Course Perspective Course and Objectives
Think of yourself as a corporation with one stockholder, you. Your corporation earns income and makes expenditures and is faced with scarce financial resources. Your firm wants to become more valuable in the future and have "quality" earnings over its lifetime so that 1) you can enjoy life along the way, and so that 2) you will not outlive your assets. To accomplish these objectives you need to know more about the decisions related to personal financial management. That's what this course is all about.
Personal financial management is concerned with decision making that involves setting goals, listing alternatives, measuring performance, and evaluating achievement -- all in the interest of maximizing long-run net worth for you, the stockholder.
Some of the specific topic areas we will cover are financial planning and budgeting, preparing and using personal financial statements, learning about the financial products and markets available to you, banking, insurance, investment strategies, taxation, retirement and estate planning, and the financial aspects of divorce. I hope to provide you with ideas and concepts that are immediately useable. In addition, I hope the course will provide you with an appreciation of the life-long importance of personal financial planning. While you might hire a personal financial planner, I believe personal financial management is most effectively performed by the chief stockholder in your firm, YOU.
Exams There will be four examinations. The last exam will be selectively comprehensive. The exams will consist of multiple choice questions, true/false questions, problems, and short answer questions. Each exam will be graded on the basis of 100 points and will cover a specified block of material. The exam questions will draw heavily from the textbook reading material. The date of each exam is listed on the Assignment Outline. Students are responsible for furnishing Scantron answer sheets for each exam. Please do not miss an exam. Any missed exams will be given the day of the final unless other arrangements can be made. I repeat: Please do not miss an exam.
Term Paper A term paper will be assigned and will count in your final numerical average. The term paper assignment will be due Friday June 30. Late papers will be penalized. This assignment is primarily concerned with the construction of your personal statement of net worth as of May 31, 2000, your monthly forecasted cash budget for six months (beginning July 1, 2000 through December 31, 2000), and a long-run statement of your forecasted income, forecasted growth in net worth, and forecasted retirement savings. The term paper will be graded on the basis of 100 points. The term paper assignment will be more fully described in class with a separate handout. Chapter 3 of the text will provide a good overview of this assignment.
Reading Assignments Reading Assignments are listed on the Assignment Outline. Reading assignments should be completed before the topic is discussed in class. While not assigned, you might find working through some of the end-of-chapter questions and problems useful. We may work some of these questions and problems in class, time permitting. Time permitting I will assemble and distribute short write-ups and articles on topics of interest in personal financial planning. You should read this material even if we do not cover it in class--it will add to the overall focus of the course and enhance the learning process.
Calculator and WIZARD I encourage the use of a calculator in this course and on the tests. The text comes with its own software, WIZARD. This is a Microsoft-compatible collection of various software applications, e.g., Excel. The applications are closely keyed to the text topics and I expect everyone in this class to use the WIZARD software examples as we go through this course. I guarantee that use of this software, in conjunction with the course, will enhance the reading material and provide a hands-on perspective to the recording of personal financial data and to its analysis. I also want you to use the spreadsheet capabilities of WIZARD in presenting the tables necessary for your term paper (described below).
Grades and Grading Policy Grades will be assigned according to the conventional university scale: 90 – 100 A; 80-89 B; 70-79 C; 60-69 D; below 60 F. Individual numerical course grades will be determined by taking a straight average (20 percent) of five grades, your four exam grades plus your term paper grade. Each exam and your term paper will be graded on the basis of 100 points.
Class Participation Policy Class participation is part of this course. Accordingly, class attendance is mandatory. If you're not here you can't participate in the course. Get your money's worth--Please come to each class meeting. University-approved absences must be cleared with the instructor prior to the absence.
Advice Just look at the Assignment Outline and consider the fact that we have only about four weeks of class. Things will be moving very quickly. We will cover about one chapter per class meeting. I urge you to keep up with the textbook reading material. See me if you have any questions or problems with the lecture material or term paper assignment, or if you want to know more about a particular topic. Irrespective of the time crunch, I will do my best to make this course fun!
A Career in Finance ????? Finance as a career path has never been brighter than it is today. If you think you might be interested in finance as a major here at TSU, see me.
Opinion One cannot teach any aspect of finance without forming personal opinions about topics. This course is no different. In fact, Personal Finance, since it is concerned with money, invites more individual views, gripes, and biases than most other courses. Accordingly, it will be impossible for me to not express my feelings on certain subjects where applicable. Some of my opinions are valuable, others perhaps not. I invite your opinions and gripes too, as they are as valid as mine. And, sharing your financial experiences (good and bad) can be therapeutic!
Text Planning Your Financial Future, by Boone, Kurtz and Hearth (Dryden Press 2000). There is a Study Guide that accompanies the text by Christian and Luck. I will not use it, but it may be of help and interest to some students. Use your discretion in purchasing the Study Guide.
An Overview of Personal Financial Planning
Chap 2 Career Aspects of Personal Finance
Chap 3 Developing Financial Statements, Plans, and Budgets
Chap 4 Cash Management
FIRST EXAM (Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4)
Chap 6 Understanding Taxes
Chap 7 Transportation and Other Major Consumer Decisions
Chap 8 The Housing Decision
SECOND EXAM (Chapters 5, 6, 7, 8)
The Insurance Decision
Chap 10 Life Insurance
Chap 11 Health and Disability Insurance
Chap 12 Property and Liability Insurance
THIRD EXAM (Chapters 9, 10, 11, 12)
The Investment Decision
Chap 14 Investment Alternatives and Trading
Chap 15 Investing in Mutual Funds
Chap 16 Retirement Planning
Chap 17 Estate Planning (time permitting)
Additional topics (time premitting) Financial aspects of divorce and identity theft.
Term paper due
FINAL EXAM (Comprehensive final including Chapters 13 – 17)
I will do my best to adhere to the above-stated course schedule. However, chapter and exam dates are approximate and I reserve the right to alter the above scheduled dates due to time considerations. I also reserve the right to omit some material due to time considerations
To lend dimension to the
course I will try to arrange for one or two guest speakers and/or show
some neat videos on relevant chapter topics. On these days I will
not be able to formally lecture. However, for the test you
are responsible for text material we would have covered. Please bring
your text and calculator to every class meeting.