How FinancingLife.org Will Help You
Create Your Roadmap to Financial Independence
Take control of your finances — enable your life dreams!
Time-Proven Investing Wisdom
The secret to financing life boils down to four principles:
- start saving early,
- diversify your investments,
- minimize costs, and
- stick to your plan!
On this website we have a Learning Center where you will find free video tutorials like these:
Common Sense Investing: Ten Simple Rules to Finance Your Dreams (11 short videos)
Learn from a non-profit educator you can trust:
- The ten rules to successful investing
- How to write a personal investment plan
- How to diversify your investments
- How to recognize a good mutual funds
- How to be a tax-savvy investor
Why Bother With Bonds (4 short videos) and Bond Basics (5 short videos)
Learn why both stocks and bonds are essential for every portfolio. Learn why, and how to use bonds to control your investing risk and build an all-weather portfolio including CDs, bonds, and bond funds—even during low interest rates.
We also offer inexpensive paperback and ebook tutorials. Consider these formats if you like to learn at your own pace, mark with notes, use as reference, give as a gift, or even just to support this non-profit educational website (thanks!).
There are other books that are gems hidden amongst bewildering garbage. But we sort that out for you and provide you some good investing book recommendations. Once you learn the common sense investing principles, you’ll be able to distinguish the good from the bad on your own.
Investing is sometimes stressful to many, but you can eliminate that stress by learning the common sense investing principles. I’m also going to help you where people make common mistakes. I’ll show you:
- why to not confuse speculating with investing (we’re all about investing here),
- why to avoid market timing, or to guess future interest rates (because you can’t; nobody can),
- why to not pick individual stocks (hint: it’s taking extra risk you are not compensated for),
- how to recognize good mutual funds (hint: it’s not the number of stars),
- how to choose an investment adviser (and whether you really need one)
But, don’t take my word for it!
Consider what these professional money managers said:
— Allan S. Roth, Financial and Investment Advisor, Wealth Logic, Colorado Springs
— Larry Swedroe, Principal and Director of Research, Buckingham Financial Services
— Rick Ferri, CFA, President of Portfolio Solutions LLC
— Chris Smith, author, former VP Finance at Hewlett Packard Co.
Dozens of Video Tutorials and Step-by-Step Examples
Video is a powerful tool to explain by showing. We strive to provide bite-size videos and step-by-step examples in plain English. And if you want to refer to these concepts later, or dwell on them longer, we provide the key concepts as short paperback books.
Start by watching free videos in our Learning Center. One of our most popular series is the ten common sense rules for investing. They are:
- Intro: Ten Common Sense Rules for Investing
- Rule #1: Develop a workable plan
- Rule #2: Invest early and often
- Rule #3: Never bear too much or too little risk
- Rule #4: Diversify!
- Rule #5: Never try to time the market
- Rule #6: Use index funds when possible
- Rule #7: Keep costs low
- Rule #8: Minimize taxes
- Rule #9: Keep it simple
- Rule #10: Stay the course
Another popular series explains why bonds are essential to every portfolio—even when interest rates are at record lows. Learn basic investing concepts from the investing videos at our Learning Center:
- Why bonds? Stocks are risky in the short-run, and the long-run too!
- Why bonds? Bonds make risk palatable.
- Why bonds? Bonds are a safe bet.
- Why bonds? Bonds are an attractive diversifier.
- Bond Basics 1: What is a money market fund?
- Bond Basics 2: Are CDs better than bonds?
- Bond Basics 3: What are bonds?
- Bond Basics 4: What is a bond ladder?
- Bond Basics 5: Bonds? Or a bond fund?
Learn how to build an all-weather portfolio—even when interest rates are low. Learn why bonds are essential to every investor.
But, don’t take my word for it!
Consider what these ordinary investors said:
— Charles Van Citters (by email)
— Alice (by email)
Easy-to-Understand Explanations in Plain English
You can learn all about financing life in ordinary English. We don’t use jargon. But if you need to understand a term, we’ll teach it to you.
These are important concepts and you need to understand them. We make it easy. How do I do it? I explain it to my wife first. If she says “Huh?”—then I have to figure out a better way to explain it. Because she’s a beginner investor—just like many of you.
I propose this: learn about financing life from our tutorials, then discuss it with your friends and family. If you can explain it—then you understood it. Teaching is very often the best way to learn. And even better: you’ll remember it. And best of all, you’ll be showing somebody that you care enough to help them to finance their dreams.
This is not difficult to understand. Learning these important investing principles will give you confidence. It’s comforting to know whether you’re on the right track—and if not, it is also comforting to know what you need to change.
But don’t take my word for it!
Here’s what other investors say:
— Kevin (by email)
Unbiased advice from educators — no conflicts of interest
We are unbiased, transparent, and not-for-profit. We sell no products or services at FinancingLife.org other than unbiased financial education. We promise to give you the straight scoop!
Everyone deserves to make a living. At different times you may need various services. But don’t pay for services you don’t need. Most investors that visit our site learn that they are paying the financial services industry too much. Now, recognizing that requires knowing both a little about common sense investing, and also about how other people make their money.
What should you be alert to? Understand how your financial adviser makes money.
- Many get commissions for selling you individual bonds or funds. This is usually hidden from you.
- Many companies have an interest in the management fee of a stock or bond fund—ultimately these will be a poorer performers for you largely because of those fees. (They are not obvious, because they take them out of your earnings first, but although it may be published it is given obscure names like “expense ratio”.)
- Actively managed fees have additional tax consequences—making them more expensive to you in ways that are not apparent.
Does it sound like I’m biased towards doing it yourself? I am. But I know it’s the optimist in me. Some people do need a little professional help. The catch-22 is that once you know how to hire one, you may no longer need one.
Many charge you a percentage of the total value of your investments—every year! Typically 0.5% to 2+%—right off the top—often for really crappy advice! Grrr.
Learn to eliminate unnecessary fees. Be both frugal and generous. Learn how to choose broadly diversified investments at the least possible cost. If you need a service, pay for it as a one-time fee, not bundled as an ongoing annual expense.