6 easy ways to get more interested in investing

I live and breathe this investing stuff.

So, sometimes I take my insane fervor interest in investing for granted.

But a lot of people aren’t me (thankfully). Many are either too busy, too distracted, or uninterested in investing. That’s a shame — because outside of building your own wealth, there isn’t an easier way to protect your (small) fortune and grow it over time.

So, why are so many closed out of investing? Why do 40% of 18-30 year olds NEVER want to participate in the stock market??

That’s a post for another time. For now, I want to focus on how to get more interested in the stock market, assuming that’s a worthy goal (I think it is).

How do you create interest in something you aren’t quite interested in to begin with?

Here are 6 ways to get more interested in investing

1. Get seriously informed about the market: In 1921, Harry Kitson wrote a book he thought was destined to help college students improve their study habits. Nah, it’s really a book about the science (hey, it’s close to 100 years young) of learning. How to Use Your Mind addresses the hard question of finding inspiration in learning. For Kitson, people don’t generally start with inspiration about learning. It’s about perspiration — working hard to learn a bit about a subject. The passion soon follows. (Source: How to Use Your Mind)

2. Look deeper: So much of what we know about the stock market is through our perception and personal histories. Maybe our parents were involved or maybe they were disinterested. But to create true, motivated interest in a subject, it takes changing our mental image, looking at investing differently. My grandfather was a Buffett-like figure but the markets today would have completely confounded him. I know is sounds kind of Zen-y but, “If you’re really paying attention, you can always go deeper, continuously. If you do, new worlds open for you..”  (Source: Quora)

3. Think good thoughts about the market: Negativity totally breeds negativity. Sometimes that may be warranted but most of the time, it clouds our thinking. The best investors I’ve met are always objective about their investing approach. They don’t let bad decisions wrack them. They move on, learning from their mistakes. The market is a great teacher and it demands its participants visualize success. Learning with passion about the market requires:

  • OUR choice: we practice because we want to, not because we’re forced to
  • build success on success: find ways to have success, however small. The positive feedback loop is powerful.
  • purpose to practice: underscoring everything should be a strong feeling of personal purpose. Answer the question why investing matters to you, (Source: Steve Pavlina)

4. Find friends who like the market: Not only does this stimulate a desire to learn about and participate in the market, it may improve your results. All else equal, social households — those who interact with their neighbors, or who attend church — are more likely to invest in the stock market than non-social households. It even extends to where you live — people living in states where people are likely to invest are themselves more likely to invest. Mutual fund managers who live in the same state are also more likely to trade the same stocks. We’re social animals and we learn from our friends. Investing ideas and education spread epidemically. We’re influenced by others’ behavior. Want to learn more about investing? Surround yourself with people who do, too.  (Source: Social Interaction and Stock Market Participation)

5. Use resources at work to dive in to investing: Just like having neighbors you can shoot the sh*t with about stocks, the market, and investing, your work environment can impact your learning about the market. Sure enough, employers that offer seminars on investing find their employees more educated about investing and more likely to invest. (Source: The Effects of Financial Education in the Workplace)

6. Try some new tools: The finance industry is not your father’s finance industry. You don’t have to work with cigar-smoking old dudes who wear suspenders. Platforms like Betterment simplify investing and make it easier to focus on the important things. Others like Personal Capital make it easier to get professional investment advice online. SigFig, Jemstep, and FutureAdvisor help to find waste in your portfolios and optimize them for performance. There’s a renaissance of investing tools that can help.

Don’t feel bad if you’re not all that into the markets. That distance is actually a good thing — it can make you a smarter, more objective investor. But like everything worthwhile in life, investing is a lifelong process of learning: learning about your own behavior and others.

You can do it, Slugger.