5 Ways To Learn More About Finance In 2020

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These are rocky times for financial matters - even in the so-called ‘lucky country’ - as winter 2020 looks set to test the Australian economy to its limits.

For 29 years, our financial system has enjoyed a long stretch of stability that has won envy overseas. When most nations suffered negative growth during the 2009 Global Financial Crisis, Australia weathered the storm.

Australia’s economy even continued to grow after the devastating bush fires of 2019, but the coronavirus shutdown seems to have finally put a stop to this winning streak. Experts say a recession looks certain after 221,000 Australians lost jobs in April.

Unstable markets bring devastation for many – but for a discerning few, they can also bring opportunity in fields such as forex trading, where volatility could present an opportunity.

Learning more about finance can help you to stay on the right side of that dynamic – letting you weather the worst of the storm and, hopefully, showing you how to continue to thrive during turmoil.

Here are some fundamental things that you can do in 2020 to boost your financial know-how:

  1. Take a financial literacy course

Before you can become a high-flying trader, it’s smart to ensure your own wallet is in order. Taking a course in financial literacy from the likes of Practical Money Skills Australia can help you learn how to manage your money and make credit work for you.

This is particularly important in Australia, with a University of Melbourne study showing that fewer than half of the population could answer five basic financial questions correctly. Poor financial literacy contributes to poor financial health in adult life too so this really is an important step that you can’t skip. Even if you can pass those five questions – you’d ideally be a little more literate than that with the storm that’s on our shores now.

Millennials won’t remember the last recession, so the prospect can seem daunting. However, play smart and you could find yourself able to put savings away each month, even during a downturn. Ensure you’re equipped with a full knowledge of all things related to personal finance, including credit, budgeting, and the various banking options        

  1. Learn the lingo

In order to become a successful financier, you first need to learn how to think like one. This means learning the language of trade and finance. A 2013 study from Canstar Blue revealed almost half of Australians didn’t know their money terms. It’s no surprise, then, that most workers still don’t understand their superannuation risks seven years on – and it’s closely linked to the literacy challenges outlined above. If you can talk the talk, you’ll struggle.

As we sail through rocky waters, it will become more important to know your benchmarks from your bonds. Sydney Financial Planning has a great glossary of financial terms which provides an introduction to some of the most important concepts.

  1. Get accredited in business finance

Business and finance are close partners – in order to succeed in one field, you need to understand the other. Earning a qualification in business finance helps to move your employability and personal wealth management skills forward together.

Take a look at the 2019 top-ranking MBA courses in Australia to find great places to source those credentials.

  1. Read trading books

They say knowledge is power – and they also say the same about money. If multiplying your dollars still feels like a pipe dream, arming yourself with a comprehensive knowledge of the markets can bring those dreams a little closer.

There are many fantastic resources for in your local bookstore. IG, a leading financial derivatives trading company, has collated a list of its all-time best books about trading to help you to narrow down your reading list.

The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham helps new traders to evaluate risk in line with their own interests, while John J. Murphy’s Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets helps experienced traders understand the methods and markets more fully. Investment Biker: Around the World with Jim Rogers meanwhile offers a blend of travel and finance that helps you to understand the interconnected global world we now live in. Other books in the list can inform you about past recessions or hone your knowledge of stocks, futures and bonds. Take in the lessons here to boost your knowledge and, in turn, power.

  1. Take a free trading tutorial

If you’re ready to begin a journey towards wealth maximisation, there are simple ways to learn the practicalities.

ASX offers a range of resources built with first-time investors in mind, including tutorials. These are easy to consume during a lunch break or as a dose of early morning inspiration. Incorporate them into your regular routine and you’ll start to live and breathe investment.

They teach you the basics of buying and selling shares and help to inform smart investments by exploring the different types.

Whether you decide to commit to a course or embark on a journey of self-directed learning, be sure to check in regularly and take careful notes. With the right knowledge and a few smart choices, you could make money work for you during 2020 and beyond.

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