I came across a few opportunities this week for retirement investors to obtain information and education. Some of these resources are new and others are just new to me. The bonus is that all of these investor education resources are free. So, I figured that it would be helpful to share what I learned with my fellow baby boomers and other readers.
Fidelity Guide to Personal Savings Program
Fidelity also has at least one free online investing seminar that you can try. It is brief but there are other videos and podcasts linked from the same page. Some are very good and all are educational without being over-the-top sales pitches.
Investing for Your Future Home Study Course
The Rutgers University Cooperative Extension Program offers a home study course called “Investing for Your Future.” This is a free on-line program. This is how Rutgers describes the program:
Investing For Your Future is an 11-part home study course that was initially written in 2000 by a consortium of six land-grant universities (Rutgers University, Cornell University, Clemson University, Virginia Tech, Michigan State University, and the University of Idaho), the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It is currently sponsored by the Financial Security for All community of and was revised and updated in 2008 as part of an online investor education program sponsored by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
I haven’t taken the course myself but did review the syllabus. Some components are “back to basics” in nature. Other sections offer valuable information on different investment products and investing resources.
Also helpful are the course study guide and lists of “action steps” for each course unit.
This course is definitely worth a look for baby boomers anxious to recover from losses in 2008-2009.
Free College Course in Economics
If you are serious about learning to improve your knowledge of investing, gaining a better understanding of our economy will help. Economist Robert Shiller at Yale University teaches a course in “Financial Markets.” The bonus for baby boomers is that the entire content of the course is available online – free.
The Financial Markets course is delivered in 26 class segments, each 75 minutes in duration. The content includes audio, video, and downloadable MP3 files so you can listen to them on your iPod while commuting for example. If you prefer to read, lecture transcripts are also provided.
According to the course syllabus, there is quite a bit of information for investors, including introductions to different investment markets. The last two lectures are particularly relevant: Learning from and Responding to Financial Crisis.
Final Thoughts on Investor Education for Baby Boomers
It is never too late for baby boomers to get educated in areas where we are deficient in our levels of knowledge. That includes re-education in retirement investment strategies. The economics component (the Yale college course) is more theoretical but, I think, important. The rules of the retirement investing game are changing and we all need to keep up.
I plan on taking the Shiller course myself. Good learning to you and let me know what you think.
Image credit: L Gagnon