Financial Education From FINRA

Navigating finances can be difficult: you have to know about budgets, interest rates, mortgage calculators, IRA’s, 401k’s, durable power of attorney documents…the list can seem endless.

Thankfully the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has a helpful way to educate everyone in these matters and more. FINRA.org explains in their “About FINRA” page that they are…

“…dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation of broker-dealers.

FINRA is not part of the government. We’re a not-for-profit organization authorized by Congress to protect America’s investors by making sure the broker-dealer industry operates fairly and honestly.

So, in that spirit they have created a detailed, free educational resource to help consumers, even those who may not be investors per se, navigate just about every conceivable financial situation.

When you visit the FINRA Investor Education Foundation you will find the following setup:

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Since that type is a bit small, let me just tell you that each of the fifteen boxes you see here link to a detailed tutorial on a particular financial subject. The fifteen subjects are as follows:

  • Managing Money
  • Banking & Saving
  • Credit
  • Home Ownership
  • Education
  • Insurance
  • How to Invest
  • Investments
  • Retirement
  • Social Security
  • Kids and Money
  • Difficult Times
  • Protection
  • Getting Help
  • Estate Planning

Each training is self-paced, full of helpful information and may even be paused and completed at a later time. All you have to do to participate is sign up for a free account, choose the course you want to try, then follow the links. The program leads you through the process at the pace you desire.

 

 

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E-Tools You Can Use

A recent article in the Library Journal, cited below, has informed and inspired this post highlighting several useful e-tools.

C-SPAN Video Library

Do you want to see what the president said yesterday?  What about what the speaker of the house had to say about your pet issue?  The C-SPAN Video Library is the best place to begin searching for such content.  From the site: “…a way to archive and index the thousands of hours of congressional coverage produced by the network every year. The project quickly became one of the most comprehensive video archives of governmental and political content…”

Docteur Tweety

This site does charge a small fee, but it is useful to keep up with how your tweets are performing.

European Language Social Science Thesaurus

This site bills itself as “a broad-based, multilingual thesaurus for the social sciences” and is useful for those who do business within the European Union.

Google Translate Offline Capabilities

You can use Translate even when you’re offline, by taking a picture of the text in question.

The Internet Broadway Database

From the site:  “…the official database for Broadway theatre information. IBDB provides records of productions from the beginnings of New York theatre until today.”  So, it’s like imdb.com, but for theater.

Irish Films Archive

“The IFI Irish Film Archive acquires, preserves and makes available Ireland’s moving image heritage, working to ensure that Ireland’s rich and varied film history, both amateur and professional, is protected and accessible for the benefit of current and future generations. Film reels, digital materials and document collections are held in custom-built, climate-controlled vaults designed for the long- term storage of archival materials.”

Knoema

Knoema is full of helpful data on every country in the world.  “We discover, extract, and normalize data to make it usable through our open data platform. Knoema’s smart search engine moves beyond simple keyword search results to dataset discovery and auto-generated visualization collections to represent your data query.”

NewsNow

This is a UK based site, but you can personalize a free homepage with news from sources you prefer from sources all over the world.

Original article:

Price, Gary, and Henrietta Verma. “E-toolkit redux.” Library Journal, 1 Nov. 2016, p. S18+. Business Collectionhttps://goo.gl/bf4xWQ

 

Oxford Research Encyclopedias

http://oxfordre.com/

If you are researching an unfamiliar topic and seek peer-reviewed material, the Oxford Research Encyclopedias may be a good resource.  From the site:

“The OREs offer long-form overview articles written and edited by leading scholars and researchers, addressing both foundational and cutting-edge topics across the major disciplines. Oxford University Press is developing this program in response to a growing need for reliable information to be used at the start of serious research on an unfamiliar topic.

Designed to inform academic research at all levels, the Oxford Research Encyclopedias will be a constantly growing and evolving reference source. Each subject goes beyond the basic facts to contextualize topics within existing scholarship and help pave the way to deeper engagement and inquiry.”

Several different subject areas are covered, from African History to Religion, and from the link above you search the topic on the right hand side of the site.  Once you choose a link you are directed to an entire site dedicated in great detail to the topic.  One drawback to the site is that some of the information may only be accessed via subscription, though there is some free content as well.

The Commercial and Financial Chronicle

https://fraser.stlouisfed.org/title/1339

The Commercial and Financial Chronicle is a weekly business newspaper from 1871 – 1935 (with several gaps in coverage). This is another source that will provide stock, bonds, commodities prices, and financial information for this time period (besides the Wall Street Journal). The newspaper is a part of the FRASER (Federal Reserve) Archive. This Archive includes other economic information including the history of economic issues up to the U.S. budget and economic viability today.

 

Statistics of U.S. Businesses

http://www.census.gov/econ/susb/

The “Statistics of U.S. Businesses” is published annually from the Census Department. From the site, “It includes statistical data on number of business firms, the number of establishments, employment, annual payroll, and estimated receipts for most U.S. business establishments. The data is tabulated by geographic area, industry, and enterprise size.” The statistics are also listed for the entire country, by state, county, and Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Employment and payroll are some of the main areas covered. Many of the statistics are shown on Excel tables.

Historical statistics are shown here. These statistics are done annually as well and go back to 1997.

Statistic Brain

http://www.statisticbrain.com/

Statistic Brain Research Institute provides statistics on all sorts of subjects. Financial, marketing, industry, company, demographic, geographic, crime, health, food, people, sports, media, technology, educational, and government are just some of the main header statistics that are listed. There are more subject listings under each heading. Or, a Google-like search box is also provided to do a statistics search. An example of a search for government information provides the Presidential Election Voter Statistics. The source of the information, a research date, a years’ range coverage (1952-2012), and turnout demographics with percentages are listed.

Amortization Calculator

http://www.calculator.net/amortization-calculator.html

From the site, “This amortization calculator gives out the annual or monthly amortization schedule of a one time fixed interest loan. This calculator also gives out the monthly payment and total interest to be paid.” Put the loan amount, loan term in years, and the interest rate (APR) into the calculator and it will calculate the above information. The site also gives the definition of what amortization means.

For a mortgage calculator, please click on this link.