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Taking Stock – Introduction

I am constantly amazed that close to 100% of my close friends know next to nothing about finance and investing. When I say that, I’m not talking about super complex investment concepts either. I’m talking about basic strategies for taking care of your money and building a secure financial future for yourself. I’m talking about avoiding major mistakes that can screw you over. I’m talking about taking care of “the money thing” so you can focus on things you care more about.

I think the total lack of caring or thinking about finance is a big problem in my generation. It extends way beyond my own friends. I see it with coworkers my age, friends of friends…it’s pretty much everywhere. Why do we so often pass on responsibility for our finances to others?

There are many reasons that we tune this area out. For some it’s laziness. For others maybe it’s a lack of knowledge or the idea that taking care of our investments is incredibly complex. Or maybe for some of us it’s the belief that we don’t have enough money saved up for it to matter how we put it to work. And then there is fear.

Fear, whether conscious or not, is the most pernicious and perhaps the most common factor holding so many of us back from taking control. After all, if you don’t take control of your money you have someone else to blame for not achieving your goals…right?

The reason for this article series, which I am calling ‘Taking Stock,’ is to explore how to take back control of your financial future. I think I can help address the blocks you might have that have held you back from taking control of your money. I know I can introduce profound yet simple concepts about money management and investment decisions that will empower you to make your own informed decisions.

This series is about owning your money. It’s a mixture of practical suggestions, resources, and more roundabout discussions of the emotional side of money that affect us all. The articles are geared towards young professionals, but I think there’s value for people in all stages of life.

So why me?

By now you are probably wondering why you should listen to me. Fair enough. First, I’m not a stuffy investment manager telling you what you should do. I’m a young professional too. The things I’m writing about are things I’m experiencing or have recently gone through. I’ve made a ton of basic mistakes and I’ve learned from those. I can help you avoid some of the ones I’ve made and those I’ve studied.

I’ve also spent much of the last 6+ years immersed in studying and practicing investing because I’m deeply passionate about this stuff. Need proof? You can find write-ups of investment and finance books in the “Good Reads” section of this site. The CFA section has tips and tricks for the passing the Chartered Financial Analyst exams and demonstrates that (at the very least) I know the basic fundamental approaches of professional money managers. Finally, if you only care about credentials you can check out the About page and link to my resume (shame on you!).

The point is I’m deeply committed to sharing what I know. I’m living this entire process just like you are, and I guarantee you I’ll share everything I can think of that is useful- including exactly what I’m doing with my own money. No bullshit. We’ll learn and grow together.

Hopefully in the course of all this you’ll realize that I will always call it like I see it. Hopefully I will challenge your preconceptions and force you to confront some of your inner “money” demons, maybe even while laughing occasionally. As much as this series is about taking stock of your money it’s also about taking stock of your own strengths and weaknesses and figuring out what is holding you back.

Ready to get started? [Lesson #1]

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