FIN 352: Investments I  -   Professor Dow
    Part I. Investing Basics


Topic  1. Understanding Investments


This topic introduces you to investing and covers some of the basic terms and ideas.

Reading: Jones, Chapter 1.

Lecture:  What do investors do? (in class)

Lecture:  Investing as part of a personal financial plan (in class)

FIN 352 is not a course in personal financial planning, but investing is an important part of the financial planning process. 

How to learn more about personal finance?

UCI offers a short online course on basic personal finance. It's not great, but it's quick.

A site run by the University of Maryland offers a lot of useful information.

At CSUN, we offer two courses in personal finance:
FIN 302 – Personal Finance: Covers the basics of personal financial management.  It does not count as a finance elective but does count for upper division GE.  Currently the course is only available online.

FIN 442 – Theory and Practice of Financial Planning: An in-depth coverage of financial planning.

Assignment 0.  I’ve registered at and written down my password

The assignments are handled through the website  The first thing to do is register (if you haven’t registered there before).  Once you are registered, sign up for my course.  This has nothing to do with registration at CSUN, it just lets the website know that you are taking my course. Also, write down your password and store it someplace safe so you won’t forget it. 

When you click on an assignment, it will bring up a page where you can enter the information.  Most of the time, it’s better to write it out in a word processor first and then cut and paste.

Worksheet 1.  A Personal Finance Plan (links to PDF file)

This is a simple worksheet to guide you through basic financial planning.  For students who are just starting out and are living at home, some of it may not be so relevant.  However, if you working and on your own, you should be completing something like this every year.  The parts that are the most relevant for this class are the sections on goals and saving and investing.  Remember -  worksheets are not turned in.

Worksheet 2.  Reviewing Percentages  (pdf)

This worksheet provides a quick review of percentages.

Supplemental Reading:

Investing Basics

Learn about Stocks (pdf)