Thursday, March 19, 2020

Free Training and Podcasts/Blogs, and Reading List, for Finance / Investments / Personal Finance / Soft Skills Development - for College Students

Dear Investments / Personal Financial Planning Student Scholars:

If you have “spare time,” and if you desire to learn more about the financial planning and investment professions and recent developments, there are a wide variety of resources available to you – for free.

Some Free Training Courses for Essential Finance Skills:


  • MoneyGuide Pro and eMoney financial planning software - online free training for college students. Please contact Professor Head.

Here’s a list of blogs, podcasts, books, etc. – that I hope you will explore, in the weeks ahead.

Michael Kitces’ Blog. Consider subscribing (for free) to, and reading each week, Michael Kitces’ Nerd’s Eye View “Weekend Reading.” Visit https://www.kitces.com/. Michael Kitces is the most widely-read commentator in the personal financial planning space today.

Advisor Perspectives has some excellent articles, found at www.advisorperspectives.com. Subscribe (for free) to receive emails of new articles, commentaries that are posted. The Discussion Boards on articles can be quite illuminating, as well. After subscribing, check out: www.apviewpoint.com.

Podcasts and Videos. There are many podcasts, and similar online videos, that illustrate what is going on – and how individual financial planning and investment advisory firms are communicating to their clients during this time. And some firms have weekly podcasts. Watching these, and reading firm communications, can provide you with real insights for the future. Severe market downturns will likely occur several times during your career. Observing current communications can foster the development of your approach, in future years. For examples, see:

Financial Economist Blogs. I like to listen to, and read, blogs and videos from some investment researchers and economists I respect (or, at least, challenge my thinking from time to time), such as:

Other Blogs for Financial Advisors: Also, check out Michael Kitces’ “Top 50 Financial Advisor Blogs”: https://www.kitces.com/top-financial-advisor-blogs-and-bloggers/

Recommended Books. 
  • Storytelling for Financial Advisors, by Scott West and Mitch Anthony
  • Risk Savvy: How to Make Good Decisions, by Gerd Gigernzer
  • Advice That Sticks: How to give financial advice that people will follow, by Moira Somers
  • Financial Planning 3.0, by Dick Wagner
  • The Intelligent Investor, by Benjamin Graham
  • Capital Ideas: The Improbable Origins of Modern Wall Street, by Peter Bernstein
  • A Random Walk Down Wall Street, by Burton Malkiel
  • The Behavior Gap, by Carl Richards
  • Common Sense on Mutual Funds, by John C. (“Jack”) Bogle (best read when you are freshman or sophomore, before taking FIN 331; it is an easy, but important, read)
  • Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter, by Dan Ariely
  • Your Complete Guide to a Successful and Secure Retirement, by Larry Swedroe and Kevin Grogan
  • The New Retirementality: Planning Your Life and Living Your Dreams...at Any Age You Want (2020 edition) By Mitch Anthony
  • The Millionaire Next Door, by Thomas J. Stanley
  • The Four Pillars of Investing: Lessons for Building a Winning Portfolio, by William Bernstein
  • Winning the Loser’s Game (7th edition, 2017), by Charles D. Ellis

YouTube Videos for Professional Development: (just search for the title, as set forth below). Challenge yourself to think differently, and learn the secrets to success in all phases of your life.
  • Dr. James Maas: Sleep for Success (12:06)
  • Dr. Maas on Sleeping for Success (3:47)
  • What a Good Night’s Sleep Does for the Brain (2:28)
  • Marcus Taylor / Why Expand Comfort Zones (5:51)
  • Sunnier Days Sesame Street PBS NEWSHOUR / Self-Control (9:36)
  • Charlie on Procrastination (4:18)
  • Grit / Angela Lee Duckworth (6:12)
  • Big Talk (6:24)
  • The Skill of Self-Confidence / Dr. Ivan Joseph (13:21)
  • 100 Days Without Fear / Michelle Poler  (15:00)
  • Look Up / Gary Turk (put down your phone) (4:59)
  • “If this video doesn’t convince you to put down your phone, nothing probably will” (3:28)
  • 8 secrets of success / Richard St. John (3:25)
  • An Experiment in Gratitude: The Science of Happiness (7:13)
  • Oprah’s Gratitude Journal Ophrah’s Lifeclass (3:38)
  • Shawn Achor / Happiness Advantage (12:29)
  • What makes a good life? Lessons from the Longest Study on Happiness (12:46)
  • Stacy Kramer: The best gift I ever survived (3:17)

As always, if you have any questions, or if you have concerns and don’t know where to turn, then just reach out to one of your professors, or Ms. Doreen Williams-Holmes, by email. During this time of disruption and increased anxiety, we are there for you. We may not always have all the answers, but even then we can connect you with other resources on campus.

ALSO – A Message from WKU’s Counseling Center: “The Counseling Center will remain open this semester, but we will NOT be offering face-to-face counseling sessions in our center. All counseling will be done by phone or computer applications. Students will still be able get quality counseling through these applications. This allows students and staff to continue social distancing and reduce their exposure to the virus. Our staff counselors will be working from home as well. Please feel free to call the Counseling Center with any questions you may have about counseling (270-745-3159). We encourage students who want to begin counseling, call our center to make an appointment. We will take some information from you over the phone and then connect you with a counselor who will call you.”

Thank you,
Dr. Rhoades

Ron A. Rhoades, JD, CFP®
‘Da Bear
Director, Personal Financial Planning Program
Asst. Professor – Finance
Gordon Ford College of Business
Western Kentucky University
Stimulating the Minds of the Next Generation
Of Outstanding Personal Financial Planners

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