Five Best Books to Better Understand Finance

For anyone looking for finance books, these top five books will offer them a better understanding of finance. They will provide them with a wealth of knowledge that they need to manage their finances better.


A Random Walk Down Wall Street

The author of the book is an economist from Princeton named Burton Malkiel. The book was initially published in 1973, and it offers advice to readers regarding some investments. Whether one is starting their profession in finance or is an established finance professional intending to broaden their investment profile, the book is an excellent market fundamental source.


Common Sense of Mutual Funds

This book is a guide written for investors in mutual funds. It was written in 1999 by John Bogle, the Vanguard Group founder. He argues the case for the index-based-investing value. If one is looking for common-sense financial advice, this is the book for them. He notes that the less amount of money one pays a person to manage their money, the more money they have for investing.


The Intelligent Investor

The book was initially published in 1949, and its author is Benjamin Graham. The book has been updated multiple times including recently by Jason Zweig, a financial writer since Graham died in 1976. The book comprises a guide to approaches in long-term investing. Through the book, Graham maps out and advocates for his value approach as opposed to investing.


Security Analysis

The book was first published in 1934 with David Dodd and Benjamin Graham as the authors. The book is a guide to fundamental equity investing and offers approaches to value investing. Graham was Warren Buffet’s professor at Columbia University, and Buffet was able to pick up on value investing, an approach he uses till today.


Barbarians at the Gate

If one is interested in junk bonds and leveraged buyouts, this book is ideal for them. The book was written in 1989 by John Helyar and Bryan Burrough. In the book, they write the history of these types of financing as they recount the struggle that involved the RJR Nabisco leveraged buyout. Initially, the writers wrote the story as Wall Street Journal writers.

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

Five Best Books to Better Understand Finance

The Importance of Financial Literacy

Financial literacy may be defined as having the knowledge and skills to handle financial matters. Financially literate persons handle cash, credit, and other financial resources responsibly. However, many people have never developed the skills necessary to manage their financial resources.


The need for financial literacy

Many young people find themselves in mountains of debt before they graduate from college because of credit cards. Being able to buy on credit while paying a few dollars a month toward the balance might seem like an easy way to have it all when cash is limited. However, a buy now, pay later approach is what causes many people both young and not-so-young, to become overwhelmed with debt. In many cases, individuals accrue so much debt that they cannot pay. Defaulting on credit cards and loans not only hurts one’s credit score–it impacts the ability to get a job, purchase a car, or purchase a home. Individuals who develop financial literacy have the skills to avoid these mistakes by making informed decisions about how they spend money.


Individuals should develop financial literacy early

It’s never too early to help young people develop financial literacy. Parents who give their children allowances for doing chores can teach the importance of working to earn money. Teaching a child to pay him or herself first by saving money is the beginning of basic financial literacy. In middle school and high school, students can develop financial literacy through simulations where they are given a specific budget and must figure out how to pay for shelter, transportation, groceries, insurance, emergency car repairs, and other living expenses. For most participants, this type of activity is an eye-opener when they realize that they might need to forgo that prized smartphone to purchase a battery for a car.


What individuals need to know to make informed financial decisions

Anyone who is at risk of making poor financial decisions can benefit from financial literacy education in the following areas:

  • How to make a budget and stick to it
  • How to avoid credit traps
  • How credit interest works
  • Saving and investing
  • Understanding your credit report

Education to help individuals develop financial literacy works. It would be valuable if all students were required to participate in at least a short course on managing personal finances before graduating from high school. Research shows that high school students exposed to financial literacy education do a better job of managing their financial resources later in life.


This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

The Importance of Financial Literacy

What to Know about Switzerland’s Cryptocurrency Platform

The Emergence of Digital Currency Systems

Once you begin to understand the applications of cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technology, you can see the power this technology has. The people behind SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) believe in the future of the crypto space and foresee it redefining the future of the financial industry. SIX looks to bridge the gap inhibiting digital communities from advancing traditional financial services.


Switzerland Plans to Lead the World’s Crypto Space

The global monetary system saw its share of issues, which allowed digital currencies to catch the eye of investors. What was once thought of as merely a novelty or alternative is developing into a disruptive financial force. Many see the future of digital transactions changing, even if cryptocurrencies will need to become more professional as payment systems.


According to the country’s economic minister, Switzerland’s goal is to lead the world as the go-to “crypto nation.” Historically, Switzerland has been a financial haven. Now, the country is attracting crypto start-ups because of its beneficial tax and regulatory environments. With support from Switzerland’s stock exchange, trading digital assets will take place on a first world market infrastructure.



Among the most discussed topics in the crypto space are regulations. Most of the world regulators skeptically view digital currencies. Still, crypto exchanges press on and now increasingly employ conventional safeguards. Higher standards are expected as bigger players, like hedge funds and proprietary traders, enter this market.


Switzerland plans to regulate SIX with Finma, its central bank, and financial supervisor. Expect to see cryptocurrencies under the same type of oversight as conventional exchanges. Initial services are planned for sometime during the first half of 2019.


A First World Blockchain Based Exchange

By design, cryptocurrencies run on blockchain technology. However, most of the exchanges that trade them do not. SIX is using blockchain technology to build its platform as a distributed ledger.


Services will not be limited to trading. Asset custody and deal settlement will also be offered. SIX will likely operate in a healthy financial environment. This is because, in addition to the growing acceptance of digital currencies, the country is working to liberate banks from regulations that restrict services to crypto companies.

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

What to Know about Switzerland’s Cryptocurrency Platform

What to Know Before Starting a Career in Finance

Fresh-out of high school and unsure of what you want to do for the rest of your life? Or, are you already working and in a career, but want a change? If so, you may have considered working in finance. Finance can be a lucrative career, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for you. If you’ve been interested in pursuing finance as a career, here are a few things to consider.


It’s who you know, not what you know

These days, getting a job almost anywhere is about knowing the right people. But that sentiment is especially true in finance. Knowing the right people is much more likely to help you succeed than being the smartest person in the room. Develop close relationships with your coworkers and supervisors; you never know when you’ll need to lean on them for a position. Even if they can’t help you secure a new job, they have valuable, hard-earned knowledge they may be willing to impart to you.


The industry is always changing

Finance changes as swiftly as a river. New laws and regulations are continually emerging. The market could crash or soar at any given moment. Getting involved in an industry that changes as rapidly as finance can be scary. You need to be constantly learning, and relearning your position. If the market crashes and a recession begins, you may be out of a job. You have to be prepared to roll with the punches.


Past success doesn’t guarantee future success

Just because a strategy worked well for you in the past, it doesn’t ensure it’ll work well for you in the future. Because the industry is always changing, your methods have too also. It is not a career where you can get complacent; you must always be on the cutting edge. Clients will notice if you’re trying to coast off of a past win.


Not the right industry for everyone

Finance is a high-stress career. It involves lots of late nights, weekends spent working and on-call, and high stakes. If the downsides of the industry don’t scare you, or even excite you, it may be worth pursuing. If the only reason you’re interested in a career in finance is the chance you’ll become a millionaire, but aren’t prepared to put in the necessary work, you may want to consider another path.

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

What to Know Before Starting a Career in Finance

How to Create a Budget – And Stick to It

Do you ever feel like your paycheck disappears as soon as you get it, and you no idea where that money is actually going? One way to fix this is to create a monthly budget. While creating a budget and sticking to it may seem impossible, breaking it down into four easy steps makes it a much more surmountable task. Having a budget helps you track where all of your money goes, and where you can reduce monthly expenses.


  1. Write down your net income for the month

To start creating a monthly budget, first, calculate all of the money you make in a month. Remember not to include any money that goes to deductions (Social Security, taxes, 401(k)). Remember to include all sources of income, including full-time work, part-time jobs and freelance work.


  1. List all of your monthly spendings

Next, calculate how much money you spend each month. Account for every dollar. Start with all of your fixed expenses (regular monthly bills such as mortgage, car payments, utilities, etc.). Then, list all variable expenses. These are items such as groceries, entertainment and credit card bills. Look for any opportunities to cut back.


  1. Set your money goals

Create both short and long-term goals for your money. Do you want to start saving for retirement? Your children’s education? Write those down and allocate how much money should be given monthly to these goals. These don’t have to be set entirely in stone, but having an idea of where you want your money to go in the coming years will help when planning your budget.


  1. Review budget periodically

Once you have your budget, don’t just set it away and forget about it. Check it monthly and make any needed adjustments. If your income changes, recalculate your budget. If you want to change one of your goals, re-examine that. Make notes of any areas where you spent more than you budgeted for and how you can improve on that.


Now that you have your budget all planned and written out, make sure you follow through with it! Use a budget spreadsheet or a personal finance app to make sure you’re staying on track.

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

How to Create a Budget – And Stick to It

How New Technology is Transforming the Finance Industry

When it comes to professional financial services, technology is completely changing how the service is provided. Assignments that professionals once completed using paper currency, outdated computers, and face-to-face meetings are now being completed by using digital solutions. This has led to an eruption of startups that provide financial technology worldwide. The change has allowed new companies to emerge, and old companies trying to cash in on the new benefits.



The umbrella term of FinTech has made its way into mainstream financial services. FinTech is any type of technology that provides, or assists, a financial service. Some obvious examples are the mobile application of a bank, online trading platforms, and robo-investing.

The start-ups introducing this type of technology, are ahead of the game. Older organizations need to utilize some of the FinTech tools, as a means for keeping up with the same innovation.


The Blockchain

Blockchain also looms in the financial world – and has the potential to completely overhaul the way the world sees finance. Contrary to popular belief, blockchain is not merely an innovative idea being tested by startups, but is an emerging technology being studied by seasoned institutions as well. What does the blockchain do for the tech world? To keep it simple, blockchain is the technology that saves and keeps track of all Bitcoin transactions. The potential overhaul that blockchain presents is the potential elimination of “big banks.” This is due to the fact that blockchain eliminates the high fees and costs of the banking services.


Robo-Advisors are another type of FinTech that are becoming increasingly popular in finance. These services provide investment advice and portfolio management all through AI and technology. Those who seek an account with a robo-advisor choose from different services available. Popular ones include Wealthfront and Betterment. Investors are then able to fill out a questionnaire, and an algorithm will advise them on the best investment opportunities for their portfolio.

If success with these financial solutions shows greater success than traditional financial advisors, robo-advisors have the potential to completely wipe out this profession.

The constant change of technology has not passed over the financial field. Instead, a broad term – FinTech – has been created to encompass all financial technology. Within FinTech are digital solutions like the blockchain and robo-advisors, which have the potential to completely overhaul the financial world.

This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

How New Technology is Transforming the Finance Industry

Best Apps for Personal Finance


Financial burdens are something everyone carries with them. Our personal financial standings are at the core of our lives. Maintaining a healthy portfolio and bank account deems challenging for many. Fortunately, technology has made its way into our lives and has helped improve many aspects of it. There are countless online tools and apps that support our everyday needs, finances being one of them. Here are some of the best apps to help with your personal finance needs.


Your Bank’s App


Most financial institutions have an app of their own. Through these technologies, customers are often able to track their accounts with ease. For banks such as PNC and Wells Fargo, users have the option to make transfers, deposit checks, and pay bills with a few touches. These banking apps give you the freedom to neglect going into a branch everytime you need something done.




Managing money, for most people becomes a chore. For those with various accounts and credit cards, it becomes challenging to stay afloat with each one. With Mint, users are provided an all-in-one tool for maintaining your financial obligations. Through the app, one can create a budget, track spending, pay bills, and view your account status. With all of these tools in one place, users have great success when it comes to managing finances in a smart manner.


Pocket Guard


While it doesn’t come with the same bells and whistles of Mint, Pocket Guard provided a user-friendly and simple way of formulating a budget. This app, gets back to basis and gives users a simple “snapshot” of how much they can spend at a given time. Pocket Guard analyzes the numbers to show spenders just how much is left once bills are paid. There are means for specifying spending categories but at the end of the day, Pocket Guard is a simplistic as financial apps get!




Don’t have the funds for a financial advisor? Meet, Albert. This multifaceted app acts as somewhat of a financial advisor to its user. Albert monitors all accounts, while providing up-front recommendations to help improve your financial health. A budget is automatically created based on your previous spending, bills, and income. If you’re looking for someone to do it for you, leave it to Albert.


This post was originally published on Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Finance Blog. For more info about Etienne, please visit his homepage.

Best Apps for Personal Finance