really none.
In this day and age there is so much education through the internet, through other technologies, that you can learn almost anything you want to learn at any time. Using investment as an example, and this is the whole premise of Paradigm Life, you can go online and learn everything you need to know about the different types of investments, and how to go about using those tools, and WHY you should be using them. We ourselves have a free education course called Infinite 101 that anyone can sign up for and gain a great education about finances and investment strategies. Realistically, there are thousands of articles and courses and videos that you can watch and learn from.
So don’t get in the rut of feeling like you can’t invest, or do anything really, unless you have the formal education to back it up. In reality, the vast majority of your education did not and will not take place in a formal setting. Your real education has been in your experiences in life, and what you’ve picked up on your own.
This blog was created based on our podcast The Wealth Standard. Click here to listen to it now!