There are many disciplines in life that people are willing to learn well enough to get by. Lots of people know how to make a pot of spaghetti, but never take it any farther than that. Plenty of people can change a tire, but don’t otherwise know how to maintain their cars. To a large extent, this is unavoidable. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day, or the energy after a long day at work, to learn all of the things that would be of benefit to us. So we’ve got to pick and choose.
Investment is one of those disciplines that typically remains undeveloped in most people, if people invest at all. More than half of Americans don’t invest at all. This is a subject I have written about many times, so suffice to say, this is kind of scary. But we won’t get into that. For the rest of American investors, a single investment strategy predominates.
Because most investors don’t want to make investment a regular hobby, conservative “idiot-proof” investment strategies prevail. These are strategies meant to attain people a measure of wealth over decades, with as little risk and effort as possible. Index mutual funds and ETFs are the bread and butter of this sort of investment. If people faithfully fulfill their end of this bargain (maxing out their IRA and/or 401(k) every year), this strategy works out well. The catch is, it doesn’t work quickly. It takes decades for people to get wealthy through this method, if they get wealthy at all.
While it is attractive to think that an investment strategy that you give as much thought and attention as you do remembering to change the air filter in your house, it’s not realistic for most people. Many people will be in poor health or dead by the time this kind of investment strategy really pays off. There are many ways to invest that pay off in the short term. But these strategies require intentional learning, planning, and risk on the part of the investor. And not everybody is ready for that.
If you are part of the 10% or less of investors who is willing and excited to learn how to make money more quickly, there are actually loads of ways to do so. The first step is to realize that 1) You are the kind of person willing to do the work necessary to master one or more forms of investment, and 2) common sense investment advice is geared toward most people, the kind of people who aren’t willing to put in much work.
If you sound like the other kind of investor, it’s time to learn about modern investment methods. Forex investment is an example of a form of day trading that the internet has given new life to. Forex investors use insight about contemporary markets to anticipate the changing prices of commodities, currencies, and other financial entities. The more you learn about the world, and about the behavior of specific markets, the more you’ll be able to expect large returns in the short term.