Money Smart Week: Learn to invest

Investing information is notoriously steeped in jargon and the underlying concepts themselves aren’t exactly the most user-friendly. Whether you are planning to start investing on your own, or just want to be more informed when you talk to your broker, there are many different tools you can use to get up to speed.

photo by cc attribution by 401(K) 2013 on flickrOf course, the library has a wide variety of print books about investing but there are lots of other format options like eBooks. For your listening pleasure, we have audiobooks on CD about investing and also downloadable eAudio items.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a regulator of securities firms, has put together some fantastic information tools for the beginning investor. You’ll learn how to open a brokerage account, evaluate risks and start building a portfolio.

photo by cc attribution by 401(k) 2013 on flickrSimilarly, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has a helpful website with a wealth of information to help you become a better investor. Select the “Investing Basics” tab to delve into the different kinds of investment products and find the ones that will best fit your needs.

Investopedia is another handy internet tool. Take this whimsical little Investopedia video on the investing term beta. Don’t let the video fool you, investopedia also has text based definitions and articles for beginning investors.

The Seattle Public library subscribes to three investment research tools for you to use: Morningstar, Value Line and Standard & Poor’s NetAdvantage.

Morningstar, Value Line and Standard & Poor'sMorningstar Learning centers – Click on the “Help and Education” tab, and in the “Investment Classroom” you’ll find more than 100 courses on stocks, funds and portfolio building. This week Morningstar is hosting an online presentation about preparing your finances for life events on Wednesday, April 24th and a training webinar on using the Morningstar database on Friday, April 26th.

Value Line investment education – Learn about the advantages of Mutual Funds, options, diversification, the advantages of traditional and Roth IRAs and much more.

S&P Financial Literacy Now – Take the “How to Analyze Stocks” interactive tour, or browse the “help” section to learn how to use S&P’s useful stock analysis tools.

In addition to research information, you’ll find educational information for both beginning and savvy investors. Keep your Seattle Public Library card and pin number handy, because you’ll need those to log in.

How about an entire class on investing from the convenience of your home computer? Sign up for a free online class with the library’s Universal Class database. Two courses currently offered there are:

Universal ClassInvesting 101: Stocks, Bonds, and Mutual Funds
Investing 201: Intro to Commodity, Options, and Futures Markets

Still need more? Take a look at this list of investing resources we put together.

Money Smart Week is a national public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. This week, the Seattle Public Library is featuring blog posts on financial topics, lists of resources and informative displays in eight library locations. Drop in to the Central library, High Point, Capitol Hill, Beacon Hill, International District, Columbia, Southwest or Greenwood branches and have a look.

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