Why You Should Seek Understanding, Not Answers

"I have $20,000. What should I invest it in?"

Robert and I get this type of question often. People have come to expect quick, easy answers, and they expect the "experts" to have all the answers. But the truth is, when it comes to investing, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

The answer to "what should I invest in" is a personal decision based on what type of investments you are interested in and your analysis of specific investment opportunities. A piece of quick advice - even from the most knowledgeable experts - should never replace your own research and decision making.

This is why I have always advocated for women to invest in their own financial education first and foremost. Turning your money over to someone else to invest - or acting on a tip from someone else - means that you are leaving the fate of your money - and more importantly, the future you want to create with that money - in someone else's hands. Wouldn't you rather be the one in control?

So the next time you have the opportunity to speak to an investor - whether it's a well-known expert or simply someone who is actively investing - don't just ask what they are investing in, ask why. Get to know their thought process, the way they analyze a deal, what factors they take into account when choosing an investment. By increasing your financial education this way you will gain the knowledge you need to make sound decisions regarding how to invest your own hard-earned money. And in the process, you'll add another member to your community of like-minded people.

Original publish date: October 01, 2009