Topic: Education & Training

Credit Score Resources

Free Credit Reports/Scores (no credit card required) from each of the three major credit bureaus

  1. TransUnion – https://www.creditkarma.com/
  2. Experian – http://www.creditsesame.com/
  3. Equifax – https://www.quizzle.com/



Financial Calculators

Mortgage Calculators

Compare 15 & 30 Year Loans – Comparing Mortgage Terms (i.e. 15, 20, 30 year)

Different mortgage terms and rates can make the loan selection process confusing, especially if you don’t plan on keeping the loan for the full term. Use this calculator to determine the total cost in today’s dollars of various mortgage alternatives taking into account your opportunity cost of money.

  • Loan Calculator
  • Rent vs Buy

   General Loan Calculators

  • Amortizing Calculator
  • Loan Comparison

Automotive Calculators

  • Automotive Loans

Retirement Planning

Roth vs Traditional IRA – Compare the Roth 401(k) to a Traditional 401(k)

Your retirement income can vary widely depending on what type of account holds your savings and what assumptions you make about return and tax rates during the accumulation and withdrawal periods. Use this calculator to help compare employee contributions to the new after-tax Roth 401(k) and the current tax-deductible 401(k).

Savings Calculators

Savings Calculator – Income Generated By A Savings Plan

Saving regularly can help you achieve your future income goals. Use this calculator to determine how much income an existing balance and/or a regular savings plan can provide.

What are my new business startup costs?

Before you launch a new venture, you should take the time to estimate the total capital that will be needed. Startup costs are divided into two main categories: one-time startup costs and recurring monthly expenses. Depending on when you expect to receive payments for your goods and services, it may be wise to begin with several months of working capital. Use this calculator to help discover and estimate your total business startup costs. Be sure to only include those items that are essential to start the business.

 How many units do I need to sell to breakeven?

Given your profit margin, it is important to know how many units of a certain product that you will need to sell in order to cover your fixed/startup costs. Use this calculator to determine the number of units required to breakeven plus the potential profit you could make on your anticipated sales volume.

Should I lease or buy equipment?

Leasing is a popular method of acquiring new equipment for your business. Although the payments may seem attractive, it may not always be the best financial decision versus purchasing the equipment outright and financing it with a low interest loan. Use the following calculator to analyze the total financial impact of up-front fees, interest rates and residual value on the lease versus buy decision.


Financial Glossary

The following are seven basic finance terms that every good entrepreneur knows or should know.

Bottom Line: Net earnings and net income both fall under the “bottom line” description. You may hear people talk about “affecting the bottom line” of the company and this is simply any action that may increase or decrease the company’s net earnings, or overall profit. The term “bottom” is in reference to the typical location of the number on a company’s income statement, below both revenues (top line) and expenses. Needless to say, this is an important term to know.

 Gross Margin: Gross margin is expressed as a percentage and represents the percent of total sales revenue that a company keeps after subtracting the cost of producing its goods or services. The higher the percentage, the more the company keeps on each dollar of sales (that will eventually go toward paying its other costs and obligations). In simple terms, if a company’s gross margins are 25 percent, for every dollar of revenue that is generated, the company will retain $0.25 before paying its overhead, which includes salaries, rent, and more.

Fixed versus Variable Costs: A fixed cost is exactly what is sounds like, a cost that does not change with increases or decreases in the volume of goods or services that are produced by your company. These costs are obviously the easiest to predict and plan for. Rent, salaries, and utilities all usually fall into this category.

Variable costs are just the opposite. They can vary depending on what a company is producing (such as Amazon Web Services usage), and as a result are much harder to forecast.

 Equity versus Debt: The “equity versus debt” comparison may seem silly to some, but you would be surprised at how many people I have come across who have no idea what either really means. Equity is simply money obtained from investors in exchange for ownership of a company, while debt comes in the form of loans from banks that must be repaid over time. Both are necessary for growth, with their own pros and cons. Equity versus debt is a critical decision for any entrepreneur and it is important to know the difference as the future of your business may depend on it.

Leverage: Leverage can be interpreted a couple different ways. In the financial world, leverage is most commonly known as the amount of debt that can be used to finance your business’ assets. In simple terms, the amount of money you borrowed to run your business. The balance you want to strike as an entrepreneur is that of your debt and equity. If you have way more debt than equity, you will be considered “highly leveraged” aka “very risky” to potential investors.

 Capital Expenditures (CapEx): Capital expenditures are any items purchased by your business that create future benefits. Basically, if something you bought is going to be useful to your business beyond the taxable year in which you purchased it, capitalize the item(s) as assets in your accounting. Examples include computers, property, or acquisitions.

 Concentration: Concentration is simply the measure (usually a percentage) of how much business you are doing with a specific client or partner. Relying on one or a couple of clients and partners to do business is a prime example of over-concentration. This is a losing strategy for any business because if something goes wrong with those limited relationships your business will be in serious trouble. Focus on keeping low concentrations for your accounts and investors will be impressed.