Personal Financial Planning
Ageno School of Business
GOLDEN GATE UNIVERSITY
Office Hours: by appt/phone
First Day of class: 5/4/2010
Last Day of class: 8/08/2010
1. Course Description
This course introduces the broad scope of financial planning as it relates to personal
goals and values, as well as its role in the financial services industry. Topics include
careers in financial services, management of personal financial statements, time-
value-of-money analysis, calculator/computer applications, insurance, social security,
house-buy strategies, investments, retirement planning, income tax and estate
2. Course Objectives
This course introduces you to the broad spectrum of personal financial planning within
the financial services sector. Upon successful completion you will be able to:
1) Create a personal financial plan
2) Effectively manage personal financial decisions
3) Recognize and discuss external environmental analysis to include general economic
and financial indicators.
4) Effectively communication practice financial planning ideas
5) Read and interpret personal financial statement
6) Explain time value of money
7) Consider general and specific concepts related to education, insurance, retirement,
and estate planning when creating a financial plan
8) Apply appropriate Investment vehicles to a financial plan
10) Incorporate tax planning into a personal financial plan
3. Required Materials
The text for this class is Personal Financial Planning: Theory & Practice in addition to
several articles that are also required reading. The articles will be the foundation for
the discussion topics so please read them early in the week so you can participate fully
in each discussion.
Personal Financial Planning: Theory & Practice by Michael Dalton et al.,
2005 (1st Ed.), Kaplan Financial Publishing. I would also like you to
consider the 6th edition as an alternative. I will be teaching from the 6th edition
but understand it is VERY difficult to obtain. I also have the 5th edition so will
have access to it if you need. The key piece is to follow the topic source i.e.
retirement planning etc.
Financial Planning: The Next Step by Roy Diliberto, CFP®, FPA Press
visit www.fpanet.org or www.amazon.com to purchase
Financial calculator (e.g., Texas Instrument BAII plus or comparable, note the
only calculator that I am familiar is the BAII, you may choose others)
Additional resources and readings will be listed in your Syllabus and detailed
Module reading assignments.
Financial Planning Association Website (FPA) The FPA is a membership
organization for the financial planning community that fosters the value of financial
planning and advances the financial planning profession. Although not required, I
strongly recommend that you join the FPA early in your coursework; student
membership is available at a lower cost. You will have access to a wealth of
information (such as career development resources and continuing education
opportunities) at the member website and in most areas, access to a local network of
veteran planners. Please visit the national website www.fpanet.org for membership
information and the San Francisco website (or your own local chapter website) for
information about chapter meetings and events http://www.fpasf.org/
Journal of Financial Planning (JFP) – One FPA membership benefit is a free
subscription to the Journal of Financial Planning. Many of our articles are from the
Journal; the assigned articles will be posted on the cyber campus, however you will be
responsible for obtaining optional articles and supplemental readings yourself. Please
Be sure to familiarize yourself with all of these websites during the first week
of class as you will be asked to refer to them frequently.
Recommended: Understanding Your Financial Calculator --
Kaplan Publisher, 4th Edition
Understanding your Financial Calculator may be listed as "Required" in the GGU
Bookstore. While the book is highly recommended, it is ultimately your
decision. We recommend the book because it provides detailed instructions,
including keystrokes on using your calculators (includes HPs, Texas
Instruments, and Sharp) and extensive TVM instruction for college planning,
retirement planning and more.
To purchase course books and materials from eFollett, GGU's official online
bookstore, please see the “Important Info” section of this course.
University Library for students to conduct research on various topics. Remote (off
campus) access to the databases requires your last name and student ID#
(located on the front of your ID card). Be sure to type in ALL 7 digits, including the
starting 0. Example: 0123456. You may access the library from GGU’s homepage at
4. Course Procedure
It is important to read ALL of the “Course Home” information during the first
week of class and familiarize yourself with the “Course Admin,” “Doc
Sharing,” and “Drop Box” tabs.
This course consists of 16 sessions (15 weekly assignments; a review, and a final
paper/exam). Each session consists of chapter(s) from your text and Discussion Area
questions. We recommend that you approach each of the weekly sessions in
the following manner:
Read the assigned chapter(s) from the text and the supplementary readings we
Read the micro-lecture for an overview of the assignment. This overview will help
you to see the key points that should be the focus of your reading.
Complete the homework assignment which will either be available in the
homework tab or an assignment that you complete and place in the dropbox in the
folder above by the appropriate deadline.
Participate in the Discussion Area (see Discussion Area Directions below). These
discussion questions do not necessarily have right or wrong responses. They are
intended to start a discussion based on the particular topic being focused on during
that session. Please think about and comment on the question or on another student’s
comment. In addition, feel free to bring up any other good discussion questions
relating to the topic at hand. Your discussion grade will be based on the quality of
In order to have the best possible online experience, I recommend that you
follow this or a similar system to manage the course:
Monday - log into the Course and read the lecture, the discussion topics and review
the homework assignment.
Tuesday – read the supplementary articles and complete the homework assignment.
You may find it helpful to re-read some of the text to clarify or emphasize issues we
have raised. Then, you should then begin to participate in our Discussions.
Wednesday – check the Discussions for new topics, discussion responses, and
administrative announcements. Generally, there will not be any right or wrong answers
to discussion topics; you will be graded on your ability to respond to the topics
thoughtfully and with a clear comprehension of the text or articles from that session.
Your participation in the discussions is a key component of the Cyber Campus learning
process, and will count towards 30% of your grade in this course so don’t
underestimate your need to continually participate throughout the entire course.
Your learning experience, and consequently the experience of our whole class, will be
enhanced if you follow financial and economic events on a daily basis and bring
creative ideas and well informed questions into the discussions.
Remainder of the Session – log on regularly (at least three times during the
session) and check for “New Announcements” and be sure to look at the “What’s New”
My experience indicates that the cyber environment can provide for a solid educational
experience. Undoubtedly, the technology may sometimes fail us, so we may
occasionally need to resort to more old fashioned forms of communication. Let's try to
have patience when these things happen.
Let's also try to have fun!
5. Grading Policy
Discussion Participation 30%
Final (proctored) 35%
Participation in Discussion topics is necessary as it makes the on-line class experience
more beneficial for the entire class. To satisfy this I am going to require the following:
Post your answers to the discussion questions by Tuesday 11:59 p.m. CST
You will then be required to respond to a minimum of two other classmates’
answers to discussion questions.
Reply to a minimum of three postings in the discussion area.
o This means you will need to answer your discussion questions, plus a
total of 5 posts (minimum) for the balance of the week. The earlier you
post the more dialogue and opportunity for learning will be generated.
Quizzes are provided for each chapter of the Dalton text. These are available to help
you gauge your understanding of the information presented in the text. These quizzes
are not turned in or graded but the midterm and final exams have similar questions - it
is advisable to review the quizzes and make sure you understand the concepts and
know where to find the answers.
Exams - There are two exams, a midterm and a final. The exams are comprised of
T/F, multiple choice and short answer questions. Your mid-term exam includes
questions based on a financial planning case, you will analyze and prepare financial
statements, and answer a combination of true or false, multiple-choice, and short
answers. The mid-term is worth 200 points and comprises 35% or your final grade.
Your final exam includes 25 questions based on a case and the Financial Planning: The
Next Steps book and will comprise a combination of true or false, multiple-choice,
short answer, and essay questions. The final exam focuses on Sessions 8 – 14 but
includes some concepts from the first 7 Sessions. The final exam is comprises 35% of
your final grade.
It is your responsibility to schedule an exam time and location. For more
information, go to http://www.ggu.edu/cybercampus/ExamInformation.
All CyberCampus (entirely online) courses require at least one supervised exam per
term. In this course both the mid-term and the final are open book and notes and are
completed online. Only the Final Exam is supervised. You will be notified about the
steps to schedule your proctored exam as the session approaches.
A Contributions are prompt, timely, relevant, self-initiated; remarks
are raised freely on all assignments throughout the course; there is
no attempt to dominate conversation.
B Student generally keeps up with the discussion. Needs some
prompting to contribute.
C Participation is spotty; picks and chooses topics to get involved.
Demonstrates little initiative.
D Some participation, makes relevant remarks
F No participation
A 93% - 100%
A- 90% - 92.9%
B+ 87% - 89.9%
B 83% - 86.9%
B- 80% - 82.9%
C+ 77% - 79.9%
C 73% - 76.9%
C- 70% - 72.9%
D+ 67% - 69.9%
D 63% - 66.9%
D- 60% - 62.9%
F 0% - 59.9%
***at my discretion I may offer extra credit, but do not ask for any type of extra
credit. I will offer as a chance for all students if I see a need****
6. Instructor Bio
My name is Jeff Bratz. I am a Certified Financial Planner™, and have a Master Of
Science in Personal Financial Planning from Kansas State University.
My background is quite diverse and landed in the financial planning field as I found
that my passion is in helping people. Originally my intent was to attend medical
school and pursue my passion for helping others by working as a physician. I worked
at a major trauma center as an EMT, while going to school (after spending time in the
service) and while I really enjoyed the work, found that I was not willing to sacrifice
the time and energy to only be gone from family constantly.
I wandered a bit and somehow landed selling life insurance, long-term care, and
annuities. I realized that I really liked the financial services business and was
successful as I enjoyed working with people. I ultimately decided that I wanted to be
more than an insurance sales person, and went back to school got a degree in
Business, and immediately started my Master’s in Financial Planning.
I was lucky enough to find a comprehensive financial planning firm that I was able to
begin my career in “financial planning”. I was also lucky in that while I was working
on my Master’s I was in working daily in the field of financial planning and was able to
apply my book knowledge to my growing practice. I am still with the same firm, and
very lucky to enjoy where I am, who I work with, and really enjoy my partners in the
I have taught numerous classes at the community college and enterprise level-and
now have several online classes taught. I hope that you find my understanding of the
online experience to be relatable as I completed both my undergrad and graduate
degrees online. Furthermore; I am on the Academic Advisory board at Kansas State
University. I tell you this to prove that your level of learning and engagement is
facilitated here, and while we are online this learning is powerful and you control how
much you get from this class. Lastly, if you plan on taking the CFP® certification
exam, I will tell you to start working now so that when it comes time to begin
the final study phase for the exam you already have learned these concepts.
Reviewing is much easier than learning when it comes to exam prep.
A brief bit of personal “stuff”:
I am 38 years old, married for nearly 13 years. I have two little boys named Zachary
(5.5 years old) and Benjamin (almost 4 years old). I am an avid triathlete and have
done every triathlon distance race from a very short race, all the way through IronMan
distance races (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run/walk/shuffle/crawl). My
triathlon addiction is fueled by a sponsorship where I get a free triathlon bike and gear
every season. During this course I will be doing a major week long event in
Colorado…if interested ask.
Lastly, I love the learning environment and hope to learn from you as well. Work
hard, learn, and enjoy the process-Jeff.
7. Course Outline
Week Date Topics Reading
1 05/02/2010 Introduction to Personal Financial DALTON 5th & 6th:
Planning Chapters 1 & 19 or
2 05/09/2010 Introduction Financial DALTON 5th & 6th:
Planning/Communication & Chapters 3 & 5
3 05/16/2010 Personal Financial Statement DALTON:
4 05/23/2010 External Environment DALTON:
Chapters 2 & 6
Time Value of Money
5 05/30/2010 Introduction to Insurance & Risk DALTON:
Management Chapters 8 & 10
Property & Casualty Insurance
6 06/06/2010 Insurance on the Person DALTON :
Chapters 9 & 11
7 06/13/2010 Introduction to Retirement DALTON:
Planning Chapters 15 & 16
Basic Retirement Plans
8 06/20/2010 Mid-Term Examination Sessions 1 DALTON:
–7 Chapter 7
Education Funding DILIBERTO
Financial Planning: The Next
Step - Discussion
9 06/272010 Introduction to Investment DALTON:
Concepts Chapter 12
10 07/04/2010 Investment Vehicles DALTON:
11 07/11/2010 Individual Income Tax & Tax DALTON:
Planning Chapter 13
12 07/18/2010 Business Entities DALTON :
Tax Planning Supplement
13 07/25/2010 Introduction to Estate Planning DALTON:
14 08/01/2010 The Practice of Financial Planning DALTON:
& Review for Final Exam Chapter 18