Learning to Become a Successful Investor

I know several people who consider themselves "day traders." These are the guys who sit around with their stash of cash every day in front of their myriad computer screens, buying and selling all sorts of stocks and indexes relentlessly in order to make enough money to get by every month.

These guys are super risky. If they aren't careful, or if they take a day off in the market and have a lot at stake when something really bad happens to the stock market, they get creamed.

These guys aren't investors. They are speculators. They are doing amounts to little more than making bets on which way the market will move that day, nothing more. It's gambling. Sometimes they are successful. Other times they are not.

Most of you, including me, don't have the time or the patience to do this day in, day out, nor do you have enough exposure to or knowledge about how the markets work in order to predict the next movements. But this is what the average person thinks that "investors" are doing.

Investors don't move in and out of investments within the same day. Investors take their stash of cash, put it in safe investments, and wait for the cash to pile up.

In the Village, we can retire when we have taken our stash and put it into investments that earn us enough return, or income, which exceeds our expenses. As soon as we reach that tipping point of earning more than our expenses are, with a bit of a buffer, we can walk into the boss's office and quit.

To be honest, you can become rich by doing nothing but saving. You never have to invest one single red cent in the market to be wealthy. But investing speeds up the process by a few years.

Also... keep in mind, if you don't learn how to make your money grow by investing it, you can't ever retire. If your money isn't working for you, it's no good to you or anyone else.

You see, the day you start living off your savings without growing it, you start getting poorer. Your stash starts shrinking. When this happens, your security vanishes. In order to avoid that, we put our money to work for us in safe, reliable, and smart investments.

If you've never done any sort of investing before, you're probably a little bit scared and will feel overwhelmed at this daunting task. But I assure you, it's a lot easier than most people think it is. It mostly comes down to common sense, and a little psychology and discipline.

I've got a series of articles here that walk you through the principles of investing. These are the "rules" you should be following that will ensure your money grows, instead of shrinking.

You'd be a complete and utter fool to jump right into the investing "water" with both feet if you didn't spend some time thinking about a few things... there really is a lot of crap to know about investing, believe it or not! (sarcasm)

I like to think of this part of The Village as a type of training ground. It's where the newly minted village peasants, formerly debt-serfs and poor suckers (who are now my loyal Id-Vestor converts) come to get worked over into bodybuilding warrior-investor Jedi Masters.

Imagine enlisting in the army and showing up for on the first day with a bunch of other recruits for boot camp. Some of the enlistees are like me--average. 5'8", 155 pounds, a little underweight, but I can hack it. I can do 50 pushups nonstop, and 15 pullups. I sometimes run in the morning and consider myself generally fit. It won't take much time for me to get into top shape.

Some guys come in and are already huge. They signed up for the military for a reason--they know how to kick a**. But there are also the super wimps--wiry little guys. They can hardly bench their own weight. And there's also the fat guys--those pushups are going to be hard for a while, but they'll probably make it.

Ask yourself: Where would you fall on the spectrum? How about the "Id-Vestor" spectrum? What's your knowledge level and sophistication on the world of money? Do you just have a savings account? What about an brokerage account? Do you have a 401k, IRA, or other retirement account? How about an education savings account for your kids?

How much do you know about the stock market? Have you ever bought a single share of stock, bond, or mutual fund? Do you even know what these are, and how they work, or how to buy them?

It doesn't really matter where you fall, you're in the right place. To accommodate everyone, I've started with the very basics--opening an investment account--and from there delved further into the rabbit hole about things you need to think about and learn. When you're ready, grab your weapon of choice and dive right in. I actually recommend reading everything from start to finish in order.

I write new articles here all the time. If you sign up for my RSS feed (that orange radio-wave looking icon at the top left of my site), you can get notifications by email for new posts. Also, my FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn pages will all let you know when the awesome new stuff comes online! Follow me everywhere! Get crazy!


Not only do I have pages dedicated to educating you on the principles of investing... I also periodically release actionable investment recommendations in my RESEARCH section. There's some sweet stuff there... you'd be a fool not to check it out since its FREE... so is my PERSONAL FINANCE section, which I'm particularly proud of. Pick your poison.

The links below will lead you to a variety of categories related to investing. By the time you are done, you'll be lightyears ahead of the investing game. In fact, I consider most of the below to be more valuable to me than all of the official university finance education I have, all put together (and I have an advanced degree).

Don't waste time... get moving!

Getting Started - Opening a Brokerage Account
The very basics: Opening and funding an account, saving, learning before investing.

Investor Psychology and Mindset
Developing the mindset of wise, professional, seasoned investors of all kinds. 

How to Value Businesses and Companies 
How to know whether or not it's really worth it to park your money with a company.

Long-Term Wealth Building Strategies
Learning from the legends of investing... avoiding their mistakes, being successful, retiring rich.

Picking Stocks 
Identifying individual investment opportunities... and how to know what to avoid.

Short-Term Trading and Speculation
Every strategy can benefit from a healthy, conservative dose of speculation to magnify gains little by little.

Common Misconceptions and Unconventional Ideas
Ideas you've probably never heard of, and might not believe are true at first.