The top 10 investment tips

When it comes to the world of investing, unless you’re a seasoned professional or you’ve studied investment, chances are you’re going to find things a little difficult. The world of investment can seem a little overpowering to new comers. This is why I’ve decided to give you a few tips, to help make life a little easier for you.

Please note that the tips I give you will not guarantee great results, they will just help you along your way a little bit.

The top 10 investment tips

1 Be prepared to watch investments lower in value

This obviously isn’t something that you want to hear, but it’s something that happens to everyone who invests. There are good times, and there are bad times in the world of investment, so be prepared for them. If you don’t think you want to risk watching your investments lower in value, then you may have to re-think your decision.

2 Invest in equities rather than in savings accounts

Equities usually outperform savings accounts, so it could be worth your while seeing what is out there, and what the returns are.

3 Don’t invest all your money in one venture

If the venture, business or market you’ve invested in goes into decline, you could potentially lose all of your cash. To avoid this, spread your money out and you’re more likely to have some cash left if something bad happens.

4 Invest as soon as you can

The sooner you start to invest, the sooner you will have reached your investment goal. Put some money away and you’ll have to add less to it in order to achieve that goal.

5 Be aware of what it happening out there

Watch and listen to the news, read newspapers and keep your eye on the ball. Learn about what is happening in the world of investment so you know how the economy is doing, and how it could affect all your investments.

6 Update your will

Update your will, or write one if you don’t have one already. This will ensure that you will leave your investments to your loved ones, in the event of your death.

7 Seriously consider each of your investments

Before you invest your hard earned cash somewhere, you should seriously consider each of those investments. Just as you would look hard for the Best Cook’s Knife, a good car and even your new home, so too should you seriously consider any investment that you make. Read the fine print, ask questions and see what your instincts tell you.

8 Learn when it’s time to withdraw your money

Unless you have your cash tied up for the next 5 years, you might want to be on the lookout for those times when you need to withdraw your cash. Sometimes it’s easy to tell when you’re about to lose money, so it’s essential you keep your eye on the ball. Withdraw your money when you can (You may have to pay a penalty if you withdraw early), and invest elsewhere.

9 If you don’t want to invest just yet, don’t

Sometimes people make the mistake of investing just because they can. If you haven’t yet found somewhere good to invest your cash, don’t invest it. Wait until something better comes along.

10 Don’t believe everything you hear

You may hear some sensational news about a specific type of investment, but I wouldn’t get too excited. The media are great at exaggerating things, they do this because it sells. Don’t believe everything you hear, just assume that they might be right. Wait until you see the facts for yourself, before you do anything.

Use the above tips to help keep your money as safe as you can. Don’t expect great success, but do keep your eye out for those good money making opportunities.

The effect of free educational content

682013celebratescienceFree online educational sites are playing increasingly significant roles in classrooms and lecture theaters across the world. But what effect will this abundance of high quality, cost free educational resource have on the value of formal qualifications and the relevance of educational institutions as a whole?

It is a fundamental law of market dynamics that you cannot expect consumers to pay for something when a similar resource of the same intrinsic value is available for free. So now that it is possible to take the equivalent of a first year college economics course online in the form of short hour long videos, how long can traditional education models justify their existence?

How we fund education varies massively from country to country, state to state and even between individuals. However, these can be simplified into two discrete financial models, third party funding through the state or charities and private funding by individual consumers. Which system is morally and practically superior is the source of intense ideological debate, arguments we try to steer well clear of on the rapscallion blog! However what they both have in common is the need to adapt to the coming shift in how educational content is shared and accessed.

The rise of eLearning

Teaching sites such as Khan Academy, Duolingo and even Wikipedia were developed with the noble goal of spreading knowledge and information for free throughout the world. Now, such websites and the online courses are widely used by teachers in classrooms to support education and, in some areas, form integral parts of the curriculum.

Moreover the rise of internet leaning is not limited solely to the classroom. Vocational courses and training for a range of careers are increasingly offered online, at a fraction of the cost of conventional graduate study. The web based Evo Prep CPACE Workshop, for instance, drastically reduces the time and cost of becoming an accredited school administrator, in some cases cutting out the need for formal grad school training entirely.

But what is the net impact of this to the education market? You might think public funded education models would benefit from access to free resource and in one way you would be correct. However it raises significant questions regarding how best to streamline tax payers money. Should schools invest in smartphones and laptops for each student at the expense of teaching staff? For that matter, what is the role of conventional teachers when lessons are already neatly structured and delivered as pre-packaged online tutorials?

Privately funded tertiary education systems may seem immune as they provide accredited qualifications, which remain the currency of the labor market. But today the value of a degree certificate is even more subjective to employers than ever before. Certificates and accreditations from online sites, however informal they may be, are increasingly used to securing work and in the process devalue traditional certification.

The cost of everything but the value of nothing

In a world where the quality of education is no longer validated be the financial contribution of the tax payer or the consumer but by simply having access to a computer, laptop or smartphone we have to ask ourselves, what is the real value of learning? For those with an eye for finance, the reaction to this shift in the market will be fascinating to witness.