Want a secret to improving your personal finances? Improve your math skills! Scared yet? Even if you’re not a math wiz it’s not as hard as you think. Math is all around us and everyone could use a few pointers on how it plays a roll with money and economies. The below math & business courses are all free and provided by some of the best schools and professors out there. They cover a wide range of math from basic principles to economies to investing and more.
When it comes to being successful with your money it pays to have a bigger understanding of what is going on. How are you supposed to make informed decisions if you don’t understand the conversation in the first place? We suggest checking out at least a few of these courses and touching up on your skills. Reminder: You can’t fail!
Math is Everywhere: Applications of Finite Math
Equations of lines can allow computers to create fonts, store them quite compactly, and render them at essentially any desired resolution. Plotting the graph of a polynomial can affect how you play Angry Birds as you strive to dislodge the pesky pigs. Linear systems model the performance of sports teams and influence which college football teams play in the new year bowl games. You can create your own linear equations to help you create a bracket for March Madness. Finally, probability and simulation lies at the core of the mathematical algorithm that catapulted Google as a leader in search engines.
You benefit from applications of math every day. Through this course, you can better understand how you benefit from applications of math in your every day life. Along the way, you will likely learn new mathematical ideas, too.
Introduction to Financial and Managerial Accounting
This course studies basic concepts of financial and managerial reporting. The viewpoint is that of readers of financial and managerial reports rather than the accountants who prepare them.
Managerial accounting is used primarily by those within a company or organization. Reports can be generated for any period of time such as daily, weekly or monthly. Reports are considered to be “future looking” and have forecasting value to those within the company.
Financial accounting is used primarily by those outside of a company or organization. Financial reports are usually created for a set period of time, such as a fiscal year or period. Financial reports are historically factual and have predictive value to those who wish to make financial decisions or investments in a company
Real Estate Finance and Investment
This course is an introduction to the most fundamental concepts, principles, analytical methods and tools useful for making investment and finance decisions regarding commercial real estate assets. As the first of a two-course sequence, this course will focus on the basic building blocks and the “micro” level, which pertains to individual properties and deals.
Introduction to Statistics
Statistics is about extracting meaning from data. In this class, we will introduce techniques for visualizing relationships in data and systematic techniques for understanding the relationships using mathematics.
This course does not require any previous knowledge of statistics. Basic familiarity with algebra such as knowing how to compute the mean, median and mode of a set of numbers will be helpful.
Introduction to Finance
This course is primarily devoted to the fundamental principles of valuation. We will learn and apply the concepts of time value of money and risk to understand the major determinants of value creation. We will use both theory and real world examples to demonstrate how to value any asset.
This is a tough issue. I do not believe in prerequisites, except for a sense of curiosity and an attitude. Having said that, exposure to economics (the mother discipline of finance), accounting (the language of business), and/or algebra and statistics (we all need it) will clearly help. I will however try and cover everything starting with fundamentals and will highlight when there is a need for you to do some further work in specific subjects. In fact, I hope the class will motivate you to learn more. I believe that learning usually happens when you are motivated by a curiosity to understand something.
Fundamentals of Personal Financial Planning
This 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).
Economic Issues, Food & You
Students will study the economic concepts of scarcity, supply and demand, society’s income and well-being, inflation, productivity, unemployment, the basic tools of finance, labor, and the “Fed”. Students will examine how parts of the U.S. economy function and develop an awareness of current economic issues and problems.
ECON 252: Financial Markets (2011)
An overview of the ideas, methods, and institutions that permit human society to manage risks and foster enterprise. Description of practices today and analysis of prospects for the future. Introduction to risk management and behavioral finance principles to understand the functioning of securities, insurance, and banking industries.
Microeconomics for Managers
This course is designed to introduce students to basic microeconomic theory at a relatively rapid pace. The focus will be on fundamental economic principles that can be used by managers to think about business problems, including those inside the firm (relating to the problem of administering the firm’s resources in the most cost-effective way) and those outside the firm (relating to broader market and government forces that can affect the behavior of firms). The course will not deal directly with standard “managerial economics,” which tends to emphasize the mathematics and statistical techniques used in optimizing firm decisions. However, every effort will be made to apply basic principles to management problems, mainly those relating to getting incentives right for customers, suppliers, workers, managers, and owners. Accordingly, this course will focus on an emerging subdiscipline within economics, organizational economics. It will stress methods of thinking, and students will be evaluated on their ability to recall, use, and extend the methods of thinking that are covered during the quarter.
Most people make the incorrect assumption that economics is ONLY the study of money. My primary goal in this course is to shatter this belief. In fact, in the last 50 years economists have tackled some of the most interesting and important questions for humanity.
My main goal will to show you the way economists think and how to use this analytical system to answer questions related not only to these and other important human issues but pretty much to anything you end up doing with your life after this class. After all, as you will quickly find out, I believe everything is economics!
Financial Engineering and Risk Management
Financial Engineering is a multidisciplinary field involving finance and economics, mathematics, statistics, engineering and computational methods. The emphasis of this course will be on the use of simple stochastic models and optimization for portfolio optimization, derivatives pricing and risk management.
Our examples will draw from many asset classes including equities, fixed income, credit, mortgage-backed securities and structured products. We will also consider the role that some of these asset classes played during the financial crisis. If time permits, we will also discuss other applications including real options, energy and commodities modeling, and algorithmic trading among others.
We hope that students who complete the course will have a good understanding of the “rocket science” behind financial engineering. But perhaps more importantly, we hope they will also understand the limitations of this theory in practice and why financial models should always be treated with a healthy degree of skepticism.
Principles of Macroeconomics
In this course, we will examine the main bodies of economic theory that have been used to guide economists’ and policy makers’ understanding of the macroeconomy. Macroeconomics is a word derived from the Greek prefix “makros”, meaning large. It is the study of economic aggregates, of national and international economies and of the economic management role played by governments and international organisations.
The founder of modern macroeconomics, the British economist John Maynard Keynes, famously wrote “The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed, the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influences, are usually slaves of some defunct economist.” This will be the key theme we explore in the course, the influence of theory and the way that policy responses to events like recession, unemployment, inflation and the Global Financial Crisis, reflect that theory.