Martin Lee @ Sg
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How You can Become a Better Investor

I am sure the title of today’s post would have caught your eye.

I’m actually quite excited to be writing this post today as this will probably be something new to 80-90% of my readers. In a short while, I’m going to introduce you to something exciting which I am certain you will be sharing with many of your friends and family in the near future.

Because what I’m going to share with you is not only going to make you a better investor, but it will also be applicable to many other fields. Anyone will find a use for this to improve himself in a field relevant to him or her. When I came across this last week, I was like “How come I didn’t know this thing even existed?

We all know about the importance of education. To become a better investor, we need to constantly educate ourselves. As adults, we do not ever stop learning. Because once you stop learning, you run the risk of becoming irrelevant. That is why we see people pursuing higher education after they complete their basic degree.

This is something that is also a hot topic among Singaporean parents and MOE has their work cut out to improve our education system for the children of today and tomorrow.

However, access to education was never completely fair. Not everyone had the privilege to study or learn from lecturers in a world-renowned university overseas. You either need to have rich parents or get a scholarship.

But not anymore.

I would like to introduce you to iTunes University, a collection of lectures and talks from more than 800 universities covering topics on finance, maths, science, art, music, society, literature, engineering and more.

Want to learn about Finance? Check out the 15-part financial markets video (each lasting about an hour) by Robert Shiller of Yale University.

Need to understand about human psychology, an important aspect of investing? Cornell has an interesting 13-part series covering their research on different aspects of psychology.

Can’t understand the way your lecturer teaches you in school? Try finding it using the iTunes University search tools and see how other lecturers teach that topic.

Cambridge, Harvard, MIT, Oxford, Stanford, UC Berkeley, you can find them all there and more.

It is amazing how the internet has changed our life in the past twenty years. Previously, people have limited access to knowledge and searching for information involves going down to the local library to do research manually. Nowadays, we use search engines to get any kind of information that we need into our fingertips within seconds.

We are now in an age of information overload and it’s not so much a question of how you can learn about something, but how to split your time to learn about all the things you had ever wanted to learn.

The internet practically levels the playing field for everyone when it comes to knowledge acquisition removing cost as a barrier.

And it gets even better on iTunes.

What if you are not so interested in academia stuff? There’s also the podcasts session of iTunes. These are audio and videos submitted by individuals or companies (that are not education institutes) on topics like health, politics, sports and recreation, hobbies, comedy and more.

Attend yoga lessons from the comfort of your own home.

Learn mental mathematics techniques or a new language.

Attempt brain teasers.

The possibilities are endless. And the best part is most of the materials on iTunes will not cost you a single cent. The only cost to you will be your time. Probably the only thing negative about the podcasts is that there are some explicit talk shows that might not be so suitable for the younger audience.

To access iTunes University and Podcasts, you need to download the iTunes software, which will enable you to watch the videos on your computer. After installing, click on iTunes store on the left and Podcasts or iTune U near the center of the screen.

These can also be accessed if you have an Apple iPod, iPhone, iPad or Mac.

Kudos to Apple and Steve Jobs for making this platform.

This is what innovation is all about. Creating something of value in a particular area, helping to improve the world and making a lot of money in the process.

Unfortunately, many of our brightest choose to go to Wall Street to be innovators. Sure, you are able to figure out that based on options pricing theory, security X is mis-priced and you are able to make a lot of money. But how does that help to improve the world one bit?

Leave a Comment:

1 comment
Value Investor says 12 years ago

To be good investors, we have to pick good stocks.

What are the characteristics of a good stocks:

a) Revenue is rising almost every year.
b) Earning is rising almost every year.
c) Free cash flow is rising almost every year.
d) Intrinsic value of the stock is lower than the current market price.

Intrinsic value of a stock is the present value of its future free cash flows. Find out the growth rate. Find out the operating cash flow. Find out the average capital expenditure. With all these information you will be able to find out the intrinsic value of stock.

Hope this helps!

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