Become a Confident Investor. Are you looking for ways to take control of your financial life? Is saving enough for retirement on your radar, but finding the funds a challenge? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions, sign up for FREE Smart Investing@ Your Library classes at the Sioux Center Library on Tuesday, January 29. You could win an iPod Shuffle!


Attend the first class on January 29 and hear from ISU Extension and Outreach Financial Specialist Jan Burk who teaches and directs the course. The first 25 individuals to register will receive a free book. You must preregister with the Library by January 22 to have an access to the computer log on with Iowa State University. To enroll in Smart Investing @ Your Library contact Becky Bilby or any librarian at the Sioux Center Library at 712-722-2138 or

Each course involves four online modules and is tailored to the investment challenges of each age group. Topics include balancing risk, cutting investment costs, choosing an investment adviser and fine-tuning an investment portfolio.

Complete the following courses with a self-paced, 24/7 access. Here from Patricia Swanson, CFP® and ISU Extension and Outreach state finance specialists who will teach the courses. Craig Goettsch, director of investor education and securities counsel, Iowa Securities Bureau, will also contribute to online discussions and reply to investor protection questions.

  • “Starting Out” targets those who are beginning to invest
  • “Building Up” targets those in mid-life
  • “Making It Last” focuses on those nearing or in retirement

A follow-up class will be held at the Sioux Center Library on March 5 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. A drawing for a FREE iPod Shuffle will be given at the last session. The first 25 individuals to register will receive a free book. You must preregister with The Library by January 22nd to have an access to the computer log on with ISU. Contact your Library for more details.

Enrollment instructions for the course can also be found on the ISU Extension and Outreach website at

The free Smart Investing program is sponsored by Iowa Library Services and ISU Extension and Outreach with grant support from the FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) Investor Education Foundation. Contact Jan Burk



Book Review –

I had a highly-respected reading friend suggest the book, Wonder by R. J. Palacio.  So I promptly got a copy and began reading – and thus begins a wonderful story.  I can hardly even relay how strongly I feel about this book – it hit me as a mom, it struck strong cords as a friend, and it moved me deeply on a human level in general.  This is the powerful story of August Pullman, a fifth grade boy born with a severe facial deformity, who is just trying to make his way through middle school – just like all the other kids.  However, his way through school is not at all easy – which can be normal for all kids – but even worse when you look like an “orc”.  My heart ached for August as he tried to be like all the other kids – but he was very rarely accepted for who he really was.  What you do come to see through a few close friends, are strong friendships that are based on looking beyond the outward and looking inside to see who our friends REALLY are.  I just LOVE this book – and feel so strongly that I even think it should be required reading in middle school!  I mean that – let’s see each other and how we are alike – not how we are different – let’s see each other’s hearts!