With November being financial literacy month, I thought it would be a good time to point out a few things you can do to become a more confident investor.

Stay informed

Newspapers, magazines, and websites offer an abundance of information on investing and investment products. Even though the information can be overwhelming, staying on top of market and financial issues can help you gain a better understanding of how investing works. Of course, you need to be careful to take a balanced view when thinking about your financial situation. Make sure you know yourself and have a good understanding of a financial product or service before making a decision that can affect your long-term financial goals.

Take a course

When we visit trade shows, people often ask if we teach an investing course. We don’t. We give seminars on fraud awareness and provide information on our website on how to be an informed investor. For courses on investing, you can check with your local college or university. Some institutions provide night courses on these topics.

If you want to study at home, you may want to look into some offerings from the Canadian Securities Institute (CSI). The CSI offers career training and development for professionals working in the financial services sector. You can take courses to train to work in the industry, or you can take the Canadian Securities Course for Investors. This course is for those looking to gain more knowledge about investing.

When choosing a course, be sure you research the instructors and sponsors. Some companies or investment clubs invite people to a seminar as a way to recruit new investors. If someone approaches you to attend a seminar about an investment opportunity, research carefully before attending.

Visit your advisor on a regular basis

Stay in touch with your financial advisor. Take the knowledge you’ve gleaned from your reading, research, or a course, and bounce it off a professional. Sitting down and discussing the products in your portfolio and the strategy your advisor is using, will help reinforce your knowledge. It also allows you to evaluate your portfolio and your advisor’s performance on a regular basis.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please post them in our comments section.

Suggested Reading

BC Securities Enforcement Roundup – November 2013

How to Report an Investment Scam or Fraud

Investor Watch: Fraudsters prey on ‘father knows best’ attitude toward investing,

More Resources

In your community – June 2012

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Free investor protection guides and resources

One of the best ways to combat investment fraud is to learn how to avoid and report it. As you probably already know, there are many great websites that offer information on how to protect yourself from a scam artist. However, we don’t always have ready access to the Internet. Also, some people and community […]