Managing risk is more important than maximizing gains. We believe you should never invest in anything that you are uncomfortable with or that you don’t understand. While we would prefer to live in a world without risk, this preference simply does not conform to the real world. Therefore, we use risk management techniques and tools to reduce the following risks.
There Are Many Types of InvestmentsFinancial illiteracy isn't a problem limited to students. Half of U.S. adults received a failing grade for their knowledge of basic economic concepts, according to the NCEE.
But there is hope in education. The National Endowment for Financial Education has confirmed that as few as 10 hours of classroom instruction can improve spending and saving habits.
Because financial literacy is fundamental to personal success and a benefit to society, American Century provides support for financial education.
In cooperation with a premier education consultant, the investment manager developed Tips for Kids and Tips for Life, curricula for use in the classroom. To date, these programs have been used by more than 3,000 educators in all 50 states. The free programs are delivered via the Internet to educators and are presented to education conferences to help users implement the programs in their schools.
American Century's efforts to improve financial literacy extend beyond the Tips for Kids and Tips for Life programs. Free educational materials and tools are available on its Web site. And the information presented in American Century founder James E. Stowers' "Yes You Can..." book series is designed to share the personal experiences and ideas that helped him become successful.
Educating today's students on basic financial principles will pay dividends in the future because they are tomorrow's social, political and economic leaders.
Money and Markets Are InterestingA key component for efficient management of your personal finance is financial planning. This dynamic process requires regular monitoring and reevaluation. Otherwise, you risk missing points of evaluation and this could damage your finance control. You should keep under control this circular process by repeated verifications and intelligent manipulation. The following five steps should organize and make your planning easier.
The first step is an assessment of one's personal financial situation. You will do it by compiling, onto a piece of paper, all the personal assets, income and outcome. You should use a simplified balance sheet for listing the values of personal assets (for instance, car, house, stocks and bank account) along with the values of liabilities (such as credit card debt, bank loan and mortgage). Moreover, you should make sure you list personal income and expenses, on a personal cash flow statement form.
The second and most enjoyable step is setting the goals. With this stage, one should formulate his or her material desires in a financial language. You can set long-term goals can such as retiring at 65 years old with a significant personal net worth. You can also make short-term plans, for example: buying a house or a car by paying a monthly mortgage for 3 years but no more than 25% of monthly income. You can also establish several goals both long and short-term, in the limit of your financial resources.