Posted by: Brian | March 25, 2010

Knowing is half the battle…

I used to watch G.I. Joe as a kid and every episode ended with the phrase “Knowing is half the battle.” this has always stuck with me, because its so simple yet completely true. I am an avid learner and an even more avid reader. I love to learn new things about almost any subject that will hold my interest. I want to know. I have read books on cooking, automotive repair, history, warfare, finances, personal development, and a large amount of science fiction. My goal is to learn something new every day. I will read opposing points a view just so I knew the other side of the issue.  Good sources of information are the Internet, professionals in the area of interest, and YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY! So many people I know don’t even know where their local library is or have a library card. The local library is a treasure trove of information on every subject you can think of and most of them have free internet access. 
When I learn about a new subject I run a quick search on Bing for relevant topics or authors.  This will give me a quick overview of sources such as blogs, books, magazine articles, and recent news coverage. for example, if I am researching personal finance, I search for blogs and forums on it and make note of them a pad of paper. Sometimes I will search Amazon.com for book titles or magazines on finance. Then I head to the library to check out the books on personal finance. If the books look interesting, I take them home for further study. Now I have two sources of information (books and internet articles) about personal finance, then if I have more questions I will call a local CFP or investment professional. Industry professionals like to talk about what they do, so give them a call and strike up a conversation. You may just benefit from it more than you know (think networking!). By then, I am well versed in the subject, or at least enough to talk to other people about the subject without sounding like an idiot.
You can do this with any subject or topic. The point is to keep learning. Never stop seeking out new information or expanding your knowledge base. There are many situations that I have been able to apply skills and knowledge I learned in the Boy Scouts while backpacking to areas such as planning my finances (i.e. the 3 piles of packing method explained in my old Scout manual applying to wishes, wants, & needs of budgeting). Right now, I am avidly learning about finances and how to become better with them. In a few years, I will be into buying a house and my knowledge on finances will come in handy in getting a loan because I will understand how the market is doing in relation to my mortgage rates. Every little bit of information helps whether you think its relevant or not. 
Knowing is half the battle…
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Responses

  1. Brian, Fantastic article!

    Don’t get me wrong, I am a tech head to the core! But one thing that I cannot give up is my actual hardcopy books!

    Besides charity, I am putting my local library on the list of institutions to give back to.

    Good call!

    (and keep up the great work on the blog!)

    Kunal @ HelloStockMarket.com


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