Course Exam—FNCE 249

FNCE 249 (Personal Investing) is a three-credit introductory business course that helps students gain the knowledge and skills to effectively manage their personal investments. Students will gain an understanding of the budgeting and investment process, familiarity with investment math and terminology, and the ability to apply and assess different approaches to investing. This course has no prerequisites and there is a challenge for credit option if interested.

Personal Investing is made up of six lessons, one preparation assignment, and three assignments weighing thirty, five, forty, and twenty-five percent of the course grade respectively. FNCE 249 has no midterm or final examinations. The six lessons within this course cover topics such as the financial statement, security analysis, investment basics, capital market analysis, and mutual funds. To receive credit for FNCE 249, students must complete and submit the three assignments in order from one to three. Your final grade is determined by a weighted average of the grades you receive on these three assignments. Students must achieve a composite grade of at least a “D” fifty percent or better for the entire course.

Students should note that registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. If you do not like electronic textbooks, you may be able to purchase a print version from the publisher through a direct-to-student link provided on the course website or acquire the textbook on your own. Another, cheaper option would be to check AUSU’s student mobile app, as sometimes students sell their old and sometimes unused textbooks.

Gayle St. Denis is currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Management in Human Resource Management at Athabasca University. She provides a bit of an introduction, stating “I am currently living in Fort McMurray, Alberta and I have lived here for over twenty years! I am currently working full-time as the executive director of a registered charity, Safe Community Wood Buffalo. I am married and have two beautiful daughters and three fun-loving dogs. In my spare time, I enjoy volunteering and supporting my local community.”

When asked to explain the course to students, Gayle states “There are three assignments (and a prep assignment that needs to be submitted to the tutor) with no final exam. The first assignment is making use of formulas and the BA11 calculator, though you can show your calculations on paper without using the calculator if you would rather. The prep assignment does just that, it preps you for the last two assignments. You choose two stocks to follow and pretty much all of assignment two and three are following these stocks and answering questions about them.”

As for the structure of FNCE 249, Gayle continues, “Well, as luck would have it, I took FNCE 300 (Financial Economics) first!  FNCE 300 was a required course, and I chose FNCE 249 for a business option. I found it to be quite interesting completing the last two assignments, because I followed two stocks and compared them throughout the final two assignments. I found it a really great way to show that you understand the course material. As for advice, just like with any FNCE course, show your work so your tutor knows how you came up with your answer. Showing your work is not just for your tutor, it helps you understand the steps and methods! The major bonus for this course is that there is no final exam!”

When asked if she would recommend FNCE 249 to students, she states “I absolutely loved FNCE 249 and not just because it has not exam! I have investments for retirement and such so it really helped me understand my personal investments. I found this course to be quite easy, I finished it in a month. It is a good introduction level course for anyone who is new to finance and I would 100% recommend it!

As for tips and tricks, she states “Definitely start it right away! The prep assignment has you documenting weekly stats for your chosen stocks and reviewing news articles relating to each stock. You can, of course, find the history of the stocks, but it is much more interesting to get these stats current. Maybe start with your prep assignment so you have a bit of stock history recorded by the time you get your second assignment. Choose stocks that interest you or are a hot topic in the market. You’ll see a lot of movement in these ones which makes them interesting to analyze and the assignments more fun. For assignment 1, if you don’t know how to use a BA11 calculator, there are tones of YouTube videos showing you how!”

When asked how communications with her tutors have been, Gayle states explains that “My assignments have been marked in a reasonable amount of time, usually within three business days for all of them. These assignments are fairly in depth, not just answering questions, so I did not expect to get my marks back quickly, so I felt the time was reasonable. The marking was fair, and the feedback was helpful for each assignment. With finance, it is easy to make an error in calculations, but I cannot say it enough, show your work. The marker can see how you came up with your calculations and you will still get marks for showing that you understand the concept, even if your calculations are wrong.”

Whether FNCE 249 is a degree or program requirement of yours, or the topics discussed above are of interest to you, this course will have you learning lots of useful and interesting material surrounding the topic personal investing.