Nothing had prepared investors, who had been living high on the hog throughout the Roaring Twenties, for the disaster that hit them at the end of October 1929. Crash of stock market prices can be expected from time to time as markets correct themselves following false highs but what happened that October began an economic downturn that lasted for years. Whichever way you decide to invest there are some "rules" which carry across regardless. One of the fundamentals is to know what you are doing. Without this you are not investing but gambling. Let's take an example of the silver markets about 30 years ago. Two brothers Nelson Bunker Hunt and William Herbert Hunt decided to corner the silver market along with some of their business associates. The Dutch as leaders in this new field soon began to develop some of the financial instruments that we are all still familiar with today. They introduced things such as traded options, short selling, unit trusts and even debt-equity swaps which were revolutionary at the time. After the early success of those Dutch pioneers other countries soon began to see how they could copy this new trading model. That is a feature that you probably won't fully appreciate until you have had the pleasure of using one of them. Or alternatively you have made yourself dizzy flicking backwards and forwards in one of the older style ones! So do you really need to have a stock market dictionary? No but once you have got yourself a good one to help you fathom out the impenetrable terminology you will find that your investing life becomes so much easier than before. Here we are unexpectedly in a traumatic situation and we get hit by the double whammy of sudden debt and guilt! If you think it will never happen to you don't be too sure. Think of something as simple as an accident, it doesn't even have to be your fault, and you get hospitalized for a couple of months. While a couple of extra days won't make much difference at this stage they could add months or even years on to the length of your repayment schedule. And the old adage of time is money is very true if that happens. That's your time and more importantly your money! Certainly don't dismiss the profit making companies who offer bill consolidation services out of hand without checking all the figures very carefully.