If you thought YouTube was just a repository for free music and adorable cat videos, you may be surprised at the width and breadth of educational materials that are available on this site. Numerous users have put up tutorials and lectures on financial management. For example, there are instructors that take you through the equivalent of a college-level financial management course, lesson by lesson. Best of all, you don’t have to pay for it. For starters consider checking out:
Marnie Aznar’s 12 Part Series on Personal Finance
William Ackman’s Everything You Need to Know About Finance and Investing in Under an Hour
Robert Schiller’s Yale Course on Financial Markets
Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad
Libraries are another incredible resource, and in particular, you can find a wealth of personal finance education books for free at your local library. Books like “Personal Finance For Dummies” and “Investing For Dummies” by Eric Tyson are both great places to start if you want in overview of the basics. For business education works like “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Leap … And Others Don’t” by Jim Collins provide a quality overview of running a small business successfully. If your library doesn’t have what you’re looking for, ask a librarian. Most libraries are connected through an interlibrary loan system so you can order books that are in other libraries in the area. Alternatively, if you have a college or university in your area, check out their library. They may be more likely to have some of the more advanced financial management titles, especially if the school has a lot of business students.
Study.com offers a range of free classes as well as many classes with a price tag. These classes run the gamut of subjects, and the site certainly doesn’t ignore financial management. As an investor, you may want to look into courses about the cost of capital or accounting risk and return. This site also links to classes from prestigious schools such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or Stanford University among others, and although you do not earn credits for these classes, you get the same information on entrepreneurial finance or maintaining financial focus as the graduate level finance majors at these institutions receive.
The SBA Learning Center
Another way to get a personal finance education is through the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA is devoted to helping small business owners get started and achieve the highest level of success possible. The organization does a number of things including guaranteeing loans. But did you know they also offer a learning center? Through the SBA Learning Center, you can explore online modules or training sessions about a range of topics including general financial management, buying a business, selling a business, understanding taxes and much more. The SBA also has a number of local groups. If you have an active group in your area, you may be able to do anything from taking classes to finding a mentor. The SBA local offerings are great resources to explore, and in some cases, you can even obtain a small business loan – which is important as small business owners tend to be richer than non-owners.
OpenLearningWorld is another website designed to share information with people for free. In particular, the site offers a free basic finance class for people who are not finance majors. This 18-hour downloadable course covers assets and liabilities, understanding cash flow, reading balance sheets, analyzing ratios, and understanding depreciation, tracking inventory, budgeting and more, making it ideal for personal finance enthusiasts.
Learning about financial management can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a number of resources that will help you get a free personal finance education that can help you along the way. Everything from videos to books to classes to working with mentors can be accessed for free if you know where to look. Start exploring the above sources, and experience how this new information can help growth your wealth!
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