The Value of Learning about Personal Finance
Programs: Evening Credit
Regardless of the career you’re pursuing, one force influences all of our lives: money. That is why Continuing Education and Finance professor, Roy Franc Baas, has taught his Personal Finance course for the last 20 years, first at the University of New Orleans and now at CU Boulder.
“Personal Finance offers me the opportunity to teach basic financial management to students across campus, not just Business and Finance majors,” says Baas. “Out of all the courses students take, this course may be one of the most important because it teaches the skills they need to manage their financial lives.”
Baas should know. He’s built a successful 30-year career as a commercial banker, entrepreneur, college professor, and consultant. Originally from New Orleans, Baas is principal and senior consultant of Banking and Business Consultants. He is also the founder, Principal and Managing Director of the Baas Institute for Business Finance and Management; and Principal and Senior Consultant of DVM Consultants West LLC, a veterinary-practice brokerage firm based on the Denver area. He joined the faculty at CU Boulder in 2012 when he and his family relocated from Louisiana to Colorado. He has taught this course and other finance and economics courses regularly at the International Summer School in Innsbruck, Austria, and has directed the Leeds’ London/Paris International Finance summer program several times.
Baas’ extensive professional experience is an asset in the classroom. “Students enjoy the anecdotes and insights I share in class; they inform the material the students are studying in a more dynamic, real-world way,” says Baas. “As a banker, I helped business people with cash management. I can talk about case studies that drive home the lessons we cover, and I try to bring some humor to the experience.”
The course covers basic personal financial planning concepts and applications including cash flow, net worth, asset selection and purchase, income taxes, insurance, and consumer debt. Students dig into hands-on projects like investment tracking and a virtual balance sheet simulation that teach them how to invest and track money, how to use debt appropriately, and how to achieve and increase personal financial net worth.
Baas emphasizes the knowledge and skills his students gain in this class will serve them for the rest of their lives. “Finance is a compelling topic because whatever field you pursue, at some point in your career you are going to have to deal with money. I grew up in New Orleans and like to sail, so I use this analogy: If you know how to sail a 12-foot dingy, you can use those same skills to sail a 50-foot yacht. The same is true for this class; the skills you learn in Personal Finance are transferrable to any career you might have.”
You can learn more about the Introduction to Personal Financial Planning course and other Continuing Education courses at ce.colorado.edu/courses.