Take free financial courses with the OU

The True Potential PUFin Centre, based at The Open University Business School, has provided four free online courses, enabling users to manage their finances, from basic planning to managing investments. All of the modules below include various calculator tools to help you manage your financial affairs and make informed decisions. A full glossary is also provided to help you navigate your way through jargon that is used in financial business.

There are also self-assessment questions - with feedback provided - to enable you to monitor your progress.

Managing My Money

This module provides a solid grounding in personal financial matters and covers:

  • Financial planning, including drawing up a budget and a household balance sheet
  • Loans and mortgages and other debt products and their cost
  • The core categories of personal investments, their characteristics and the returns they provide to investors
  • Pensions products and how to undertake pension planning
  • Core insurance products and how they are priced

Click here to take the Managing My Money Module

Managing My Investments

This module builds on the coverage of investment management and financial risks provided in the previous module and covers:

  • The principles of investment management
  • How to construct an investment portfolio
  • The determinants of asset prices, including equities and bonds
  • State and personal pensions and on how to plan for an income in retirement
  • The risks associated with investments - including credit and interest rate risk

Click here to take the Managing My Investments Module

Managing My Financial Journey

This module reviews the evolution of the financial services industry in the UK, moving on to study the financial services providers - the banks, building societies and insurance companies as well as the role played by the regulatory bodies like the Financial Conduct authority (FCA). It covers:

  • The evolution and development of the financial services industry in the UK
  • The key players in the industry, including the regulators
  • The key principles relating to the regulation of firms
  • The key principles relating to the sale of financial products
  • Consumer rights and protection in respect of financial services
  • Certain of the current key issues and developments that are shaping financial services in the UK

Click here to take the Managing My Financial Journey Module

Managing My Money for Young Adults

This course is designed to help young people understand financial management and financial products. Although the target audience is 16-18 year olds the course is of great help to anyone wanting to understand how to manage personal financial matters and covers:

  • How to budget effectively, taking into account the changes encountered on leaving the family home
  • How to choose and manage bank and savings accounts
  • Tax, national insurance and how state benefits are changing
  • How to finance further and higher education studies
  • Know how to borrow sensibly and manage debts effectively
  • Understand what is involved in buying a home and pension planning

Click here to take the Managing My Money for Young Adults Module

Martin Upton is your educator and guide through the courses. He is Director of the True Potential Centre for the Public Understanding of Finance based at The Open University Business School. Please contact him directly with any feedback or questions about the modules.

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