Personal Finance

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Personal Finance Course Outline

Module One: Personal Financial Planning - An Introduction

Module Outcomes: 

  • Explain the importance of time, assets, liabilities, and markets to the discipline of finance.
  • Describe the valuation process.
  • Explain events and trends in finance during the 21st century.
  • Describe jobs that require a background in finance.
  • Describe the legal pros and cons of a different business structures.


Module Concepts:

  • Introduction to Personal Finance
  • Goals of Financial Management-Valuation
  • Maximizing Shareholder and Market Value
  • Maximizing Value Without Harming Stakeholders
  • Trends and Issues in Finance
  • Employment in Finance
  • Ethics: An Overview
  • Ethics Training
  • Culture and Ethics
  • The Manager’s Role in Ethical Conduct
  • Blurring Ethical Lines
  • Types of Business Organizations
  • Pros and Cons of Different Sole Proprietorship
  • Pros and Cons of a Partnership
  • Pros and Cons of a Corporation
  • Corporate Governance
  • Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002
  • Agency and Conflicts of Interest
  • Managers, Shareholders, and Bondholders
  • Conflicts Between Managers and Shareholders
  • Conflicts of Interest Between Shareholders and Bondholders
  • Asset Classes-Cash
  • Debt
  • Stock
  • Types of Financial Markets
  • Role of Financial Markets in Capital Allocation
  • Role of Financial Markets in Providing Feedback to Management
  • Trends in Markets

Module Two: Financial Statements and Budgets

Module Outcomes: 

  • Explain the purpose and components of a financial and income statements.
  • Describe how accounting equations are used to create a balance sheet and determine debt to equity ratios.
  • Explain the different methods of calculating the debt to equity ratio.
  • Describe the limitations of balance sheets, financial, and income statements.


Module Concepts:

  • Introducing Financial Statements
  • Uses of the Financial Statement
  • Limitations of Financial Statements
  • Elements of the Income Statement
  • Limitations of the Income Statement
  • Effects of GAAP on the Income Statement
  • Non-cash items
  • The Balance Sheet-Assets
  • The Balance Sheet-Liabilities and Equity
  • Working Capital
  • Liquidity
  • Debt to Equity
  • Market Value vs. Book Value
  • Limitations of the Balance Sheet

Module Three: Tax Considerations

Module Outcomes:

  • Explain how each type of business association is taxed.
  • Describe each type of tax that can be imposed on an individual.
  • Explain the effect depreciation has on calculating a company’s tax burden.


Module Concepts:

  • Corporate Taxes
  • Tax Deductions
  • Depreciation
  • Individual Taxes
  • American Government and Tax Policy

Module Four: Cash and Saving

Module Outcomes: 

  • Describe what organizational assets can be considered cash receivables, and explain how to forecast these receivables.
  • Explain methods of forecasting budgets, and the importance of doing so regularly.
  • Explain the significance of each component of the Cash Flow Statement.
  • Describe how to calculate the value of an investment portfolio that has multiple cash flows.


Module Concepts:

  • Building a Cash Budget
  • Payments
  • The Forecast Budget
  • The Statement of Cash Flows
  • Cash Flow from Investing
  • Cash Flow from Financing
  • Interpreting Overall Cash Flow
  • Valuing Multiple Cash Flows
  • Present Value, Multiple Flows

Module Five: Credit and Financing

Module Outcomes:

  • Explain which type of finance is appropriate for a business based on its stage of development.
  • Describe the pros and cons of different types of financing that is available.
  • Explain the tools used to factor and assess the risks of the involved parties in financing.


Module Concepts:

  • Financing Life Cycle of the Firm
  • Venture Capital
  • Long Term Debt
  • Common and Preferred Stock
  • Short-Term Financing
  • Credit Cards
  • Factoring Accounts Receivable
  • Commercial Paper

Module Six: Loans

Module Outcomes: 

  • Describe the differences between a secured loan vs. an unsecured loan.
  • Explain the role of banks and underwriters in lending.
  • Explain the sources of the cost of money and describe how to calculate it.
  • Describe the crowding out phenomenon.


Module Concepts:

  • Secured and Unsecured Funding
  • Family and Friends
  • Commercial Banks
  • The Role of Investment Banks in Financing
  • The Basics of Interest Rates
  • Interest Rate Levels
  • Drivers of Market Interest Rates
  • The Term and Structure

Module Seven: Investment

Module Outcomes: 

  • Explain the differences between stocks and bonds.
  • Describe a shareholders’ control, voting rights, preemption rights, and provisions.
  • Explain the differences between the rights of common shareholders, preferred shareholders, and bondholders.
  • Explain the different entities that participate in a stock market.


Module Concepts:

  • Key Characteristics of Bonds
  • Coupon Interest rates
  • Maturity Dates
  • Call Provisions
  • Sinking Funds
  • Other Features
  • Defining Stock
  • Control and Preemption
  • Types of Stock-Common Stock
  • Types of Stock-Preferred Stock
  • Rules and Rights of Common and Preferred Stock-Claim to income
  • Rules and Rights of Common and Preferred Stock-Voting Rights
  • Rules and Rights of Common and Preferred Stock-Purchasing New Shares
  • Rules and Rights of Common and Preferred Stock-Preferred Stock Rules and Rights
  • Rules and Rights of Common and Preferred Stock-Provisions of Preferred Stock
  • Comparing Common Stock, Preferred Stock, and Debt
  • Stock Markets-Market Actors
  • NYSE
  • Market Reporting
  • Stock Valuation-Expected Dividends, No Growth
  • Expected Dividends and Constant Growth
  • Relationship Between Dividend Payments and the Growth Rate
  • Understanding Future Stock Value
  • Valuing Nonconstant Growth Dividends

Module Eight: Special Topics

Module Outcomes: 

  • Explain the different avenues for investing for retirement.
  • Describe the challenges encountered by multinational corporations (MNCs) when pursuing global markets and efficiencies.
  • Explain what the federal reserve is and describe its international counterparts.
  • Explain what cryptocurrency is and describe ethical implications of its use.


Module Concepts

  • Planning for Retierment
  • Financial Management Outside of the U.S.
  • The Federal Reserve
  • Environmental Protection and Negative Externalities

About the book
Personal Finance


There are many facets to consider when thinking about personal finance, but all are fundamentally concerned with understanding what is the best way to allocate assets in different conditions over time. For example, what is the difference between a bull and bear market and why does it matter?  In this course, we will explore different investment markets, options for credit, different retirement plans, taxes, and business ethics. We also cover special topics, which include the Federal Reserve, insurance, bitcoins, and bankruptcy.

About the course creators:

Sandra Adams

Lead Instructional Designer, Sandra Adams received her M.S. in Microbial Sciences from the University of Montana and B.S. in Entomology from Washington State University. She has been teaching and developing online courses for seven years. She utilizes a variety of media outlets and OERs to create course content, thereby keeping students engaged in the courses. As a research scientist, she collaborated with many research labs resulting in 14 peer review publications in prestigious peer-reviewed journals including Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Journal of Bacteriology, International Society of Microbial Ecology, and PLoS Genetics, to name a few. She enjoys volunteering in teaching outreach projects for several organizations regarding K-12 education, including NASA,  Boys and Girls Club, Montana High School State Science Fair, the Minnesota-Costa Rica partnership, and a local after school program.

Edmund Bushman

Subject Matter Expert, Edmund Bushman is currently a Professor at Yavapai College in Prescott, AZ in the Business/Computer Science School.  He has been a full time faculty at the school since 2000. He received a M.B.A. from Chapman University (CA), and B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University and an A.A.S. in Police Science from Georgia Military College.  Mr. Bushman has several years’ experience with finance, investing, Macro/Micro economics and marketing.
A native of Dixon, IL, Mr. Bushman enlisted  in the U.S. Air Force and retired as an officer after a 23 year career in 2000.  His duties included Program Management and Developmental Engineer on the GPS Project, Law Enforcement, Air Field Management and Test Engineer. Professor Bushman has the unique blend of technical/management/finance skills. Outside on teaching courses, Prof Bushman is also the Division Chair for his school of Computer Science/Business.

Professor, Yavapai College

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