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Fiscal Fitness

"Put and call options" aren't obscure football plays, and "Treasury bills" aren't invoices from the government. Unfamiliar with such terms? Competence Software Inc. has a new CD-ROM called Investment Competence that spells out virtually everything you need to know to invest for retirement.

Ideal for small-business owners new to investments, the interactive CD promises a thorough, basic education in seven easy lessons. "People can't rely on Social Security to finance their retirement years," says Larry Brennan, vice president of the Pittsfield, New Hampshire, firm, "but most are ill-equipped to make informed decisions on investing retirement funds. Competence Software provides the education needed to help achieve a worry-free financial future."

Brennan says the $99 multimedia tutorial "covers everything from market and financial terms to various [investment] instruments and how to use them.

Lesson One, for example, focuses on investments and explains returns, capital, future value, accrued interest and compounded returns.

Lesson Two looks at the stock market; subsequent lessons explain bonds, mutual funds, precious metals, real estate, commodities and virtually every other investment opportunity and its risks.

The tutorial ends by helping you prepare a financial plan tailored to your goals, administering a quiz to test your learning, and notifying Competence Software when you've earned a certificate of completion.

For more information, call (603) 435-5098 or visit

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