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Fundamentals
Fundamentals

Starting on the Road to Financial Security - Achieving financial security is a process that takes time, takes effort and may take some sacrifices. By starting early and doing a few things right from the beginning, it will be easier and minimize the sacrifices you may be forced to make later. Length - 7:42

Financial Planning Basics - In times of economic uncertainty, understanding and using some fundamental planning may help you be prepared for whatever the future holds. Length - 5:50

Establishing Good Financial Habits - We all tend to develop habits that provide a rhythm or structure to our daily lives. Once those habits are developed, they can be hard to break. Building good financial habits can provide a rhythm, or sense of control, for your financial life as well. Length - 4:38

Build a Solid Credit History - A solid credit history can be one of your most useful and powerful financial assets. A record of prudent credit use and prompt payments can enable you to not only qualify for credit when you need it, but it may also enable you to get a lower interest rate on your borrowing. Length - 4:09

Organizing Your Financial Life - There can be a lot of paperwork handling your finances. Having an organized system instead of just putting everything into a drawer or box can save time and reduce the stress of not being able to find something when you need it. Length - 5:31

Fundamentals of Borrowing - The sensible use of debt should be part of a sound financial strategy. Debt can enable you to enjoy things that otherwise are currently beyond your reach. Borrowing can also have its ugly side. Developing good borrowing habits early can help you avoid a lot of anguish later. Length - 6:01

Fundamentals of Planning for Retirement - Most people identify a financially secure retirement as one of their primary financial goals. By spending a little bit of time now and doing some relatively easy things, you can put yourself on the road to a financially secure retirement. Length - 6:01

Fundamentals of Insurance - Insurance provides protection. As simple as that sounds, many individuals spend little time considering all their insurance options to make sure they have the insurance they need at the most reasonable price. Length - 7:40

Fundamentals of Investing - Investing is the process of acquiring assets that you hope will grow in value This podcast addresses investing in stocks and bonds and various ways to own them. Length - 7:14

Fundamentals of Income Taxes - Our federal income tax system was started in 1913 as a way for the government to collect revenue. Since then, the laws have been expanded and revised hundreds of times. If history is any guide, you can expect the tax laws to continue to change. Length - 6:11

New Life Events

Filling Out The Paperwork For Your First Job - After the interview, the salary negotiation and getting hired, you will have to handle some of the financial details of your job. Understanding those details ahead of time and being prepared to address them can make the paperwork much easier. Length - 4:13

Renting your First Apartment - Renting that first apartment can be exciting and a little bit scary. You will probably look at several apartments to find the one that has the location you want, the amenities you need and that is affordable. That is the exciting part. This podcast describes what come next. Length - 3:33

Buying Your First Car - Buying a car is exciting, potentially stressful, and often expensive. To the process easier, consider that there are three parts of the process - choosing the car you want, negotiating the purchase, and paying for the car. Length - 6:11

Establishing a Relationship with a Financial Institution - A good working relationship with a financial institution is important. There are probably dozens that offer the products and services you want located close by or with which you can create an electronic relationship. Choose wisely. Length - 5:20

Getting and Using Your First Credit Card - A "first" credit card can be exciting, tempting and intimidating. Credit cards are a great convenience, but they are also borrowing money that must be repaid. Here are some ideas to keep in mind as you get your credit card and use it. Length - 5:21

Filing Your First Income Tax Return - It may sound frightening, but it not as bad as it may sound. Filing income tax returns is something that everyone has been doing since 1913 and something you will be doing for the rest of your life. Knowing some basics can make the whole process easier. Length - 6:46

Buying Your First House - Owning your own home has been part of the "American Dream" for years. The pride of ownership and sense of "belonging somewhere" have motivated over 60% of all households to own their own homes. In addition, there can be true financial rewards from home ownership. Length - 5:52

Handling Your First Retirement Plan Distribution When Changing Jobs - If you have participated in a company retirement plan like a 401(k) plan and change jobs, you will probably receive a distribution of the funds you have accumulated. How you handle the distribution is important. Length - 5:51

Day-to-Day Issues

Keeping Your Financial Life Simple - Unless you are very different from most other people, you do not want to spend lots of time handling your finances, you do not want to worry about your finances and you do not want to make your financial life any more complex that it has to be. Length - 3:25

Make Your Money Work For You - Your money is an asset and it should work hard for you in the same way you work hard to earn it. While this may sound very general, there are three components of putting your money to work that you should pay particular attention to. Length - 6:58

Ten Reasons to Consider Online Banking - The Internet continues to change the way we live. Online banking provides many cost and time saving opportunities. Check them out. Length - 3:16
Certificates of Deposit for Your Cash Reserves - CDs can be the investment vehicle of choice for relatively short term cash reserves. Learn how these promissory notes can be part of your total investment portfolio. Length - 3:44
Automatic Savings Plans to Reach Your Financial Goals - One of the simplest and most effective tools to use to reach any savings goal is an automatic savings program. Making the savings decision once and then letting it work every month can help you reach your goals. Length - 5:25
Planning for Major Purchases or Expenses - There are always things you want to buy in addition to your normal living expenses. It may be a computer, clothes, a vacation or something for your home. Let's look at some of the financial factors you should consider when making those purchases. Length - 6:39
Preparing to Borrow - Having an understanding of what a lender considers when making a loan approval decision can help relieve some of the anxiety of applying for a loan. This podcast also describes some actions to take before applying to improve your chances of approval. Length - 4:58
Pay More Than The Credit Card Minimum - Every month you have the choice of how much to pay on your credit card. This podcast discusses why paying more than what is required can save you money in the short and long terms. Length - 4:33
Home Equity Loans - The equity in your home can be a powerful financial tool. Learn how these loans work and why they can be an attractive form of "tax advantaged" borrowing for you. Length - 4:37
Safe Deposit Boxes - Safe deposit boxes are handle tools. They provide a safe place away from your home or office to store valuables. Learn ways to most effectively use your safe deposit box. Length - 3:22
Longer Term Issues

Defining and Setting Goals for a Good Financial Life - Defining your financial goals can be difficult, just like reaching them. Also, defining your goals can be a process and they may change over time. Let's start with some general ideas that could be the definition of a good financial life. Length - 4:17

Building Your Financial Literacy - Starting your financial life and making the decisions can be intimidating. The issues can be complex and the consequences of your decisions can be profound. You must assume the responsibility for making and living with your financial decisions. Length - 4:37

Getting the Life Insurance You Need - Life insurance can be an important part of a solid financial plan. Along with what type of policy to buy, you must decide how much coverage to buy. This podcast offers some guidelines. Length - 5:39

Building a Stock Portfolio - Whether you are just starting to invest or already have a portfolio, reviewing some tried and true portfolio building strategies may be helpful. Length - 6:32

Investing in Mutual Funds - Mutual funds have become the investment vehicle of choice for millions of Americans. This podcast explains some of the reasons for the popularity and provides some tips on what to look for when making a mutual fund choice. Length - 6:17

Investing in Bonds - Bonds can have a place in many investors' portfolios. There are many issues to consider when evaluating a bond investment strategy. Learn how maturities, ratings and types of bonds can influence your strategy. Length - 5:25

Investing in U. S. Treasuries - Many people invest in U. S. Treasury obligations because of their safety. But, there is more to Treasuries than just safety.. Learn more about this form of investing to see if it has a place in your portfolio. Length - 4:47

Considering Starting a Business - Starting a business and being your own boss is a dream of many people. It can also be an overwhelming task. However, millions have been successful and millions have failed. There are no guarantees, but here are some of the issues you should consider. Length - 6:31

Beginning to Think About Estate Planning - When you hear the term "estate planning," you probably think of estate taxes and think that estate planning is only for older people or those with lots of assets. Estate planning is about estate taxes and quite a bit more. Length - 5:55

Family Issues

Marriage and Money - If you are newly married, or planning on getting married soon, allocate some time to consider some of the financial aspects of marriage. Marriage will change how you handle your finances and it can also be the source of anguish. Learn some things you may want to consider. Length - 8:03

Having Children and Money - Having a child is a major event in your family and for your finances. As you prepare for being a parent, be sure to consider the financial impact that a child will have. The additional costs of buying diapers and baby food may not seem too significant, but just wait. Length - 4:31

Teaching Young Children About Money - It is never too early or too late to help your child learn about finances. Good habits can be learned at any age and the more informed your children are about money, the more likely they are to be financially responsible adults. Length - 4:54

Beginning to Think About College for Children - As you probably know, college is expensive. As you may not know, college costs are rising faster than inflation. You may want to start thinking about funding your children's college costs now. The sooner you start, the easier it will be. Length - 6:45

Divorce and Money - Divorce is one of the most traumatic events that in a person's life. The emotional aspects are difficult to handle and then there are the issues with children and the financial aspects. This podcast addresses some financial issues to consider. Length - 6:38

Protecting Your Finances
Prevent Credit Identity Theft - When someone uses your credit identity the costs and aggravation can add up. Learn some tips to keep your credit identity secure. Length - 4:08
Monitor Your Financial Identity by Reviewing Your Credit Report - One step to ensure that no one has stolen your financial identity or established fraudulent credit in your name is to review your credit report. Length - 3:34
Protecting Your Credit Card Activities - Along with the convenience and benefits of credit cards, comes the risk that a thief will steal your card or your card information. Learn some guidelines to protect your credit card activities. Length - 3:37
Protecting Your Internet Activities and Electronic Data - With more of our financial activities taking place online, it is important to know some steps you can take to reduce the risk that someone will illegally gain access to your private information or financial accounts. Length - 7:50
Protecting Against Investment Scams on the Internet - The Internet has become the communication channel of choice for many investors. The Internet has also become a popular place for thieves and scam artists to find victims. Learn about some of the types of scams and how to protect yourself. Length - 6:13
Examples of Common Email Scams - Most email scams end up involving requests to send money, cash checks, establish business relationships or requests for information. Being aware of these scams and using common sense can help protect you and your finances. Length - 6:51
Protecting Your Mail - The mail you receive and send includes information that deserves special attention. Everything from account numbers and balances on financial accounts to the name and account number on checks you mail can be valuable to thieves and other scam artists. Length - 3:04
Shredding Personal Documents and When to Dispose of Them - When you put a piece of paper in the trash it can be difficult know what happens to it. Every step that occurs once the trash leaves your control has risk that someone will find personal information they can use to cause you harm. Length - 6:10