Finance Yo Self Using the 5 W’s

Remember the 5 Ws?  Depending on how long ago you graduated elementary school it might have been a while, so let me refresh your memory.

Who, What, Where, When, Why

In English class the 5 Ws are introduced as questions you need to ask to successfully solve problems.  And one problem I think about a lot is how to make the topic of investing less intimidating.

“I Want To Start Investing But I Don’t Know How”

Ah, a problem!  And we know how to solve it:

  1. Who’s doing the investing?  Who are you investing for?  Who are you relying on for information to guide you?
  2. What are you investing, and what in?  Pre-tax income into a 401k?  A loan towards a college degree?
  3. Where is this money going?  Where do you go to learn about investing.  Where do you buy stocks?
  4. When are you going to invest?  Every paycheck, or when you have extra cash?  When do you intend to see returns?  When do you need your money back?
  5. Why do you want to invest?  Why are you interested in that particular investment?  Why have you not done it already?

I chose Investing for this example because I think it’s something most people (especially Millenials) seem unsure of.  Personal Finance is all about solutions to problems.  Finance Yo Self is all about you having the means to find solutions that work for you.

Doing a google search for “how do I start investing?” might just make your brain explode.  But if you ask yourself the 5 questions above, your question might turn into something like “what funds should I invest in if I’m in my 20’s?”.  I guarantee you’ll get more relevant results and the added satisfaction of solving a problem (let alone a complex financial one!) by yourself.

2 Comments

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  1. Ahhh, the almighty power of Google. It’s a wonder we don’t know how to do anything these days with so much information at our fingertips. But it just goes to show that you don’t need fancy degrees and certifications to invest your money in a wise way.

    • Yes! I think one thing that seems scary to people unfamiliar with topics like investing or stocks is that they seem like dense subjects with lots of memorization and studying, when in reality you can do better than almost everyone else just by finding the solutions YOU need, not what someone else is telling you you need to know.

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