Step 2 – Get Educated
I recently read Chris Evans surprisingly profound book on reaching middle age, Call The Midlife. One of the most accurate statements in it is that, for any significant achievement, two things are needed – a reason why and a deadline. Only you can provide the reason. Your family’s long term future? Your legacy to the planet after you’ve gone? Your faith? Whatever it is, something bigger than mere self interest will be needed to sustain you on this journey.
I can provide deadlines. If you follow all steps in this report you’ll be shocked at the different place you are in a year from now. So, assuming the reason why is in place and you’ve made that breakthrough decision to take control, let’s look at the next piece of the jigsaw – Get Educated.
Financial education is the underlying raison d’etre of the Elite Investor Club. We want our members to know how the world really works and how to position themselves to best effect within it. There will always be specialist areas where professional advisers are needed. Our increasingly unfathomable tax rules are an obvious example. But there’s a difference between bringing advisers into your Inner Circle and abdicating all responsibility to them.
Before you can even recognise the areas where you might need advice, you need to start with the big picture. You need to understand the different types of investment available, their characteristics, their risks and their rewards. It’s impossible to achieve a financial education without some political awareness. What was a perfectly sound investment, buy-to-let property, is rapidly becoming a no-go area. Partly because prices are near the likely top of the market and partly because of massive, deliberate political intervention from George Osborne.
Pensions have been a political football for years, with previously good investment decisions rendered useless by each new tinkering from the Treasury. If you’ve been in the Club for any length of time you’ll have heard me refer to the War on Wealth. It’s now a crime to be wealthy and successful in many countries, and it’s my goal that Elite Investor Club becomes your best source of information on how to protect yourself and your family in this hostile environment.
Some of the educational resources I would point you towards are:
• My series of 26 videos called the A-Z of Investing. Each is just a few minutes long and covers one aspect of investing. Understand these and you’ll be in the top 2% of the population, including many who work in financial services
• Andrew Craig’s updated book How To Own The World is essential reading. Just look at all the 5 star Amazon reviews if you don’t believe me. You can also gain access to Andrew’s training videos at very reasonable cost on the plainenglishfinance.co.uk website
• If you’re a member of Elite Investor Club, watch my in depth interviews in the Vault with industry leaders like Justin Urquhart Stewart, Tim Price and Mark Dampier. If you’re not yet a member, why not? Go to the Join Elite page at Eliteinvestorclub.com/apply immediately and join up. Associate membership is free at the moment so grab it while you can.
• Get hold of a copy of my book Encounters With Investment Icons to see the transcripts of my interviews. You can buy it for £9.95 or introduce a new member to the club and you both receive a free copy.
• Subscribe to Money Week magazine and put aside an hour a week to read it
• Buy the Financial Times at least once a week to get a different perspective on business and financial news
• Come to our live events and online webinars to keep up to date with everything I’m up to
This is a never ending process. I’m spending about $15,000 to attend a three day seminar in America this year to make sure I’m on top of all the latest developments in business. I’ll be attending at least six events in the UK this year and reading at least twelve books on finance and investment topics. As I hit sixty I have no shame in quoting the old Johnny Nash song – ‘There are more questions than answers. The more I find out, the less I know’.
Let that be your mantra as you admit how much you need to learn. Commit to this being the year that turns around the way you think and act around money so that you really can take a giant leap towards financial independence. Some say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. As with all clichés, there’s more truth to it than we might care to admit. And that’s the topic we’ll tackle in the next episode of this mini series – how to Get Connected.