Money Management Skills

Course No. 5231
Professor Michael Finke,
Texas Tech University
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4.4 out of 5
44 Reviews
86% of reviewers would recommend this product
Course No. 5231
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  • Audio or Video?
  • You should buy audio if you would enjoy the convenience of experiencing this course while driving, exercising, etc. While the video does contain visual elements, the professor presents the material in an engaging and clear manner, so the visuals are not necessary to understand the concepts. Additionally, the audio audience may refer to the accompanying course guidebook for names, works, and examples that are cited throughout the course.
  • You should buy video if you prefer learning visually and wish to take advantage of the visual elements featured in this course. The video version is not heavily illustrated, featuring a variety of visuals designed to aid in your understanding of the course material. These include helpful charts and diagrams that allow you to better visualize cash flows and successful financial plans, as well as photographs and illustrations highlighting concepts including the life cycle theory for making financial decisions throughout your life.
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What Will You Learn?

  • Learn how to properly use money management tools, including mutual funds, stocks, and bonds.
  • Explore the pros and cons of different major investments, including college, retirement, and home ownership.
  • Build a comprehensive financial plan that will help you achieve your unique financial goals.

Course Overview

Money management can be intimidating, but the good news is that the newest research into the human brain can help us understand why we make mistakes and how we can create an effective plan to meet our financial goals. Learning to navigate complex financial markets and create good financial habits is essential to the all-important goal of gaining control over our financial future.

Money management requires knowledge of financial products, investment and risk theory, and essential tax rules. But it also requires an understanding of how we as fallible humans make mistakes. These lectures will go beyond the advice of a traditional money management course and delve into the emerging science of financial decision-making. With this course, you’ll learn how to overcome your brain’s programming and avoid following your emotions down the wrong financial path.

The goal of money management is to maximize our happiness at every stage of our lives. Whether you are a novice investor or a seasoned pro, a young person getting started in life or a Baby Boomer contemplating retirement, Money Management Skills is an excellent primer for creating financial security. Taught by financial expert and Texas Tech University professor Michael Finke, these 12 practical lectures will boost your confidence around money management. This is not a course for big investors looking for the next hot stock. Rather, these lectures are for regular people who want to make sound financial decisions without obsessing over the daily changes in the market.

For most of us, a few basic principles of money management can help us get our financial houses in order, answering such questions as:

  • What are the optimal uses of credit and debt?
  • Is home ownership actually a good investment?
  • How much insurance do I really need?
  • Where should I invest my money?
  • What should I do to prepare for retirement?

Money Management Skills takes you on a tour of some of the most widely available financial products, from mutual funds to life insurance to college savings accounts. Professor Finke offers evidence-based guidance for building a financial strategy using these products. When you complete the course, you will have all the important information you need to manage your finances—as well as being aware of psychological pitfalls to avoid.

Manage Money for Every Stage of Your Life

After reviewing the psychology of decision-making—and how our instincts often steer us wrong when it comes to loss aversion, risk tolerance, and information overload—Professor Finke explains the “life cycle theory” of financial planning. This eye-opening theory offers a framework for making financial decisions based on the different stages of your life, and it will give you an entirely new perspective on money management.

The goal is simple: to get the most out of your money across time. There is a time in all of our lives where we should be borrowing more and saving less, and a time when we should be saving more and borrowing less. As he teases out the implications of this framework, Professor Finke introduces you to the range of financial products and tools at your disposal, including:

  • liquid assets,
  • stocks and bonds,
  • mutual funds,
  • credit,
  • mortgages,
  • insurance, and
  • estate planning.

You’ll receive a comprehensive overview of these options, as well as general guidance about the principles of taxation, building a credit history, analyzing your tolerance for risk, choosing a retirement age, and much more. Professor Finke ties it all together with the most up-to-date financial data and trends.

Create Your Long-Term Financial Plan

The tricky thing about financial management is that our instincts are often unreliable. Scientific evidence suggests that humans are hard-wired to make emotional decisions that prevent us from making good decisions under stress. For instance, we might be tempted to sell stock when the market falls, or we might overestimate certain risks while ignoring greater threats. The key to sound money management is to develop patience and discipline for the long haul.

Money Management Skills gives you a rational blueprint for setting financial goals, managing debt responsibly, setting aside money for retirement, taking advantage of tax benefits, navigating end-of-life issues, and much more. You’ll discover a host of basic rules of thumb, such as:

  • Education is one of the most valuable investments you can make for yourself or your children.
  • Choose passive, low-expense mutual or index funds for long-term investing, and be sure to diversify your portfolio.
  • Term life insurance is a great value, but depending on your tolerance for risk, comprehensive auto insurance might not be such a good deal.
  • Retiring just a few years later can leave you with significantly more money to spend annually during your retirement.

While everyone’s life is different, the information and sound advice in this course will empower you to create your own financial plan to reach your goals. Professor Finke provides a worry-free approach to handling all aspects of money management.

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12 lectures
 |  Average 30 minutes each
  • 1
    Understanding Your Financial Brain
    Begin your course with an examination of the brain to explore the tension between conscious decision-making and the automatic emotional response of our limbic systems. This tension affects many of our approaches to financial management, including our innate aversion to loss, our tolerance of risk, and our investment confidence. x
  • 2
    Managing Money with Life Cycle Theory
    In this lecture, you will reconsider your entire approach to your finances. Life cycle theory is a framework for making financial decisions at different stages in your life, and it offers sound guidance for saving, borrowing, and investing across time. In other words, it's about making sure you get the most out of your money from young adulthood through retirement. x
  • 3
    Basic Investing: Keep It Simple
    You don't have to be a financial guru to make wise investment choices. In fact, as you will learn in this lecture, a few basic rules of thumb are all most of us need to make solid financial choices. Review the basics of investment and risk, the importance of diversification, and a simple theory for building a profitable investment portfolio. x
  • 4
    The Key Financial Instruments
    Tour the range of investment options, from liquid assets such as cash and checking accounts to long-term assets such as mutual funds, stocks, and bonds. See what fees and returns you can expect from each type of instrument - and what tax obligations you may incur. Then build a strategy of investment for the long haul. x
  • 5
    How to Use Credit Optimally
    Debt can be intimidating, but when used appropriately, it is a powerful tool. Psychology plays a key role when we take on debt, so it is important to recognize bad habits such as impulsiveness. After getting an overview of credit and credit history, you'll survey the variety of loans available, from credit cards to auto loans to mortgages. x
  • 6
    Investing in Education
    Most economists would agree that education offers one of the highest returns of any investment; however, paying for college often involves taking on student loans. Whether you're a high school student or a parent preparing to pay for your child's tuition, learn the key risks of student loans, and see what tax advantages you might apply toward a college education. x
  • 7
    The Economics of Home Ownership
    After education, home ownership might be the most important financial decision we make in our lifetimes. Is home ownership really a great investment? When should you buy a house versus renting? Examine these questions as well as the basics of obtaining a mortgage. Key considerations include types of loan, mortgage insurance, points, and taxes. x
  • 8
    Managing Risk with Insurance
    Insurance is really about risk management." The world abounds with perils, and insurance is about estimating the probability of a loss and weighing the cost of insurance versus potential out-of-pocket expenses. Fortunately, some elementary principles help guide you toward critical coverage and help you avoid less beneficial policies." x
  • 9
    Essential Tax Principles
    No discussion of finances can evade the topic of taxes. In this lecture, Professor Finke provides a clear and concise overview of the U.S. income tax system: how our income is taxed, as well as the myriad credits and deductions that are available. His discussion also includes payroll and state taxes, as well as other taxes the average American pays. x
  • 10
    Saving for Retirement
    When should you retire? And how do you save enough to ensure that you're financially covered for the future? This lecture demystifies the retirement savings process with continuing guidance from the life cycle theory of managing money. Explore the different investment options at your disposal - including 401(k)s, IRAs, and annuities - and build a strategy for retirement. x
  • 11
    Fundamentals of Estate Planning
    The goal of estate planning is to prepare your financial affairs to save your relatives from a confusing mess of assets, liabilities, and property transfers after you've passed. Here you'll discover a roadmap for sorting out your affairs, setting up trusts for your assets, and creating a plan for your end-of-life care options. x
  • 12
    Putting Your Financial Plan Together
    Wrap up the course by building a solid and realistic financial plan. You'll learn how to set up a cash-flow statement, prepare a budget for future expenditures, and make a balance sheet for your estate planning process. Then, apply the fundamentals of this course to achieving your financial goals. x

Lecture Titles

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What's Included

What Does Each Format Include?

Video DVD
Video Download Includes:
  • Download 12 video lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
Audio Download Includes:
  • Download 12 audio lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE audio streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
DVD Includes:
  • 12 lectures on 2 DVDs
  • 104-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
CD Includes:
  • 12 lectures on 6 CDs
  • 104-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE audio streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

Video DVD
Course Guidebook Details:
  • 104-page printed course guidebook
  • Photos & illustrations
  • Suggested readings
  • Questions to consider

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Your professor

Michael  Finke

About Your Professor

Michael Finke
Texas Tech University
Professor Michael Finke is a Professor of Personal Financial Planning and Director of the Retirement Planning and Living Consortium at Texas Tech University, where he leads the doctoral program—considered the premier academic program in financial planning. He has doctoral degrees in Consumer Science from The Ohio State University and in Finance from the University of Missouri. A longtime advocate for ethical...
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Reviews

Money Management Skills is rated 4.4 out of 5 by 44.
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Most of the content was pretty good I have done my own financial planning and investing since the first day I started working over 30 years ago. I have read many different books and articles relating to investing and money management. There have been dozens of market cycles over those years (both in the stock market and in the industry I worked). In the end, I have been successful enough to retire a few years ago at age 53. So, while I have no degree or license in any area of finance, I consider myself quite knowledgeable about the topic, and I heard most of the content before. The good news is that this professor did cover a fairly broad range of topics relating to personal finance, and with enough detail to avoid overwhelming a novice or intermediate audience and yet giving them a pretty good framework to achieve decent personal money management skills. I also think that most people could do fine with the audio version rather than the video. I find that many of the first lectures for these TGC courses to be tough to get through, but then they pick up speed starting in lecture 2. In this course, I loved lecture 1! I wish there was a whole course offered at TGC that does a deep dive into the psychology and neurology of investing and debt management. I thought the professor mentioned a course he had on similar topic, but I found this to be his only course on the TGC, and I haven’t yet encountered any other course covering this idea. I do have a problem with this course, and I consider it a serious one. It is the only thing that prevents me from giving a full 5 star rating across the board. Lecture 2 is dedicated to only one money management theory he calls the Life Cycle. It gave me the “say what now?!” moment. This theory goes against everything I have learned about investing. So, I went online to search for more information. It was not easy since there are life cycle funds and an associated life cycle investing theory that is very popular, but unrelated to this course’s Life Cycle theory. I only found some economic papers and articles discussing theories, surveys and models. Nothing with what I would consider scientific rigor proving this theory actually works in real life. Telling young people they shouldn’t worry about investing until later in life is problematic, and for many reasons. I have never met anyone in their 30’s, 40’s and beyond saying they wished they never invested or invested less in their 20’s or 30’s. Rather they wished they knew more about investing, invested more and hadn’t spent money on frivolous things. The longer you delay investing, the more opportunities and benefits you will lose forever. This includes 401k employer matching and stock participation programs. You also lose the benefits of compounding growth and time related risk management. Furthermore, the earlier you establish good investing habits, the better off you will be in the long run. And so on… The problem is that you can’t go back and fix the problem; you can only start new at the point when you get that light bulb moment, and then play the stressful game of catchup. There are models and theories, and then there is that pesky thing called reality. What happens when you get laid off in your 40’s and find that companies would rather pay for cheaper new college graduates than your expensive experience? What happens when you discover nursing home care that you or a loved one needs costs from $30k to over $150k per year depending on location and amount of care needed? These are just a few of the things that have happened to my friends and family. I believe these event occurrences and costs are usually underestimated. Sure you can probably buy oddball insurance policies to cover all kinds of potential problems like these. But if you have money to spend on expensive insurance products, you have money to invest. I would chose to invest, particularly if you are young. Wouldn't it be less stressful for you if you were financially prepared for these events? Wouldn't it be better for you to decide when you retire on factors other than when you can financially manage to do so? Oddly enough, the professor makes many statements that seem to contradict this Life Cycle theory throughout the course, so it just gets quite confusing. I would suggest that people investigate other strategies before swallowing this theory.
Date published: 2018-10-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ordered 2 weeks ago and very informative and helpful
Date published: 2018-04-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great course for new investor Good insight into life time investing, had my 20 something children watch with me and I think they found it worth while.
Date published: 2018-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Better than the title suggests I hesitated to get this course because I consider myself pretty experienced at dealing with finances — I figured it would be too basic for me. I ended up getting it because I thought it might be useful for my children and possibly grandchildren, but wanted to watch it first. I am only halfway through the course so far and am delighted: his presentation is engaging, concepts interesting, and has come up with things I didn’t know. It can only get better as I proceed (if not, I will come back and edit my review). Some folks were critical of lecture 2. I thought the theory was correct, but people aren’t machines, and what Professor Finke was suggesting could excuse and set up some very bad habits in young people starting out. So grow up, take it with a grain of salt and have the young people save a nominal amount each payday just to get in the habit. No one is making you do everything exactly as he says, these are only ideas to consider. I will look for other courses by him because I’m finding this one so interesting.
Date published: 2017-11-18
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Dangerous. This is dangerous stuff. He doesn’t even realize how self-contradictory he is. His first lecture emphasizes that we’re not very trustworthy about sticking to plans because of the lymbic system, etc. He uses the rider and elephant analogy. Okay. Suppose that’s true. Then the last thing in the world you’d want to do is make a habit of borrowing when you’re young, because (according to the rider/elephant theory) you’d always think “I’ll start saving tomorrow.” Yet that is exactly what he preaches because he’s learned about the Lifecycle hypothesis. Probably the scariest part of all of this is that he seems totally oblivious to the contradiction. He totally ignores the fairly high rate of bankruptcy, and the causal connection between debt, especially consumption debt (see, e.g. Household Consumption and Personal Bankruptcy, Ning Zhu, J. of Legal Studies, vol. 40, Jan 2011), and depression (see, e.g. Debt and Depression: Causal Links and Social Norm Effects, John Gathergood, Economic Journal, Vol. 122, Sept. 2012). In other words, while he wants you to think that he’s on the cutting edge, he is really trapped in an academic echo-chamber that is quite a bit behind the times. The riskiness of consumption debt is almost impossible to miss, unless you live in an ivory tower. Does he not know that in the US alone almost 10 million people lost their homes in the 2008 crisis and its aftermath? Does he think that has anything to do with debt? I would never recommend this program, because his ideas are so dangerous.
Date published: 2017-10-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Matches My Experience My late husband was a CPA, CFO. My brother-in-law is a financial planner/stock broker. I am a theatre/music person. I listened to this course for a better grasp of handling my estate and found that I recognized much of what was taught because of life experience with my husband. The material, which is not my favorite topic--that's why I only rated the content 4 stars, was presented in an interesting manner, and I especially was intrigued by the teacher's lifetime financial strategy suggestions. I appreciated the confirmation that I'd been living by sound financial principles, and am anxious to have my children listen to the lectures as well. I believe the information presented will enable them to make better financial choices for their futures. I can vouch for the success that comes from following the sound financial principles presented in this course.
Date published: 2017-09-15
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Starts with silly premise He begins by expounding the idea that our spending should be flat throughout or life. Borrow when young, repay & invest during prime years, then draw down savings in old age. Crazy. Some sections are crammed with ideas that aren't covered in any depth and others vere into trivia that virtually everyone knows.
Date published: 2017-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent advice on spending over a lifetime The concept of smoothing your spending over the course of your life. Allows you to be able to enjoy your entire life not just a specific period like retirement. The course also focuses on keeping investing simple which lowers fees and minimizes risk. The professor was informative and able to communicate his message in a positive and succinct manner.
Date published: 2017-05-25
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