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What is Finance (Main Types of Finance)

Finance is defined as the management of money and includes activities such as investing, borrowing, lending, budgeting, saving, and forecasting. There are three main types of finance: (1) personal, (2) corporate, and (3) public/government.

1- Personal

Personal finance is the process of planning and managing personal financial activities such as income generation, spending, saving, investing, and protection. The process of managing one’s personal finances can be summarized in a budget or financial plan. This guide will analyze the most common and important aspects of individual financial management.

Areas of Personal Finance

In this guide, we are going to focus on breaking down the most important areas of personal finance and explore each of them in more detail so you have a comprehensive understanding of the topic.

As shown below, the main areas of personal finance are income, spending, saving, investing, and protection. Each of these areas will be examined in more detail below.

2- Corporate Finance

Corporate finance deals with the capital structure of a corporation, including its funding and the actions that management takes to increase the value of the company. Corporate finance also includes the tools and analysis utilized to prioritize and distribute financial resources.

The ultimate purpose of corporate finance is to maximize the value of a business through planning and implementation of resources while balancing risk and profitability.

3- Public Finance

Public finance is the management of a country’s revenue, expenditures, and debt load through various government and quasi-government institutions. This guide provides an overview of how public finances are managed, what the various components of public finance are, and how to easily understand what all the numbers mean. A country’s financial position can be evaluated in much the same way as a business’s financial statements.

Finance Topics

There is a wide range of topics that people in the financial industry are concerned with. Below is a list of some of the most common topics you should expect to encounter in the industry.

  • Interest rates and spreads
  • Yield (coupon payments, dividends)
  • Financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement)
  • Cash flow (free cash flow, other types of cash flow)
  • Profit (net income)
  • Cost of capital (WACC)
  • Rates of return (IRR, ROI, ROA)
  • Dividends and return of capital
  • Shareholders
  • Creating value
  • Risk and return
  • Behavioral finance