"All the math you need in the stock market you get in the fourth grade." - Peter Lynch.
You are wrong to think only professionals can invest in stocks and mutual funds. If you think you cannot go on to make money because you don't have any experience whatsoever in investing, you are wrong.
I say this because, unlike some decades ago when information was scarce, there is much today about the stock market and any company listed. You can access this information without even leaving your sitting room.
The problem you would most likely face would be making decisions because of too much information, which you might need help to analyze. However, this is but a minor obstacle. The effort required to learn how to analyze information is the only thing between you and your financial independence.
When you learn about a company from the balance sheets and profit and loss statements, you get a better idea about the company, its products, and its profit.
Before investing in stocks, how can I learn more about the industry and economy?
There are many reliable resources to learn about the industries and economy of our country. You can head over to India Brand Equity Foundation or IBEF, and here you can get most of the information about the Indian Economy, Exports/Imports, various industries, business opportunities, industrial development and economic growth of states/UTs, and a lot more, which are essential to learning before investing in stocks.
Also, at IBEF, you can access all the information without any membership fees or charges. Other reliable resources to learn about industry and economy include Economic Survey; and the National Portal of India.
There are also paid membership services that many websites offer, like; Value Research Online, Katalyst Wealth, Dalal Street Investment Journals, etc. These websites can help you find good stocks for investment. But always do your homework before making an investment decision.
You can also get more knowledge through courses and from books. And there is no shortage of such materials. Below are some of the best books you should read to learn about stock selection strategies;
Beating the street from Peter Lynch
Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
Common Stock and Uncommon Profit by Philip A Fisher
One Up On Wall Street By Peter Lynch
Buffetology by Marry Buffet
Security Analysis By Benjamin Graham (This is a challenging book and not recommended to beginners)
I recommend you read those books before you venture into investing. Also, only read the jargon in financial newspapers after you read these books. You can read these books more than twice to understand what they want to convey. On every repetition, you would learn something new. This will surely make you a better investor and you would feel confident.
This article is one of the excerpts of my book" 60 Minutes Guide to Building Wealth: All the Mistakes You Should Avoid, And Things You Must Know and Follow