Curriculum

The program includes five required courses.  

Course Descriptions

Financial Planning Process

This course provides an introduction to the basic terminology of the financial planning profession, evaluation of client data, needs and goals and the concept of time value of money. Topics addressed include:

  • Financial Planning Process
    CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility
    CFP Board's Financial Planning Standards
    Personal Financial Statements
    Budgeting
    Emergency Fund Planning
    Credit and Debt Management
    Buying versus Leasing
    Function, Purpose and Regulation of Financial Institutions
    Client Attitudes and Behavioral characteristics
    Educational Funding
    Financial Planning for special circumstances
    Time Value of money concepts and calculations
    Characteristics and consequences of types of entities and property titling


In addition, students will gain a thorough understanding of insurance basics, a broad range of insurance types and risk management strategies. The insurance topics covered include:

  • Principles of insurance
    Analysis and evaluation of risk exposure
    Legal aspects of insurance
    Property and Casualty Insurance
    General business liability
    Health Insurance (individual)
    Long-term care insurance
    Life insurance
    Viatical settlements
    Insurance needs analysis and rational
    Taxation of life, disability and long-term care insurance
    Insurance Policy selection
    Insurance company selection and due diligence

Investment Planning

This course introduces basic investment concepts and focuses on client's needs and assessments, particularly as it relates to risk tolerance and exposure. The topics addressed include:

  • Types and uses of investment vehicles
    Economic concepts
    Types of investment risks
    Measures of investment risks and returns
    Time-influenced security valuation concepts
    Bond and stock valuation methods
    Portfolio management and measurement concepts
    Formula investing
    Investment strategies
    Asset allocation and portfolio diversification
    Efficient Market Theory (EMT)
    Asset pricing models
    Leverage of investment assets
    Hedging and option strategies
    Tax efficient investing
    Investment strategies in tax advantaged accounts
    Taxation of investment vehicles

Income Tax Planning

This course provides an overview of the federal tax system; concepts of personal and business taxation are addressed Topics covered include:

  • Tax compliance
    Income tax fundamentals and calculations
    Tax accounting methods
    Tax characteristics of entities
    Income taxation of trusts and estates
    Cost basis, cost recovery concepts
    Tax consequences of like-kind exchanges
    Tax consequences of gain or loss on sale of assets
    Alternative Minimum Tax(AMT)
    Tax management techniques
    Passive activity and at-risk rules
    Tax implications of changing circumstances
    Charitable contributions and deductions

Retirement Planning & Employee Benefits

This course introduces the various alternatives available in planning for retirement, including qualified and non-qualified retirement plans and social security. Topics addressed include:

  • Retirement needs analysis
    Social Security (Old Age, Survivor, and Disability Insurance (OASDI)
    Medicare
    Types of Retirement Plans
    Qualified plan rules and options
    Other tax-advantaged retirement plans
    Regulatory considerations
    Plan selection for businesses (key factors affecting selection)
    Investment considerations for retirement plans
    Distribution rules, alternatives and taxation
    Employee benefit plans
    Employee stock options
    Stock Plans
    Non-qualified deferred compensation
    Employer/Employee insurance arrangements

Estate Planning

The fifth of the required modules includes an introduction to estate planning challenges, techniques and taxation. Topics covered include:

  • Methods of property transfer at death
    Estate Planning documents
    Gifting strategies
    Gift taxation and compliance
    Incapacity planning
    Estate tax calculation and compliance
    Satisfying liquidity needs
    Powers of appointment
    Types, features and taxation of trusts
    Qualified interest trusts
    Charitable giving
    Use of life insurance in estate planning
    Valuation issues
    Marital deduction
    Deferral and minimization of estate taxes
    Intra-family and other business transfer techniques
    Disposition of estate
    Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax (GSTT)
    Fiduciary responsibilities
    Income in Respect of a Decedent

 

Financial Plan Development

This course has been designed to enhance the knowledge, skills and abilities of students  to deliver professional and competent financial planning services to the public. The students are required to create a written financial plan and make an oral presentation to show the mastery of topics as applied to a financial plan.

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