Although I highly value some of my formal eduction, I've never been a big fan of school. I've always liked to learn by myself. And I truly believe the only way you really learn something is by trying to solve problems that you ran into and have been stuck with for a while. Sure, I guess you can teach all the answers for all the problems beforehand, but I don't think people are able to remember all those perfect answers for potential future problems. At least I know I can't.
My way of learning is more like research. Whenever I'm curious, I google a lot, I try to find books or research papers on it. Well, basically I do everything I am capable of to collect enough information to satisfy me. In my honest opinion, teachers are only useful as mentors who can answer my questions. And sadly enough, only 20% of teachers are able to do so. The other 80% are basically repeating what they read from books right before classes. Ah, just to make it clear, I'm not a complaining student. I'm not a student at this moment at all: I'm instead a college instructor, so I guess I'm a teacher.
Hmmm.. I've written a lot and I didn't say what I really tried to say yet. So my new interest nowadays happened to be investment. I'm a beginner investor who's been investing only for 3 months or so, but I really enjoy getting more investment knowledge through my research everyday. I don't have any financial advisor, and I don't invest in mutual funds, where funds managers do everything for ya. Well, I kinda lied here. I do actually invest in mutual funds through company RRSP plan, mainly because my company matches what I contribute there up to 3% of my salary. Free money wouldn't hurt, eh? That's why I invest only 3% =D
Anyways, I have another buddy who's been investing for like 2 years. He has his own financial advisor, so his investment scale is much heftier than me. (although most of them is loaned) But you know what's funny? He doesn't really know anything about investment. He just buys what the advisor told him to buy, and it happens to be almost all mutual funds. I think that's what you get by not really learning, thus not owning your stuff. Actually it's quite fun to watch a 2-year investor asking questions to a 3-month noob investor. Maybe I'm just cocky....
There are two advantages at my way of learning:
- You save money because you don't have to pay tuition or consulting fee.
- You really own your stuff, so it's more fun! (especially if you are a control freak)
Can we just be good at what we are doing, please?