Don’t Lose Faith You Can Do It! Becoming a Financial Literacy Master

0Young grasshoppers like many of you I am occasionally frustrated by how much there is to know about finances. Just like in medicine, there is a lot to learn and the path to knowledge is often fraught with poor advice. In order to keep from losing faith in my abilities to grow my financial ninja skills, I often have to remind myself about my journey in medicine.

I am sure that many of you in just about any skilled profession (Lawyer, dentist, accountant, engineer, teacher, electrician, chef, entrepreneur, plumber, mechanic, carpenter, etc) there was a steep learning curve, and at times it was difficult to know where you were on that curve.

Learning-CurveAs a first year medical student you knew that you were clueless as you started taking that first sip out of the fire hydrant of knowledge. You were naively confident by the time you graduated medical school. You thought you knew what the practice of medicine was until you started residency, from there you realized how little you really do know about applying your new found knowledge to actually care for someone. The curve up to mastery is and still continues to be bumpy but it starts out during residency and really takes off as you practice independently as an attending.

When I get discouraged, I try to remind myself that I am back on this learning curve. When I first started, I knew how clueless I was about financial literacy. As I would read (books, blogs, forums) I started to feel much more confident, I definitely did gain knowledge. However, it was taking that first step that may me realize that there will be bumps along the road but that there are others out there that are willing to help you attain mastery.

And remember, when “the man” sweeps the leg, don’t give up!

sweep the leg karate-kid




2 thoughts on “Don’t Lose Faith You Can Do It! Becoming a Financial Literacy Master

  1. Nice writeup! I went through the same cycle that you mention in the article and I still go through it 🙂

    What I have come to realize is two things:

    + One’s mind has to be ready.
    Once I discovered Financial Independence, everything around me started making sense. For example, yahoo finance became so much more meaningful and so did all the wonderful blogs like MMM. FI gave me the drive to learn!

    2. One has to become aware of the different strategies to invest.

    For example, index investing (VTSAX), dividend investing (VDIGX, VHDYX, dividend stocks), tax efficient investing (VCADX, VTCLX, ….), International investing (VTMGX, …), Rental income, …..
    Once you know the above pieces, forging a path to FI comes as a natural next step.

    It is slow initially, but in my readings, I have found that most FIRE bloggers started seeing very visible compounding gains after 3 years. So, that is what I am doing…putting my blinders on and waiting for three years!

    Best of luck to both of us, hey 🙂


  2. Thanks for the post, it is great to hear that your experience is similar to mine. I have stumbled quite a bit with rental income, but I have definitely learned a lot from it. For now, low fee/low cost index investing (love the compounding gains) and trimming the fat (expenses) have been working the best for me.

    I have also found that with passive investing has given me much more freedom than when I was actively managing stocks.


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