THE BEST KIND OF KNOWLEDGE, THE FREE KIND

by Matt B


Where does your financial knowledge come from? Did you learn it from school? Did you learn from friends? Did you learn from family?

School, family and friends are the 3 main sources of financial knowledge. My guess would be that the majority of your knowledge about money and the management of said money comes from one or all of these sources. Mine does. My father taught me volumes about money. Times have changed dramatically since I was learning lessons from my father. Not that I didn’t take away great deals of applicable practices for finance. My father never spoke in numbers. I never knew (and still don’t know) how much money he makes or made. I always knew that he was “smart” with money. I can even recall an occasion in which a friend of his called him a “genius” with money. I still don’t know exactly what this means in numbers, but I do know that dad was very cognizant of where his money went and always paid his bills on time and took great care of his family. We didn’t have the best of the best possessions in the world, and as a child I felt resentment for that…as all kids do. It was not until my adult life that I realized that people don’t need these things and that being where we were (economically speaking) is not because my dad made a lot of money, it is because he was smart with what money we did have.

Thinking about my father and how he taught my brother, sister and I about money made me think about learning in general. I am always perusing financial news sites, blogs and talking to people about different aspects of finance. I owe this thirst for knowledge to my dad. He has always valued intelligence and taken pride in what he knows. He still plays trivia 2-3 times a week with his buddies because of his pride in intelligence and desire to share it (and sometimes make a few bucks when his team wins). I remember a conversation between dad and mom when I was a teenager in which they were discussing what they would do if they won the lottery. My dad said that he would go back to school. I couldn’t believe my ears. I wondered, why would a 50 something adult want to be in college? My thought process at the time was that once you were out, no more school. To me, being finished with school meant freedom. I couldn’t wait to be complete. My dad has always exercised his brain, it is very important to him to have a working knowledge on many subjects. It makes me proud to be his son and to know that so much of the desire to learn has rubbed off on me (and my siblings).

I’m very much like my dad. I’ll take almost any opportunity to learn. Formal education (thus far) has not been very good to me. I can memorize things all day long but unless I’m learning it on my terms, it doesn’t seem to stick with me. I did not do extremely well with attempts at higher education, but nonetheless my desire to learn has not diminished at all. There are fantastic resources all over the internet and many other places to learn great subject matter on a plethora of subjects. All it takes to find them is a little searching. The best part is, thousands of these are FREE!! Recently, I have been looking for courses on finance and other subjects and stumbled across 100 Free Open Courses to be your own financial planner. There are MANY great courses contained here, all for free. This site contains courses containing many methods help you reach your goals, whatever they may be.

There are 10 different categories listed here and each contain multiple courses to choose from, every course encompasing aspects of the category that will probably be beneficial to you in one way or another. The categories are:

1)Financial Basics-(10 courses offered)
2)Debt and Credit-(5 courses offered)
3)Accounting-(10 courses offered)
4)Taxes-(7 courses offered)
5)Insurance-(4 courses offered)
6)Economics-(14 courses offered)
7)Investing-(14 courses offered)
8)Understanding Markets-
(14 courses offered)
9)For the Entrepreneur-(8 courses offered)
10)International Finance-(14 courses offered)

There is definitely something for everyone here and I recommend that you take advantage of some of the information offered here. Whether you consider yourself a bumbling idiot or an expert, there is information here that you will be able to put to good use.

All of these free courses are offered by respected and accredited universities such as Carnegie Mellon, MIT and Harvard or well respected online education hubs such as Investopedia or Intuit.

Happy Learning!!!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

tucci4prez February 5, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Best one yet dude…More stories like this

~Tooch

Heyagainlando February 6, 2009 at 8:46 pm

Thanx man, no doubt the Mikey pic will soon become the swooning hype of all of the internets.

The sister February 7, 2009 at 12:28 pm

I’ve seen more flattering pictures of Dad :-), but I have no doubt that he has taught us a lot about money that other kids didn’t have the opportunity to learn. Seeing him work hard as a traditional business owner and being a good steward of his money laid a foundation that all of us are building from in our own way. I have a thirst for learning about money and wealth as well, and I actually wished we’d talked more about it at home when we were kids. Thanks for recognizing Dad’s positive influence and having the courage to expand on it in your way and time.

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