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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MarketWatch

www.marketwatch.com

MarketWatch is an excellent stock information website from the Wall Street Journal. It provides comprehensive information on stocks and companies.

To use the site, type in the name of the company or stock symbol for which you are looking for in the search box. Once you have found the company, an overview of today’s share price and price per earning ratio will come up, along with a chart that shows the price changes by the hour. Other company news and press releases for the day are listed. There are other tabs under the company name that include:

Profile – gives a general overview of the company and its executives, along with its headquarters address and phone number.

Charts – under the Time button provides a daily, weekly, and monthly chart of the company’s stock price. The compare button underneath it on the same page will show an comparison of Indexes (S & P 500, Dow Jones, NASDAQ, commodities) and Industries (banks, health care, hotels, etc.) for the same time period you have chosen.

Financials – includes the earnings for the company per year, along with its gross income, net income, income tax paid, etc.

Historical Quotes – provides the historical quote for a stock going back to 1971 .  Just start typing in the date. A pop up box will show a calendar with the month and date. Just click which month and date you need to find out the high, low, and close of the stock.

Analyst Estimates, Options, and SEC Filings are more of the tabs that can be clicked to find out information on a company.

General buttons near the top of the home page include general news of the markets, along with investing and personal finance news.

Economic Indicators

www.gpoaccess.gov/indicators/index.html

This GPO Access site pulls together economic indicators and statistics from a number of sources into one easy-to-use tool.  Select a month and year (1998-present) and get data on income, output, spending, employment, wages, production, prices, money, credit, markets and more.  Users can also search by keyword for specific needs.

Gold Price

www.goldprice.org

From LII: “This site provides charts of the current gold price in 23 major currencies. It also provides ‘timely and accurate silver and gold price commentary, gold price history charts for the past 30 days, 60 days, 1, 5 and 10 years and gold futures quotes and charts.’ The site notes that ‘the gold price reflects not only the inherent value of gold, but also the relative strength of the currency in which it is quoted.'”