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Eight websites that clearly explain the world of finance

by Lance Richardson

April 21, 2014 | 3:04 pm

Photo via shutterstock.com

Finance is one of the most difficult subjects to learn for many individuals. Because so many of us are used to allowing other professionals to handle our banking and financial transactions, it can be a startling experience to finally understand just how much goes on in this important industry. While bank tellers, stock brokers, and investment advisors see this information on a daily basis, the average person only gets personally invested with it if something goes wrong, or when something needs to be bought or sold.

Learning about finance can have a crucial impact on the life of an average person. It can help individuals learn how to budget more effectively, and may even help them to learn how to make their money grow in a more effective manner. In some cases, everyday finance knowledge has helped people start trading their own money, making them a reasonable income.

Because finance information can have a real legal impact, it's important to know where you should go to find the information you need. Here's where to go when you want to better understand money, and how to make it work for you. The following websites will help you to learn about finance, what's new in finance, and how you can reduce the stress that finance issues cause.

WyzAnt

WyzAnt is one of the best websites for learning the ins and outs of personal finances. It starts from the most basic of budgeting lessons, and goes on to cover investments, accounting strategies, and several other fairly advanced lessons. WyzAnt also has extensive sections on investment analysis, business and corporate finance, inventory management, and merchandising. This makes it ideal for everyone from the average parent through those running small businesses. The website also provides a finance blog that does an excellent job of providing tidbits of information and finance news. Visit WyzAnt here.

Yahoo Finance

Yahoo Investments remains surprisingly popular amongst investors in the United States. With daily stock information, information on personal finance, and information on taxes and personal banking available, even the most new to finance will find something to help them hone their understanding. As an added bonus, Yahoo Finance provides quick access to a bookstore and links to several reputable finance news websites, all of which can help you stay on track with the daily happenings on Wall Street and around the world. You can visit Yahoo Finance here.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy quickly grew in popularity after making itself known for coding lessons, but it has an extensive tutorial on basic finance studies. It presents this as a sequential "finance core" study programme that mimics the curriculum found in schools throughout the world, making it an excellent choice for teens or those without any practical finance experience. At the end of the core, a section on current economics is presented. This section is regularly updated to ensure that it is relevant to the year in which you read it. Overall, Khan Academy is a really great resource.

CNN Money

CNN Money is another extremely popular finance website; however, it is there Money Mag and Money 101 sections that finance newbies will want to review. Money 101 literally covers everything from basic household budgeting, all the way up to handling accounting for large businesses. It can help you to plan to sell your home or handle a 401k, or you can learn how to purchase a car the right way. It's an excellent way to get your feet wet.

Nutmegonomics

The base Nutmeg site exists to provide individuals with the Nutmeg software itself; Nutmeg provides access to investment management portfolio software. Nutmegonomics is there blog, and serves as a gateway to some really interesting information on financial conundrums. While it's probably not a good choice for true beginners, it's an excellent resource for anyone who falls into the category of knowing a bit about finance. If you're looking to keep up on finance news and see financial issues from a different standpoint, click here to visit Nutmegonomics.

Coursera

Coursera offers far more than just information on finance; it serves as a portal that allows access to free university-level courses from around the world. Almost all of the classes offered are provided directly from professors or universities, and many even qualify as college-level credit once completed. While all are free, Coursera does offer the ability to pay a fee for a certificate proving that you were examined and judged to be proficient in the curriculum.

Finance programmes are common on Coursera, and can be a great way to continue your studies once you have the basics down pat. One regular rotation that tends to be provided through the Coursera site is the Introduction to Finance course. Offered by Gautam Kaul from the University of Michigan, this 15-week course provides between six and eight hours of study per week, with interactive classes and videos available. This is also a great place to start if you are new to finance. Because the class is offered every 15 weeks only, it's best to register for this one well in advance.

RobertHalf.com

Still one of the best resources for people hailing from the UK, RobertHalf.com provides an extensive selection of finance management courses right from the website. Each of these courses is totally free, and they can be taken by any interested party. To get started, you simply have to log in to their online portal and sign up for courses. E-learning can also be signed up for at local offices found throughout the UK. They offer courses on everything from simple cash management through the preparation of financial reports for small and large businesses. They also offer courses on financial analysis. 

When You'd Rather Hire Someone Else

Not everyone is suitable for handling finance issues on their own. Even business owners and investors sometimes have difficulty with the ins and outs of finance. This is where a talented financial agency can come in handy. From Financial marketing, to investment portfolio management, plenty of services exist to help you find your way through the maze.

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