Teach yourself Personal Finance

date May 23, 2007
authors Janet Bigham Bernstel, Lea Saslav
reading time 5 mins
  • Book Title: MacMillan Teach yourself Personal Finance in 24 hours
  • Authors: Janet Bigham Bernstel and Lea Saslav
  • Year written/published: 2000
  • My Comment: Great Book

Contents page:

  1. Getting up close and Personal
  2. Investment methods
  3. Tools
  4. Long Term Planning
  5. Life-s Changes and Growth

compounding it…

What makes investing your money so attractive is the idea of the time value of money. Basically, a dollar earned today is worth much more in the future because it can earn interest until it’s used. It gets even better. Once you have invested, your interest earns interest, a concept called compounding.

Broker definitions…

Don’t let the terms ‘broker’, ’stock broker’, ‘account executive’ or registered representative’ confuse you. These people all work for full-service brokerage firms and do basically the same job - sell investments. Eg. of full service brokerage: Merill Lynch, Paine Webber, Prudential Secutirites, Salomon Smith Barney Eg. of discount brokerage: Charles Schwab, Fidelity Investments, Quick and Reilly

stock exchange…

is a public market place where shares of a company’s stock are bought and sold. Because a company wants the stock to be available to the widest number of people, it applies to be listed with an exchange. The exchange measures the company by its own criteria such as overall stability, in the number of shares the company will sell and the price of the shares. Once accepted, the company pays a fee to the exchange to get and remain listed.

A stock’s performance is affected by many ways…

  • supply and demand
  • company performance
  • industry health
  • economy and its indicators
  • national and global events
  • market animals - bull market (bullish), bear market (bearish)

types of stocks…

  1. Income stocks - provide regular dividends
  2. Growth stocks - little or no dividends because profits are plowed back to the company for expansion
  3. cyclical stocks - prices of these stock rise and fall depending on economic conditions
  4. defensive stocks - retain their values in times of recessions because they are based in industries that produce the staples of daily life
  5. penny stocks - by small companies that may never make it anywhere
  6. blur chip stocks  - safe investments for older established companies like IBM, AT&T, coca cola
  7. value stocks - price is low for some reasons, but it’s expected to rise and catch up

swindlers and schemers

some questions to separate good offers from the bad ones (phone calls from brokers):

  1. where did u get my name?
  2. What risks are involved in the proposed investments?
  3. can you end me a written explanation of your investment?
  4. Would you mind explaining your investment to my attorney/broker/banker?

Investment risks…

  • inflation - will the investment value decrease as the inflation rates rise?
  • interest rates - will the value of your invetsment decrease as the interest rates rise?
  • credit - if the fund buys debt securities, what is the risk that debts won’t be paid?
  • currency - if the fund invests internationally, what is the risk in the currency rate of exchange?
  • if the fund invests internationally, how stable is the political climate?

main categories of Mutual Fund:

  1. Stock Funds
  2. Income Funds
  3. Money-making funds
  4. Bond Funds
  5. Hybrid Funds


Bonds are loan agreements made between you and a business or a government organisation. Basically, IOUs, the borrower issues a certificate promising to pay the loan back by a particular date. The borrower also agrees to make regular interest payments of a predetermined amount. When a company needs money for growth, they have a few options. If they don’t ahve enough profits to plow back into the business, they can sell off portions of ownership through the stock, or they can borrow money.

bond frauds…

  • limited edition treasury securities
  • federal notes and tiger zebra bonds
  • de-facto treasury securities
  • philippine victory notes
  • historical bonds
  • politics

Types of Insurance…

  • life insurance
  • Homeowner’s insurance
  • renter’s insurance
  • automobile insurance
  • health insurance
  • disability insurance

Estate planning …

Estate planning is the creation of a definite plan for managing your wealth while you’re alive and distributing it after your death. When we talk about an estate, it include:

  • real property
  • business interests
  • investments
  • insureance proceeds
  • personal property
  • personal effects
  • retirements accounts

4 basic estate plannign methods:

  • do nothing
  • create a will
  • hold title to your assets in joint tenancy
  • establish a revocable living trust

Kids and Money

Older children become very interested in board games that include money as a tool to use to win the game. Even though play money isused, oftentimes such play is a child’s first introduction to money as a tool that can realise financial objectives and can be used to further their momentum towards acquiring personal financial strength. Children can also be taught about investing even at a young age. For eg, how many children know that you can buy little pieces of companies like Coca-Cola and Disney for as little as $25 per month??

women and money

once women clear that mental block in their minds that associates money with difficulty, the doors to enlightenment will fly  open and they will be ready to take responsibility for their financial destiny women only need to spend a little time learning about the financial world before they realise that it isn’t so hard after all. … … “I realised that if you taught the woman of the household the financial management process (that same woman who makes 80% of all retail purchases), then you would teach the whole family.”