What should a 20 year old woman read to learn more about investing?
19 July 2021
Question by Precious
I’m a 20 something year old woman who’d like to learn more about investing. Do you have any books or reading material that gives a complete beginner a better understanding of how investing works?
Answered by Boring Money
If you're just looking for some initial reading to a get a feel for it all, perhaps you could take a look at some of our Learning Path pages?
Here are a few which may be useful:
Making Your First Investment - Here are some key fundamentals to get you started investing in the stock market - behind all the jargon, it's not that complex.
Rebellious Renters - We can’t wave a magic wand for investors in their 20s and 30s, who're holding down a job but struggling with a toxic combo of ever-higher rent, the rising cost of living and possibly student debt - but we can share some quick ways to get ahead, and max out what you’re entitled to.
Wary Women - As of February 2018 only 12% of women had a Stocks and Shares ISA compared to 19% of men. Investing has traditionally been a male-dominated scene, but this is slowly changing.
If you'd like some longer reads, our money expert Catherine Morgan recently gave her book recommendations for a reader's 18 year old daughter.
Here's her top picks to help young people get a better understanding of personal finance;
"I’d recommend that you look at personal finance books but also non-financial books, as often the messages can be just as powerful in a non direct way.
Two of my favourite books are 'Rich Dad Poor Dad for Teens’ by Robert T. Kiyosaki and Jason Butler's 'Money Moments.’
Jason writes through stories and short chapters, which I think is always a positive. He covers some of the simple yet vital messages that I wish I had learnt in my 20s such as changing mindset, dealing with spontaneous spending, spending your way to happiness and avoiding financial shocks. A very balanced way of understanding true financial wellbeing. Robert writes about some of the important personal finance areas such as compound interest and thinking outside of the salary box! Compound interest is such a powerful thing to learn early on as it encourages early saving habits - small savings over a longer period of time.
Some other great ones to look at are ’The Millionaire Next Door’ by Thomas J Stanley and ‘Your Money or Your Life’ by Vicki Robin.
Denise Duffield-Thomas also writes around the subject of Money Mindset in her book ‘Get Rich Lucky Bitch’
This is an incredibly inspiring book, as young women have grown up with lots of different messages about money from friends, culture, society and relatives. This book has helped a lot of my female audience to engage with some of their own fears around money, which more often than not can be more important than the factual information.
I would also recommend 'How to Win Friends and Influence People’ by Dale Carnegie as this helps readers to think about how they deal with people and the importance of judgement and perception."
If you'd like to get a little practical understanding of how investing works alongside reading about it, you could also open up a small online investment account. Investing is the best way to learn about investments – you can put your book learning into practice from as little as £1 with Wealthify. It can be really helpful to actually see your little pot of money going up and down, while you read about why. That should help to demystify it all.
Plus if you feel that you've got the hang of it after a while, and fancy putting a little more into your investing pot, you'll have an account all set up and ready to go.
If you find that you really catch the investing bug and want to start up in earnest, you'll need to first mentally commit to setting up a direct debit to come out every payday, to go into a Stocks & Shares ISA - if it comes out on payday, you can’t accidentally spend it! Work out how much you can spare each month and don't worry if the amount seems small.
If you want to take out a Stocks & Shares ISA, you could use our Best Buys page to decide which platform you'd like to get it from. We've rated and tested lots of platforms against each other to show you their pros and cons, plus consumers have left their own reviews and ratings for you to read.
Finally, here’s a few top tips for curious newbies like you, who want to dip their toe into investing;
Don't let anxiety about what to pick put you off.
Avoid the 'get-rich-quick' stuff like bitcoin.
Don't put all your bets on one horse, like the recent Monzo crowdfunding ‘opportunity’.
Take enough risk for your age - the longer you invest for, the less you'll feel any market dips.
Don’t sell at the first sign of a wobble.
Pay in as much as you can once you're comfortable, as often as you can, and increase your monthly amount every time you get a pay rise.