HAYS, KS -- How do I get out of credit card debt? Are car leases a good deal? Should I invest in Internet stocks?
If all these questions have your head spinning, you can get straight answers in a personal finance class offered this summer through the College of Business and Leadership at Fort Hays State University. The summer class will meet from 9 to 11:30 a.m. beginning June 6 and continuing every Monday through Thursday in June. Dr. Rory Terry, assistant professor of economics and finance, will teach the course.
"This is a fun introductory course with no prerequisites," said Terry. The course has no math or financial calculations but instead focuses on concepts such as personal financial statements, credit management, insurance coverage, investments, and retirement planning, including IRAs, 401Ks and pensions.
Course seating is limited. The cost of tuition is $206. To register, call the Office of the Registrar at 628-4222 and enroll in summer course ECFI 450. For additional information on the course, call the Department of Economics and Finance at 628-5805.
Professor Terry, who joined the FHSU faculty three years ago, recently received notice that he had passed the comprehensive examination to become a Certified Financial Planner. The examination is designed for practicing professionals, and with a success rate of just 54 percent, it is similar in difficulty to the Certified Public Accountant examination. He took the 10-hour examination March 17 and 18 in Denver.
"It is a mark of professional competence," Terry explained. "It signifies that a person is qualified to provide a broad range of financial planning services to the public. The nice thing is that it gives me a lot of insight into the training of our students and what they need to accomplish."
Dr. Carl Parker, chair of the Department of Economics and Finance, also emphasized that the combination of the CFP designation with his doctorate makes Terry uniquely qualified as an instructor in the financial planning area. Parker noted that FHSU's general financial planning course and the more comprehensive coursework in financial planning had become increasingly popular &emdash; with the public, with business students and with students from other areas of study.
He said FHSU students who pursue a degree with a financial planning emphasis are qualified to sit for the CFP examination.
The personal finance class that will be offered this summer and again in the fall provides general knowledge in many areas: how to purchase a home, how to make investments, whether to lease or buy a car, how to do estate planning, how to manage credit cards and other debt, how to plan for retirement &emdash; and much, much more.
"I would characterize it as one of the most personally relevant courses a person could take," Terry said. "I can picture housewives being interested in this, workers, doctors who want to decide what to do with all their money. People have lots of questions and they don't know where to turn. They're afraid. They're distrustful. This equips them to not only make decisions for themselves but to evaluate the competence of various financial professionals."
Parker agreed. "If I was a parent, I would make my student take this course the very first semester," he said. "The first thing he or she would learn would be not to use a credit card and get into debt."