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Beginner's Guide to Investing

Lesson 1 of 12

Class Introduction


Beginner's Guide to Investing

Lesson 1 of 12

Class Introduction


Lesson Info

Class Introduction

Hi, everyone. Thank you so much for being here. And welcome to Creativelive. I am Erin Lowery. And today we're going to be going through the Beginner's Guide to Investing. We're going to talk about how the level up your money. So first, I just want to get started with this idea of being an investor because I think what happens to a lot of us. It was. We go through excuses and it's things like, I'm too young, you know, investing. That's like grown up. You bought a house, you're married. You have 2.5 kids, a dog and a yard type thing. I'm not ready for that yet, or it's I'm not smart enough to figure out how to be an investor or my personal favorite with a brand like broke millennial. I'm too broke to be an investor, so we're gonna quiet all of those inner critics today through this class. And the thing I think is most important for you to understand. Is it investing as the most efficient way for you to build your wealth? It's really, in my opinion, kind of a great wealth equalizer becau...

se a lot of us almost all of us have the opportunity to get into the game. And one of my favorite quotes from my book came from Jill Schlessinger, who's the C F. P. She's a CBS News business analyst, and she also wrote a book called Dumb Things Smart People Do With Their Money. And she said, Your money when you invest it is doing some of the heavy lifting for you when you're completely risk averse. It just means you're going to have to save a lot more to reach your goals, and we're gonna do some actual math behind that a little bit later to further explain it. But I love this idea of your money doing some of the heavy lifting for you. I think the other thing that's really important to dispel is a myth early on. Is this idea of investing being gambling? I hear that all the time, people saying, Oh, if you're an investor, that's like gambling with your money So let's talk about the differences. When you're an investor and you buy a stock or a share in a company, you're essentially owning a small piece of that company, albeit probably a small one. But often times owning that gives you a voice. You can have a vote in the direction of the company. You get to voice your opinion about how things are being done with this company. But if you walk into the Bellagio or the MGM in Vegas and throw some money down and start playing blackjack or poker, you do not own a piece of the Bellagio or the I'm Jim. So I think it's really important to understand those as two key differences. Ownership is what's involved here. Ownership also gives you a voice. I also hopefully, when you're an investor, you are doing research. There's thorough decision making going into what you're doing as an investor, as opposed to playing a game of chance. So let me tell you a little bit more about myself. I like to call myself your investing translator. I wrote a book, Broke Millennial takes on investing a beginner's guide toe, leveling up your money, and it's the second book in my Siri's, the 1st 1 being broke Millennial. Stop scraping by and get your financial life together. And that one. We talked about the basics, but at the end of that book there was a small chapter about investing that really focused more in retirement than anything else. And in the end of that chapter, I was like, Hey, you want to learn more? Here's a bunch of other great books that exists or you can go learn more. Then I started getting emails and D M's and tweets from people saying So I checked out those books you recommended. They're a little bit too complicated. Do you have anything else? And I thought, no, but I could write it because what happens a lot of times is that when people write these quote unquote beginner's guides to investing, they're written in such a complicated way and in a language that we don't yet speak. And it's confusing and frankly, makes us feel stupid, which is not how you want to be feeling. As an investor, you want to feel in control. So I wrote this book as a way to feel like you're taking back control of your investing life. We're going to spend a lot of time today going over terminology and establishing that common language. But it's also important to know I like to call myself a translator because I don't have a story of career on Wall Street to tell you about. I don't even have a mediocre, crappy one. I don't have any sort of license as an investor, and I'm not a financial advisor. I'm you. I'm your normal person who had to learn how to do this pretty much by myself. But luckily, I worked more as a journalist and researcher in this kind of capacity and got to interview a bunch of incredibly smart and talented people who are far more experience than I am and older than I am and have gone through the ups and downs of the stock market. And I distilled their knowledge into this book. So what we're going to talk about today First, I'm going to go and harp on a lot about why investing is important. Talked a little bit about this idea of money doing the heavy lifting, but we're going to dig into really three key reasons why you need to be investing. Then we're going to get into Are you even ready to start? So I've gone on and on about, like, do it, do it, do it. But they were going to take a step back and decide. Am I actually ready right now? Then we're going to go over. Must know terms. Gonna bear with me. It's going to be the section that you're like. Oh, my God. Can we just get through this? But we have to establish this common language in order for us all to be able to move forward together. Then we're gonna talk about fees. Then. I love this part of grabbing the bull by the horns. So if you're unfamiliar, a bull market in the stock market is when the markets doing really well. It's moving at a fast pace. Everybody's bye bye bye. They're excited about it. A bear market is what it gets called. When it's going down, people are starting to panic. They're starting to sell things off. So the bull and the bear are two things you usually hear. So, in that chapter, we're gonna roll, not chapter. You can hear me being an author and that section of the class. We're going to talk about that feeling of trying to get into the market and trying to invest in sometimes handling the panic of what happens when it goes down. Then we're gonna get to How do I even put money into the stock market in the first place? The almighty debt question especially important for a lot of us with student loans. I have debt. Should I even be investing in the first place? We're gonna tackle that question a few times throughout this class and finally retirement. So talking about how to prepare for that and why it's important to start thinking about it now, even when we're young.

Class Description


  • Create an investment plan that’s right for you and your budget
  • Build your net worth through stocks
  • Know the basics of investment terminology
  • Create short, medium, and long term financial goals
  • Understand your company’s investment options


Exchange-traded funds. Brokerages. Asset allocation.

Most people want to start investing, but have no idea where to begin. How much do you need to start? How do you know if you’re taking the right first steps? In Beginner’s Guide to Investing, author and financial expert Erin Lowry breaks down the obtuse language and lays out your investment strategy options. Learn the common misunderstandings, set your financial goals, and take strategic steps no matter your starting amount, time frame or business context -- Erin has you covered.

Don’t let beginner’s paralysis get in your way; Erin provides you with the knowledge and tools for financial literacy. Learn the basics of investment terminology, the stock market, saving for retirement and everything you need to feel confident to start growing your wealth.


  • Young professionals


Erin Lowry is the author of Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together and Broke Millennial Takes On Investing: A Beginner’s Guide to Leveling-Up Your Money. Her first book was named by MarketWatch as one of the best money books of 2017 and her style is often described as refreshing and conversational. Erin has been featured by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today and on CBS Sunday Morning, CNBC and Fox & Friends. When she’s not thinking or talking about money, Erin is planning her next travel adventure or probably looking up pictures of dogs. Erin lives in New York City with her husband.


  1. Class Introduction

    Meet Erin, self-titled “investing translator” and personal finance expert. In this lesson, Erin shares her background, addresses misunderstandings regarding investing, and lays out what you’ll learn in this course: how to know if you’re ready to start investing, must-know terminology, how to handle market ups and downs, retirement plans and more.

  2. Compound Interest in Action

    What is compound interest and how does it work to maximize your returns in any investment account? Erin shows you how compound interest works in your favor over two years, five years and beyond with clear examples.

  3. Time

    Why does time matter so much in terms of investing? Examine a case study with Erin to see how time functions with compound interest to yield higher returns.

  4. Inflation

    In this lesson, learn how investing just a little money can help you combat and even beat the inevitable effects of inflation.

  5. Setting Financial Goals

    What do you need to consider when preparing to invest? Erin shares a checklist to be sure you’re ready. Learn how to approach short-term and long-term goal setting, budgeting and setting up an emergency fund. Erin explains the difference between retirement accounts and taxable accounts.

  6. Must Know Terms

    Being a new investor can be intimidating -- as someone who approached the process without prior knowledge or a finance background, Erin lays out the must-know terminology in layperson’s terms. In this lesson, learn about how to diversify your investment portfolio, factors such as your time horizon and risk tolerance, and the difference between bond funds, ETFs, mutual funds, index funds and more.

  7. Fees

    Don’t let high management fees and fine print sneak up on you; learn how to vet brokerages when considering your investment options. Erin explains and advises on expense ratios, what to ask when considering contracting a financial advisor and where to find details on associated fees to ensure you’re getting value for your money.

  8. Quick History of Stock Market

    Financial downturns have been devastating, yet studying past market events can show us how to weather the storm. Erin gives a quick review of previous American stock market downturns and how to protect yourself when the market does go down.

  9. DIY Approach

    You’re ready to invest -- how do you start? What level of involvement do you prefer? Erin walks you through different options and factors to consider: investment advisors, discount brokerages, minimum deposits, roboadvisors and micro-investing apps.

  10. Investing with Debt

    Should you be investing with debt? Whether you have credit card debt or student loans, Erin advises on whether it makes sense to start investing or not.

  11. Retirement

    Why should your investment goals prioritize retirement and why should you start now? Erin walks you through questions to consider when opening a retirement account and explains the differences between the 401k, 403b, traditional IRA and Roth IRA.

  12. Picking Initial Investments

    In this final lesson, Erin advises on how to choose your investments and approach building your portfolio. She closes by sharing valuable online resources for further information such as calculating compound interest, opening a brokerage account and researching investment options.