Market Mad House

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

Market Wisdom

Twelve Ways to Increase your Knowledge

Learning how to increase your knowledge is the key to success in our information-driven economy.

In fact, America’s three richest people; Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and super investor Warren Buffett, are knowledge workers. To explain, knowledge workers use in-depth information they learn through regular study to succeed.

For instance, Buffett spends much of his time reading and studying financial reports. In addition, both Bezos and Gates are bookworms who regularly take time off to read and study. Thus, all three men acquire knowledge which gives them an advantage over their competition.

How to Increase your Knowledge

1. Read nonfiction books. When you read for pleasure read non fiction. To make it easier to read begin with areas of knowledge you enjoy. Importantly, Gates posts lists of nonfiction books he reads at his Gates Notes blog.

2. Try to read nonfiction books or articles on subjects you are not familiar with regularly. For instance, if your expertise is finance or technology, try reading about history, politics, law, psychology, sociology, or philosophy for a change.

3. Read not watch a wide variety of news each day. For instance, read a daily newspaper; if you can find one, or visit the website of a good daily newspaper every day. Importantly, Buffett reads The Wall Street Journal each day. Hint, The Guardian is an excellent daily newspaper and its website is free.

4. Try to read at least one nonfiction book a week.

5. Expose yourself to new ideas all the time. Thus read a nonfiction book on a subject that’s new to you at least a month. 

6. Try to identify one new subject or idea to study each week.

You can Increase Your Knowledge

7. Read news or opinions that challenge your ideas regularly. If you are a liberal check out conservative websites like The National Review, Reason, or The American Conservative weekly. If you are conservative read liberal outlets like The Washington Post and The Atlantic every week.

8. Learn to ignore shallow sources of information such as TV news, Facebook, documentaries, and Twitter.

9. Take college-level courses or attend lectures for fun and information rather than grades. Hint Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) use streaming video to let you watch many of the world’s best lectures for free.

10. Take time off to read and study. For instance, set aside one day a week to read nonfiction books or watch MOOCs. Or set a few nights a week aside for reading.

11. Locate sources of free and low-cost information. Hint: most public libraries have excellent selections of nonfiction books available for free. In addition, many libraries will let you order almost any book in print for free using inter-library loans. Finally, Amazon Kindle offers instant access to almost every book in print.

12. Pick other people’s brains. When you run into somebody knowledgeable about a subject, ask them about it. In particular, ask professionals in other fields what you should know about their business.

Finally, understand that learning is a lifetime’s occupation. Warren Buffett is 88 years old; and he is still learning, reading, and studying every day. Buffett is more successful than ever at that age because he keeps learning. You can be just as successful if you learn to never stop acquiring knowledge.