Stocks fell rapidly early Monday morning, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 1,000 points. Yes, it probably sounds like I'm speaking another language, but bear with me. News of the stock market plummet is difficult to understand, because it often uses economic theory and language that only a select number of people go through the trouble to learn. The easy thing to get from the recent stock market plummet is this: China devalued its currency, which is affecting markets around the world in a bad way. If you want to know more than that, there are so many resources to help you understand the stock market, so that when bad things happen, you'll know exactly what that could mean for you.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average — the number that nose-dived dramatically Monday morning — is just a fancy name for a market average number that's designed to tell you how well companies that are traded on the stock market are doing generally. Exxon, General Motors, IBM, etc. are the kinds of companies whose "market health" is averaged to give you the Dow number. Understanding numbers like the Dow index and other things about the stock market can help you understand the health of the economy, which directly affects your dollar. Here are four easy resources to help you better understand the confusing jumble of words, graphs, and numbers that often represent the stock market.
In A Nut Shell
Kurzgesagt, meaning "in a nut shell" in German, is a YouTube channel that breaks down complex concepts like space, time, evolution, and global energy with animated videos. The videos are narrated by what sounds like an attractive British man, and they usually aren't longer than three or four minutes. Their video on the stock market explains "the basics of the stock exchanges. With robots. Robots are kewl!"
Investopedia is an online guide to markets and economics for beginners. It has tutorials, graphs, videos, a stock simulator, and even a dictionary of Wall Street jargon.
How Stuff Works
Thank goodness for How Stuff Works. The website features a four-page explanation of stocks and the stock market, and true to the website's form, it's all broken down in digestible language that anyone could understand. Throughout the article, the writer uses a hypothetical pizza business to break down otherwise confusing concepts, and pizza makes everything more digestible! ('Cause you eat it. Get it?)
Learn To Earn
Learn To Earn is a book by Peter Lynch and John Rothchild designed to "explain the basic principles of the stock market and business in an investing guide that will enlighten and entertain anyone who is high-school age or older," according to the Amazon description. Reviews on the book say is one of the best available for beginners, and it's not super boring, since it's designed to keep the attention of young people who want to learn more about the stock market and investing.