Lesson Brainstorm: What Matters When It Comes to Investing?

Been thinking about how best to educate students about investing a lot lately as I plot out a unit plan for investing on the NGPF platform (hope to have this done by late October).  I woke in the middle of the night thinking about an article I had tweeted about yesterday.  The title says it all:  “25 Things To Know About Investing By Age 25”.  As someone who has difficulty keeping two thoughts in my mind at once, I wondered how overwhelming this article would be for many.  Most wouldn’t even get past the title I bet.

What a great learning opportunity!  We are drinking from an information firehose.  Much of learning today is about how to separate the signal from the noise (title of popular book from Nate Silver).  Why not have students read this article and list the FIVE most important things they need to learn about investing?  This will lead to an interesting conversation after students have read the article and shared their investing priorities.

Oh, and if you were wondering, my top five from this article (no specific order):

  • Investing is always a risk.
  • Diversification means spreading your money out among different kinds of investments.
  • You don’t have to pick stock-by-stock (I would change this to “most of your investments should be index funds).
  • Starting early is a major advantage.
  • Invest consistently over time (not in the article) but covers a few things on the list including No one can reliably predict the market, long-term strategy has nothing to do with this morning’s news.

What are your top 5?