It is a little early now to start listing our resolutions for the coming new year.  But it is now about the right time to be thinking about our more serious new year’s resolution, so that by this coming January they may get into their 2018 resolutions with a running start.

And if you are like most people, I feel like I can easily guess that one of your most serious resolutions has to do with keeping some money through the long year.

But if you are like most of us, you want to keep your money in a way that is not totally stupid.  That is, you probably don’t want to keep it in any bank savings account where all the bank costs and fees that accrue with every movement of your money will wipe out the tiny annual interest you make and actually finally eat its way into a loss of your original deposit.

It may even be better to put some of your money under your mattress.  At least the original deposit will stay put there, however, if you do this, do not tell anyone that you are very smart just because you have your money under your bed, because the inflation whatever it is will also depreciate the value of all this money.

So, if you are like most of us, you would actually like to work your money to make more money, as smart people do.

To do this, you enter a competition again a lot of smart people including a lot of people who are much more intelligent and knowledgeable about the market movement than you.  Don’t be offended by this.  But your entering today’s money markets as a private investor gives you about the same chance of success as a new criminal entering the today’s crime scene and competing against a modern police data base that will trace and then predict and pre-empt every step you try to make.

This is because so many private investors start out thinking they will beat the system with their own wonderful insights when in fact the system has a vast data base  that has beaten the private investor even before the competition begins.

Do you want to suddenly begin a career in boxing against seasoned professional boxers when you have not yet had even three or four lessons in the ring?  That is another way to make a killing – your own killing, it looks like.

But it is possible to have a much more satisfying experience as an investor or in anything else if you hold off until you have had enough training and education in the field to become a serious player.

It does cost a little money to get this education, but that cost is not as dramatic as the losses of some windfall of money that come the way of some unlearned tyro via – for example – the windfall money of a large settlement or an inheritance, not to speak of a large lottery prize.
So, I leave you with this for a hopefully happy new year in money.  Before you think of tying up whatever money you’re not spending into investments, consider taking at least a few financial planning courses at respected universities, such as the Extension Certificate programs at USC or the Extension Course programs at UCLA.  For example, UCLA is starting one such Extension Course on January 10 – “Personal Financial Planning; Accelerated Program Info – Session Webinar.”

Any such Extension Certificate program or Extension Course at USC or UCLA is of course going to cost hundreds of dollars. Only those of us who have experienced watching our windfall money vanish on our computer screens in lumps of thousands of dollars per hour while monitoring our stock prices will understand that when you put hundreds of dollars into your own education, at least you get something – some education that cannot be taken away from you later -- back from all of your work.

Chris Sharp- Commentary

Chris Sharp is an Educator and a prize-winning professional writer. He has recently published a new book titled How to Like a Human Being . Sharp's latest book is an Amazon Kindle collection of his published short stories, Every Kind of Angel . His commentaries represent his own opinions and not necessarily the views of any organization he may be affiliated with or those of The SCV Beacon.