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Instructor: Mr. Joe. Damato
Business Communications 128

 Personal finance

PURPOSE: In preparation for writing an academic paper, students will do library research on personal finance related topics.

Why bother with personal finance?
1) The right way to invest.
2) Avoid phishing schemes. Phishing refers to the practice of e-mails being sent to users purporting to be from institutions such as their bank and urging them to click on a web link to update their online account information. The link leads to a fake website where inputting details risks giving fraudsters access to actual bank accounts. For example, one of the most recently identified phishing attacks is targeted towards fans of Harry Potter. The fraudulent emails ask users to enter personal data in order to reserve a copy of the new Harry Potter novel.
3) Avoid fraud investment schemes.  Use the website Quatloose  This website sponsored by a nonprofit seeks to educate you about certain types of financial frauds, how these deals really work, and how you can manage your risk of financial fraud. It is also a clearinghouse of info on the latest financial and tax scams. The brainchild of Jay D. Adkisson, an attorney and stockbroker "known as one of the best asset protection planners in the U.S.

You must read books, articles and websites to understand personal finance.

  • Use Academic Onefile to find articles from magazines such as Kiplingers, Forbes, and Money
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library: Database features a wide variety of eBook reference titles from Thomson Gale, including:
    • Encyclopedia of Small Business
    • Gale Encyclopedia of E-Commerce
    • Business Plans Handbook
    • Company Profiles for Studies
    • Encyclopedia of Business and Finance


  • Find personal investment websites
    Online Magazines
    Bloomberg Personal Finance
    Kiplinger's Personal Finance

    General investment websites

  • BusinessWeek Online  
    Features a wide range of financial information on the economy, markets, stocks, investments, funds and current news impacting the financial world.
  • CNN Money  
    Focuses on financial news with sections devoted to technology, industry, the economy, companies, and business executives.
  • Internal Revenue Service  
    Access and print tax forms and instructions, plus locate helpful information on filing your returns.
  • The Motley Fool  
    A well organized resource for conducting stock research. Features sections on retirement, investments, quotes, & discussion boards.
  • MSN MoneyCentral  
    Features information for investors on banking, bill payment, wills, taxes, retirement, budgeting, college funding, loans, and mortgages.
  • Mymoney  
    The U.S. government's website dedicated to teaching the basics about financial education.
  • Smartmoney  
    A vast resource for both novice and experienced investors with many tools for researching stocks and planning investment strategies.
  • Dave Ramsey Commentator and author provides advice and resources for those striving to be debt-free.
  • Clark Howard
    Consumer advocate and commentator: site features articles and links to recommended services
Consumer and Financial Magazines

Budgeting Tips

  •  Feed the Pig [American Institute of Certified Public Accountants] - encourages and helps Americans aged 25 to 34 to take control of their personal finances and live within their means.
  • Mapping Your Future  
    Though geared to college students, contains a section devoted to managing money and tools for setting up budgets.
  • Mom's Budget  
    Gives ideas and tips for pinching pennies and creative ways to met household needs.
  • Money Chimp  
    Includes calculators on paying off debt, tax estimators, 401(k) calculators, and a handy glossary of financial terms.
  • Spendster  
    Offers an interactive community of information on spending and saving. Allow users to share their experiences regarding past poor spending decisions.
  • Cost of Food at Home [USDA] - Look for the most recent data. Look here for descriptions of the amounts of food purchased for the various food plans.


Coldwell Banker Go to the home price index to see the costs of home in different states. Money's calculators on home refinancing, creating a budget, retirement planning and more.
Associated Credit Bureaus Consumer Credit Information Sponsored by the Credit Reporting Agencies' trade group. Explains what a credit report is, how mistakes can be corrected, and whether bad credit can really be repaired. This comprehensive financial site has a useful Debt Reduction Planner.


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