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BUS-154 - Personal Finance - John J Francis

Course:Personal Finance
Professor:John J Francis
  • Online
Course Length:
  • Applies to All Course Lengths


Professor John Francis


My name is Professor John Francis and welcome to BUS154 Personal Finance.

In this class, we will discuss the concepts of personal financial planning.  We will cover several topics, some of which will include managing money and credit, investment alternatives, tax planning, insurance, housing decisions, and retirement planning.  Students will also create their own comprehensive financial plan, including an evaluation of income, expenses, assets, debt, cash flow, and net worth.

I look forward to seeing you online!

Best regards,

Professor John Francis


Course Description

Introduces the concepts, tools, and applications of personal financial planning, including developing and prioritizing goals, managing money and credit, identifying investment alternatives, as well as examining retirement planning, housing decisions, tax planning, risk management/insurance, estate planning, and the institutional sources and regulation of financial services and products.


Student Learning Outcomes

Analyze personal finance principles and concepts in common personal finance situations.

Course Objectives

1.  Construct a plan for short-range, intermediate, and long-range financial goals.

2.  Analyze financial health using financial statements and financial ratios to monitor changes in wealth.

3.  Measure discretionary cash flow using budgeting.

4.  Analyze the impact of time value of money on financial planning by applying present value, future value, and annuity calculations to financial decisions.

5.  Explain the impact taxes have on financial planning and strategies to minimize taxes.

6.  Compare and contrast the financial services and products offered by banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions.

7.  Compare and contrast the major sources for consumer loans and the advantages and disadvantages of dealing with each type of lender.

8.  Compute the net cost and long-term cost of renting verses owning a house.

9.  Evaluate the cost of automobile leasing verses buying.

10.  Explain how personal risk management works and the different types of insurance that are used to shift specific risks.

11.  Compare and contrast the major investment attributes of savings accounts, money market accounts, CD’s, savings bonds, U.S. Treasury instruments, corporate bonds, municipal bonds, stocks, annuities, mutual funds, and other financial investment products.

12.  Show how asset allocation is used to minimize investment risk through diversification.

13.  Construct a retirement plan using the four principal sources of retirement income, and demonstrate the importance of early retirement planning.

14.  Contrast the advantages and disadvantages of various retirement plans, such as IRA’s, company sponsored plans, and self-employment plans.

15.  Evaluate the need for trusts and wills in the estate planning process.

16.  Explain the ethical considerations financial planners should following when recommending financial strategies and/or products for customers.


What to Expect in this Course

This class will cover all pertinent topics in evaluating your financial position and will help create a personal financial plan.  

Discussions are an important part of sharing ideas and topics.  These will contribute to your class participation score.

Outside resources, videos, and articles will be incorporated into the topics discussed.

This course will include weekly assignments and have weekly readings.  There is also a project where each student will create their own personal financial plan.

A computer is required.  All course information can be found in Canvas.  No webcam is required.

Types of Assessments

Assessments will include class participation (via discussion boards), written assignments, a financial plan project, and exams. There will be 2-3 midterms and one final exam. Exams will be completely online. No webcam or proctoring software is required. 

Textbook Information

We will use the textbook every week and reading is required.

Supplemental material may be provided as well.

Other Relevant Course Information

Students who do well in this class:

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


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Last updated: 11/10/2021 Sub#: 1137