Learning Tools

Tools

The following are the Learning Tools available throughout these online courses.  Their purpose is to help you in your becoming more financially self reliant.  They are given here for informational purposes only and are use in my classes.

 

Personal Financial Plan Templates

Personal Finance Plan Templates (.zip archive) (TT01)

This spreadsheet contains a zip file of each of the 16 templates for putting together your Personal Financial Plan.

Complete Personal Finance Plan (Example A) (TT02A)

Complete Personal Finance Plan (Example B) (TT02B)

Complete Personal Finance Plan (Example C) (TT02C)

The above are examples of completed Personal Financial Plans.

Financial Calculators and Tutorials

Financial Calculator Tutorial (TT03A)

This document is a tutorial for many different financial calculators in performing key time value of money calculations.

Finance Calculations for Chapters 9-10 (TT03B)

This spreadsheet gives the Excel formulas for the problems from Chapters 9 and 10 on Time Value of Money.

Excel Financial Calculator (TT12)

This spreadsheet is a Financial Calculator but written in Excel.

 

Budgeting Tools

Budgeting Spreadsheet (TT04)

This is a simple budgeting spreadsheet which can be useful when setting a budget and trying to save more money.  Your budget is your single most important tool to help you achieve your personal and family financial goals.

Debt Free Spending Spreadsheet (TT31)

This is a much more detailed budget and debt reduction spreadsheet.  This is for the more advanced user.

 

Investing Tools

Investment Plan Example (TT05A)

This is a tool to help you prepare your  Investment Plan (or Investment Policy Statement).  Becuase of the complexity of this document, we have prepared this Plan with different places where you will fill in the blanks consistent with your own situation and goals.  Instrucctions for completing this plan are below.  To complete this Investment Plan, you will also use LT 7, 13, 16, and 27.

Investment Plan Instructions (TT05B)

This document gives instructions for filling out the Investment Plan.

Using Morningstar to Select Funds (TT07)

This document teaches you how to use the Morningstar Library Edition in selecting mutual funds. 

Key Sources of Financial Information (TT10)

This document gives key sources of financial information.

Investment Process Spreadsheet (TT13)

This spreadsheet helps you as you build your portfolio.  It divideds your portfolio into the asset classes, and helps you see what your planned allocation is, what you already have, and what you will need to buy to come to your target allocation.

Possible Benchmarks for Investment Plans (TT15)

You never choose an asset class without a benchmark.  This document shares possible benchmarks for the major asset classes.

A Risk Tolerance Test (TT16)

One of the key parts of investing is the process of determining your asset allocation, which is essentially your portfolio risk.  This document takes you through that process.  We start with the rule-of-thumb of your "age in bonds," and then we adjust that rule based on how you answer 8 different questions.  This tool helps you to see if you are a "very conservative," "Conservative," moderate," "aggressive," or "very aggressive" investor.  The key is to invest at a risk level you are comfortable with.

Portfolio Attribution Example (TT17)

This tool helps to separate returns into returns from asset allocation and returns from stock selection.  This is for the very advanced investor.

Return Simulation for Asset Classes (TT23)

Investors often don't understand what standard deviation means as a measure of risk.  We calculate returns for asset classes, some going back to 1926, and standard deviations as well.  Then we build a number of different portfolios using random numbers.  This tool helps you see and visualize the different possibilities that could occur assuming 20 year portfolios.

Expected Return Simulation and Benchmarks (TT27)

Investors need to come up with an expected return forecast for their portfolio.  This is often hard to do.  In this tool we bring in actual returns from the various asset classes over 1, 10, 25, 50, 80, and 85 years (updated to the most recent year), and then based on the asset class weights, you can see what a portfolio of assets would have returned given your specific asset allocation.  This expected return is then used as an input into your Investment Plan.  (Please note that since some of the largest pension funds in the world currently us expected returns of 7.5% or less, we strongly recommend individuals follow their example.)

Taxes on Security Earnings including Qualified Dividends (TT32)

This document helps explain taxes on security earnings and how different assets and earnings are taxed differently.  It also helps you determine if a stock's dividend is qualified, i.e., does it receive the preferential tax rate?

Calculating After-Tax Security Returns (TT33)

It is often tedious to calculate individual before-tax and after-tax returns.  This tool allows you to input the beginning and ending NAV, any distributions, your tax rates and inflation, and it calculates individual and portfolio returns before-tax, after-tax, and after-tax and inflation, all key returns for the investor.

After Tax ETY and after Inflation Returns (TT26)

In addition to taxable assets, often there are securities with specific tax advantages, i.e., muni bonds, treasury bills and bonds, etc.  Becuase these assets have tax advantages, it is necessary to calculate equivalent taxable yields to be able to compare their returns to fully taxable alternatives.  This tool helps in that process.

 

Retirement Planning Tools

Retirement Planning Needs (TT06)

The purpose of this spreadsheet is to give an Excel template for calculating the amount of money you will need to save each month or year given the specific estimates you input for your retirement variables.  Please use wisdom and be conservataive in your input variables,

Roth versus Traditional - Which is Better? (TT28)

The following is a spreadsheet to help you determine whether the Roth or the Traditional IRA or retirment plans (401(k) versus Roth 401(k), 403(b) versus the Roth 403(b)) is preferred based on the assumptions you choose.

Retirement Planning Ratio Forecasts (TT25)

The purpose of this spreadsheet is to give an Excel template for determining where you are in your progress toward your retirement goals.  Special thanks to Ryan Huling who put together the idea for this spreadsheet.  It is based on the article from the WSJ by Jonathan Clements on: "Ugly Math:  How Soaring Housing Costs are Jeopardizing Retirement Savings," March 25, 2005, p. D1.  The article makes some major assumptions which include:  1.  Investors will earn 5% morethan inflation; 2.  Investors will save 12% of pre-tax income every year from age 30 to 65; and 3.  Investors will withdraw 5% of portfolio value each year. 

 

Taxes Tools

Tithing Share Transfer Example (TT08)

This document is an example of how to pay your tithes and offerings in appreciated securities (securities which are worth more than you paid for them).  By using appreciated securities to make charitable contributions, you get full credit for the value of the securities and do not have to pay taxes on the income or capital gains.

Tithing Share Transfer DRS Instructions (TT08A)

This document helps explain the process of donating securites to pay your charitable contributions.

Taxes on Security Earnings including Qualified Dividends (TT32)

This document helps explain taxes on security earnings and how different assets and earnings are taxed differently.  It also helps you determine if a stock's dividend is qualified, i.e., does it receive the preferential tax rate?

 

Mortgage and Debt Reduction Tools

Home Loan Comparison with Prepayment and Refinancing (TT19) The purpose of this spreadsheet is to give an Excel template for determining which of three different loans would be most attractive to you based on your estimates of  closing costs, interest rates, and how long you will be in the home.  In addition, we have added a prepayment worksheet to help you pay your home off faster.  Please note that your actual monthly payment is going to be more due to the additional costs of Private Mortgage Insurance and the additional Escrow payments.

Debt Elimination Spreadsheet with Accellerator (TT20)

The purpose of this spreadsheet is to give an Excel template for calculating how quickly you can pay off debts if you paid the most expensive debts off first (Ashton)  or the shortest payoff first (Ramsey).  It also assumes you continue making the same same payment  each month even after you have paid off a specific loan.  It also helps with the impact and savings of paying off loans early and using an accelerator.

Debt Amortization and Prepayments (TT09)

The purpose of this spreadsheet is to give an Excel template for calculating how quickly you can pay off debts if you made additional payments on a specific period basis.  Effective Interest Rate calculations may be a little off with prepayments as the final payment is less than the previous monthly payments.

Maximum Mortgage Payments for LDS (TT11)

The purpose of this spreadsheet is to give  an Excel template for calculating the amount of money an LDS individual should pay for a mortgage assuming they pay their tithing and a percentage of their income to themselves for savings.  This spreadsheet uses the traditional front-end and back-end ratios, and calculates the tax savings from tax-deferred retirement savings plans.

Credit Card Repayment Spreadsheet (TT18)

The purpose of this spreadsheet is to give an Excel template for calculating how quickly you can pay off debts if you made additional payments on a specific period basis.  Effective Interest Rate calculations may be a little off with prepayments as the final payment is less than the previous monthly payments

Loan Amounts to Pay Back (TT34)

The purpose of this worksheet is to give a visual representation of the amount of money necesssary to pay back a specific loan, including the amount of taxes, charitable contributions and savings that must be earned to pay back each dollar of a loan.  It should give pause for those considering borrowing and should help us to be better stewards over the amount we borrow.

 

Wills and Estate Planning Tools

Utah Advance Heath Care Directive (TT14)

An Advance Health Care Directive (also known as an “Advance Directive”) is a form that helps others give you the care you would want when you cannot make decisions. The first part of the form lets you name your health care agent. The second part of the form tells others how to make end-of-life care decisions for you. Other names for parts of the form are “Special Power of Attorney for Health Care,” “Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care,” or “Living Will.” (from the Utah Commission on Aging)

 
 
Money and Marriage Tools

Family - Key Questions on Money and Relationships (TT21)

The purpose of this Learning tool is to help you understand how money and other financial topics were handled in your family growing up.  Our experiences and background can help much in understanding the sources of our habits and knowledge. The following questions relate to how money and finances was handled in your family in the past and how you/we intend to handle money in the future.

 

The Auto Decision Tools

Lease Versus Buy Analysis (TT22)

The purpose of this spreadsheet is to give an Excel template for calculating the cost of leasing versus buying.  The lease cost is an approximation only, and is close but not exact.  This spreadsheet is only a help in discussing the financial aspects as part of the lease versus buy analysis, and assumes you can sell the vehicle at the end of the term for the pre-determined residual value.

 

Life Insurance Tools

Calculating Life Insurance Needs (TT29)

The purpose of this spreadsheet is to give an Excel template for calculating different ways of determining the amount of life insurance you would need.  It is for reference only and is an approximation of the amount needed.  To get an exact amount, I recommend you work with a qualified insurance salesman or qualified financial planner who can spend more time with you understanding the additional details of your situation. 

 

Quicken Tools

Quicken 2012 - Setting up and Using Quicken (TT30A)

Quicken 2012 - Personalizing the Category List (TT30B)

Quicken 2012 - Setting up your Budget (TT30C)

Quicken 2012 - Creating your Financial Statements (TT30D)

Quicken 2012 - Using Web Connect (TT30E)

Quicken 2012 - Printing a One Year Spending Plan (TT30F)