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Intellect

BYU finance Web site can assist in planning

During every transition of life, personal finances play an influential role in deciding goals for the future. In an effort to provide families and individuals with the tools and resources necessary to obtain financial freedom, Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Management has introduced a personal finance Web site designed to help users at every stage of financial knowledge.

“A solid understanding of basic financial principles plays an important role in the well-being of individuals and families,” said Ned C. Hill, dean of the Marriott School of Management. “This project is one of our many efforts to increase financial literacy and self-reliance among our students as well as families and friends outside the university.”

The Web site, located at personalfinance.byu.edu, is divided into three courses: a beginning course is designed for high school students and college freshmen; an intermediary course is intended for college students and married couples; and a final course is for teaching about retirement planning and investing. Each of the courses is founded on the principle of setting goals and is designed to help participants obtain them.

“Once people determine their goals, we give them the tools to achieve them and keep their personal finances in order,” said Bryan Sudweeks, the principal Web site developer and Marriott School associate professor of business management. “We want to help people put foundations to their dreams.”

Web site visitors can access individual lessons and manuals based on their own financial knowledge and course level. Shortened lessons and PowerPoint presentations are also available for family activities and for teachers who would like to incorporate the topics into their curriculum.

As part of the advanced course of study, participants may download the complete college manual used by MBA students in Sudweeks’ personal financial planning course.

Each course requires participants to complete a financial plan assignment. At the end of the course, the assignments are compiled into a personal financial plan, a tool designed to lead to economic self- reliance and financial freedom.

“This program has helped me make strategic choices on future financial decisions,” said James Pierce, a senior majoring in finance from Pleasant Grove, Utah who assisted in the review process of the Web site. “I now know what to expect in my future.”

Writer: Irasema Romero

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