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6 Online Classes That Make You Smarter About Your Money

Educate Yourself With These Online Investment Classes

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Get smarter about your money by using free online classes and educational websites.

Klaus Vedfelt/Iconics/Getty Images

The more you learn about your money, the more comfortable you will feel as you transition into retirement. The following six websites offer educational material and classes that make you smarter about your money.

1. Free Online Investment and Financial Planning Classes Offered By Fee-Only Advisors

NAPFA (National Association of Personal Financial Advisors) is an association of strictly fee-only advisors. Advisors who sell products or collect commission of any kind cannot belong to this organization. NAPFA hosts a series of webinars (online investment, tax and financial planning classes) available free to the public. Every month they offer a different topic led by an expert in that subject matter. You would normally pay $100-$300 an hour for these expert's time.

Check out their Upcoming Webinars every month and make the time to listen in and learn.

2. Visit Vanguard’s Plain Talk® on Retirement – A Customized Online Investment Class

This investment class covers much more than investing. Vanguard has laid out this online investment course in a series of choices that allow you to click through to the topics and issues most relevant to your stage of life.

The investment and retirement courses come with calculators and quizzes that help you find answers to your specific questions. If you only visit one online investment course, this would be the one to spend time on.

The course starts by allowing you to click on any of the following topics:

  • I’m already saving or just starting to save. Topics under this link help you figure out how much you should save and how you should invest.
  • I’m preparing to retire. Contains course material on everything from preparing your portfolio to showing you how much you can withdraw in retirement.
  • I’m retired. Among other things, this course teaches you how to evaluate withdrawal strategies that will help your money last longer.
  • Retirement planning tools. Great calculators and quizzes that help you determine the right decisions to make regarding IRA distributions, company stock and much, much more.

Each choice above leads you to specific educational material written just for that stage of life.

3. CNN Money’s Top Things to Know When Planning for Retirement – A Basic Online Investment Class

This investment course is laid out in article format with 7 lessons embedded in the Planning for Retirement module. The CNN investment class provides a general overview of things to consider as you near retirement.

It’s great entry level material, but doesn’t get into the specifics that the Vanguard online investment course provides.

The course contains the following 7 lessons:

4. Morningstar Investment Classroom – An Investment Class All About Investing

Morningstar’s investment classroom provides great lessons specific to the topic of investing. The investment courses contain lessons grouped into the follwoing categories:

Each series of lessons starts with the basics and then delves into the details; covering topics such as taxes, investment fees, interest rates, and a section devoted to what matters and what doesn't.

If a portion of your income will come from your investments, I highly recommend you go through the relevant Morningstar investment class.

5. Motley Fool’s Investing 101 – Investment Articles That Cover the Basics

Rather than being a true online investing class, Motley Fool’s Investing 101 is more a series of articles that provide all the basics about investing. Grouped in the following topics:

Each article above lays out investing concepts in simple, easy to understand terms.

6. Too Young To Retire – A Class To Help You Consider Alternatives to Traditional Retirement

The Too Young To Retire website has the following course description, and I can’t describe this great class any better than they do.

“Who am I? What am I doing here? These Big Questions, in one form or another, become unavoidable, around age 50 for thoughtful people. You could take the rest of your life answering them, and some of us do. But what if you could accelerate the process and have some fun while you make new discoveries? What if your answers helped you launch a whole new, more meaningful life in the years ahead?

The 2young2retire course is such a process. Working in groups with a 2young2retire Certified Facilitator, you'll discover what matters most to you and where your skills and experience could be put to good purpose."

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