Being able to manage your own money is a key skill. It was taught in the “Richest Man in Babylon“, first published as multiple pamphlets handed out at US banks in the 1930s and later turned into a multi-million selling book. Key ideas like “Start thy purse to fattening” (it was written in old English) encouraged readers to save more and invest carefully with their hard-earned savings or they would be lost.

Times Have Changed, or Have They?

Not much has changed over the last century for investors. There are many pitfalls and ways to lose money. The old adage that ‘a fool and his money are soon parted’ remains as true today as it did when the phrase was first uttered. Of course, now you can add the internet to the number of sharks out there trying to take your money and get you in invest in some crazy schemes like alpaca wool farming and other exotic “alternative” investments. We kid you not.

Making Money in Bull and Bear Markets?

The term bull means when markets are going up or expected to. Being “bullish” means being confident of something. A “bear” in investment circles means someone who thinks the stock market will go down sharply; maybe not crash but fall a good way. So, a bull market is one that keeps going up and a bear market is one that keeps going down.

There are few investments that do well in both bull and bear markets. The trick is to have some money in things that sometimes go in different directions (when one goes up, sometimes the other goes down). This is why people sometimes own a small amount of gold in their investment portfolio. It isn’t expected to make them much money, but it often moves up sharply in value when economic panic hits and the stock market falls quickly. Using the example of a child’s see-saw: one helps to counter-balance the other and your portfolio doesn’t fall off a cliff.

Serious About Money? Study Investing

It’s all well and good to read a couple of books. You’ll learn a few things and that’ll be that. But, you won’t be an expert. You’ll still need to pay people who say they know what they’re doing to manage your money. This makes you dependent and you have to pay fees every year because of that.

One way around this dilemma is to study for a master of financial economics which teaches formally all about investing for yourself and a business. So, if you have a startup or plan to have one, you’ll know how to invest the profits once you complete the online MFE program.

Knowing what to do with money when you have some spare is the best way to avoid losing it. When you’re not investing it well, you’re spending it quickly (or you’ll have a partner who loves to go shopping with it). Either way, it’s best to be the smartest person in the room when the subject of money comes up.