“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest,” Benjamin Franklin once said. And, knowledge is critical when it comes to growing your money through investments.

“If investing were easy, everyone would be rich. And, as we know, everyone isn’t rich,” said Richard Everett, a financial professional and past president of the Connecticut-based Everett Financial Group. “Investing isn’t an exact science. In fact, it’s more of a craft and you develop skill over time. If there were some sort of magic formula, algorithm, textbook or college course, everyone would be using that formula to become a successful investor.”

In Everett’s two-session short-course “How to be a Great Investor,” participants will learn how to “stack the odds of winning the investment game” in their favor. The class is 1-3 p.m. March 21 and 28 at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Renaissance Academy, 117 Herald Court, Suite 211 in Punta Gorda.

“Folks should walk away from this class as better investors, using the knowledge and skills learned in my class to enhance their returns and make fewer mistakes,” Everett said. “My class is aimed at making participants more knowledgeable, whether they use an investment professional or they become do-it-yourself investors, using plain common-sense strategies to invest.”

Everett began his 35-year financial services career in 1984 when he founded the Everett Financial Group. Before selling his firm in 2008, Everett held designations as a Registered Financial Consultant, Registered Representative, and Registered Investment Advisor. A past member of the International Association of Financial Planners, he was named the 1996 Financial Planner of the Year by First Financial Planners. He has taught hundreds of seminars, hosted his own radio and television shows and authored several books, including “How to Be a Great Investor.”

“My No. 1 principle is very simple: Your investment success is directly tied to the price you paid for your investment,” Everett said.

Buying an investment at the right price, when an investment is cheap, undervalued or goes on sale, is key for investors who hope to “stack the odds of winning the investment game” in their favor, according to Everett.

“Stock A could be trading at $120 per share a year ago. After a year, that stock has fallen to $20 a share and appears to have levelled off, which is the time to buy,” Everett said. “I’ll teach the class to use a filter or checklist to help determine whether they should buy a stock at any given time.”

Everett will define mutual funds, exchange traded funds, stocks, bonds, REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) and annuities, describe how they work and discuss how to incorporate them into an investment strategy.

That strategy is based on three things Everett said every investor must consider: their risk tolerance, their investment goals and their time horizon.

“Every client’s [investor’s] portfolio must be geared to that individual’s risk tolerance,” Everett said. “For example, a 25-year old may be completely risk averse and therefore should keep their risk low.”

Portfolio volatility is how much one’s investments fluctuate on a day-to-day or year-to-year basis.

“We’ll talk about strategies for lowering portfolio volatility,” Everett said. “While most people don’t enjoy volatility, I’ve always found wild swings downward as an opportunity to buy, for example, a blue-chip stock at a discounted price.”

Taxes are always a consideration and Everett will discuss how to reduce the tax burden on one’s investments, using Roth IRAs, Roth 401Ks, tax-free bonds and other tax-deferred investment vehicles.

For more information or to register for “How to be a Great Investor,” call 941-505-0130.

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