Believe it or not, finance is the invisible hand that pushes human development and even history!
Financing, with banks, insurance, and stocks as its representations, centralizes economic resources and reasonably distributes them. It allows the existence of big corporations, which we more or less have to agree, are the front-end of technology development and their products improve human lives. Financing is a different world. I believe it is a BIG BOYS’ world because it requires maturity and management. Financing isn’t about getting to work on time and doing one’s job well. There’s much more freedom and opportunities to it. It is about using money to create more money. It is about researching and sharing information. It is about connecting people’s needs.
I self-studied AP economics, micro and macro, last year. I expected to learn what is the gist that runs behind all the skyscrapers and factories, but AP couldn’t bring me that far. So this year, I decided to take Principles of Finance from Harvard Extension School. It is an online course. Extension School students watch a two-hour long class video every week and complete problem sets and exams on Canvas system which Harvard also happens to use. The class isn’t technically “independent” for it has a complete lesson plan and an instructor, but I guess there’s some sense of “independence” in pursuing knowledge outside of high school education.
I have had two classes already. The first class provided a very basic introduction of financing: functions of financial markets, direct and indirect financing, and primary and secondary markets. The second class introduced different kinds of financial intermediaries: depository institutions (banks), contractional savings institutions (insurance), and investment institutions (finance companies). Then the professor delved into the facts and figures about banks, which through time also reflects the core concept that banks run on: reducing risks and connecting economic resources with economic needs. The class ended with some basic knowledge about accounting, a start to dig deep into the Big Boys’ world.
https://dceweb.harvard.edu/prod/gowmnu3.taf?function=rebuild&_UserReference=0A33059E46F4C7C2AF0C239F874855F63DE3&page=%202353144260 (Don’t think anyone have access to it, but this is my class page)