I'm currently a freshman in college who is planning on majoring in finance, however I am still very raw. I go to a non-target, but a couple kids a year are able to make it up to high finance each year and there is an investing club most of them are in that I joined.

At meetings they talk about typical stuff: how the markets are doing, networking, commodities, the crisis in Europe, Feds role, etc... A lot of the times I'm not completely clueless but I don't know near as much as even the other freshman, and usually just listen (sometimes the club feels more like a class, which is a good and a bad thing at the same time). I can somewhat follow along with the current event stuff since I read a lot of the headlines and what not but I am horrible with the markets and when they get kind of technical I get lost. Reading WSO helps with some of this stuff, but I am still really ignorant.

What can I do to learn more? Next year I'm thinking about getting a student subscription to the Wall Street Journal, that will help I think. What else can I be doing reading? People say it is as easy as keeping up with the news, but idk it seems harder to me than that.

What beginner finance/investing books can I read? Then progress on to more advanced books. I tried to read "Too Big to Fail" last summer and I couldn't understand a lot of it because of the financial terms and what not. I feel like I should start with a dummies book or something to give me a basic framework.

Any good blogs/websites? Any other tips/advice?


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Comments (9)


Don't worry, you're a freshman so it's early and it's understandable that things are fuzzy at this point. My advice is to just keep reading, paying attention in classes/clubs, and just asorb as much info as possible. Even if you don't understand it, just keep paying attention and it will start to soak in. Eventually you will start recognizing key words and it will all start to click faster than you'd expect. For me, watching videos on the financial crisis were what got me hooked on finance. I'd start with these:

PBS Frontline:



CNBC House of Cards: http://www.hulu.com/watch/59026/cnbc-originals-hou...

Also, check out Inside Job if you can find it.

Start watching Peter Schiff videos on youtube as well. Anyone that tells you that no one could have predicted the financial crisis is either lying, or a Keynesian (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0YTY5TWtmU).

Just keep flooding yourself with info and it'll all make sense pretty quickly.


Haha yeah thanks. I'm very familiar with Peter Schiff and love his videos (starting with the ones with him predicting the crisis to countering the OWS people).

Thanks, I'll check the other stuff out soon! Good to hear it eventually starts to "click".


don't read the WSJ its very low quality
Bloomberg is just as good and its free

if you want to get up to speed fast, I would set aside a bit of time each day just to read, depending on how busy you are
anything you don't understand, google it (usually wikipedia, investopedia are pretty helpful)

IMO if you want to get a better understanding of whats going on, just following the news (like with the WSJ or FT or Bloomberg) is probably not going to help you much. They tend to report on the daily movements of stuff (which are sometimes important, but are generally not) and give of daily updates on how events are progressing, but without the long-term picture.

I feel like there are many blogs/other internet resources that you would probably find much more helpful

some sites I like:
zerohedge.com (have a strong bearish bias)
marketfolly.com (more for stocks)
soberlook.com (really good site, lots of original analysis)

most blogs have an rss feed, so you use an rss reader (like google reader) to accumulate blog entries from them automatically as they get posted. this way they're all in one place


When you're reading a blog post, news article, etc., if you come across a term or concept you don't understand, look it up on Wikipedia or Investopedia. Investopedia has a lot of good resources if you're just starting to get familiarized with basic terms and concepts.


go ahead and start commenting on financial jobs, the industry and the market. your level of knowledge is on par with 99% of the posters on WSO.

In reply to JeffSkilling


Start watching Peter Schiff videos on youtube as well. Anyone that tells you that no one could have predicted the financial crisis is either lying, or a Keynesian (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0YTY5TWtmU).

Hahaha so true!


go ahead and start commenting on financial jobs, the industry and the market. your level of knowledge is on par with 99% of the posters on WSO.


And thanks Ben822, makes a lot of sense.

Thank you very much junior 2012, thanks for the big list. We talked about zerohedge in my club one time and I follow them on twitter. That list was very helpful!

And I did not know that about WSJ, and you make a good point about Bloomberg, free is better than paying for a subscription and I could just do what I do now, bum off my friend who subscribes.

Thanks everyone. I really like finance and am interested in it but I started to question whether or not this was the path I wanted to take because I wasn't really "getting it'. But at the same time I haven't taken the time to learn or educate myself.



If you're interested in investing get Security Analysis and read it; go get a book on deciphering balance sheets, there are a bunch of them out there; read Bloomberg they have a nice mobile app; watch Bloomberg/FBN; read Panic it's a good way to understand how financial meltdown's have occurred in the past.


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