When I started my journey to financial freedom a little over a year ago I sought several resources to help educate myself in the areas of personal finance and investing. Some of the resources I turned to included books, websites and You Tube videos.
At first I was mainly interested in getting my debt under control. I stumbled upon Dave Ramsey early on. I watched many of his videos on You Tube and read his book Total Money Makeover. I really like Dave’s common sense approach to personal finance. His system, The Baby Steps, is a really simple system to follow. He does a great job of getting people motivated to charge of their finances and provides an easy to follow path to financial success. I also enjoyed watching Ramsey personality Chris Hogan. He is very motivational and gets people fired up. While I understand that Dave’s way is effective and produces results, I am not a strict follower of the baby steps. His take on debt management is great and has helped many people. I personally think that his take on investing is rather simplistic and not for me. I have taken bits and pieces of Dave’s teachings and incorporated those into my own personal finance plan. Dave Ramsey and other Ramsey personalities were very helpful to get me motivated in the first few months of taking charge of my finances but I have since moved on to other sources.
I have read several books on budgeting, personal finance and investing in addition to Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover mentioned above. A couple that stood out on investing are Phil Town’s Rule #1 and Danielle Town’s Invested. These books offered a way to evaluate companies. While I do not completely agree with Phil’s view on investing I did learn a lot about investing from these books. I have read other books on debt management, personal finance and investing. I have not found one system for me. Instead I take bits and pieces from each and incorporate it into my own personal finance strategy.
I also watch a lot of You Tube videos. Currently, there are a lot of You Tube videos in the personal finance/investing area. It can be hard to sift through all of the content that is out there. I have a few that stand to me. Some of the channels I routinely watch include Joseph Carlson, Independent Investor, ppcian, MattMoney, Passive Income Investor, Passive Income Educator, Learn to Invest, JMac Investing, Hidden Freedom Investing, GW ETF channel and GenEx Dividend Investor. Each of these channels offers a little something different. I have incorporated some of the things I have learned from watching these channels into my own personal finance journey.
From my perspective, I view personal finance and investing as very personal. I do not believe there is a one size fits all system for personal finance and investing. In my opinion, each individual should develop their own strategy based upon their own personal goals. Some things to consider when developing a strategy include time horizon (when do you want to be financially independent), risk tolerance, comfort level with investing and time commitment to investing. Someone who has 40 years until retirement is likely to invest differently someone who only has 10 years. Some people are okay with the volatility in the market and don’t mind big swings in their accounts while others are not. Some are comfortable picking individual stocks while others are comfortable with index funds. Some may be willing to spend hours a month researching stocks while others may not. Over the past year I have been developing a strategy that works for me. This strategy continues to evolve as I learn more about personal finance and investing. I expect that my strategy will always continue to evolve and adapt as I move along in life. In the end, we all need to find what works for us.