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ProgramsPublic Education Programs

Free Online Programs: Financial Literacy

National Experts Share What You Need to Know for a More Financially Stable Future

Financial literacy is empowering—yet good, practical education about financial management is too often out of reach for people, especially those with limited incomes. Former BCF Board member Paul Merriman—founder of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation—has dedicated his retirement to providing free education for all ages about how to secure a more stable financial future. On behalf of BCF, every year Paul organizes free virtual events with speakers who are nationally renowned experts in their fields in order to help educate our community on how to better plan for our futures. These events target all ages and levels of financial literacy, including youth, first-time investors who are still in the workforce, and those who have just entered retirement. Learn more below!

Upcoming Events: 2024 Financial Education Series

To register, please click on the links below:


Past Events: 2023 Financial Education Series


Paul Merriman encourages to ask him questions. To reach Paul, email paul@paulmerriman.com. To listen to an overview from Paul Merriman on the 2023 series, click here.

2022 Financial Education Series

For an overview from Paul himself, click here. To learn more about the speakers, click here.


2021 Financial Education Series

April 3, 9-10:30am / How to Invest in a Bubble / To View Recording of the Event, Click Here / To Access the PowerPoint, Click Here

The world of investing has had a wild ride in 2020, and is continuing into 2021. In this presentation, Paul Merriman explored the history and nature of stock market bubbles, long bull markets, day trading, hedge funds and the uncertainty that can accompany market bubbles. Issues covered included how to invest during a bubble, higher risk portfolios, diversifying stocks, whether Bitcoin is the “new gold,” and much more. The event targeted first-time investors (ages 18-35), pre-retirees and retirees.

April 8, 4:30-6pm / Six Retirement Blind Spots and How to Fix Them / To View Recording of the Event, Click Here

Many of the risks we face in retirement are relatively under our control, while others are not. In this presentation Christine Benz, Director of Financial Planning for Morningstar and author of 30-Minute Money Solutions: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Your Finances, showed pre-retirees and retirees how to manage your portfolio and financial plan to protect against six very serious risks.  Those risks include retirement date risk, sequence of return risk, low-yield risk, inflation risk, health care and long-term care risk and longevity risk.  She also shared her favorite in-retirement mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and discussed her model bucket portfolios geared toward retirees. This event targeted pre-retirees and retirees.

April 15, 4:30-6pm / We’re Talking Millions! 12 Ways to Supercharge Retirement / To View Recording of the Event, Click Here

This presentation was about Paul Merriman’s new book and was mostly focused on investors who are in the accumulation stage of building their retirement investments. Issues covered included how 12 decisions investors make could be worth an additional million dollars, which funds first time investors should own and which funds different types of retirees should own, and two major decisions that could each add $5-$10 million more for your retirement, for your children, or for your favorite charities. This event targeted first-time investors (18 -35) and anyone who wants to understand the basics of successful investing.

April 22, 4:30-6pm / How to Plan for a Successful and Secure Retirement / To View Recording of the Event, Click Here

Click below for links to Larry Swedroe's blogs:

Larry Swedroe, a sought-after speaker and prolific writer on the science of investing, spoke about helping retirees and pre-retirees make the best of their retirement by making sound investments. Larry has written over a dozen books on this topic, many of which have been translated into seven different languages. Paul Merriman interviewed Larry about his latest book “The Complete Guide to a Successful and Secure Retirement,” and topics covered the most important steps to take in retirement planning, avoiding common mistakes investors make, what we need to tell heirs about our financial plan, what women should know about investing, and much more.

April 29, 4:30-6pm / The Most Important Class You Never Had / To View Recording of the Event, Click Here

Tim Ranzetta, President of Next Generation Personal Finance (NGPF), presented his work. NGPF was created on the belief that financial literacy is the key to creating stable futures for the next generation. It promotes financial education in our public schools, and provides free curriculum for any educator who is interested in the program. NGPF produced a video called “The Most Important Class You Never Had,” (available on YouTube) which explains the critical impact of financial literacy on our lives—and how improving an understanding of finance during youth could change behavior into adulthood. NGPF focuses on helping students in grades 6-12. This event targeted parents, teachers, and other educators including home-schoolers.

To watch a separate public program focused on how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the careers and education of the next generation, click here.


BCF would like to thank Paul Merriman, former BCF Board Member, for organizing these free events. Paul Merriman is President of The Merriman Financial Education Foundation. In 1983 he founded Merriman Wealth Management. When he sold the firm in 2012 he formed the Foundation dedicated to providing comprehensive financial education to investors, with information and tools to make informed decisions in their own best interest and successfully implement their retirement savings program. Since 2012 the foundation site has built a library of over 700 articles, podcasts and videos plus creating dozens of do-it-yourself portfolios at Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab and others. He has written 8 books, including the latest “We’re Talking Millions! 12 Ways to Supercharge Your Retirement.” In 2021, Paul was awarded the prestigious James Cloonan Award for Excellence in Investment Education by the American Association of Individual Investors (AAII).