Let’s take it from the beginning. It is not unusual to receive an e-mail message stating how complex the ITA blog has become. Before the blog was hacked in the summer of 2013, I had categories set up like a college catalogue where there were 100, 200, 300, and 400 level blog posts. Of course these were arbitrary divisions based on my opinion of the level of difficulty. I no longer employ these divisions. Instead, I rely on theme or subject categories and you will find them in the right-hand sidebar under Categories. Categories is an excellent source for finding historical posts.
For beginning investors, and this by no means is correlated with age, there are some critical posts one should not overlook. All these can be found by using the search engine. Just a quick word about using the search option.
- If you are trying to find a blog post on the subject of “books” as an example, if you search books you will come up with the most recent post on books. Remember: New to Old is the order of posts.
- If you go over to the right-hand sidebar and find Categories, within the pull-down menu you will find books. Click on that and you will find the oldest blog post on books. Remember: Old to New.
Keep in mind that the order in which the blog posts were written can be found using these two approaches.
And now back to where new investors should begin. Search for The Golden Rule of Investing and read that material. This is the very first order of business for any future investor. I refer to this post ad nauseam. There are multiple posts on this theme.
As mentioned above, I have a number of recommended books. If you have only one short night to read, pick up The Elements of Investing by Burton Malkiel and Charles Ellis. One hundred short pages will put you on the right track. My favorite investing book was written by William J. Bernstein and it is – The Investor’s Manifesto. You will find many parallels between these two recommendations.
Don’t miss the post, Investing for Beginners.
Another major hint is to install the Kipling spreadsheet on your Windows computer. It might work if Parallels is installed on a Mac. I always have a Windows computer in the house as Excel is crippled when running on a Mac. We support the Kipling running on Windows 10. Be sure to install the ITA file so you can download data from Yahoo. The downloads are still free.
Start simply. This might mean investing a few dollars each month in an index mutual fund or index ETF. For example, consider a 50-50 split between VTI and TLT. Shift the percentage toward VTI if you want to take more risk. Once you begin to get a feel for investing, consider using the Dual Momentum model developed by Gary Antonacci or use one of the slight variations I model on this blog. The Galileo is one example of this simple approach.
As your portfolio grows, consider moving to a Relative Strength approach. There are numerous examples operating within this blog. The Kepler and Einstein are two such examples. The Rutherford is another excellent example as nearly all the back-testing was performed using the Rutherford. Again, search for Rutherford using the search options. Keep up with the latest posts on the portfolio(s) you are following. Learn by example and mistakes we make. Investing can be a tough teacher.
Further suggestions: Take advantage of the Comments section to ask your questions. Also, check the Forum on a regular basis. Post questions there as well and I will try to pick them up and answer as best I can.
Last, be patient as there is a lot of material to digest. Evolution of investing is evident as you will find as you read older posts and compare them with those that have been written in the last year.
Please, if you don’t understand something, just ask.