New Books on Finance at the Ann Arbor District Library

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Ever wanted to go short on certain currencies, go long on various commodities and make bets on specific subsectors of foreign markets but don’t have $5 or $10 million to lay out? The ETF Book All-New Updated Edition by Richard Ferri is an excellent guide to Exchange-Traded Funds. ETFs can be used by individual (read—small) investors as highly specialized precision investment instruments.

How the Global Financial Markets Really Work by Alexander Davidson is a new, comprehensive look at international investment and money flows with a special assessment of 2009’s worldwide financial crisis. Clocking in at 244 pages, it covers in simple concise language commercial banking practices (with a special look at the Icelandic banks which had a hyper meltdown), shadow banking, central banks, the US Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, world stock markets, money markets, investment banking and credit derivatives.

Getting Started in Investment Analysis written by Six Sigma guru Warren Brussee is a primer in critically judging the quality of stock or investment data, using graphs and looking for correlations and finally simple quantitative data analysis utilizing MS Excel and high school math (in other words, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist for this book to be useful).

Finances

During these financially difficult times, are you asking yourself what the best strategy is for your money? Are you wondering if you should change these investment strategies? Well, never fear, Suze Orman is here!

The library holds the PBS video series of Suze Orman's financial videos. Check out The laws of money, the lessons of life, Owning the power to control your destiny, The road to wealth, or The courage to be rich.

Each video has something to help you become more financially successful and savvy. These valuable money secrets will help in good times and in bad.

Confused About Credit?

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There's never been a better time for you to understand credit and how it can affect your wallet. Kathryn Greiner's free seminar, "Understand and Improve Your Credit Score," provides important information about credit, how it's calculated, and steps to improve it. She breaks down what helps and hurts credit scores along with what lenders consider when deciding on a loan. The seminar will be held Wednesday, July 29 from 6 to 8 pm at the University of Michigan Credit Union Jackson Branch. Seating is limited. Please call 734-662-8200 ext. 2204 or email sandras@umcu.org to reserve your seat.

Wall Street Journal’s Best Free Online Tools for Personal Finance

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Mint.com automatically aggregates all your online financial data and then keeps track of credit cards, home loans and bank and brokerage accounts all in one place. It also keeps track of how your investments are performing, and what you are spending and saving. It helps you to budget better by automatically displaying how much you spend in any given category.

Learning is a Family Thing!

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The "Learning is a Family Thing" (LIFT) Program is a series of interactive sessions designed to enhance family, health, financial, and workplace skills for everyone in the family. The upcoming session at AADL is called Dollars and Sense, which focuses on credit management, budgeting, and financial smarts for all ages. There will be activities for the whole family, prizes, raffles, and giveaways, and snacks and drinks will be provided. Join us on Sunday, June 7 from 2 to 4 pm on the fourth floor of the downtown library.

Morningstar Investment Database Computer Training Class

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Four spots are still available for the Morningstar Investment Database Class being held at the Downtown Library Computer Training Center on Wednesday, April 29th from 4-5 pm.

Keep that promise you made on April 15th to get a handle on your investments by learning how to use the Morningstar Database—ranked by Barron’s and Forbes as one of the top investing sites. Now, more than ever, it pays to have solid, unbiased information to make investment decisions. Register online or by calling 327-4555.

Learning is a Family Thing

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The Learning is a Family Thing (LIFT) Program is a series of four interactive sessions designed to enhance family, health, financial, and workplace skills for everyone in the family!
The four sessions will address:
* Reading Together: Reading as a family; using effective communication skills and study techniques.
* Healthy Families: Keeping your family healthy through nutrition, exercise, and education.
* Dollars and Sense: Credit management, budgeting, and financial smarts for all ages.

American Credit Repair: Everything U Need to Know About Raising Your Credit Score

Ok, the title alone almost says it all. And who has a credit score that couldn’t use a bit of a boost? Do you know how to find your score? Do you know the five main factors that make up your score and the practice which is its best indicator? Did you know that, with a carefully worded letter to your creditor (sample given), you can have a late payment expunged from your report? What should you do first if your report has multiple problems?

Credit, and reporting your credit activity, is a big game in America. But it is a game that you can learn to play as well as your creditors. Perhaps even learn to win. There is a wealth of information here to help you learn the rules of the game and strategize a new reality to the story of your credit report. Ready-to-print forms, sample letters and an accompanying cd allow you to apply triage to your score on your own. The author also maintains a website which may help.

Need Some Help?

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Washtenaw County MSU Extension is teaching Family Consumer Science Programs on useful subjects such as How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, Relax- Alternative to Anger, and Paying Down Debt. They also offer financial resources on their website. Be sure to check them out!

2009 Financial Action Plan

With the financial markets the way they are you may be looking to have more concrete plans for the future. Suze Orman has just released a book about how to plan for specific life situations. AADL doesn't have a copy yet, but if you hurry (before 11:59 pm CT tomorrow, Jan 15 2009) then you can grab a free download of the book from Oprah's site. The file is in PDF format.

Here is Suze's recent appearance on Larry King Live:

If you miss the download we do have many other books by Suze Orman and also DVD's of some of her programs like The 9 steps to financial freedom. If your working on some financial resolutions for the new year you might also be interested in a post over at the Wesabe Blog titled Five Ways To Make Any Financial Resolution A Success.

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