Free Personal Financial Planning Course on Coursera

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Online “open” education site Coursera has a free personal financial planning course starting January 14th, 2013. It will run for 7 weeks, requiring 3-6 hours of work per week, and you get (likely worthless) certification of completion at the end. I haven’t seen anything similar at the other major MOOCs, Udacity or edX. Here’s the course description:

This course was created to help those who cannot afford extensive planning assistance better understand how to define and reach their financial goals. It provides basic understanding so informed decisions can be made. The course can also be seen as a reference for individual topics that are part of personal financial planning.

Financial planning, in the broadest sense, is an effort to manage all aspects of a person / family’s financial affairs. Classically, that begins with planning family spending and extends through risk management (insurance), taxes, wealth accumulation, investing, and wealth distribution (retirement and estate planning).

I signed up as I’m interested in online education in general, and my hope is that it will be more interactive and engaging than just reading a good personal finance book. It appears to be based on a UC Irvine OpenCourseware course, which has all the modules online here. Interestingly, the course originated from a grant from the owners of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation. However, if there aren’t good videos and/or assignments and it’s just a bunch of Powerpoint slides, then I’m going to be a MOOC drop-out.

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  1. So cool! I just signed up for the course, and saw a few more that look super interesting. Thanks for the information.

  2. Hi,
    We are now classmates, LOL!
    I have signed up a while back. Thanks for reminding me that the class has finally began.

  3. playcentric says

    Thanks for the post and I just signed up also. For sure like to learn from folks here who will be attending the upcoming classes. You all are great and intelligent folks.

  4. Just finished “Week 1”. Well, to be honest, I just skipped to the Week 1 quiz and took it as you get 3 attempts. Passed, but then I felt guilty and went back to the class material. The narrated powerpoint slides are good for folks looking for a simple lecture-style format, but nothing out of the ordinary. I poked around the discussion forums, lots of helpful people in there but not that many active threads so far.

  5. Just saw this:

    “Somewhere along Week 3 and Week 5, there will be assignments that will be peer graded. Stay tuned for more details on this!”

  6. Signed up! I think I’m already behind..anyway, I hope I learn something useful.

  7. I’m in. For those wondering, apparently you can still sign up. At least as of 1/20. I signed up and completed the week 1 work this morning.

    All you need is a name and email address, so you don’t have to give up any privacy to take the class, if you don’t want to.

  8. I’ve been disappointed in the quality of this course … Would be interested in what others think. It seems simplistic, poorly focused, and full od small mistakes or misstatements.

  9. Should have been “full of small mistakes” (speaking of mistakes …)

  10. I finished the class. It was not too detailed and I knew a lot of the basics already but I appreciated the fact that everything was presented in a systematic way which allowed me to see how all aspects of financial planning affect each other. It also helped me to finish my New Year’s resolution of putting together a monthly cash flow statement, creating an emergency fund, and doing some planning for retirement.

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