Monday I put together a very basic understanding of bonds and what I had learned from them. While I was reading I found that there was so much more that I didn't understand and could have added to my learning.

Having written about frugal living for the past 6 years, I have found that the personal finance side of frugality is the part that is harder to learn. To me, it is easier to find ways to reduce; reduce spending and reduce wastefulness. But the finance side that allows me to keep and increase my money it a bit harder to understand. I figure that I'm not unique in that area and found a few online classes to put bookmark for further learning.

Personal Finance Classes:
Alison - Financial literacy course, a series of seven dynamic modules covering everything from how to set up your first bank account to planning for your retirement.

American Financial Solutions - The site consists of 8 courses, and appear to be usable if you need classes to claim bankruptcy.
# Setting Your Financial Goals/Making a Budget
# Introduction to Investing
# Your Banking Relationship
# Identity Theft/Predatory Lending
# Understanding Credit/Credit Reports
# Children/Money Tips for Parents/Teachers
# Introduction to Borrowing
# Your Financial Life – For Young Adults

CNN Money 101 - Staying unofficial, but still learning with 23 lessons that include home and life insurance as well as the usual ones. Quite a diverse bunch with lessons running 5-6 online pages long.

Money Management International - Do enough reading online? You click and go to videos, infographics, calculators and articles that specifically answer what you are looking for. Just need to sign in with a name, email and zipcode

MIT OpenCourseware - If you are looking for a more advanced dealing with finance, investments and economics, this is a good start with a syllabus, exams and videos

The Tax College - Enrollment needed to secure access to free courses that are throughout the year. Our online income tax course is the only income tax course available that is fully integrated with a professional tax software program and you do not need to purchase any of their software to participate.

University of California-Irvine - Their free class is on Fundamentals of Personal Finance. The course was created to help those who cannot afford extensive planning assistance better understand how to define and reach their financial goals. It provides basic understanding so informed decisions can be made.

Besides learning from magazines (money) and online sites (motley fool), the above options are available free for a more focused learning on personal finance and beyond; then when you receive notice about participating in your employee stock purchase plan, you know how to participate.

Additional Resource: Internet U - Learn New Job Skills Free - "From peer-to-peer instruction to commercial "webinars" to free university courses, there's something for just about every job description". Donna also provides some wonderful examples as to how these courses have helped others.
 $ Virtual University - Started in 1995, Courses do cost a small fee and have scheduled start dates.
OpenCourseWare - A worldwide community of hundreds of universities and associated organizations committed to advancing OpenCourseWare


  1. Hollis Colquhoun // Sunday, February 27, 2011 7:41:00 AM  

    Very good info on bonds and personal finance courses. I worked on Wall Street for 20 years, most of that that time in a Corporate Bond Dept. as an institutional salesperson. One item that should be pointed out also is that we are in a very low interest rate environment (low inflation) and chances are, interest rates will be moving up in the future. If you buy a bond it usually has a fixed interest rate. So if you buy a bond today with a 3% interest or coupon rate and the inflation rate and bank interest rates move up to 4%, then the demand for that bond will generally decline in principal value in the marketplace. (Most bonds have a face value of $1000 so that bond paying 3% interest that matures in 10 years might only have a market value of $950, if you want to sell it and purchase a bond with a higher coupon rate.)And in an increasing interest rate environment, usually bond funds come under some pressure.