Resources to learn about money and finance
June 25, 2008 2:12 PM   Subscribe

[MoneyFilter] Turning 18, i find my knowledge on money/finance dangerously lacking. Help me find resources to learn everything about finance for life (stocks, banks, taxes, etc.)

I feel that I should get involved in understanding how to manage money now, and get involved in putting it to good use. I dont understand what many of the terms listed in these "finance books" mean and would like resources to start from the foundations all the way to the top. Thanks :D
posted by Javed_Ahamed to Work & Money (18 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
Save more than you spend. Congratulations! You now already know more than most people your age.
posted by phunniemee at 2:20 PM on June 25, 2008 [2 favorites]

Check out the stuff on the left at Bogleheads. That'll keep you reading for as long as you want.
posted by Durin's Bane at 2:31 PM on June 25, 2008

This book explains most of what you need to know about the stock market (low-cost index funds are you're best bet as a starting investor). Also try this article from the NYTimes and also Scott Adam's 9 point financial plan is right on target for most people young or old.
posted by bananafish at 2:34 PM on June 25, 2008 - should have everything you could possibly need. JD also browses metafilter and might have some more to add. Study the blog and you will do just fine.
posted by ets960 at 2:36 PM on June 25, 2008

Oh and for more advanced reading try this book, which is basically the bible of investing in the stock market. Listening to the podcast of this show on a regular basis will also help.
posted by bananafish at 2:39 PM on June 25, 2008

The WSJ's Personal Finance Guide is a good place to start. I'd also recommend a subscription to The Economist. The guide is useful for the nuts and bolts of building your financial life, while the Economist is fantastic for a bigger perspective on news as well as finance.
posted by cr_joe at 2:41 PM on June 25, 2008

Although a bit dated now, Beth Kobliner's Get a financial life: Personal finance in your twenties and thirties is a great beginner book that will help you understand some of the more advanced resources others have mentioned. You should be able to find it in your library or find a cheap used copy.
posted by needled at 2:45 PM on June 25, 2008

You might want to check out the suggestions in this previous thread.
posted by burnmp3s at 2:58 PM on June 25, 2008

Save more than you spend.

At the very least, spend less than you earn.
posted by kidbritish at 3:03 PM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

Personal Finance for Dummies is a surprisingly good book on the subject.
posted by baf at 3:35 PM on June 25, 2008

I read Andrew Tobias's The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need back in high school, and I've found it incredibly helpful.
posted by russilwvong at 3:41 PM on June 25, 2008

The Wealthy Barber by David Chilton is a good read. Goes into retirement savings, real estate, and even life insurance. Unlike most financial books, it has characters and a (somewhat lame) storyline.

But I'll give you the first chapter for free. Take 10% of whatever you make and put it into a retirement plan. Set up your bank account online to do this automatically. You'll never notice that 10% is gone. If you start at 18 you will retire a millionaire.
posted by Brodiggitty at 3:43 PM on June 25, 2008

Investopedia has a dictionary that will help you out with all the terms you aren't familiar with, but be sure to read their articles as well, which are written by professionals and make a lot of concepts easier to understand.
posted by triggerfinger at 4:02 PM on June 25, 2008

Response by poster: Oh i already save as much as i can, i almost never spend money except on bare necessities. I just want to put the money that is sitting under the mattress to good use to make more money.
posted by Javed_Ahamed at 4:37 PM on June 25, 2008

There are lots of books out there, but it's really quite easy at the beginning:

1. Keep your expenses below what you earn...bonus if your basic expenses are 30% or less of what you take home
2. Save 10% of what you take home as cash, use an automatic savings plan (your bank will have one)
3. Max out your 401(k) if you have one, otherwise, put the max amount in a Roth IRA
4. Carry no debt - pay it off every month or don't use it
5. Only - only - only once you've done all this for at least a year... Congrats on getting started so early! I started at 21 and was WAY ahead of the curve.
posted by bikergirl at 4:50 PM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm 20, and for the past few years I have watched The Suze Orman Show on CNBC. I can confidently say that I'm pretty knowledgeable about how to manage my money now, but I always learn new things by watching it. She has written a book especially aimed toward young adults. It's called "The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke". But you don't have to be broke to get a lot out of this book.
posted by frettchen at 4:54 PM on June 25, 2008

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