OpenCourseWare Initiative

I recently learned about this initiative from a co-worker. As a constant advocate of continuous learning, I am always looking for new avenues of learning that i can do in my spare time. I have really been on the lookout for not only myself, but my daughter as well. Even though she is only three, my wife and I have decided to homeschool her. What this means to me personally is that I get to have an active hand in helping my daughter not only as a father and a mentor, but also share in the joy of learning as she discovers the world around her. What this also means is that I need to learn this stuff too so that I can one day teach it to her. I am a college graduate, but as they say, if you don’t use it, you lose it.

The OpenCourseware Consortium web page lists several colleges in the US that participate in this program, including the following:

Now, being a Southern California local, I was especially interested in UCI, and found a really great course on the Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning The coursework looks like it’s about 25 to 30 hours, and covers everything from taxes, insurance, investing, retirement and estate planning (I am especially interested in the estate planning since my father is an attorney who specializes in this field). The course description is as follows:

This course is not intended to replace the professional financial planner, but to help to make the general public better consumers of financial planning advice. The course was created to help those who cannot afford extensive planning assistance better understand how to define and reach their financial goals. It provides basic understanding so informed decisions can be made. The course can also be seen as a reference for individual topics that are part of personal financial planning.

Financial planning, in the broadest sense, is an effort to manage all aspects of a person / family’s financial affairs. Classically that begins with planning family spending and extends through risk management (insurance), taxes, wealth accumulation, investing, and wealth distribution (retirement and estate planning).

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