I am a 24 year-old girl with no financial experience, an English literature degree, an unhealthy obsession with the modernist period and a subsequent desire to be moody in Paris, and my knowledge of the financial industry consists only of the 2015 biographical comedy-drama The Big Short. Even so, when watching the film I was more caught up in the Hollywood of it all than the minutia of financial terms and what led to the 2008 market crash.
So how have I swindled my way into writing for a financial journalism company you may ask? We should potentially check on my manager’s mental wellbeing at a later date. Again, I have limited financial credentials.
But I suppose contrarily, who better to walk the investing amateur through navigating this masculine, egotistical world than the queen finance novice herself?
I’ve been working at Equity.Guru for 2ish months and have found the world of stocks and markets and companies to resemble a group of unruly boys on a playground. Except that they are grown and in glossy offices and say things like “I just closed on ABXY” (this is called a ticker symbol, they say it’s for efficiency, I say it’s sheer laziness) or “ABXY’s EBITDA margins make it a good buy” (pronounced “eee-bit-duhh” and it’s just a fancy acronym for earnings before taxes). The rhetoric screams money and is void of humanity but fundamentally seems to function as a way to keep people out. The whole rich get richer aphorism thrives in an environment that places itself as superior and untouchable.
After painting this lovely little image of vapid greed and finance bros, why should we care to learn about investing? The answer, as is the core of most answers whether hidden or blatant, is money. And try as my artistic heart might to negate this truth for a more romantic notion of the world, it is an absolute necessity. Money is freedom. And luckily, for my fellow investing amateurs, I am learning that to decode this language is far less challenging than the sound of it suggests.
We have been trained from a young age that saving money is essential whether it be through piggy bank jars, weekly allowances or a spurt in flimsy entrepreneurship running your local lemonade stand. During adolescence we may open a bank account (big day), apply for a credit card (bigger day), and eventually contribute to our savings account in a meaningful way (wow, you are a full blown adult!). If you’re me, and have travelled a life route antithetical to business and finance, the 0.10% interest generated from your savings account that makes roughly $13 monthly is sufficient. I urge you to not calculate what this reveals about my savings.
Investing your money, put simply, creates a greater capacity to make more money. The investing we cover at EG revolves around the stock market, however, putting your money into real estate or your own business is also an investment.
If you’re a visual person:
$1,000 over a 30-year period in
Checking (0.5% average annual interest) = $1,175
Savings (0.9% average annual interest = $1, 282
Investing (7% annual index average)= $7,000 +
If this reasoning isn’t enough and you fancy yourself an idealist of sorts, investing allows the opportunity to place money behind people, ideas and companies you believe in.
Follow along through my inevitable hiccups and confusions as we learn together, to put it eloquently, a what the fuck guide to the stock market, investing and all other things making-money-financial-freedom-fight-the-power-related.
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