- Class Introduction
Meet Erin, self-titled “investing translator” and personal finance expert. In this lesson, Erin shares her background, addresses misunderstandings regarding investing, and lays out what you’ll learn in this course: how to know if you’re ready to start investing, must-know terminology, how to handle market ups and downs, retirement plans and more.
- Compound Interest in Action
What is compound interest and how does it work to maximize your returns in any investment account? Erin shows you how compound interest works in your favor over two years, five years and beyond with clear examples.
Why does time matter so much in terms of investing? Examine a case study with Erin to see how time functions with compound interest to yield higher returns.
In this lesson, learn how investing just a little money can help you combat and even beat the inevitable effects of inflation.
- Setting Financial Goals
What do you need to consider when preparing to invest? Erin shares a checklist to be sure you’re ready. Learn how to approach short-term and long-term goal setting, budgeting and setting up an emergency fund. Erin explains the difference between retirement accounts and taxable accounts.
- Must Know Terms
Being a new investor can be intimidating -- as someone who approached the process without prior knowledge or a finance background, Erin lays out the must-know terminology in layperson’s terms. In this lesson, learn about how to diversify your investment portfolio, factors such as your time horizon and risk tolerance, and the difference between bond funds, ETFs, mutual funds, index funds and more.
Don’t let high management fees and fine print sneak up on you; learn how to vet brokerages when considering your investment options. Erin explains and advises on expense ratios, what to ask when considering contracting a financial advisor and where to find details on associated fees to ensure you’re getting value for your money.
- Quick History of Stock Market
Financial downturns have been devastating, yet studying past market events can show us how to weather the storm. Erin gives a quick review of previous American stock market downturns and how to protect yourself when the market does go down.
- DIY Approach
You’re ready to invest -- how do you start? What level of involvement do you prefer? Erin walks you through different options and factors to consider: investment advisors, discount brokerages, minimum deposits, roboadvisors and micro-investing apps.
- Investing with Debt
Should you be investing with debt? Whether you have credit card debt or student loans, Erin advises on whether it makes sense to start investing or not.
Why should your investment goals prioritize retirement and why should you start now? Erin walks you through questions to consider when opening a retirement account and explains the differences between the 401k, 403b, traditional IRA and Roth IRA.
- Picking Initial Investments
In this final lesson, Erin advises on how to choose your investments and approach building your portfolio. She closes by sharing valuable online resources for further information such as calculating compound interest, opening a brokerage account and researching investment options.