Personal Finance Course, 11:373:353 (01)

Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics

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Personal Finance Fall 2014 Semester Syllabus

Course Number: 11:373:353 (Section 01)
Number of Credit Hours: 3 credits
Pre-requisites: Microeconomics: 11:373:121 or 01:220:102
Class Dates and Time: Monday and Thursday, 3rd Period (12:35 to 1:55 pm)
Class Location: Hickman Hall, Room 127

Instructor: Dr. Barbara O'Neill, CFP® , Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management
Office: Room 107, Cook Office Building
Office Phone : 848-932-9126
E-Mail: oneill@aesop.rutgers.edu
Web Pages: njaes.rutgers.edu/money | investing.rutgers.edu | njaes.rutgers.edu/sshw
Office Hours: By appointment; call or e-mail with available dates and times to set up an appointment

Assigned Books:

  1. Kapoor, J., Dlabay, L., & Hughes, R. (2008). Focus on Personal Finance. Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill (FPF)
    Three-Ring Binder Edition: ISBN # 9780077398316
  2. Choose one of the two books below to read in entirety and summarize…your choice!

Optional Books For Extra Credit: (Choose one of these two books to read and summarize...your choice!)

OR

Course Vision:
By the end of the semester, a class of financially literate students who will be financially secure today and in the future. They will have knowledge, skills, and confidence to take charge of their financial future.

Course Objectives:

  1. Students will increase their understanding of personal finance concepts.
  2. Students will develop critical thinking skills with respect to financial planning concepts.
  3. Students will appreciate the awesome power of compound interest as both a friend and an enemy.
  4. Students will apply the knowledge gained to their personal financial situation.
  5. Students will become financially responsible adults who save regularly and use credit wisely.

Criteria For Evaluation:

Weight

Course Component

25%

Midterm (50 multiple choice questions) Covers class lectures and book chapters 1-7.

25%

Final (50 multiple choice questions). Covers topics taught after the midterm; class lectures and book chapters 8-14.

5%

Financial article: 3-5 minute class presentation and full one page (single-spaced) summary and reaction paper. The article can be from a newspaper like The Wall Street Journal, a magazine like Money, or a financial information website. Attach the article to your paper.

10% The Wealthy Barber or The Automatic Millionaire (your choice of ONE of these books): write a 2- to 3-page (single-spaced, double between paragraphs) summary and reaction paper with an introductory paragraph, 20 bullet points (3 to 4 sentences per bullet with in-depth descriptions) listing what you consider the most important information from the book, and a final paragraph about how you will apply what you learned.

5%

Financial calculator analysis: full one page (single-spaced) summary and reaction paper. Create a 5 column by 5 row table with information from the Credit Card Smarts calculator and write a one paragraph summary about what you learned and how you will apply it.

5%

PowerPay © Online Debt Reduction Analysis: See instructions for the assignment and do a PowerPay calculation at powerpay.org

5%

Credit Card comparison: full one page (single-spaced) summary and reaction paper based upon a thorough comparison of three competing credit card offers. Attach the worksheet to your paper.

5%

 

Financial Calculator Analysis: full one-page (single-spaced) summary and reaction paper. Create a 5 column by 5 row table with information from the Why Save For Retirement? calculator (available from the instructor) and write a one paragraph summary about what you learned and how you will apply it.
5% Mutual Fund Comparison: full one-page (single-spaced) summary and reaction paper based upon a thorough comparison of three competing mutual funds against one another. Attach the worksheet to your paper.

10%

Small group project: Written analysis (3- to 5-pages; single-spaced, double between paragraphs) of a financial case study (selected from among 20 case studies on the class website) and a 10- to 12-minute in-class presentation of the case analysis and recommendations to improve the case family’s finances.

Extra Credit

Read So You Graduated College: A Financial Guide to Life After Graduation OR Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties. Then write a 3- to 4-page (single-spaced, double between paragraphs) summary and reaction paper with an introductory paragraph, 20 bullet points (3 to 4 sentences per bullet with in-depth descriptions) listing what you consider the most important information from the book, and a final paragraph about how you will apply what you learned.

OR

Attend a personal finance conference and write a 3- to 4-page page (single-spaced, double between paragraphs) summary and reaction paper with 20 bullet points (3 to 4 sentences per bullet with in-depth descriptions) listing what you consider the most important information from the conference presentations, followed by a paragraph about how you will apply what you learned.

Grading Scale:

90+ A A    
80-84 B B 85-89 B+
70-74 C C 75-79 C+
60-69 D D    
< 60 F F    

 

(Final grade is based on a weighted average of all grades with no curving. Extra credit of a half-step up in grade will be added for the extra assignment. Grade reduction(s) for three or more unexcused absences will be deducted).

 

 

Course Schedule:

Date Class Topic Readings and Assignments
Thurs., Sept. 4 Class Introduction, Discussion of Course Syllabus, Bingo, Coat of Arms Activities

Purchase class textbooks; Watch ALL video clips (8 total) at http://www.pbs.org/wned/ and complete the Your Life, Your Money discussion questions

Mon.,
Sept. 8
Your Life, Your Money debriefing and financial aspects of entrepreneurship discussion
FPF #1
Thurs.,
Sept. 11
Chapter 1 FPF #1
Mon., Sept. 15 The Time Value of Money (hands-on practice with financial calculators) Bring a favorite financial calculator to this class
FPF #2
Thurs.,
Sept. 18
Guest Speaker: Kim Cole, Novadebt
(presentation about student loans)
Read The Wealthy Barber OR The Automatic Millionarire

Work on Financial Calculator Analysis
Mon.,
Sept. 22
Chapter 2 The Wealthy Barber OR The Automatic Millionaire due today; FPF #3
Thurs.,
Sept. 25
Chapter 3 FPF #4
Mon.,
Sept. 29
Chapter 4 Financial Calculator Analysis (Credit Card Smarts table) due today; FPF #5
Thurs.,
Oct. 2
Chapter 5 Work on Credit Card Comparison assignment
FPF #5
Mon.,
Oct. 6
Chapter 5 (Second Credit Class) FPF #5
Thurs., Oct. 9 Introduction to PowerPay © ; Credit Q & A Credit Card Comparison assignment due today
Monday., Oct. 13 Identity Theft and Phishing FPF #6
Thurs.,
Oct. 16
Chapter 6 PowerPay© assignment due today
FPF #7
Mon.,
Oct. 20
Chapter 7 Study for Midterm Exam
Thurs., Oct. 23 Midterm Exam FPF #8
Mon.,
Oct. 27
Chapter 8 FPF #9
Thurs., Oct. 30 Chapter 9 FPF #10
Mon.,
Nov. 3
Chapter 10 and case study project introduction FPF #11
Thurs., Nov. 6 Chapter 11 FPF #11
Mon.,
Nov. 10
Chapter 11 (Second Investing Class) FPF #12 and Financial Calculator Analysis
Financial Calculator Analysis (Why Save For Retirement?) due
Thurs., Nov. 13 Chapter 12 FPF #13
Mon.,
Nov. 17
Chapter 13 FPF #13
Thurs, Nov. 20 Reading Day OR Guest Speaker TBA Work on case study project
Mon.,
Nov 24
How to Read a Mutual Fund Prospectus FPF #14
Tues., Nov. 25 Make Up Day: Fall Semester Thursday Classes
Chapter 14
Enjoy the holiday weekend
Thurs., Nov. 26 No Class - Thanksgiving Day Break Enjoy the holiday weekend
Mon.,
Dec. 1
Twenty Steps to Seven Figures Prepare Financial case study team presentations
Mutual Fund Comparison Assignment Due
Thurs., Dec 4 Financial case study presentations
(@10-12 minutes)
Study for final exam
Mon.,
Dec. 8
Small Steps to Health and Wealth, Guest Speaker
Review for Final Exam
Study for final exam
Final Exam Exam date as per Rutgers final exam schedule Final deadline for extra credit assignment

Structure of the Course:

Class Ground Rules:

Your grade will be reduced by a half-step for every three unexcused absences. You are expected to attend all classes; if you expect to miss a class, please use the University absence reporting website https://sims.rutgers.edu/ssra/ to indicate the date(s) and reason for your absence. An email will be automatically sent to me.

It is highly recommended that you save the books for this class as reference tools for the rest of your financial life!

Instructor: Dr. Barbara O'Neill, CFP®, Extension Specialist in Financial Resource Management and Professor II
Office: Room 107, Cook Office Building, 55 Dudley Road, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Phone: 848-932-9126
E-Mail: oneill@aesop.rutgers.edu
Web Page: njaes.rutgers.edu/money | investing.rutgers.edu