Everything you ever needed to know about investing, scribbled on cocktail napkins
Warren Buffett once said “there seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.” Those words, of course, can be applied to just about anything, but the Berkshire Hathaway BRK.A, -0.51% boss was clearly referring — and rightfully so — to investing.
For the uninitiated, getting a handle on the market can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t need to be. A basic understanding can go a long way when it comes to putting money to work. That’s the general idea behind the Napkin Finance website, which takes complex concepts and distills them into “snackable and digestible” information that fits on, as the name implies, the back of a napkin.
But even if you’re well-versed in the finance game, there’s still plenty to glean from the site. Below each napkin graphic is longer text post explaining the concepts in detail with the help of more visuals and links to outside sources.
Tina Hay crafted the plan for Napkin Finance while she was attending Harvard Business School, seeing an opportunity for a simple approach to lifting the veil on everything from loans and insurance to entrepreneurship and retirement.
“DaVinci and Freud used sketches, drawings to derive information about numbers and quantitative data,” she told an audience in a speech at Cornell University last year. “I wanted to provide an attractive way of understanding that would allow people to easily absorb financial concepts.”
The website lists 53 “napkins” on investing alone — here are just a few examples to help newbies get a baseline understanding of how it all works: