Personal Financial Planning

Course Number: BUSADMIN 3400
Course Name: Personal Financial Planning (Online)
Course Description:    A study of the major financial decisions encountered by individuals. The course explores a variety of consumer problems found in a modern, complex economy. Subjects covered include the financial planning process, money management, consumer borrowing, insurance planning, budgeting, investments, and retirement and estate planning.
Prerequisites:    Junior Standing
Level: Undergraduate
Credits: 3
Format: Online
Program: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice

Registration Instructions

NOTE: The information below is representative of the course and is subject to change.  The specific details of the course will be available in the Desire2Learn course instance for the course in which a student registers.

Additional Information

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this course, you should be able to

  • Develop a personal financial plan and identify the factors that influence personal financial planning decisions.
  • Develop a system of financial records and use them to determine your financial position and control expenditures.
  • Identify the sources, terms and costs of consumer credit. Describe the elements of a credit score and how credit scores can be improved.
  • Develop realistic investment goals that are consistent with your financial plan and risk tolerance.
  • Distinguish between the different types of investment vehicles available (stocks, bonds, mutual funds), describe their major characteristics, and identify potential information sources for evaluating potential investments.
  • Prepare a basic retirement plan and estate plan.
  • Identify the biggest financial mistakes households can make and how they can be avoided.

Unit Descriptions
Course Organization and Assignment Descriptions

Unit 1: Financial Planning
Personal Financial Planning involves creating and implementing a plan based on your goals given your unique circumstances. One size does not fit everyone and the goal is to accumulate wealth so that we can do the things that are important to us. To accomplish this task, we will need to learn basic time value of money concepts. This unit serves as a basis for subsequent units.

Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Explain why personal financial planning is so important.
  • Calculate various time value of money problems.
  • Describe the five basic steps of personal financial planning.
  • Calculate your net worth.
  • Analyze where your money comes from and where it goes using an income statement.
  • Identify and understand the major features of federal income tax that affect all taxpayers.

Unit 2: Managing Your Money
Every time we purchase a discretionary item we make a decision to forego saving or investing that money to achieve our future goals. We do not tend to think of it in those terms, but in reality that is the tradeoff. The focus of this unit is to make smart purchasing decisions and smart credit decisions. In this unit we will learn how to manage our cash and other liquid assets, to control and manage credit cards, to effectively use debt and to make informed home and automobile decisions.

Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Make good home and automobile buying decisions.
  • Understand the various costs of credit and which to use sparingly.
  • Manage your cash and understand why you need liquid assets.
  • Calculate the costs of buying a home.

Unit 3: Protecting Yourself with Insurance
Protecting your assets with insurance is a key component in personal financial planning. There are many categories of insurance: health care, disability, long-term care, life, automobile and homeowner's. The focus of this unit is to present information necessary to make smart insurance decisions: determining which policies are important for your situation and the type of coverage needed.

Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Understand the importance of insurance.
  • Determine your life insurance needs and design a life insurance program.
  • Design a health care insurance program and understand what provisions are important to you.
  • Understand long-term care and disability insurance and determine if it is important to you.
  • Understand homeowner's insurance and automobile insurance and determine what kind of insurance is best for you.

Unit 4: Managing Your Investments
For most students, investing is the most interesting part of personal financial planning. The focus of this unit is to learn about how markets function and different investment choices: stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.

Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Manage investment risk.
  • Understand how financial markets function.
  • Appropriately allocate your assets.
  • Knowledgeably select mutual funds.
  • Differentiate between mutual funds and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).
  • Explain why you should not invest in gold, gems, or collectibles.

Unit 5: Life Cycle Issues
In this unit we will explore the basics of retirement planning. Retirement planning is very difficult to do because it is often very far away and/or events beyond our span of control impact our retirement. For example, if you are a citizen of Greece and are 43 years of age, you are anticipating retiring in two years under the current rules. However, that retirement may be delayed if the government changes the retirement age for all Greeks to 50 or 60 years of age. While we are unable to forecast macroeconomic or political events, we can learn basic retirement planning concepts so that we can best prepare for our retirement years.

Upon completion of this unit, you should be able to

  • Understand the basics of retirement planning.
  • Discriminate between different retirement plans.

Grading Criteria for Activities

Assignment Possible Points
Lesson Quizzes (13 @ 20 pts. each) 260 points
Discussion Answers (13 @ 5 pts. each) 65 points
Individual Assignments (3 @ 20 pts. each) 60 points
Capstone Team Project 60 points
Discussion of another team's financial plan 10 points
Total: 455 points

Grading Scale
A 89% - 100%
B 80% - 88%
C 70% - 79%
D 60% - 69%
F 0% - 59%

The following resource provides additional review materials for accounting terms:

Accounting Terminology Guide - Click here

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