You can achieve financial freedom with an affluent lifestyle, or a frugal one. Financial freedom is not having to work to pay for that lifestyle, but rather having the freedom to wake up every morning and spend your hours as you choose. You can make this happen with some discipline and a plan. This is an educational site to get you started. We don’t sell you products nor manage your money.
This website provides you time-proven wisdom in short video tutorials to help you take control of your own finances — enable your life dreams.. See and hear easy-to-understand, unbiased advice direct from industry experts and Nobel prize-winners.
This site is for ordinary investors, usually beginners, who want to learn how to take control of your finances. Learn at your own pace with excellent free video tutorials, or recommended books about investing and personal finance.
Everyone knows that saving early and investing in low-cost broadly-diversified index funds is the path to investment wealth. Especially if you are comfortable with math and finances.
But what if you are just starting out? What if this is just the first time you’ve wondered about sensible investing? Unfortunately, you’ll need to learn a bunch of new stuff. For example, you must learn:
- whether to pick stocks or use mutual funds
- how to recognize a superior mutual fund or ETF
- how to choose an investment company or financial advisor
- will your savings rate achieve your long-term goals
- how much to invest in stocks? how much in bonds?
If everybody was the same then we could all learn the same simple answer. Of course, we each have different situations. So, you’ll need to learn a few things and commit to lifelong learning. To do it right a beginner needs to
- digest a good book about investing (but which is a good one?)
- wrap your mind around some investing concepts
- get started with some trial and error, hoping you’ll eventually recognize and learn from all costly mistakes
Fortunately, sensible investing is really straight-forward!
Sensible investing is really rather straight-forward and easy to understand, yet not easy. Our emotions tempt us off the course of good investing behavior.
Huge Collection of Bite-sized Learning Resources
Why Learn From Us?
FinancingLife.org Will Help You Create A Plan to Achieve Financial Freedom
Dozens of Video Tutorials
Our FAQs and video tutorials answer the commonly asked questions that range from How To Invest? to Which Type of Mutual Fund?
- Why Invest?
- Achieve Financial Independence
- How To Invest?
- Ten Common Sense Investing Rules
- What To Buy?
- Asset Classes (stocks, bonds, etc.)
- Asset Allocation (how much in bonds, etc.)
- Investing in Stocks and Bonds
- Types of Mutual Funds?
- Mutual Funds (active)
- Index Funds (passive)
- Exchange-Traded Funds
The Learning Center provides a complete index to all videos as well as recommended books and other resources. 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 other ordinary investors said:
“Best explanation I have ever seen or read!”
— Charles Van Citters
“Videos are very well done. What a great project!”
— Alice W.
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).
- 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.
- 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 among 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:
“Crisp, simple, and irrefutably great investment advice.”
— Allan S. Roth, Financial and Investment Advisor, Wealth Logic, Colorado Springs
“If you follow his rules you are virtually guaranteed to outperform.”
— Larry Swedroe, Principal and Director of Research, Buckingham Financial Services
“Overpaid advisors are burning every copy.”
— Rick Ferri, CFA, President of Portfolio Solutions LLC
“Complete, and rock-solid on the fundamentals.”
— Chris Smith, author, former VP Finance at Hewlett Packard Co.
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:
“Best explanation I have ever seen or read!”
— Charles Van Citters (by email)
“Thank you for offering a straightforward, no-nonsense approach for investing”
— 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.