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If you are seeking investment help, look at the video here on my services. If you are seeking a different approach to managing your assets, you have landed at the right spot. I am a fee-only advisor registered in the State of Maryland, charge less than half the going rate for investment management, and seek to teach individuals how to manage their own assets using low-cost indexed exchange traded funds. Please call or email me if interested in further details. My website is at If you are new to investing, take a look at the "DIY Investor Newbie" posts here by typing "newbie" in the search box above to the left. These take you through the basics of what you need to know in getting started on doing your own investing.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Doing It Yourself

Many years ago I had a friend whose name escapes me, but whose situation stayed with me through the years. He had wanted desperately to get into a course but for some reason had been shut out. I don't remember if it was financial or what the reason was. As I commiserated with him, he ended up saying, "There's always the library."   In my mind, that translated into the idea that, if you want something badly enough, there's always a way to get it; and that especially holds true when it comes to learning.

This, of course, has never been truer than today with the internet. Want to learn cooking, how to get from point A to point B, or even how to play the guitar? There is loads of information available at your fingertips online. The information is free and, in my opinion, much better than just a short while ago. For example, there are sites available now that catalogue the best online college course from top universities. Many  are taught by dynamic teachers featuring interactive modules that allow the student to get involved.

I believe that this is subtly revolutionizing the education industry. It won't be long before you can get a degree online by picking a package of online courses from the best instructors at MIT, University of Maryland, University of Chicago, and the Wharton School. If you're like me, you're thinking, "right, nothing will replace face-to-face in the classroom." Before you pooh-pooh this, you may want to check out some of the top online courses and see how they use the technology, and compare them to some of the lectures you sat through when you were in college.

Source: New York Times
Anyways, this is surely the case with investing and personal finance, in general. The challenge actually is to catalogue the sources of information for those who want to learn so that they can easily find the best sources. Along these lines, I would like to present the "Managing Your Money Through the Ages" feature at the New York Times. CLICK TO ENLARGE

One of the challenges of financial planning is that everybody is at a different stage in life and on a different path. The New York Times feature handles this well. Hone in on your particular stage in life and drill down.  Most likely, you will find financial planning articles highly pertinent to you. There are even checklists that show you some issues you  should be aware of at different stages.

Just as  you are not going to be the next Food Network star by learning to cook online, there is still a need for face-to-face individualized financial planning in complicated cases. Still, for most people, the information they need is available online, for free.

As a special bonus for those who have read this far, check out this online book.


  1. That's a very nice interactive chart from NYT! And I can sing enough praises of Ferri!

    It is amazing how much quality information if available for free (like the ones you mention above) for those who are willing to seek out advice.

  2. Thanks for the link to the Ferri book. I was able to download it, piece it together and create a single eBook out of the various chapters.

  3. In personal finance and investing, there is a overload of bad information. The powerful financial industry is constantly pumping out junks to confuse the average investors. What DIY investors need are ways to screen out bad information. I have found the following very useful:

    1. Bogleheads forum where many knowledgeable DIY investors gather.
    2. Google Reader that enables DIY Investors to easily follow a few good blogs such as DIY Investor, Get Rich Slowly, Investment Fiduciary, etc.
    3. Twitter that allows us to follow solid thinkers.

    I agree with DIY investor, the technology is there to help us learn, if we are motivated to learn.

  4. Thanks for the comments. I believe Ferri is the clearest writer on investing writing today.
    You are exactly right, Michael, about information overload - the key is to sort out the good stuff.