ACE 240: Personal Financial Planning
ACE 240 is all about personal finance. It’s a great way for students to learn how to manage their money throughout their financial lives so that they can achieve their financial goals for themselves and their families. We cover the financial planning process, investing in stocks and bonds, prudent use of credit, auto and housing decisions, planning for retirement, taxes, employee benefits, estate planning and life/health/property insurance.
Prerequisites (Must be complete BEFORE taking this course):
Instructor Teaching the Course:
This course is taught by the instructor below. You may click on their name to learn more about them. Teaching schedules vary by semester. Please check the Course Explorer for the most up-to-date information about the sections they will teach.
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See when the course is offered as well as section details here: https://courses.illinois.edu/schedule/terms/ACE/240
Spring 2019 Restrictions
There are no restrictions for this course.
Additional Course Information
Read more about what Professor Stoddard has to say about ACE 240!
Is this class discussion-based or lecture-based? How would you describe your teaching style?
This is a lecture-based course where discussion is encouraged. We do a variety of in-class assignments where students go through worksheets in small groups to project possible financial outcomes that they may experience after graduation. My teaching style is relatively informal and my emphasis is very practical. I want to help students begin to make better financial choices starting immediately and to help them begin to plan their financial future.
How are students evaluated (e.g. multiple choice or essay tests, papers, etc.)?
Students are evaluated based on tests (multiple choice), in class assignments, and online quizzes. The online quizzes, which are given regularly throughout the course, give students an incentive to read the textbook and review class material on a regular basis. This reinforces concepts and helps them when it’s time to prepare for an exam.
What careers does this course help prepare students to pursue?
The financial planning industry is in a growth phase now for a variety of reasons. One of these is that the baby-boomers are entering retirement; many of them leave the workforce with a significant nest egg of financial resources and they’re very willing to pay for expert advice on how to manage their wealth. For many students who become financial advisors or wealth managers, ACE 240 is a starting point.
What courses can students take to prepare for this material?
ACE 240 is an introductory level course, so all students are welcome and all students will be able to succeed if they do the required work. Students with backgrounds in finance, economics, and business will have had some exposure to some of the concepts we talk about, but there are no prerequisites for Personal Financial Planning.
In what ways does this course prepare students to move through the program and/or into the work force?
This material is very valuable for students who go into a variety of business related careers in finance and other industries. Concepts covered in ACE 240, such as the Time Value of Money, are very transferrable to a wide variety of roles in the workforce. And, personal financial planning is an enormously important skill for all students whether or not they go into a related field. The vast majority of our students enter the working world with a good starting salary and learning to manage money well is quite important.
What is your background in Agricultural and Consumer Economics?
After studying economics at the UI many, many years ago, I had a 30 year career in agricultural real estate, farm management, commodity trading, and agricultural lending, so I’ve been able to observe the choices and behaviors that help financially successful people get ahead and have seen the pitfalls that can lead to financial problems.
What is your attendance policy?
Attendance is very important. One of my favorite expressions is, “The world is run by people who show up.” Students who think of their time on campus as an audition for the work world will gain valuable experience, and attendance is critical in the workplace.