This website is brought to you by the MIT Investment Management Company (MITIMCo), the group that manages MIT's Endowment and financial assets. MITIMCo's aim is to be an early partner to the world's best investment firms. The investment returns from these endeavors support MIT's mission of groundbreaking research and world class education. Learn more about MITIMCo at www.mitimco.org. This website, becomeaninvestor.org, was first published in early 2023.
We think the investment industry could stand to be more meritocratic and diverse. Those who grew up around investing, or went to elite schools, or have connections in the industry seem to be more likely to be able to enter the industry and thrive. For everyone else, it is really hard. We are happy to see capable people thrive whatever their background, but would like to see the talent pool broadened. It's still really hard to break into the industry, but we hope it will become less hard over time, and we want to play a role in that.
The mission statement of the site is this: To share as broadly as possible the resources we have found helpful for learning about investing early on, to help passionate aspiring investors from every type of background pursue their interest.
We hope the resources on this site can take you from “what is a stock and what is a bond?” through to some of the basics of investing, and set your on your way to getting started professionally in the investment industry if that is your goal. Sadly, I doubt that these resources alone will make you a good investor. At MITIMCo, when we hire someone new to the field, we guide them through these readings and each day they are discussing them with us and applying what they learn through analysis of individual investment firms and companies. This “theory + practice” approach is powerful, and can’t be replicated by imbibing information alone. As your knowledge grows and your interest builds, we would encourage you to start practicing what you’re reading, and seeking out mentors and peers with whom you can accelerate your learning. For that reason, we have included a list of quality networks and events where you can start getting to know those types of people. We have also seen people build a website with a very simple portfolio and start writing up and sharing what they are learning, to get feedback and create tangible measures of progress. A simple way to start is writing up notes and takeaways from books you read and companies you learn about, and then that can develop into real world investment ideas.
Please note that, if you read MITIMCo’s Investment Principles, you will see that we are long-term, fundamental, bottom-up investors at heart. So the readings you find here will weight towards that direction – they are the resources that our team members used to learn about investing. However, please remember there are many valid ways to invest. The lack of resources around trading strategies or macro investing simply reflects that we know nothing about those areas, so you’ll find better resources on them elsewhere.
Some further notes:
If you have feedback about what tools are most helpful, want to suggest other tools, or have other feedback, please DM me on Twitter @joelmcohen. This site is very much a work in progress.
Lastly, if you like the site please share it with others!
Here is one of my favorite podcast episodes, which tells the story of the amazing Rose Blumkin, founder of the extremely successful Nebraska Furniture Mart. Mrs. Blumkin was a poor immigrant little to no formal schooling who built a great business. Her story demonstrates what is possible with a ton of hard work, determination, and ingenuity. She sold her business to Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway for $60 million in 1983 and then continued working in the store until she was over 100 years old.
Sign up for updates from MITIMCo