Getting yourself an education in real estate investing is not as difficult as it seems, but it does take time.
Not getting an education in real estate investing is almost criminal.
Few people are simply born with the nouse to invest successfully in property. After all, would you simply throw yourself out of an aeroplane without either the necessary training, or even a parachute?
I don't mean to say that you absolutely can't invest in property without a degree in Business, Economics, or at least a diploma in Real Estate either... Of course not (although they help)!
If you've grown up around business owners and property investors, you have an educational head-start, but even that isn't necessary for you to get your feet wet, even fairly quickly.
What I really, honestly suggest you do to get yourself an education in real estate investing, though, is read.
Even if you don't have the money to get started in investing, it's a great time to get an education in real estate investing.
Take yourself down to your local library and borrow everything you can on property, different aspects of personal finance, saving, retirement planning... One will always lead into another, and when you get through everything in your actual local library, make use of the inter-library loan system for it and other local councils, of your State Library.
This way you can get an education in Real Estate Investing for free (aside from those pesky train tickets!).
When it comes to educating yourself about property, you can never know enough. Make each deal better and better as you go along, and don't be afraid to make a few mistakes along the way. Experience is as much of an education as the books and courses, and homestudies you may come across.
Don't discard the so-called popular books in this field either. I've heard people say "I won't read that: everyone else has already read it, which probably means it's claptrap". But even if you glean one little tip from those popular books (and I have gleaned hundreds, and find them much more readable and enjoyable than the dry textbooks!), you may have gleaned the tip which makes you a million.
Strangely enough, having no money is not an excuse to avoid investing in your education.
It can be the perfect time to learn about property investing. I know it worked for me!
As a student, I never wanted to end up like my parents: still with a mortgage on a single house (the home we lived in) well into their 50s. The first book I picked up was Steve McKnight's "From 0-130 Properties in 3.5 years", and from that first read, I was hooked. I suddenly saw that property (combined with my design skills and degree) could turn into an income stream which would allow me to live the life of my dreams, be there for my family when they needed me (I realised that, even then!), and not have to slave away at a desk job for the rest of my active life. I saw no security in owning my own home if I had to work every day for years just to keep it. There had to be another way.
So, slowly, I kept reading, studying, exposing myself to new ideas and fresh designs (I love the Lifestyle and How To Channels on cable TV...). And then, just after the birth of our daughter, a landlord wanting to move back into our nice, cheaply-rented house landed us in dire straits.
Because I had never stopped educating myself, reading and dreaming, I was able to crunch the numbers and work things through enough to be able to negotiate our way into our first home, without even having enough income to our names to hold a mortgage in our names. That very action drove us to do better, and now that house is the cornerstone of our property portfolio. The plan was always never to sell it - it was as much an investment in our future as it was a place to live for a while. And that paid off.
If you learn nothing else in this game, learn the art of negotiation.
There are hundreds of books and nearly as many courses to give you an education in real estate investing. You can educate yourself through the public or private education systems, through some absolutely fabulous homestudy courses like the one I did from 21st Century Education (covering shares and business and many other useful topics), or simply through reading voraciously.
To see what I mean...
I've put a link below to the course I did. You can ask them for a free introductory DVD and eBook, and they are incredibly helpful!
The important thing is to increase your Financial IQ so that you are informed enough to take the first step. And then it's much, much easier!