Money Management Skills

Course No. 5231
Professor Michael Finke,
Texas Tech University
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Course No. 5231
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What Will You Learn?

  • numbers Learn how to properly use money management tools, including mutual funds, stocks, and bonds.
  • numbers Explore the pros and cons of different major investments, including college, retirement, and home ownership.
  • numbers 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
Instant Video 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
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

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 4.5 out of 5 by 52.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I liked it. I bought this course two weeks ago and I liked it. Didn’t take too long to complete.
Date published: 2020-05-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Better than business school My mother died when I was in my mid-twenties, and I inherited a bit of money. I didn't understand investments, so I went to business school. Although I could have done worse things in my twenties than go to graduate school, I wish I'd had this set of lectures at that age, as they are a much-easier path to the things I wanted to learn. The professor cuts through a lot of myths, and does so in an accessible style.
Date published: 2020-04-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This course is of Great value! I have done a few courses by now and, this is one of the best. The Professor has a great personality and you realize the easy of how he speaks that he really knows the topic. I have gotten a lot of great info. on what I need to do in my own small money world.
Date published: 2020-03-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I REALLY liked it! I REALLY liked it! The course was a quality overview of personal finance.
Date published: 2020-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must viewing for young people Bravura in concept and execution. This course should be required viewing for everyone in their late-teens or early 20s. I will encourage it to my kids. Even if they don’t watch it, I will use this as the basis for any advice they are willing take from me. It covers everything you need to know to financially flourish. If you are already a money management guru, then you probably won’t get much out of the course, maybe nothing at all. Most useful for me was that it provoked me to consider money management and risk in terms of where I am in my life. While watching the course, I realized I have essentially been on autopilot for a number of years. It was very useful to acknowledge that my goals and needs today are not the same as they were 20 years ago and then to reflect on how I should practically adjust my financial portfolio.
Date published: 2019-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I wish I would have taken this course 50 years ago This is the kind of course that should be included in every college degree program. If you are really being prepared to make more money than the average Joe, you should know how to manage it to provide the best possible life style.
Date published: 2019-05-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A very informative lecture This is a great lecture and I wish there were more on budgeting and finance.
Date published: 2019-04-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Some good info - with caveats I just finished this course and find myself somewhat ambivalent about it. I opted for the audio only version and found I could follow the course quite well. The professor presented the material well and was well versed regarding his topic overall. I found lecture 1 to be a bit of "overkill" for the intended topic of introductory money management. I don't see how a discussion of how the brain functions to be germane to the topic. Even though Behavioral Finance is a blossoming new field and holds a lot of promise, I didn't see it being beneficial to the actual course content. Lecture 2 was, as the professor explained, a different perspective on money management. However, to say that money management is based on a life cycle theory seems a bit overbold. If one accepts the premise of the Life Management Cycle and equates it with money management, one will see the course much differently than one who doesn't ascribe to that particular theory. For myself, I'm not a big advocate of that theory as I think it is overly simplistic. I'm not sure I would accept the concept that the amount of happiness one enjoys in life is related to spending the same amount each year during one's life. There are way to many other variables that are entailed in happiness and enjoying life, money is only one factor, and I don't consider it to be a significant factor regarding happiness. The rest of the lectures tended to be well thought out and well presented. He brought up many good points that would potentially be helpful if one would follow the suggestions. His lecture on financial planning could be of great value to many, however, I think he went a little "over the head" of someone just starting to develop a financial plan and budget by his discussion of cash flow statements and balance sheets. Those statements can be quite intimidating to people just developing their own financial plan. I think it would have been more appropriate to follow the KISS principle and keep it short and simple, that often works best. Professor Finke tended to overlook the reality of personal behavior. He proposed the Life Cycle Theory as a way to look at money management but did not stop to reflect that people don't react that way in reality. A number of years ago, a book titled The Power of Money Dynamics contained a chapter on insurance that proposed that people stop buying whole life insurance. The authors' recommendation was that people instead, purchase term life insurance as it is much cheaper than whole life insurance and insures people for a specific time period which may be more appropriate for their own life. The author then suggested that people take the difference between the cost of the whole life insurance product and the term life insurance product, and invest it as they would come out ahead in the long run. The idea is an excellent one. However, it does not take into consideration that it isn't realistic. What generally happens is that people buy the term insurance but don't invest the difference, instead they use the extra to "enjoy" their life more, but often leaving themselves underinsured, especially later in life when insurance is more expensive. Professor Finke may have not taken into consideration how people react in real life. I often find that those whose life is spent in academia tend to lose sight of the realities of life for the average person, a fairly common occurrence unfortunately. Theories are wonderful in many ways, but they are still theories. Overall, the course was a good overview of money management, my own ambivalence notwithstanding. I would recommend the course with the above caveats. I think the information is useful and can be of value to many, especially those who haven't already developed a money management style of their own. Be sure to question some of the assumptions and use the knowledge to develop your own money management style that fits your own life.
Date published: 2019-03-03
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