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GoVenture Life & Money Tutorial — Personal Financial Literacy and Investing Simulation Game


Check out GoVenture Life & Money


Hey, thanks for playing GoVenture! GoVenture is a very comprehensive simulation-based training program for learning personal financial literacy, and investing it includes a number of resources and components. It's a very very detailed program and I'm going to review each of these components and resources with you to help you understand how to navigate the program and which resources may be best for you.


Now the order in which you might complete the resources and the ones you might choose to complete will be based on h ow you approach this course so you may be taking this program as part of a self-directed course where you kind of choose on your own what you'd like to do or you are guided by some curriculum. You may also be taking this as part of a course that's led by a teacher, instructor, or trainer and in that case that individual will direct you as to what individual resources and components you should complete.


So when you first log GoVenture you're gonna see this dashboard. Now this is your personal dashboard and you can see in the upper left here there's a My Profile option you can click on that and actually set your name and change the little avatar that represents you and so on. We can also see a question mark button that gives you access to learning guides, tutorials, and help. You'll see a group number box here and then you'll see three buttons which gives you access to these particular resources. The individual activities: investing simulation and the life and money simulation. Now one of the things you're going to have to do is join a group, so when you first join this box here, this drop-down selector will be empty and you'll have the choice to join a group and so you'll be provided with a group number. That group number will be given to you by your teacher or instructor or facilitator or whoever's managing your self-directed course. When you join that group it will turn on one, two, or three of these resources that you see here. There are the individual activities: investing simulation, life and money simulations, so based on the settings of the group which are set by the person who set up the course they may give you access to all three of these or just one. They may also give you multiple group numbers to join so they might give you a group number to start which might only give you access, let's say, to the individual activities and then they might give you a second group number that might give you access to the Life and Money simulation or some combination thereof. It's important to know that you will not be able to access these three sections of these three components until you enter a group number up here and you have to get that group number for your teacher or facilitator.


So when we first start out again depending how you want to go through the program you can dive directly into the individual activities you can go into investing or Life and Money simulation or you can review the learning guide, tutorials, and help. I'm gonna recommend we look at the learning guide, tutorials and help first because that provides us some good reference materials to start with. I should also mention that the investing simulation they see here, this option may also be included in the Life and Money simulation so again, depending on how your group is set up the Life and Money simulation could have all the same options and features that are included in the Investment training simulation, all bundled together with the personal finance or Life and money components as well.


The investment simulation is available if an instructor just wants you to participate in an investing only simulation with no personal finance decisions to make. It also is just investing stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate, and gold. You might just play an investing only simulation whereas if it's broader than that that's where you would actually play the Life and Money simulation. The individual activities are very specific activities that are generally very brief, usually a full minutes to about half an hour. They include activities like preparing a net worth statement or understanding a paycheque, so very very short, brief, specific activities that are helpful to know and perhaps might be due before you enter a full Life and Money simulation. They are not necessarily required but helpful. Let's start by going to learning guides tutorial and help so here we'll see a list of resources that are available to us so the first is some tutorials so you can see there's a simulation overview video and I can click that and launch a video and there may be new videos added by the time you look at this particular training video that we're doing here. Also, one thing to note in GoVenture that in GoVenture anything that is orange is clickable. So all links that are orange are clickable and you'll see buttons that are clickable as well. So as I scroll down I can see there's a learning guide, there's an e-workbook, online activities, there's videos, your story simulation and instructor guide and if you need help you click on that button and you can reach our team that can help you with any technical issues that you may have.


So if I scroll back to the top let's take a look at the learning guide first. So the learning guide is a very detailed, very comprehensive guide. Text-based that describes everything you need to know about financial literacy, personal finance, and investing. It is over 70,000 words of text which is equivalent to a three to four hundred page book so you know most peiople are not going to necessarily read this from start to finish. It's there as a helpful reference so when you're doing the other resources. In GoVenture you'll see some cases that have links directly to this learning guide so if you want to take a deeper dive or learn more about a particular topic you can click that link and it'll take you directly tot he section int he learning doc here that addresses if so you can learn more about it of course. If you want to browse through the learning guide and review in on your own step-by-step that's certainly available to you as well and it works on all devices including mobile phones so even if you have a small small interface it'll display, you'll still be able to read it well.


What I am looking at here is the table of contents. Now the other thing you'll notice in the learning guide is at the end of every main section you'll see activity, so you see here section 1.5 that subsection is activities, along with the last section of section 2 and 3. They are printable PDF activities that you can do so they'll normally let me go ahead and click on one of these so this is what they look like so they'll have a place for your name, due date or grade, and some type of activity in this case it's a definition based activity where you would see a word and then write in the definition with what you know. Of course all these definitions ar efound in the learning guide so normally these PDF activities are assigned by teachers in a course so it's not necessarily something that you're expected to do on your own. It certainly can be helpful and help you learn more about what it is your want to learn about but in most cases these are going to be assigned by instructors as part of a longer-term course.


If you're doing this as self-directed you can certainly refer to these but you're probably not going to do them. We provide answer keys but they're normally only provided to instructors so again if you're doing this self-directed you're probably not going to use these resources very much but again you can refer to them if you find it helpful. Alright, that's our learning doc let's go back to the main page and scroll down further then we have an e-workbook and the e-workbook is kind of an online e-learning module and an entry level introduction to the basics of Life and Money.


So as I mentioned the learning guide that we just saw a moment ago, over 70,000 words and three hundred pages, you know which is obviously too much for you to just read from start to finish, it's better as a reference guide. The workbook is really great to start with and just click through it, read everything, it's large text very easy to read and it introduces you to the basics of Life and Money and it probably only takes two hours to go through. In fact, lets go ahead and click on that and we'll take a look at it.


Here it is, personal financial literacy your workbook. I won't read all these you can do that when you're doing it on your own but it's takes you through everything in a summary format so instead of 300 to 400 pages. It presents a concept in lage font and I can see here you would flip through and at the end of every section there's a simple activity to help reinforce for you what you just learned in the previous section, so these simple activities are basic but they can be very effective and reinforcing what it is that you want to learn and you'll notice at the bottom of the workbook is a button that says learn more and if you click it it will take you to our learning guide, and to the most relevant section.


You'll notice at the bottom of the workbook is a button that says learn more and if you click on that it will take you to our learning guide, to the most relevant section with more information about that topic. So start with the workbook, do the activities you want to learn more about, click learn more and keep going through the work book and it will save your progress so if you spent a few minutes with it now and come back later it will have saved your progress.


Lets go back to our list here, so we looked at the workbook. Online activities, so these are individual activities, in fact, let me switch back although we'll stay here in online activities, there's ten of them and you'll see here a life plan, my money, profile, a net worth activity, a budget, cash flow by cell and so on and what you can do is you can review each activity.


The life plan is the most fun one because you actually get to build your life plan but the other ones are simple exercises that help you understand key concepts of financial literacy like building a net worth statement for example, so what you can do is you can click on this and you can read about how to do the activity. It also gives you any background information that you will need to do the activity itself so if you have to know if you want to understand what net worth activity is it actually explains to you what net worth is here so you don't ahve to go anywhere else or reference anything else to do this activity. So what we're looking at here is basically the guide to doing the activities but the activities themselves you would access from your dashboard so here we go here's the individual activities we;ve just been looking at so what we do is we click on these and now you can see there are activities so if I want to do a net worth exercise I think I can come here and actually do the exercise here now.


Generally there are two days to do net worth statements, one is you can do it on your own personal life using your own numbers and data but if you're still not still learning about net worth and maybe you're young and don't really have a lot of asserts and liabilities to use as part of this activity we have a fictional character called Moe Money. If I scroll back to the online activities here and scroll down to section 11, you'll see Moe Money.


Moe is a fictional character and we have his profile written out here and based on his

profile you can do all the of 10 activities and so his profile is well-written to give you the exact information you need to do the 10 activities that we looked at previously. If you read here you can see Moe's assets and liabilities, and you can actually build a net worth statement using Moe's information and if you're taking this in a self-directed course you'll be provided with the correct answer so you can compare what you did with the correct answers. That's it for the profile.


If I click back here I can access the ten activities that I want to do, as I mentioned the most interesting one is the life plan. The life plan has a number of goals that you might want to achieve in your life, for example you know maybe you want to buy a smartphone or bicycle or get a job or buy a car or take a vacation and what you can do is you can drag an icon on this 20 year timeline. You see there's a timeline of 20 years, the first year is monthly and the rest are essentially yearly and you can drag the along the timeline and let it go and then it asks you questions about that goal. you don't actually have to fill any of these in but of course the more info you do fill in the clearer picture you'll get of your life plan and so you can do this with as many goals as you like. There is also a Moe Money profile that you can use to do this for Moe himself, or you can do it for yourself as wall. So that's what the 10 activities . Let's go back to our list of tutorials and guides, we also have a vbideo section so in the video section click on that and what we've done is we found really great videos that are available on the internet so there are some offered by PBS television ro Stanford University or TED talks and if you look through you'll see a really interesting list of videos. There's maybe 100, 200 videos here and you can see the topic and everything is organizzed by topic and basically you click on the link and it takes you to that particular website that offers that video for you to review.


If we go to the table of contents you can see the contents are organized by topic and you can click on any topic, jump down, and see the videos available in that topic and you can also see which videos have closed captions. Videos are a great way to support and enhance your learning, and help you stay engaged as well.


Then we have your story simulation. So the story simulation is the best place to start your learning because it is a simple text-based simulation. It's story based so it keeps you engaged and it's interesting but it introduces really simple concepts in a fun way so if I click on the your story simulation it will launch into the simulation itself and this is a really simple. It's based on a story of your fictional life and it walks you through things that might happen if your life so you know this story's about you. You live in GoVenture City, your goal is to live your life and achieve your dreams and you start off living at home with your family, and you will soon graduate high school and so basically you would read through the story and every so often it'll introduce you to some important things that are happening in your fictitious life and ask you to make some choices as well. It's a really fun way to learn the basics using a narrative story, and it takes about two hours to go through. Again, this simulation will save your spot in case you have to leave and come back. Lets go back to the tutorials and guides and here we have an instructor guide so if you're an instructor or trainer, you'll find the instructor guide to be very useful to you. it explains all the resources much like what I'm doing now and provides addional links to other information including a very detailed curriculum guide that'll help match up how to use GoVenture in yoru specific needs.


So for example if you have ten or twenty hours it will actually identify all the individual resources and how you can potentially use them to provide that curriculum time and then again at the bottom if you need any technical help you can click the question mark. Lets go back to the top and review this again so we have the list of learning guides and activities, a learning guide that's over 70,000 words long, and a reference guide to everything you need to know about personal financial literacy and investing. We have an e-workbook which introduces you to the basics in just a couple of hours of flipping through, with simple activities at the end of each section, which makes it a great place to start.


The online activities are ten different activities you may want to do to enhance what you've learned from the book or from the your story simulation. We have videos which are really helpful and fun to review and certain concepts if you prefer to learn things through video that can help you. The Your story simulation, another great place to start your learning, and I would recommend it as your starting spot, and then the e-workbook, and then review some videos or do some of the individual activities.


Let's go back to our dashboard. So there's our individual activities, our investing simulation or Life and Money simulation. So as I was describing earlier the investing simulation option here is if you want to do an activity based on investing only so no personal finance decisions nothing like that just investing. This one you would do the investing simulation game or if you want to do the full experience with all the personal financial literacy decisions and living your life that where the Life and Money simulation comes in and again depending on how this is set up for you based on the group you joined, the Life and Money simulation can't have certain thigns customized within it so your experience might be a little different than others but what I'm gonna do is we've already looked at the individual activities, and I won't go into the investing simulation because it's already included in the Life and Money simulation, so I'm gonna dive into the Life and Money simulation.


So the simulation starts in the same place every time with a certain amount of starting cash and the simulation can be played for up to 20 years, this is customizable by the trainer who created your group so you may start with more money than this or your simulation may be set for a shorter duration because it can be set for anywhere from one year to twenty years and 20 is the maximum that you can play any simulation btu you can play it multiple times if you join multiple groups. So you'll notice how I've already been playing ti so I have an option here of resuming where i left off and in most cases that what you're going to click so again it saves your progress as you play.


So let's go ahead and resume and one thing we should mention is you want to make sure that your zoom level is set to 100% in your browser and that will make sure everything appears in the proper layout, so things don't bleed beyond the screen. if this was the first time I was starting this simulation it would start with a tutorials and the tutorial would walk us through step by step all of the key decisions and options within the simulation itself, and it takes about 15-20 minutes to get through the tutorial itself, but it isn't separate, you have to do it as it's part of the experience to make sure you understand the features and options available. So the premise is you live in GoVenture City and you're going to make all the financial and life decisions that you want to make and everybody starts the simulation in the same place. You are six months away from graduating high school so you're a senior in high school, and you're encouraged to get a part time job so you can start saving some money and you use that money for what comes next. Once you complete and graduate high school you're expected to move out on your own, so you'll be able to look for an apartment or home you can afford to move into. You can also choose to enhance and continue your education, you may want to go to college and take a trade or a business program or some other program. You may want to do a two-year diploma or you may want to pursue a four-year degree and you can in the simulation, you can actually pursue masters level degrees and PhDs and so on as you expand your education you'll find job opportunities available to you will increase so there'll be more pay off in the simulation just like in the real world. But you're not required necessarily to that path, you can take whatever path you want to take in the simulation that you want. Now in some cases there will be goals that you will have to achieve so let's take a look at that as our first step in reviewing the simulation, so along the bottom is our menu system and this allows us to access different areas of the simulation. You'll notice again at the very bottom is a learn button and if I click this button it will take me to the learning guide.


So whoever created this particular group and invited me to joint his group has set specific goals for me to achieve in the simulation, so if you're doing this as part of a instructor-led course or trainer-led course you'll want to make sure you achieve all the goals because your grade is likely dependent on doing so. If you're doing this for self-directed learning you'll want to review what was included in the course as a guide related to the goal. So the course may suggest to you that you should try and achieve the goals if you want but it's really up to you whether you want to do so or not.


You can see here I have a number of goals and there's a scroll bar here and there's a few dozen different goals that I am expected to achieve. All goals in this case are listed as required, oh there's an option one. The optional goal means I don't necessarily have to achieve it but I might earn more points if I do. So let's take a look at the goals, so the first goal is at the top but the goals are not in any priority order. The goals are really just a lost and it's up to you to determine what order you want to achieve them in and some of them you'll achieve naturally just by playing.


There are prerequisites for goals, and this one is pretty simple: it says donate $40 or more. Donating is giving back to society and you have the option in this simulation to donate as much money as you want, and in this case the goal is to donate $40 or more and if you do it you'll see a little green checkmark and now it's bolded. It also shows when you achieved it. Because we are just doing a demo the goals are not worth points, but when you're doing it there will be points assigned to each goal. It's important as a player to achieve the goals by the time indicated. If you don't achieve them by the time indicated you may get no points at all, which can impact your grade. There's also the performance report and here we can review a more detailed report that has all sorts of information about our achievements while playing the simulation. So let's get back to the main simulation again. The premise here is that we live our life for up to 20 virtual years making financial decisions and trying to achieve our goals. We make these decisions using the menu at the bottom. Let's take a quick look at these options. Here we have the smartphone, it is our news device and it will show us news about what's happening in the world. In some cases it might be financial news in other cases it might be an advertisement encouraging us to buy a lottery ticket or something like that. Stuff we're exposed to in the real world. We can look at older news items by just using the buttons here to flip through previous weeks. Now one of the things that is important to note is that the simulation runs in weeks, so you'll see the simulation will advance one week at a time and it's designed to have four weeks in a month and for simplicity it has 48 weeks in a year.


You can see the time advance button here, I'm currently on week 7 and year 1 if 20. The simulation advances every time you click this button and in fact I'm gonna do that right now. I'm gonna advance to the next week, and once I do you see this little animation appears showing a calendar going through the weeks. Now we've advanced to the next week and behind the scenes things have been happening in the simulation. We got a new news report, and a flutter of points here.


If I have a job I might get paid because I get paid every two weeks, or if I have rent to pay at the end of every month maybe my rent is now due. All the decisions I'm making while running the simulation will be tied to the clock/time in the simulation. The good news it that I have as much time as I want in the current week to make whatever decisions I want to make so I'm not pressured to move quickly. I can take my time, make my decisions and then click the clock when I want to advance. The only thing that will apply time pressure on me is if my course instructor expects me to play the simulation for a certain amount of time in a predetermined course time.


I mentioned the little flutter of points at the end of the week here so you'll notice these four charts here, these are what are called experience points. in fact, if I click on this it'll bring up a chart and I can earn experience points. There are four types of experience points:

Health

Education

Job

Life


And earning EXP may be part of the goals that I have to achieve so it's an interesting way to follow the things that you've been doing in the simulation to see if you've been getting the most out of it.


Now we're going to look at the other options in the menu. We'll look at cash and banking, so here you have your banking so you have cash on hand and you ahve a checking account, a savings account, and an emergency fund and you can move money between each of these accounts using the buttons and options here. I won't explain the details of what I've built, and what this all means because this is part of your learning process and you can reference the learning guide and workbook for more detail about banking. You can view your transaction history so anything you pay you can see here. Essentially you can see all money going in and out of your bank account here. You can also apply for loans so if you need a loan you can do it here. You can take out personal loans, student loans, a loan for mortgage, or a car loan.


Remember, anything orange is clickable.


I've got bills worth $15, I can click and that and it takes me directly to the bill section. We'll go back and show you another way to get there. So that's net worth, we have investments but I'll skip over that for now, and go to bills. We can see that bills are due so right now my only bill is a monthly banking fee of $15 and just to make it easy to pay this I can just click on these options right now if I want to pay the full amount, pay half, or a quarter. Lets check how much money we have.


We have money in cash, money in the checking account, but no money in savings or no emergency fund. So I pay this bill out of cash, the entire thing.


I can also review my payment history and anything I've paid in the past as well. I haven't graduated high school yet so I don't have a credit card yet. I will also see loans and taxes that I have to repay every year here as well, when they're applicable. Paying bills on time will increase my credit score, and it's helpful to have a good credit rating. Taxes make the government run and provide us the services that we need as a society so here I can monitor that kind of takes that are being taken. I can also see any payroll taxes that have been deducted and what the income taxes are an income tax does change based on the level of income that I have earned or receive.


Okay, back to bills and credit we can see budget cash flow so budget is naother important concept in financial literacy and managing money. I can see a real time budget in cash flow here and again, I won't explain these because you're going to learn through the mnay resources that are available. Another big section here is life and money so life and money has a number of options within it so we can see our basic living expenses so you can see I'm living at home so my expenses are essentially zero. But that will change once we move out. I'm going to have go live on my own and then I can choose how luxuriously or frugally I want to live my life. If I don't have money you know it doesn't matter how luxurious I want to live my lifestyle, I have to have the money to back it up. You start off with essentials and then slowly as my income grows, maybe I can live a more comfortable financial life. We can buy and sell times so there's many different items we can buy and sell for example you can buy clothing and jewelry or I can also click the next button and continue flipping through. You can buy a basketball, I can click it and see what the price is and there's tax associated with buying that particular item as well. I can also see things like depreciation if there's any, and any EXP I might earn by buying this item and so on. I can build up a small asset list of items that I'd like to own.

We're going back to life and family and we can decide if we want t have a lift partner and if we do, do we want to have a ceremony and how big that ceremony should be. People like big ceremonies and big weddings, but they're costly and you have to be able to pay for it. You can also add children whenever we want, which will make your life more fulfilling but it also costs money to raise a child so that will occur in the simulation if you choose it. Keep in mind the goals set by your instructor. We can monitor our health as well. So our health is based on the EXP and Health EXP that we generate, and we can increase health by bicycling places instead of driving, or buying fitness items increases are health EXP as well. I can take a vacation as well, but I have to have the funds to be able to pay for it.


You can also plan for retirement. This will allow you to do some simple math, or the simulation will do the math for you and help you understand how much money you might need to save over your lifetime in order to retire with the lifestyle that you want to achieve. We can look at jobs next, which shows your yearly salary, weekly salary, my employment deductions, income tax deductions, and so on how much experience points the job is providing and everything that I need to know about the job. The job is paying me a certain amount, in this case $367 dollars every two weeks. I can quit the job if I don't want it anymore or I can try and change jobs and you'll see there's a whole list of different jobs that are based on the type of education you need to have in order to get them. If you have no education after high school, the jobs that are available tend to be a little, or even a lot less lower pay than the ones you could get if you upgrade your education. There's a lock icon next to the high school diploma because I haven't graduated yet, but it will unlock once I do and so will the options for higher education after. If I want to go through with a trade diploma, it will take two years and cost $15,000 at 30 hours per week, and so that's if I do full time. In some cases I can do part-time, and the benefit of part-time is being able to work at the same time to earn money, which you cannot do with a full time education.


Here is my credit rating, so as I mentioned earlier if you pay your loans off your credit rating will improve. Here you can see all the liabilities here that contribute to your credit rating. This is our commuting options, so right now I'm walking everywhere and you'll notice that it's taking me three hours a day, that's every day ty walk because I might have to walk school, walk to gym and walk to work so it's taking a lot of time out of my day but I'm healthier for it.

The drawback to walking is the time it takes. You can upgrade to bicycling which might reduce my time or bus/public transit but there's a cost associated with it. I can choose bicycle or transit pass, or you can buy an automobile but again there's more costs but it will save me time and then the other option we have to pick here is how to allocate our daily time.


Because I am in school full time I have to allocate a minimum of seven hours to my education, I can allocate more but if I do it will raise my education experience but I'll keep it the same for now. In this case I'm gonna live it at seven for now, since I have a part time job. That's four hours a week. I can allocate time to sleeping, personal care and nutritiion, so that's a minimum of eight if you combine all those things in a day but I can change things up. If I want to sleep longer I can increase the time here but I would have to take it away from something else since there is only 24 hours in a day. The three hour commute is not changeable unless I pick a faster commute option. This is a useful learning experience to see what the compromises are of how you invest your time and you know how important time is in your life.


Finally we go to investments, and here I have a few options. One is gambling and it's important to recognize that gambling is not an investment, it's essentially considered entertainment because the likelihood of winning is very low but it is part of real life so it is included in the simulation. You can buy a lottery ticket and see if you win, of course the odds of winning are very low just like in the real world, but you can do it if you like. You can donate money as we saw earlier, since making a donation was one of the goals we had to complete but it's up to me whether or not I want to donate, how much I want to donate. Finally we have investments. Investments is one way to make money work for you, and make your money grow.


So if I click on investments I can see their stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate and precious metals. I've already invested in some stocks and bonds, so you can see some of the performance that's going on here. I can look at the markets by clicking on the markets button and if I want to invest in any particular security I can click on it, for example stocks, and you can see here there are a number of stocks. These are fictitious stocks but they perfrom like real world stocks and their prices will adjust over the period of time in which I am playing. The simulation and their prices will adjust based on what's happening in the economy, same with bonds, mutual funds, real estate, precious metals, which in this case is gold. What affects them are things like the economy, so if I go to economy I'll see there are economic indicators like economic growth, inflation, unemployment, and prime rate and these will influence hte performance of investments. For example, historicaly, when interest rates go up the prices of bonds may tend to go down, there's a reason for that but you can read about that in the learning guide and other available resources. But generally what happens in the real world will happen in the simulation because the investment data is actually based on real-world historical data that aligns with the economic indicators that happen in the simulation itself, but the real benefit of having all this in a simulation is that you can experience many many years of economic ups and downs and fluctuations over time so you can really get an understand of how money grows and potentially shrinks using different types of investments. You can monitor your portfolio and your return on the the investment screen as you play the simulation.


Again, the basic premise is that you're living your life and your life can go in any direction that you want based on the decisions you want to make. You live your life week by week through the years and hopefully achieve as much as you'd like, wherever your path in life leads. We've reviewed GoVenture and all of the many resources and components inolved with the program, as you can see it is very comprehensive and you can take the path we've recommended for you or take whatever path is most comfortable for you. Our hope is that you will gain the insight and wisdom to make the best personal financial literacy decisions you can make to achieve your goals in life.


Thanks for listening!

Check out GoVenture Life & Money