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F1 - Financial Reporting
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Question: 66
Which THREE of the following would be included in a cash budget?
A . Interest payments
B . Depreciation on machinery
C . Salaries paid to staff
D . Impairment of goodwill
E . Profit on disposal of motor vehicle
F . Dividends received from associate
Answer: A,C,F
Question: 67
The tax rules in a country state that all tax returns must be filed by 31 March each year and that any outstanding tax
balance must be paid by 14 April each year. An entity filed its tax return on 10 April 20X2 and paid the outstanding
tax on 20 April 20X2.
Which TWO of the following powers is the tax authority likely to have in respect of these actions by the entity?
A . Charge a fixed penalty for late submission of the tax return.
B . Charge interest for non-payment of the outstanding tax balance between 14 April 20X2 and 20 April 20X2.
C . Charge interest for non-payment of the outstanding tax balance between 31 March 20X2 and 20 April 20X2.
D . Charge interest for non-payment of the outstanding tax balance between 10 April 20X2 and 20 April 20X2.
E . Seize the assets of the entity.
Answer: A,B
Question: 68
CORRECT TEXT
Statements of financial position for FG, IJ and KL at 31 December 20X5 include the following balances:
FG acquired 90% of IJs equity shares for $358,000 on 1 July 20X5 when IJs retained earnings were $98,000.
FG acquired 100% of KLs equity shares for $360,000 on 1 January 20X5 when KLs retained earnings were
$155,000.
FG used the proportion of net assets method to value non-controlling interests at acquisition.
KL sold a piece of land to FG for $130,000 on 1 September 20X5. At the date of transfer the land had a carrying value
of $50,000.
The management of FG expect KL to make profits in the future and no impairment ot its goodwill was proposed at 31
December 20X5.
Calculate the total goodwill to be included in FGs consolidated statement of financial position as at 31 December
20X5.
Give your answer to the nearest whole $.
Answer: $144800
Question: 69
Which THREE of the following matters should an entity consider when determining the credit terms granted to a
customer?
A . Typical credit terms operating within the industry
B . Risk of non-payment
C . Selling price of the goods being sold to the customer
D . Bargaining power of the customer
E . Number of suppliers
F . Discount offered by suppliers for early payment
Answer: A,B,D
Question: 70
CORRECT TEXT
Statements of financial position for FG, IJ and KL at 31 December 20X5 include the following balances:
FG acquired 90% of IJs equity shares for $358,000 on 1 July 20X5 when IJs retained earnings were $98,000.
FG acquired 100% of KLs equity shares for $360,000 on 1 January 20X5 when KLs retained earnings were
$155,000.
FG used the proportion of net assets method to value non-controlling interests at acquisition.
KL sold a piece of land to FG for $130,000 on 1 September 20X5. At the date of transfer the land had a carrying value
of $50,000.
The management of FG expect KL to make profits in the future and no impairment ot its goodwill was proposed at 31
December 20X5.
Calculate the value of property, plant and equipment to be recognized in FGs consolidated statement of financial
position at 31 December 20X5.
Give your answer to the nearest whole $.
Answer: $1180000
Question: 71
CORRECT TEXT
GHs tax liability at 30 June 20X3 in respect of the tax charge on the profits for the year ended 30 June 20X3 is
$876,000.
There was an over provision of $105,000 that related to the tax charge on the profits for the year ending 30 June 20X2.
What amount should be shown in GHs statement of profit or loss for the year ending 30 June 20X3?
Give your answer to the nearest $.
Answer: $771000
Question: 72
The following information is extracted from the statement of financial position for ZZ at 31 March 20X3:
Included within cost of sales in the statement of profit or loss for the year ended 31 March 20X3 is $20 million relating
to the loss on the sale of plant and equipment which had cost $100 million in June 20X1.
Depreciation is charged on all plant and equipment at 25% on a straight line basis with a full years depreciation
charged in the year of acquisition and none in the year of sale.
The revaluation reserve relates to the revaluation of ZZs property.
The total depreciation charge for property, plant and equipment in ZZs statement of profit of loss for the year ended
31 March 20X3 is $80 million.
The corporate income tax expense in ZZs statement of profit or loss for year ended 31 March 20X3 is $28 million.
ZZ is preparing its statement of cash flows for the year ended 31 March 20X3.
What figure should be included within cash flows from investing activities for the proceeds of sale of plant and
equipment?
A . $55 million
B . $95 million
C . $80 million
D . $120 million
Answer: A
Question: 73
DEF is considering introducing a Pay-As-You-Earn (PAYE) system but unsure of the advantages of using it.
Which of the following statements are advantages from the employees perspective of an entity using a PAYE system
for collecting taxes from employees? Select ALL that apply.
A . The employee will be able to deal with tax authority directly to make payments.
B . The employee will avoid being charged penalties for paying late.
C . The employee will calculate their own tax payment.
D . The employee does not have to complete a self assessment tax return.
E . The employee does not have to budget for their tax payments because the tax is deducted at source.
Answer: B,D,E
Question: 74
The International Accounting Standards Boards "The Conceptual Framework for Financial Reporting" (known as The
Conceptual Framework) states that "faithful representation" is a fundamental qualitative characteristic.
In accordance with the Conceptual Framework which of the following is NOT part of faithful representation?
A . Complete
B . Neutral
C . Free from error
D . Comparable
Answer: D
Question: 75
Which of the following is a characteristic of a defined contribution post-employment benefit scheme?
A . The amount of the post-employment benefits paid to former employees depends on how well the schemes
investments have performed.
B . The employer would make additional contributions into the scheme if the actuary predicted a shortfall in the funds
available to pay post-employment benefits.
C . The amount of the post-employment benefits paid to former employees is determined at the date of their retirement
using a predefined formula.
D . The employer may take a contributions holiday and stop paying contributions for a period, if the schemes assets
appear to be more than are required to meet the schemes obligations.
Answer: A
Question: 76
The following data has been extracted from GHs accounting records:
What is GHs average inventory days for the year ended 31 March 20X3?
A . 39 days
B . 43 days
C . 25 days
D . 28 days
Answer: A
Question: 77
CORRECT TEXT
KL has just completed their inventory count and has ascertained that the cost value of the
inventory is $460,000; this was made up of 10,000 units of component part FF.
A week before the year end the FF components were moved to a temporary warehouse.
Two weeks later they were inspected and found to have been damaged by the damp conditions in the temporary
warehouse.
Of the 10,000 units 2,500 of them were damaged. After remedial work of $5.00 per unit KL anticipates they will be
able to sell the damaged parts for $32.00 per unit.
What is the value for closing inventory to be included in the financial statements of KL?
Give your answer to the nearest $.
Answer: $412500
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Taylor Sohns MBA, CIMA®, CFP®: Page 6 No result found, try new keyword!The latest articles written by Taylor Sohns MBA, CIMA®, CFP® you will find only on Entrepreneur - Page 6 ... Wed, 03 Jan 2024 02:34:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.entrepreneur.com/author/taylor-sohns-mba-cima-cfp-via-due/6 Talking through post-retirement housing options

Account balances get the bulk of attention when people approach retirement and are meeting with their financial planners — will the clients have enough to fund those long-desired vacations or to pay for living expenses over the next 20, 30, or 40 years?

But one area not discussed enough is where and in what type of housing clients hope to live during their later years and how their CPA financial planner can help create a plan to adjust housing needs if health problems or other complications arise.

Too often, if they haven’t thought through options in advance, retirees or their families end up making decisions quickly, after, for example, a serious fall, a difficult medical diagnosis, or the loss of a spouse. They may suddenly need to find an assisted living option or move an ailing parent across the country to be closer to family. Making these decisions quickly can put people at a disadvantage as they must navigate the complex options for senior living without having the time to thoroughly research them.

“Things can change very suddenly,” said Brad Breeding, managing partner and co-founder of myLifeSite.net, an informational source on senior living and age-related topics. “All of a sudden, their whole world is turned upside down.”

This is where CPA financial planners can play a key role to helping seniors maximize their chances of living where they want by incorporating questions about housing into their conversations with clients years ahead of retirement.

“We are an aging population, which, for many people, means an aging client base,” Breeding said. “There’s some really important things to discuss proactively and not just reactively.”

Breeding and others who work closely advising people approaching or in their retirement years offered advice on how to discuss the potentially thorny issue of housing options with clients. Following are some of their top tips.

START THE CONVERSATION EARLY

CPA financial planners should bring up questions about housing options in regular check-ins years before it’s time for the client to retire. That way, planners can work with clients to identify their goals and help figure out how best to make them a reality, said James Sullivan, CPA/PFS (retired), a prolific author, elder-care advocate, and longtime CPA financial planner who now serves as president of the nonprofit Paying for Alzheimer’s.

People aren’t always aware that their CPA can help run detailed scenarios on different housing options, forecast some of the costs that could come with moving elsewhere, and anticipate what a move out of state could mean for annual income taxes as well as estate or inheritance taxes down the line.

Sullivan said that when he was actively practicing as a CPA financial planner, he made sure to ask about recent medical diagnoses and told his clients to inform him of any major changes in their health so he could help them start anticipating future needs.

People, understandably, often don’t initially think of their CPA financial planner as someone they should keep in the loop when, for example, they find out that they, or a family member, have a cancer diagnosis. But having that information lets financial planners provide reassurance and adjust plans so that finances don’t become a source of anxiety.

“The planning shouldn’t wait until there’s a diagnosis,” Sullivan said. “It should have occurred years earlier.”

UNDERSTAND DIFFERENT HOUSING OPTIONS

People have a whole variety of things to think through when it comes to approaching retirement, said Bernard Krooks, a founding partner at the New York law firm Littman Krooks LLP, where he chairs the firm’s elder law and special needs departments.

“In my experience, people are late in the game to analyze what their housing needs may be as they age,” he said.

Seniors can choose from among many housing options to live out their retirement years. It’s important for clients to understand the different types of housing available well before retirement age so they can plan and prepare for different scenarios. Among the housing options to be considered are:

Aging at home: For those clients who want to stay at home, it’s wise to have them assess how well they could adjust if their mobility or cognitive abilities change, especially if it were to happen suddenly, Krooks said. Are the hallways wide enough for wheelchairs? Is there a bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor? Would it make sense to add an elevator or look for a smaller place that could better adapt to changing cognitive and mobility abilities?

If someone decides to make a big move, perhaps to be closer to family or to live in a more temperate location, planners can work out scenarios of buying outright or renting for a bit to make sure they like the area before purchasing property.

Senior communities: Some opt to look at senior communities, where people can live independently in a community of other people in the same stage of life. This can be a chance to downsize to an apartment or condo and be able to connect with others who are similarly entering their retirement years, Krooks said.

Assisted living: For those looking for a combination of individual living space and access to on-premise services such as medicine management and help with daily care activities, including dressing and bathing, assisted living may be a good option. Because this type of facility tends to fill quickly, space might not be immediately available if someone has a medical need arise suddenly or unexpectedly, making prior research and planning all the more important when families are left making decisions quickly about where to move their aging relatives.

Breeding suggests doing research ahead of time on the reputation of facilities and what amenities they offer to residents to get a sense of what’s available and preferable in your area. States typically license assisted living facilities, and the appropriate regulatory agencies may have ways to look up inspections and other related records.

Continuing care retirement communities: Further up in services, and cost, are continued care retirement communities (CCRCs), planned communities where people can access the full continuum of care as they age. Krooks said he has had married clients choose this option when one spouse develops more significant medical needs than the other.

The deciding factors when choosing a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) can be broken down into five main categories: Lifestyle preferences, quality of health-care services, affordability and tax impacts, financial viability of the provider and analysis of which of the four most common types of CCRC contracts would work best for the client.

ASSESS OPTIONS FOR CLIENTS

Changing housing can be a major financial endeavor and is a key opportunity for a CPA financial planner to step in and help clients understand the risks ahead.

CCRCs, for example, can be quite costly, with large upfront payments that could be as high as $1 million for more upscale communities, Krooks said.

In some instances, people have invested in these communities, hoping to have a ensure of living their later years in a safe and supportive environment, only to see poor financial decisions by a community’s developers and investors unravel their plans. Krooks has seen people put down significant portions of their retirement nest eggs to buy into a community being built, only to have that money swallowed up when the project collapsed.

That’s why it’s important for CPAs to help assess the entity’s financial viability to ensure it’s a smart move, for both financial and well-being reasons.

“There’s a unique opportunity for CPAs to do the due diligence and ensure that the development of the CCRC is on solid financial footing,” Krooks said.

Sullivan recalled looking at one assisted living option for a client, then flagging that they might be in rough shape financially when he saw that the facility was using bake sales and book sales to prop up a charity care fund.

Similarly, CPA financial planners can help show clients how to access public records from regulators about the medical care aspects of these communities, to determine if the care offered at different stages aligns with future needs, Breeding said. It helps demystify the process and gives real insight into a facility’s operations beyond the glossy brochures that facilities produce.

“You should be researching that well before you need any care,” he said.

TALK WITH YOUNGER CLIENTS, TOO

Besides talking with clients on the brink of retirement, financial planners should think about talking through housing considerations with younger clients, many of whom may be called upon to help parents or other older family members navigate changing housing circumstances, Breeding said.

He suggests the financial planners bring up the Topic during annual or quarterly client meetings. For clients who expect to provide assistance to older relatives, the planner can offer to help break down the tax implications for both the retired person and relatives or assist with financial research of housing options, Breeding suggests.

“Even if those things aren’t needed now, people need to educate themselves on what they are and the differences between the options,” he said.

BE REALISTIC, BUT KIND

It’s important for CPA financial planners to be cognizant and respectful of the emotional impact that discussions about aging and declining health can have on clients, Sullivan said.

Sullivan will often hear from clients about their desire to stay in the homes they raised families in, and he must weigh that with his knowledge gained from years of working with older clients of how viable that will be. The cost and time required to maintain a large house can be significant, and that person may not be ready to hear a blunt assessment that they will eventually need to move.

“They want to maintain their home, which is understandable,” he said. “But in most cases, that’s not going to be the way it turns out.”

Sullivan takes care to run different financial household forecasts, to provide awareness of how things could play out with a person staying in their home or if they move. That way, if a person re-evaluates things, the client will already have an idea of what a smaller home or apartment would mean financially.

This can also come up with younger clients, whose parents may have told them, “Promise me you’ll never sell the home and put me in a nursing home.”

That can be an enormous emotional hurdle for clients to overcome if medical problems manifest, and it simply isn’t safe for them to stay in the home, said Sullivan, who frequently helps those dealing with Alzheimer’s or other cognitive diseases.

He suggests an approach that centers on safety, telling clients and their families, “We’ll keep you in the home as long as it’s safe.”

By understanding the risks as well as the advantages of all the available options, CPA financial planners can play a key role in helping their clients figure out where they’d like to live during their retirement years.


About the author

Sarah Ovaska is a freelance writer based in North Carolina. To comment on this article or to suggest an idea for another article, contact Jeff Drew at Jeff.Drew@aicpa-cima.com.


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Articles

How to Talk About Long-term Care With Clients,” JofA, Feb 1, 2023

What All CPAs Should Know About Elder Planning,” JofA, July 1, 2017

Best Places to Retire? It’s Complicated,” CPA Insider, Jan. 9, 2017

Understand Senior Housing Options,” JofA, Aug. 1, 2016

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How to Become a Financial Advisor No result found, try new keyword!it offers valuable experience in the financial industry. You learn more than the mechanics as you navigate client interactions, strategy crafting, and problem-solving. The hands-on learning ... Thu, 01 Apr 2021 09:19:00 -0500 https://money.usnews.com/investing/investing-101/articles/how-to-become-a-financial-advisor How to Choose a Financial Advisor - Pick the Right Financial Planner for You

Our experts answer readers' investing questions and write unbiased product reviews (here's how we assess investing products). Paid non-client promotion: In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners. Our opinions are always our own.

  • A financial advisor can help plan for retirement, build an investment portfolio, or budget to reach your financial goals.
  • When hiring an advisor or planner, make sure to consider their specialties and certifications.
  • Also consider how they charge: a flat fee, hourly rate, retainer, percentage of assets, or commission.

Hiring a financial advisor or a financial planner can help you achieve your short- or long-term goals — like having a comfortable retirement, funding your child's college tuition, or buying a house. 

These professionals aren't one-size-fits-all, though, and finding the right one is critical to your success. Here's what you need to know about financial advisors and planners, and how to zero in on the best one for your goals and budget.

How to find a financial advisor

To choose the right financial advisor or planner, you first need to understand what you're trying to achieve. Are you looking to maximize your retirement funds? Do you want to make more from your investments? Is planning your estate and legacy top of mind?

Financial professionals typically have specialties, so you'll want to choose one that aligns closely with your goals. Common financial planning specialties include:

  • Estate planning
  • Investing 
  • Retirement planning
  • Business planning 
  • Debt management
  • Budgeting
  • Tax planning
  • Insurance

There are also advisors and planners who specialize in specific life stages, demographics, or even people with certain occupations. 

"When looking for a financial planner, it is important to understand exactly what you're looking for," says Jay Zigmont, a CFP® planner and founder of Childfree Wealth, which focuses on financial planning for adults who choose not to have children. "You will find planners who specialize in just about every group, job, and life stage, so find one that fits you."

Choosing a financial planner who's a fiduciary is also important. This means they must avoid conflicts of interest and always put your interests first.

"A planner that operates under the fiduciary standard is required by law to always keep your financial best interests ahead of theirs," says Jason Steeno, president of financial advisory firm CoreCap Investments in Southfield, Michigan. 

Steps to choose a financial advisor

1. Search for financial advisor options in your area 

There are many ways to find a financial advisor or planner near you. Asking friends, family members, and colleagues is often a good place to start, as they can recommend local professionals they've had personal experience with. 

You can also use one of these online resources, all of which allow you to filter by geographic area:

  • Financial Planning Association: FPA's tool lets you search for CFP® professionals in your area, and you can filter by specialty, compensation type, and certification. 
  • National Association of Personal Financial Advisors: With NAPFA's search tool, you enter your ZIP code and can filter planners based on their distance from you. There's also a map you can use to view all your options in one place.
  • Let's Make a Plan: This is the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards' search tool. You can search by location, services offered, or both. All planners listed are CFP® professionals. 
  • XY Planning Network: XY's tool lets you search for fee-only financial advisors (more on this below) in your area. You can look by location and filter results using various keywords and specialties.

Once you've shortlisted a few names, cross-check them on BrokerCheck.com and with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). There, Steeno says, "You can see how long they've been in business or if they've had any disciplinary history."

2. Review a financial advisor's credentials

There isn't a single "financial planner" or "financial advisor" license or certification. As Steeno puts it, "Just about anyone can call themselves a financial planner."

To ensure you're choosing an experienced and knowledgeable professional, look for professional designations like CFP®, CFA, or CIMA. These are just a few credentials a financial advisor can seek, each indicating a different specialty or skill set.

Here's a look at some of the credentials you might see:

  • CFP®: A CFP® is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM. These professionals must have a bachelor's degree, three years minimum in full-time financial planning, and complete a board-certification program. CFP®s also must take 30 hours of continuing education every two years.
  • CFA: CFA professionals must take a three-part exam focusing on investment tools, assets, wealth planning, and portfolio management to be certified.
  • CIMA: Professionals with a CIMA designation are Certified Investment Management Analysts. CIMAs are required to have three years of experience in financial services and enroll in a CIMA education course at the Yale School of Management, The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, or the Investment Management Research Program in Australia.
  • MRFC: An MRFC is a Master Registered Financial Consultant. These professionals need at least four years of full-time financial planning experience, have a bachelor's degree in accounting, economics, or finance, and complete 40 hours of continuing education every year. 
  • ChFC: ChFCs are Chartered Financial Consultants. They must have at least three years of full-time business experience, complete 27 credit hours of courses, and receive 30 continuing education credits every two years.
  • CRC: This one is a Certified Retirement Counselor. They must have two years of professional retirement planning experience, pass a specialized certification exam, and take 15 hours of continuing education courses annually. 

You can usually find a planner's credentials listed after their name — both in the online search resources under Step 1 and on their professional profile or LinkedIn account. 

3. Review fee structures 

There are many ways a financial advisor may charge you, so be sure you understand how they charge before working with them. Some services are charged based on the assets or investments the planner manages, while others charge flat fees or receive commissions. How they charge can influence how much you'll end up spending to work with a financial planner so it's always important to research this part beforehand.

Here's a look at some of the various fee structures financial planners use:

  • Fee-only: Fee-only planners are paid for the services they provide. This might mean an hourly rate, a flat fee, or a retainer of some sort. Fee-only planners do not receive commissions or kickbacks from the products and policies they recommend.
  • AUM: Assets Under Management is another fee-only approach. With this fee structure, you'll pay a set percentage of the total assets your planner manages. 
  • Commission: Commissioned financial planners get compensated based on the products they sell to you. This can cause a conflict of interest, as it motivates them to recommend certain products, even if they're not best suited to your needs.
  • Fee-based: A fee-based model is a combination of fee-only and commission structures. You may pay a fee for the planner's service, and they also may receive a commission for certain products they recommend to you. 

Generally speaking, most professionals recommend seeking someone who is fee-only, as this ensures they have your best interests at heart. This includes AUM-based models, which motivate the planner to grow your assets (and avoid losses).

"It ensures the advisor's interests are in line with yours," Steeno says. "They want your assets to increase in value just as you do."

Online financial advisors vs. traditional advisors 

You don't have to meet with a financial advisor or planner in person to get professional help. Many financial advisors offer online services that allow you to get the guidance you need without leaving your home. These usually include phone and video calls, in which you "meet" your planner virtually over Zoom, Skype, or another similar service.

These can be a good option if you want faster, more convenient service or to work with a planner not in your geographic area. 

There are also robo-advisors, which can be used for building and managing your investment portfolio. They're typically more affordable than using a real-life advisor and have low starting balance requirements, but they're also less comprehensive and personalized. Robo-advisors typically won't help with budgeting, estate planning, tax planning, or other non-investment services.

As Rob Burnette, an MRFC and chief executive officer of Outlook Financial Center in Troy, Ohio, explains, "Robo-advisors are only useful for the investment part of a financial plan."

In some cases, robo-advisors may include interactions with a live advisor (sometimes for an added fee). But it's usually not a dedicated account professional, and you may be limited on how many times you can interact with them. This means less consistency and personal guidance than you'd get with a financial planner you hired directly.

"Robo-advisors generally offer a one-size-fits-most solution," says Kris Maksimovich, a CRC and president at Global Wealth Advisors based in Lewisville, Texas. "They lack personalization and input and don't offer hand-holding during periods of market volatility."

A financial advisor or financial planner can help you achieve your long-term goals but choose yours carefully. There are many types of financial planners, and their specialty, costs, credentials, and services should all play a role in your decision. 

Don't be afraid to interview a few candidates. Set up introductory meetings with two or three professionals, and use the time to ask questions, understand their processes and fees, and make sure they're a good fit before moving forward.

Tue, 12 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/how-to-find-financial-advisor
Best Learning Management Systems (LMS) Of 2024

Docebo is one of the best learning management systems for corporations, thanks to features such as social learning, Salesforce integration, mobile learning, e-commerce, free extensions, custom domains and artificial intelligence. Its more than 400 integrations include Adobe Connect, Confluence, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, G2, GitHub, Google Analytics, PayPal, Stripe, Trello and WordPress.

Who should use it:

Businesses that need social learning features will appreciate Docebo.

Sat, 09 Dec 2023 06:48:00 -0600 Katherine Haan en-US text/html https://www.forbes.com/advisor/business/best-learning-management-systems/
Why Financial Literacy Is Important And How You Can Strengthen Yours

“The best investment you can make, is an investment in yourself... The more you learn, the more you’ll earn.”Warren Buffett

Financial literacy refers to your grasp and effective use of various financial skills, from budgeting and saving to debt management and retirement planning.

It equips you with the knowledge to make informed decisions, leading to greater monetary stability, less stress, and a higher quality of life.

Financial literacy empowers you to take control of your finances and navigate the challenges and opportunities that arise.

It is a crucial element in achieving financial health.

Key Components Of Financial Literacy

Budgeting And Expense Management

Effective budgeting requires clearly understanding your financial inflows and outflows, setting realistic goals, and monitoring spending habits.

Expense management is about making conscious decisions to eliminate unnecessary expenses and prioritize essential ones.

By mastering budgeting and expense management, you can live within your means, avoid accumulating debt, and save for future goals.

Saving And Investing

Saving is setting aside a portion of your income for future use, while investing is putting that saved money into assets or ventures that can potentially yield returns.

While saving provides a cushion, investing allows your money to grow. Maximize the effects of compounding and the importance of diversification.

Debt Management

Being financially literate is about recognizing the impact of your credit score on interest rates, familiarizing yourself with the terms of debts, and creating a strategy to pay them off efficiently.

It also entails differentiating between good debt (such as student loans, which can be seen as an investment in your future) and bad ones (such as credit card bills for that latest iPhone, a luxury).

Retirement Planning

Financial literacy involves understanding pension plans, 401(k)s, and other retirement savings options, as well as Social Security, and how delaying benefits can increase monthly payouts.

A comprehensive retirement plan considers your expected lifespan, desired retirement lifestyle, and potential healthcare costs.

Insurance And Risk Management

Different products, such as health, life, auto, and property insurance, offer protection against various risks. Ensure adequate coverage based on your specific circumstances.

Other risk management strategies include creating an emergency fund and building your nest egg.

Understanding Financial Products And Concepts

Strengthen your knowledge of various financial products, from simple savings accounts to complex derivatives. You should also be familiar with basic concepts, such as compound interest, inflation, and taxation.

This knowledge ensures you can navigate the financial landscape, making informed decisions aligning with your goals and risk tolerance.

Strategies For Improving Your Financial Literacy

Self-Study And Online Resources

Numerous online platforms, websites, and apps offer courses, articles, tutorials, and tools related to financial education.

From understanding the basics of budgeting to diving deep into investment strategies, you can pace your learning based on your comfort and needs. Podcasts, webinars, and video tutorials offer diverse formats catering to different learning styles.

However, it is essential to ensure that the sources of information are credible and up-to-date.

Accessing Formal Education And Awareness Programs

The foundation of financial literacy often begins with structured education. Schools, colleges, and universities offer basic money management, economics, and personal finance courses.

Beyond formal education, governments or financial institutions initiate awareness programs that target specific demographics, such as low-income families or senior citizens.

Nonprofits, such as the Financial Literacy Coalition, also provide resources to promote financial education. Maximize these resources to Strengthen yourself.

Seeking Professional Advice

Financial advisors, planners, and counselors bring expertise and experience. They can offer personalized advice, considering your financial situation, goals, and risk tolerance.

Whether planning for retirement, investing in the stock market, or buying a home, professional advisors can help you navigate complex decisions. Moreover, as financial landscapes evolve, professionals can provide updated insights, ensuring you stay ahead.

Networking And Learning From Peers

There is immense value in shared experiences. Networking with peers, whether informally or through structured groups, can offer fresh financial management perspectives. Hearing about others’ financial successes and challenges can provide practical insights and lessons.

Moreover, peer discussions can lead you to new financial tools, products, or strategies you might not have encountered otherwise. In a world where financial trends and products evolve rapidly, staying connected with a network can keep you updated and informed.

Conclusion

Financial literacy is an indispensable skill in today’s world. Beyond financial health, it empowers individuals, reduces stress, and fosters a sense of security. It involves budgeting, savings, investments, retirement planning, debt and risk management, and understanding financial products and concepts.

You can Strengthen your financial literacy through self-study, formal education, seeking professional advice, and networking with peers.

Thu, 21 Sep 2023 12:42:00 -0500 True Tamplin en text/html https://www.forbes.com/sites/truetamplin/2023/09/21/financial-literacy--meaning-components-benefits--strategies/
The Best Online Learning Platforms for 2024

Online learning sites enable us to expand our minds and creative spirit. No matter where you are in the world or how little prior experience you have with a subject, you can learn just about anything, so long as you have an internet connection. We test and review dozens of online learning platforms, and here we list the best ones for all kinds of non-matriculated learning.

"Learning" isn't limited to the education taught in school. There are sites where you can pick up new software skills, become a better manager, study the art of memoir writing, watch a tutorial on how to set up a sewing machine, and listen to a world-renowned master in their field explain how they got there. Are you looking for practical skills? Business skills? Professional development? Inspiration? Or are you a student who needs tutoring in AP History? You can learn any of these things and more.

Read on for the top services we've tested, followed by everything you need to know about online learning.


Deeper Dive: Our Top Tested Picks

MasterClass

Best for Inspiration

Why We Picked It

Everything about MasterClass deserves an A+. Instructors are among the top names in their fields. Each class is designed in painstaking detail. The production quality is superb. And what you learn from MasterClass is a combination of practical skill and inspiration.

Who It's For

MasterClass is for anyone who has a curiosity and desire to learn, from teenagers on up. It's for people who want insight into a chosen field, as well as those open to learning what they can from the highest achievers in other fields. Whether you're passionate about standup comedy, filmmaking, leadership, baking, music, or scholarship, you can find wonderful insight from MasterClass.

PROS

  • A-list celebrity instructors
  • Supremely high production values in videos
  • Well-thought-out course structure
  • Great breadth of topics

CONS

  • Video and course run times and year filmed should be clearer
  • Ads for other MasterClass classes are frustrating and senseless

SPECS

User Created Classes
Some Celebrity Instructors
Some Courses Free

Khan Academy

Best for Free Academic Learning

Why We Picked It

Khan Academy is one of the best online learning sources because it clearly and strategically helps you learn academic subjects for free. Whether you need to master a mathematical concept or advance your understanding of macroeconomics, Khan has you covered. The videos, readings, and interactive components it uses to teach are well thought out and delivered with care.

Who It's For

Khan Academy focuses on learning materials for students in kindergarten through early college. That doesn't mean other people can't use it or find immense value in it. When you look at the available courses, however, you will notice that many of them closely map to the US education system. So for example, there are courses under the heading High School Physics. Khan Academy is especially adept at teaching math, science, computing, economics, history, and personal finance, among a few other subjects. You get sequential material, too, so you can work through one lesson at a time in order until you've learned what you need to know.

PROS

  • Free
  • No account necessary
  • Uses video lectures, readings, and quizzes
  • Impressive test-prep and college-prep resources
  • Generous language support

CONS

  • Missing some subjects, such as foreign languages and music
  • Caters uniquely to the US education system and needs

SPECS

User Created Classes
Some Celebrity Instructors
Some Courses Free

Coursera

Best for Free Access to University Courses

Why We Picked It

Coursera is different from many other online learning sites because it hosts real courses from prestigious universities and makes many of them available for free. In other words, you can get all the lectures (recorded to video) and studying materials from a class at, say, Yale University without paying anything at all. Coursera has other kinds of classes, too, but the university material is really what sets it apart. For some courses, there are options to pay for it and earn a professional certificate, bachelor's degree, or master's degree. If you don't pay, you still get the exact same learning materials, but you don't get any interaction with instructors or any grades on your assignments.

Who It's For

Coursera is for people who want access to real university classes and have the self-discipline to follow through on all the assignments, which can often take weeks or months to complete. You mostly learn through videos, readings, quizzes, and assignments. If you use Coursera for free, you may be able to get feedback on your assignments from other learners, but not the instructor. Coursera is best for learners who can handle college-level course material.

PROS

  • Offers real courses from universities for free
  • Partners with private corporations for job-specific skills
  • Reasonably priced certificate courses

CONS

  • Interface dated in some areas

SPECS

User Created Classes
Some Celebrity Instructors
Some Courses Free

Kahoot!

Best for Quizzes and Games

Why We Picked It

We picked Kahoot! as one of the best online learning platforms because it lets you create games, quizzes, and other interactive content for your learning materials. Whether you are designing games and quizzes or playing them, Kahoot! is easy to use. We love that it adds engagement to all kinds of get-togethers, whether in the classroom, meeting room, or living room.

Who It's For

Kahoot! is an ideal platform for businesses that need to teach something, as well as educational instructors who want to make their content more engaging. Once you have an account, you'll see other fun ways to use the platform to create, for example, trivia for family gatherings or activities at conferences

PROS

  • Encourages interaction in a fun way
  • Variety of uses, from business training to student learning
  • Easy to use as creator or player
  • Players don't require an account

CONS

  • Strict 120-character limit on question text field
  • No auto-advance option; host must manually move to next question or slide

SPECS

User Created Classes
Some Celebrity Instructors
Some Courses Free

Skillshare

Best for Creatives Learning Practical Skills

Why We Picked It

Skillshare's videos teach you skills to lead a creative life. It covers everything from creative hobbies to tips for running a creative online business. This site offers short videos, sometimes as part of a much longer series, where you learn and practice mostly hands-on skills. You get additional materials, such as PDF handouts, and sometimes community forums where you can upload examples of your work to get feedback from other learners. While its pricing has jumped around over the years, Skillshare now has a reasonable annual cost.

Who It's For

Skillshare is for people who want to develop creative skills or need help learning the ins and outs of running a creative business. It's especially good at helping people with drawing, painting, digital arts, photography, cooking, writing, sewing, and other crafts. One aspect of Skillshare that we appreciate is that it does have some very short courses or lessons within courses that you can complete as a one-off. For example, if you just want to practice drawing cacti for five minutes, Skillshare has videos that will indulge your creative cravings.

PROS

  • Varied content courses all suited to creative types
  • Optional assignments and community interaction
  • Some free courses

CONS

  • Feedback from other learners is rarely insightful or instructional
  • No ensure that instructors participate in community features

SPECS

User Created Classes
Some Celebrity Instructors
Some Courses Free

Udacity

Best for Programming and Vocational Skills

Why We Picked It

We picked Udacity as one of the best online learning platforms because it teaches highly specific, job-focused skills and gives learners an opportunity to create demo work to prove it. Udacity delivers rigorous courses, called Nanodegrees, that teach highly specific job-related skills, mostly in the tech arena. Some of the Nanodegrees have been created in partnership with big-name companies, like IBM Watson and Google. Learners come away not only with new skills but also—fairly often—sample projects to show their work, perhaps for a job interview.

Who It's For

Udacity is clearly for job seekers who want to work in a specific technical field and perhaps for a specific employer. How specific? There's a course called Self-Driving Car Engineer, developed in partnership with Mercedes-Benz, Nvidia, Uber, and other companies. Udacity does offer some more general business courses on courses such as marketing. That said, Udacity is best for people who are willing to pay a few hundred dollars per month to complete one of its highly targeted Nanodegrees.

PROS

  • Focused on specific job skill development, especially in programming and computer science
  • Nanodegree learners come away with relevant work samples
  • Self-service cancellation, data download, and account deletion

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Difficult to measure the value for job seekers
  • Less inspirational and motivational than other learning sites

SPECS

User Created Classes
Some Celebrity Instructors
Some Courses Free

Wondrium

Best for Curious Minds

Why We Picked It

Wondrium is a subscription-based video streaming service that focuses on educational programming. Wondrium was formerly called The Great Courses Plus, and while it has expanded its catalog in recent years, it still has everything that The Great Courses Plus had. The courses come across as a series of TV lectures or simple documentaries. You can watch video courses not only on your computer, but also via Apple TV, Roku, and other devices. The service has an overwhelming amount of content on courses such as philosophy, religion, and the natural world.

Who It's For

The best way to describe Wondrium is to call it couch-side edutainment. It's not geared toward teaching you hands-on skills or helping you achieve a specific learning goal (though it does have some skills-focused classes). Instead, Wondrium feeds your curiosity with videos that explore ideas that perhaps you know nothing about. In that sense, it's wonderful for beginners or people who don't have any prior knowledge of the subjects it covers.

PROS

  • Excellent accessibility options
  • TV quality production values
  • Variety of content

CONS

  • No free account or content
  • Prices somewhat high

SPECS

User Created Classes
Some Celebrity Instructors
Some Courses Free

Udemy

Best for Taking One-Off Courses

Why We Picked It

We included Udemy in this list of the best online learning platforms because it sells discrete video courses on an array of topics. Many people end up using Udemy because they met an instructor through another context, and the instructor pointed them to Udemy to purchase their course. Generally speaking, Udemy's content covers both personal and professional development, with excellent lessons in management training, software use, and programming. We like that you can pay for Udemy courses one by one, with prices varying per course, or you can get access to a catalog of content with a business subscription. Regrettably, the subscription prices are high, and you need a minimum of five people for a business account.

Who It's For

Udemy is for three kinds of people: 1) those with a business subscription to the site who can simply explore what it has to offer, 2) people who are interested in a specific course offered on the site, and 3) instructors who want to host and sell their courses on Udemy. For the third use case, we didn't do detailed testing or analysis, instead focusing on Udemy from the learner's perspective.

PROS

  • Great learning courses for hard and soft professional skills
  • Interesting array of content
  • Clear resources for instructors

CONS

  • No subscription for individuals; pricing is per class
  • Price for Business accounts somewhat high, with a minimum of 5 people

SPECS

User Created Classes
Some Celebrity Instructors
Some Courses Free

Buying Guide: The Best Online Learning Platforms for 2024


How Effective Is Online Learning?

All the sites included in this roundup use video as the primary teaching method. Some add interactive quizzes, PDFs, links to additional resources, and discussion areas (usually little more than a section for comments) so that everyone engaged with the material can learn from one another.

Videos can be standalone, although usually, they're part of a series. A course might contain several hours of videos, but they're always broken up into parts. The best learning sites take care to plan out how much content goes into each video as well as the sequence of videos. In this way, your learning is cumulative. You're typically building new ideas or concepts on top of what you've already learned.

When quizzes are available, they can be private to you or shared with an administrator or instructor if your login is part of a business account or associated with a formal class or tutoring (in the case of Khan Academy). They help you track how well you've retained new information. Some sites offer certificates upon completion. They are not widely accepted by other institutions, but they may be helpful to you in some cases. For example, if your employer pays for you to have a subscription to a learning website, you can offer these certificates as evidence of using it.

A note on language learning: There are so many excellent websites and apps for learning a foreign language that we have a separate article for them. When you want a language app, you'll have specific questions, such as: Which one offers the language I want? How much time do I need to spend on it each day? How much does it cost? You might also want to know which apps are better for developing a base vocabulary versus advancing existing skills. Our roundup of the best language learning apps and websites covers all these points and more.

Similarly, PCMag has a separate article on the best courses for learning to create websites. It's another concrete skill that comes with specific questions. We have another entire article dedicated to the best online courses for Photoshop.


Stills of MasterClass videos

(Credit: MasterClass/PCMag)

Is MasterClass Worth the Money?

MasterClass is an on-demand learning website where you get hours and hours of video featuring top talent talking about their fields. Everything about it is extremely well made, and if you're interested in even one course, we think it's worth paying for a year's subscription. You will certainly find other courses if interested once you get into the catalog.

MasterClass is simultaneously binge-worthy, educational, and thought-provoking. The quality alone leaves you whispering, "How is this so good?"

In the recent past, MasterClass has done a good job of improving its lineup of instructors to include more top talent who are people of color and women (it was previously weak in this regard). The catalog of classes is growing all the time. The content is top rate, and the quality is exceptional.


Where Can You Take Real College Classes Online?

Coursera is one of the best online learning sites that offers plenty of free video courses and materials. It also partners with universities to make some of their degree programs available online. If you want the degree, you have to apply to the program and pay tuition to the school, just as if you were an in-person student. However, if you don't care about getting the degree and you just want access to real courses and materials from the likes of Yale, University of Singapore, and Sciences Po in France, then you can create a free Coursera account and have access to them.

No matter how you attend, you get video lectures, studying materials, quizzes, and in some cases the opportunity to submit assignments for peer-review (when you audit a course) or grades (with paid enrollment).

Recommended by Our Editors

Coursera interface

(Credit: Coursera/PCMag)

Coursera partners with private companies, too, to offer accessible education in a variety of fields from programming to designing with AutoCAD. Other examples of classes you can take include Introduction to Food and Health, Google IT Automation with Python, and Introduction to International Criminal Law.


What Are the Best Online Learning Platforms for Specific Job Skills?

If you need to learn specific job skills, there are two online sites that we recommend. One is Udacity because it teaches highly specific, job-focused skills. If you are aiming to get a job from one of the companies that Udacity partners with, the Udacity courses could provide you a leg up. While Udacity offers a handful of courses that aren't technical in nature, the majority are, and they are highly specific. How specific? There's a course called Self-Driving Car Engineer, developed in partnership with Mercedes-Benz, Nvidia, Uber, and other companies.

The other site is LinkedIn Learning. We like it best for brushing up on general job skills, such as public speaking and developing interviewing strategies; we also love its video tutorials on learning creative software, such as Photoshop. Many of those software programs come from Lynda.com, which was acquired by LinkedIn some years ago. Lynda.com was the best resource for learning software for many years, and we're happy it lives on today at LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Learning

(Credit: Microsoft/PCMag)


Learn at Your Own Pace

The next time you feel like you need some fresh ideas, take a spin through one of these sites and learn something new. You might find yourself caught up in wonderment at new and interesting ideas or taking notes on something useful. The beauty of online learning sites is that they don't require any commitment, so you can learn what you want at your own pace.

Mon, 18 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.pcmag.com/picks/best-online-learning-services




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