Skip to main content

Search Bar Icon Close Menu

Online classes

Effective: Early Spring 8-Week 2017/2018

FINC 298: Personal Financial Planning

Course Description

Broad coverage of personal financial decisions including basic financial planning, managing savings, taxes, the use of credit, buying a house, making insurance and employee benefit decisions, managing investments, and saving for retirement.

Prerequisite: None

Proctored Exams: None



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Kapoor, Jack, Les Dlabay, Robert J. Hughes, and Melissa Hart. Focus on Personal Finance. 5th ed. McGraw-Hill, 2016.
    • ISBN-978-0-07-786174-2

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.


Course Overview

As we begin the course, you will hopefully begin to recognize that making wise money decisions is a foundation for your current, and long-term, well-being. You will begin to understand that effective planning of spending and saving decisions provides a foundation for wise money management today and financial prosperity in the future.

Next, you will identify the important deposits for holding cash balances and the advantages and disadvantages of each. Then the focus will shift toward understanding that unplanned and careless buying will reduce your potential for long-term financial security. Learning to identify types of risks and risk management methods will be followed by recognizing that life insurance helps protect the people who depend on you. You will work to explain why you should establish an investment program and describe how safety, risk, income, growth, and liquidity affect your investment program.

Then, you will learn to identify the most important features of common and preferred stock and be able to explain how you can evaluate stock investments. The course will conclude with topics that address how the proper estimation of your retirement living costs and housing needs will enable you to save or invest enough money to live comfortably during retirement.



Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.


Course Learning Outcomes

  1. Explain the components of a financial plan and the basics of the U.S. Income tax system.
  2. Explain strategies for managing cash and credit.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of the basic types of life, health, and property insurance.
  4. Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamentals of investing including tax-advantaged investments.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of retirement and estate planning.

Grading

Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 450-500 90-100%
B 400-449 80-89%
C 350-399 70-79%
D 300-349 60-69%
F 0-299 0-59%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions 80 16%
Homework 60 12%
Quizzes 60 12%
Midterm Exam 150 30%
Final Exam 150 30%
Total 500 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Introductions 0 Friday
Discussion 1 10 1st post due Friday; 2nd and 3rd due Saturday
Homework 1 10 Sunday
Quiz 1 10
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2 10 1st post due Friday; 2nd and 3rd due Saturday
Homework 2 10 Sunday
Quiz 2 10
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 10 1st post due Friday; 2nd and 3rd due Saturday
Homework 3 10 Sunday
Quiz 3 10
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 4 10 1st post due Friday; 2nd and 3rd due Saturday
Midterm Exam 150 Sunday
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 10 1st post due Friday; 2nd and 3rd due Saturday
Homework 4 10 Sunday
Quiz 4 10
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 10 1st post due Friday; 2nd and 3rd due Saturday
Homework 5 10 Sunday
Quiz 5 10
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 10 1st post due Friday; 2nd and 3rd due Saturday
Homework 6 10 Sunday
Quiz 6 10
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 8 10 1st post due Friday; 2nd and 3rd due Saturday
Final Exam 150 Saturday
Total Points 500

Assignment Overview

Readings

You must complete all readings prior to taking graded quizzes, discussions, and homework. You should incorporate information from the readings into all assignments. I also encourage you take advantage of the self-study activities available. The Overview and Study Activities listed as part of your weekly readings are available through the Content area of the course.


Self-Study Activities

I have provided a number of self-study activities in the Content area of the course. These ungraded activities will assist you in mastering the week’s material. Attempting to complete the graded activities without reviewing the various study activities will usually result in low grades. Please review the narrated summaries and complete the practice quizzes to help in understanding financial planning concepts.

Discussions

Discussions are an integral part of this course and represent a significant portion of the final grade. They are designed to help extend your learning into the real world and bridge the gap between theory and practice.

Discussions will use a case study to explore topics covered each week in the readings and study activities. Your posts should demonstrate your ability to apply personal finance concepts, vocabulary, and models to analyze financial situations, synthesize course material and relate it to personal financial questions and problems. Your participation in discussions will improve your performance on homework and exams.

Your initial post is due by Friday at 11:59 pm CT each week. Your initial post should show insight and analysis on the topic and make clear connections to your readings, research, and experiences. Please make sure to include at least one online article to support your answer and use proper MLA in-text citations and Works Cited formatting. You must also respond to at least two other students by Saturday at 11:59 pm CT each week. Your responses should be substantive, insightful and provoke further thought. I do not accept posts that consist of “Good post…”, “I agree...” or similar rhetoric.

Disagreement can be healthy, but only if it’s done tactfully and constructively. Conventions of professional etiquette, which include courtesy to all users, will be observed online. Offensive, inflammatory wording and personal attacks will not be tolerated. In a diverse population as these classes are, we cannot force our personal values and beliefs on others. I expect civility and sensitivity in all our communications.


Homework

Homework for this course consists of fill-in-the-blank questions built the from end-of-chapter problems. These assignments are available in the Quizzes area of the course. You may use your book and notes to complete each homework. Because all homework assignments are untimed, you can open the assignment early, print it out, and return later in the week to submit the assignment before the due date. Homework assignments are not auto-graded so results will not be available immediately following submission.

Homework is due by Sunday at 11:59 pm CT of the assigned week.


Quizzes

The weekly quizzes will test your mastery of each week’s material. Quizzes are open book and open note. Each quiz includes 25 questions (true-false, matching type, and multiple-choice). You will have 50 minutes to complete each quiz. I will not accept any answers that are saved after the time limit has passed. All quizzes are available in the Quizzes area of the course. Quizzes are auto-graded, and the results from the graded quiz will be available immediately, you will only be able to see the questions missed.

Quizzes are due by Sunday at 11:59 pm CT of the assigned week.

Exams

The midterm and final exams are in the Quizzes area of the course, and each are worth 150 points. Each exam is comprehensive for the preceding weeks’ material. The midterm exam in Week 4 covers material from Weeks 1-4 and the final exam in Week 8 covers material from Weeks 5-8. Both exams will consist of 60 questions (true-false, multiple-choice, matching type, and problem-solving). You will have two hours to complete each exam. The exams are not auto-graded, so your results will not be available immediately.

The midterm exam is due by Sunday of Week 4 at 11:59 pm CT and the final exam is due by Saturday of Week 8 at 11:59 pm CT.



Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Week 1: Personal Financial Planning Overview
Readings
  • Chapter 1
  • Week 1 Overview [Available in the Content area of the course]
  • Week 1 Study Activities [Available in the Content area of the course]
Introductions
Introduce yourself in the Introductions topic in the Discussions area. This will be our "virtual classroom” for the next eight weeks. Please share more than your name. Include your work activities, hobbies, interest in personal financial planning, and any other information that can help us get to know you.
Discussion 1

For Discussion 1, explore these topics as they relate to the Continuing Case provided in the course:

  1. Outlining financial decisions that one might encounter in life.
  2. Planning for future events that have significant financial impact.
  3. Developing short-term, intermediate, and long-term financial goals.
  4. Evaluating financial situations and the impact of time value of money in planning or making decisions.
Homework 1
Open Homework 1, found in the Quizzes area, early during the week to view and/or print the assigned problems. Since the homework is untimed, you can leave D2L, solve the assignment during the week, and return to submit answers before the due date. The homework is not auto-graded, so you will not see your grade immediately following the completion of the assignment. I will review results and post grades within 48 hours of submission. Your answers must submitted by Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.
Quiz 1
Complete Quiz 1, found in the Quizzes area. The quiz is open book and covers material discussed during Week 1. The quiz must be completed by Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.
Week 2: Money Management Skills and Taxes
Readings
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Week 2 Overview
  • Week 2 Study Activities
Discussion 2

For Discussion 2, explore these topics as they relate to the Continuing Case provided in the course:

  1. Budgeting for an irregular income.
  2. Reviewing and revising financial goals over time.
  3. Planning ways to spend a tax refund.
  4. Strategizing for individual tax planning.
Homework 2
Open Homework 2, found in the Quizzes area, early during the week to view and/or print the assigned problems. Since the homework is untimed, you can leave D2L, solve the assignment during the week, and return to submit answers before the due date. The homework is not auto-graded, so you will not see your grade immediately following the completion of the assignment. I will review results and post grades within 48 hours of submission. Your answers must submitted by Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.
Quiz 2
Complete Quiz 2, found in the Quizzes area. The quiz is open book and covers material discussed during Week 2. The quiz must be completed by Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.
Week 3: Cash and Consumer Credit Management
Readings
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 5
  • Week 3 Overview
  • Week 3 Study Activities
Discussion 3

For Discussion 3, explore these topics as they relate to the Continuing Case provided in the course:

  1. Establishing an emergency fund.
  2. Understanding money management activities.
  3. Reducing the cost of credit.
  4. Exploring sources of credit.
Homework 3

Open Homework 3, found in the Quizzes area, early during the week to view and/or print the assigned problems. Since the homework is untimed, you can leave D2L, solve the assignment during the week, and return to submit answers before the due date. The homework is are not auto-graded, so you will not see your grade immediately following the completion of the assignment. I will review results and post grades within 48 hours of submission. Your answers must submitted by Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.

Quiz 3
Complete Quiz 3, found in the Quizzes area. The quiz is open book and covers material discussed during Week 3. The quiz must be completed by Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.
Week 4: Housing and Consumer Durables
Readings
  • Chapter 6
  • Chapter 7
  • Week 4 Overview
  • Week 4 Study Activities
Discussion 4

For Discussion 4, explore these topics as they relate to the Continuing Case provided in the course:

  1. Understanding factors that affect transportation spending.
  2. Strategizing to reduce the cost of transportation.
  3. Evaluating reasons for an individual or a family to buy a home.
  4. Evaluating actions to enhance home-buying and financing activities.
Midterm Exam

The midterm exam, found in the Quizzes area, will open on Wednesday of Week 4. You will have two hours to complete this exam, which will cover material from Weeks 1-4. The midterm exam is not auto-graded, so you will not see your grade immediately following the completion of the exam. I will review results and post grades on the Monday following the due date. The midterm exam must be completed by Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.

Week 5: Property and Health Insurance Planning
Readings
  • Chapter 8
  • Chapter 9
  • Week 5 Overview
  • Week 5 Study Activities
Discussion 5

For Discussion 5, explore these topics as they relate to the Continuing Case provided in the course:

  1. Evaluating waiting periods and duration in disability insurance.
  2. Evaluating health insurance coverage.
  3. Determining adequate insurance coverage for a home.
  4. Evaluating collision insurance coverage for a used car.
Homework 4

Open Homework 4, found in the Quizzes area, early during the week to view and/or print the assigned problems. Since the homework is untimed, you can leave D2L, solve the assignment during the week, and return to submit answers before the due date. The homework is not auto-graded, so you will not see your grade immediately following the completion of the assignment. I will review results and post grades within 48 hours of submission. Your answers must submitted by Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.

Quiz 4
Complete Quiz 4, found in the Quizzes area. The quiz is open book and covers material discussed during Week 5. The quiz must be completed by Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.
Week 6: Life Insurance and Investing Fundamentals
Readings
  • Chapter 10
  • Chapter 11
  • Week 6 Overview
  • Week 6 Study Activities
Discussion 6

For Discussion 6, explore these topics as they relate to the Continuing Case provided in the course:

  1. Evaluating life insurance coverage.
  2. Identifying strengths and weaknesses in a financial situation.
  3. Setting financial goals for the children’s college education.
  4. Outlining an investment portfolio (asset types, allocation, risk-return) for an individual or family financial situation with the expectation of earnings relative to the portfolio’s risk.
Homework 5

Open Homework 5, found in the Quizzes area, early during the week to view and/or print the assigned problems. Since the homework is untimed, you can leave D2L, solve the assignment during the week, and return to submit answers before the due date. The homework is not auto-graded, so you will not see your grade immediately following the completion of the assignment. I will review results and post grades within 48 hours of submission. Your answers must submitted by Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.

Quiz 5
Complete Quiz 5, found in the Quizzes area. The quiz is open book and covers material discussed during Week 6. The quiz must be completed by Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.
Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Week 7: Investing in Stocks and Mutual Funds
Readings
  • Chapter 12
  • Chapter 13
  • Week 7 Overview
  • Week 7 Study Activities
Discussion 7

For Discussion 7, explore these topics as they relate to the Continuing Case provided in the course:

  1. Establishing and managing a portfolio of stocks and bonds.
  2. Researching industries and specific stocks for investment.
  3. Evaluating use of mutual funds to achieve investment goals.
  4. Evaluating types of mutual funds for an investment portfolio.
Homework 6
Open Homework 6, found in the Quizzes area, early during the week to view and/or print the assigned problems. Since the homework is untimed, you can leave D2L, solve the assignment during the week, and return to submit answers before the due date. The homework is not auto-graded, so you will not see your grade immediately following the completion of the assignment. I will review results and post grades within 48 hours of submission. Your answers must submitted by Sunday at 11:59 pm CT
Quiz 6
Complete Quiz 6, found in the Quizzes area. The quiz is open book and covers material discussed during Week 7. The quiz must be completed by Sunday at 11:59 pm CT.
Week 8: Retirement Planning and Estate Planning
Readings
  • Chapter 14
  • Week 8 Overview [Available in the Content area of the course]
  • Week 8 Study Activities [Available in the Content area of the course]
Discussion 8

For Discussion 8, explore these topics as they relate to the Continuing Case provided in the course:

  1. Preparing for retirement.
  2. Prioritizing retirement plans for individuals in their fifties.
  3. Evaluating types of estate planning activities and decisions.
  4. Evaluating estate planning decisions.
Final Exam

The final exam, found in the Quizzes area, will open on Wednesday of Week 8. You will have two hours to complete this exam, which will cover material from Weeks 5-8. The final exam is not auto-graded so you will not see your grade immediately following the completion of the exam. I will review results and post grades on Sunday following the due date. The final exam must be completed no later than Saturday at 11:59 pm CT.



Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism

Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.

Non-Discrimination

There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

Students who register during the first week of class (drop/add week) will receive a 7-day extension for submitting Week 1 activities.

I do not accept any late assignments (papers, quizzes), unless you have notified me of extenuating circumstances prior to the due date. It is your responsibility to contact me if you are unable to complete an assignment by the due date.

Late assignments, if accepted, will be limited to 50% maximum credit.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.


Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.


+

Request info