Web Site Offers Financial Instruction

March 17, 2003
| By Katy Rent |
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GRAND RAPIDS — Personal and family finances are a daunting subject for a lot of people, while others have no clue, simply living check-to-check. 

However, with the availability of a new Web site, tax preparation and financial and retirement planning need not send such folks into a state of panic.

“The General Electric Center for Financial Learning — www.financiallearning.com — is an objective financial resource for consumers to help educate them on financial life events,” said Jacquelyn Mahalick, account executive for Peppercom, a public relations firm.

“There are no products marketed or sold, and all information is free,” she added.

She explained that the site includes information on building a financial plan, estate planning, managing taxes, owning a business, owning a home, owning an automobile, retirement planning, saving for an education, starting a family and sudden financial planning.

Each topic the site outlines is supported by an expert, all of whom are members of a volunteer advisory board for the site, developed to promote financial literacy.

The site, Mahalick explained, exists not to sell or promote GE financial products, but to educate and inform adults on the financial matters important in their lives. It also is seen as a home tool parents can use to help bring their children into the mainstream of financial life

Mahalick says the site operates on the premise that each financial life event offers the consumer several options in solving the problems that arise.

The site, for instance, offers a basic definition and layout to explain each problem area in simple terms. It also offers free online classes and suggests books and reference materials for additional information.

The site’s investment section, for instance, doesn’t hold for any Pollyanna promises. It introduces the subject by noting the range of investment choices is vast and that guarantees don’t exist.

The section then offers the prospective investor five extensive chapters: Basics, Articles, Books, Tools (including a calculator to help determine how much to invest) and Free Courses.

In the site’s resource center, customers will find a financial dictionary, planning tools, research studies, tips on using the Internet and how to figure out a specific money personality.

The financial dictionary provides consumers the ability to look up any term used on the site and offers a comprehensive list of terms that will help the user fully understand the articles and resources provided.

Planning tools also include a tax calculator, spending calculator, mortgage calculator, life insurance calculator, investments calculator, retirement calculator, savings calculator, retirement income roadmap and nursing home costs.

The site’s Research Studies section provides research conducted on those financial topics important to families, including a groundbreaking study concerning long-term care for the elderly and a financial literacy project.

In the “Your Money Personality” section, the Moneymax Money Personality Profile is offered to users for free allowing them to determine their specific money personality.

The section also offers articles on the different money personalities.

In addition, the site also offers interactive workshops and a personal planner including a notepad, filing cabinet and learning plan.

While the content is provided by several professional finance organizations, the site is also supported by 13 industry professionals that make up the advisory board.

The experts are available for questions and their answers to recently asked questions can also be viewed.

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