The Basics of Mutual Funds for Beginners

*Get more useful information and tools in our Personal Finance online training ($5 off)

Learn what a mutual fund is and the essential vocabulary around dealing with them.

This video is Part 3 of a three-part series.

View part 1, The Basics of Stocks for Beginners

Vies part 2, The Basics of Bonds for Beginners

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The Basics of Bonds for Beginners

Learn what a bond is and the essential vocabulary around dealing with bonds. This is part two of a three-part series. Subscribe to Eazl here to get notified when the final part of this free series is published.

Check out the first part of the series, The Basics of Stocks for Beginners.

Get more useful information and tools in our Personal Finance online training ($5 off).

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The Basics of Stocks for Beginners

In this video, learn about asset classes, price vs. value, capital gains, and more. This is one of a three-part series. Look for our other videos on bonds and mutual funds later this week! Subscribe to Eazl on YouTube to get notified when they are published.

*Get more useful information and tools like this in our Personal Finance online training ($5 off)

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Getting Right With Your Finances (Actionable Calendar for May 2017)

getting right with your finances

Your ability to use modern financial tools and systems is a crucial ingredient for a successful and happy life. Credit scores, credit cards, student loans, mortgages, tax-deferred investment accounts, and financial instruments like index funds, mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, and bonds are fundamental to existence in our modern world.

Commit to getting right with your finances this May with this calendar that will keep you on track, taking you from assessing your current financial health to creating a plan for adding more income and determining investment opportunities.

personal finance calendar

Use the calendar (download and/or print) as a supplement to the tools and process we laid out for you in our newest course.

Ignorance is an expensive choice and there are plenty of organizations who would be happy to keep taking advantage of people who can’t navigate these systems. Get out of the weeds and upgrade your financial prowess!

Top 6 Personal Finance Resources

personal finance resources

At Eazl, we create content that helps our community members feel more empowered and confident by focusing on knowledge and innovation. After taking a step back from our current course catalog that includes training on entrepreneurship, management, freelancing, marketing, and career, we asked ourselves, “What is missing and what would make this group of courses more complete?”

Our answer to that question is something that so many of us struggle with today: managing personal debt and finances.

Luckily, we had the expertise for that area right here on our team so we immediately went to work to create the training, which includes a list of resources that will help you get real control over your money and your future.  

Money management is all about having the right tools and sources for knowledge. From handling debt to buying a home, you want to make sure you are using quality sources for information.

We put together this list of Top Personal Finance Resources:

  1. Browse Homes and Home Prices
    Zillow is one of the best resources for researching homes and their prices in the neighborhood that you are thinking about investing in. Just search a zip code and get an idea of the price range, browse through all available listings,  and specific the features you are looking for in your new home.

2. Estimate Monthly Mortgage Payments
Bankrate’s Mortgage Calculator will help you estimate your mortgage payment, how much interest you might pay, and your estimate principal balances. Determine the impact of taxes and insurance on your total monthly payment.

3. LifePower: Credit, Debt, Saving, Investing, & Buying a Home
Eazl’s new course on personal finance will help you learn how to build and manage your credit, handle debt, use credit cards, start saving and investing, and buy real estate.

4. Check Your Credit
Credit Karma is our favorite resource for checking your credit score. It’s totally free and will give you an idea of what actions have lowered your score and what options are available to you if you have a favorable score.

5. Learn how to Repair Your Credit
Fico gives some actionable tips on dealing with bad credit and how to maintain good credit.

6. How to Negotiate Fees with Your Realtor
Dealing with realtors can be tricky and frustrating because they are middlemen who generally receive insane fees for what they do. Learning how to negotiate with a realtor is essential if you are looking to buy or sell a home. Aaron Crowe at Credit Sesame has some tips.

 

Do you have any other personal finance resources that you love? We’re working on creating a master list and would love your input. Comment below!

Three Mobile Apps to Help You Manage Debts and Save

It’s personal finance month here at Eazl and we wanted to share some mobile finance apps we love with you. If you want to learn about managing your credit and money, getting started with investing, and buying a house, go to here to save 40% on Eazl’s new financial empowerment class.

• Acorns automatically invests your spare change. Every time you make a purchase with a card connected to the app Acorns rounds it up to the next highest dollar and automatically invests the difference in a portfolio of low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that you select based on your risk preference. When you want to take money out, you withdraw and however much you take out is sold from your portfolio. Acorns costs $1/mo. and is available to people in the US and Australia. Link: https://www.acorns.com

• Digit makes the decision to save for you. It’s an automated savings tool that connects to your checking account, analyzes your income and spending patterns, and then makes micro withdrawals–sometimes as little as $1 or $2–to set aside for you. When you want to access the money, you just text the app and the money comes right back into your checking account. It costs $2.99/mo. and it only works with US banks. Link: https://digit.co

• You Need a Budget (or YNAB) is a budgeting tool that doesn’t let you create budgets around money you don’t have – it forces you to live within your actual income. If you get off track it will help you see what you need to do differently to balance your budget. It also has a built-in “accountability partner” and online classes to help you get started. YNAB costs $50/year and it works everywhere but some direct data import functions only work in North America. Link: https://www.youneedabudget.com

FYI–nobody paid us to share these apps with you!

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Personal Finance: Terms You Need Know from a Money Guru

personal-finance-terms

If you’re anything like me, you might find the world of personal finance (think: credit, debt, and acquiring property) to be strange and unfamiliar. I never had my parents teach me and it was never a focus in school. The only advice I ever received came from my mom when she said, “Don’t get a credit card,” when I headed off the University of Texas at Austin at age 18.

I may not have listened to that advice. : /

The lack of guidance from adults in my life combined with having worked hard on my education and career for the past 12 years hasn’t left me much time to school myself on the ways of dealing with money, debt, and assets in any remotely competent way. I mean, there is a lot to know and it can get pretty complicated and time consuming.

personal finance terms

I got lucky… really lucky when I met my now husband and business partner, who purchased his first stock at age 12 and went off to school in three-piece suits, thinking he would someday become an investment banker.

Davis has fun playing with money and learning about all of this adulting business that most of us find so boring and stressful, plus he had a few good role models who passed down some wisdom to him along the way and has had a ton of experience managing the financials of small businesses and artists.

On any given day, you might find him on the phone with a creditor transferring a balance, negotiating account fees for our business and personal bank accounts, or maybe even closing a bank account to switch banks when they won’t wave an outrageous annual fee. (He holds the banks accountable!)

If there is one thing I’ve learned about Davis –and something you might have learned too if you’ve taken any of our courses– it’s that he will do the hard stuff and he always finds a way to work the system.

That’s why, in our newest course, he continually repeats the phase, “I use the system. The system does not use me,” as a mantra for all things personal finance.

If you are clueless when it comes to personal finance or you need some brushing up on your skills after frantically submitting your taxes and feeling kind of crappy about how you have handled your money, start with this list of terms that you should know and understand in order to upgrade your wealth management game.

personal finance terms

Then, come join us in the course because we have all kinds of little secrets about handling your money the right way.

personal finance course

LifePower: Credit, Debt, Saving, Investing, & Buying a Home

This is the trailer for our newest course on personal finance.

Learn to Master the Financial Tools that Many of Us Were Never Taught
Your ability to use modern financial tools and systems is a crucial ingredient for a successful and happy life. Credit scores, credit cards, student loans, mortgages, tax-deferred investment accounts, and financial instruments like index funds, mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, and bonds are fundamental to existence in our modern world. The topics in this course are relevant to people in all developed economies.

Ignorance is an expensive choice and there are plenty of organizations who would be happy to keep taking advantage of people who can’t navigate these systems. In this financial empowerment series you won’t get bombarded with boring math formulas. You’ll have fun. Let’s take on the system together.

Get the personal finance tools that enable you to use the complicated credit, debt, cash flow management, saving, investing, and real estate systems to your advantage.

In this new course, you’ll learn how to:

  • Building and managing your credit score
  • Using credit cards
  • Taking out and managing personal loans
  • Personal budgeting
  • Saving and investing
  • Buying real estate

This course is perfect for smart people who are starting to work, save, and build wealth, through this financial empowerment course you’ll learn how to use credit and debts, how to manage your cash flow, how to save and start investing, how to buy real estate in your name, and more.

Enroll now to get started on mastering your personal finance and assets!

How Social Media is Changing Credit Scores

LifePower, the Financial Empowerment Series from Eazl, just launched!☆

The credit system is one of the core systems of our society and it tends to lag behind social changes. There’s a perfect storm of social media platforms, big data, and fintech startups who are changing how we build credit and get credit scores.

Problems with the System:
Credit scoring systems are designed to predict the likelihood of future repayment by a borrower and currently, the credit scoring industry has problems…

Problem 1: There is currently a near-monopoly in the system. Three companies who set the credit scores of everyone in most of the developed world: Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian

Problem 2: Older models are becoming outdated. Specifically, more companies are running credit checks for all sorts of reasons and each inquiry lasts for 2 years on your credit score. The problem is that too many inquiries drive down your credit and also, these frequent credit checks are insecure. Last year, Experian lost the SSNs and much more for more than 15m t-mobile customers. Additionally, credit ratings agencies give people a boost for having the same job for 5 years straight. That’s a problem in a world where 40% of the US workforce will be freelancers by 2020.

• Social Credit Scoring:
Today, live in a world where we share tons of personal data on social media platforms. Soon, credit scoring will likely include information from our use of platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn. Instead of analyzing our past behavior to predict our creditworthiness, models will work to build an idea of who we are based on the patterns we reveal about ourselves on social media.

• Real World Examples:
One example of a company leveraging social credit scoring is Germany-based Kreditech, a company that uses more than 20,000 datapoints from social platforms and other sources to determine the creditworthiness of people with no prior credit history. Recently, the World Bank made an investment in Kreditech because social credit scoring is likely to help millions of people get access to the global financial system.

Key takeaway: Your interactions online are already starting to have an impact on your financial health.

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