Finance 351

FINC 351: Personal Financial Planning

Prerequisites: FINC 331 or FINC 251; ACTG 211; ECON 105; ECON 106; STAT 200

Credit Hours: (3)

Covers the general principles of financial planning.  Topics include time value of money, financial planning process, client interactions, personal financial statements, personal cash flow management, education funding, retirement planning, special circumstances, buying vs. leasing decisions, and the business of financial planning.

Detailed Description of Content of Course

  • The Financial Planning process
  • The Certified Financial Planning (CFP) Code of Ethics
  • CFP Financial Planning Practice Standards
  • Personal Financial Statements
  • Budgeting
  • Emergency fund planning
  • Credit and debt management
  • Buying and leasing decisions
  • Client attitudes and behavioral characteristics
  • Educational funding
  • Financial planning for special circumstances
  • Financial services industry regulation requirements
  • Characteristics and consequences of property titling
  • Employee stock options, stock plans, and non-qualified deferred compensation arrangements
  • Employer/employee insurance arrangements


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course will be conducted in a lecture/discussion format.  Financial planning problems will be used throughout the course.  These problems will require calculator or computer usage and data input, manipulation, and interpretation.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

The student should:

    1.    Be able to implement the financial planning process, while following CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility and Financial Planning Practice Standards

    2.    Understand the economic, social, political and technological environment and be able to determine how financial plans should accommodate those environments

    3.    Be able to communicate with and listen to clients, and to incorporate them into their financial plans.

    4.    Be able to use time value and risk-adjustment techniques in financial planning applications

    5.    Understand the potential goals a client may have, help them enunciate their goals and evaluate strategies to help clients achieve their goals

    6.    Be able to construct personal financial statements and use ratios and other techniques to analyze these statements

    7.    Be able to utilize money management techniques, including budgeting, to meet cash flow and goal acquisition needs

    8.    Be able to determine the size and composition of an adequate emergency fund and develop methods for achieving it

    9.    Evaluate the use of credit and planned borrowing to meet household consumption, asset acquisition and other financial needs

    10.    Identify strengths and weaknesses in a client's initial situation and determine opportunities for problem solving

    11.    Implement goal funding, including determination of realistic targets, and the use of specialized techniques available for education, retirement, and other goals

    12.    Understand basic investment topics (including investment types, risk and return, diversification, passive versus active management) and specific investment strategies necessary to allow clients to achieve realistic goals

    13.    Be able to match goals, risk tolerance and other client characteristics to the portfolio allocation decision

    14.    Know how to incorporate risk management techniques including protecting assets, standard of living and wealth

    15.    Evaluate a client's special circumstances (such as divorce, special needs, business ownership, severance packages, etc.) and address those special circumstances within the context of the plan

    16.    Understand the evolution and regulation of the financial services industry, and that of the financial planning profession

    17.    Be able to structure and choose the optimal business format for the delivery of financial planning services for specific target clients markets


Assessment Measures

Students will be assessed through the use of some combination of exams, class projects, problems and assignments, term papers, and class participation.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

April 2006