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Personal Finance Courses at Stanford

Featured Course

ECON 43: Introduction to Financial Decision Making

The primary purpose of the class is for you to obtain a greater degree of comfort that you will know how to approach the important financial decisions you will confront. Your journey through life will require many financial decisions, including budgeting, financial planning, consumer credit, investing, managing risks to you and your family and many more. The outcomes of these decisions will heavily influence the quality of your life, including your financial security, your ability to withstand unanticipated burdens arising from the vagaries of your and your family’s lives, and to keep open desirable options on how you wish to lead your life. (Spring 2021)

Professors Michael Boskin, Alex Gould, John Shoven

WELLNESS 183: Financial Wellness for a Healthy Long Life

Utilize a practical, financial planning approach to financial wellness with integrated psychological research and theory in human behavior. Explore critical personal finance concepts connected to long life and long-term financial health, such as credit, debt, saving, and investing for retirement, alongside relevant cognitive and neuroscience studies in perception and decision-making. Applying this financial and psychological approach to financial wellness leads to enhanced emotional and mental wellbeing, in particular focusing on increasing self-confidence, life satisfaction, motivation, and stress management. Guest speakers will include experts and researchers in the fields of finance and psychology. (Winter 2021)

Lecturer Kelly Takahashi

CS 7: Personal Finance for Engineers

Introduction to the fundamentals and analysis specifically needed by engineers to make informed and intelligent financial decisions. Course will focus on actual industry-based financial information from technology companies and realistic financial issues. Topics include: behavioral finance, budgeting, debt, compensation, stock options, investing and real estate. No prior finance or economics experience required. (Autumn 2020)

Lecturer Adam Nash

ECON 143: Finance and Society for non-MBAs 

The financial system is meant to help people, businesses, and governments fund, invest, and manage risks, but it is rife with conflicts of interests and may allow people with more information and control to harm those with less of both. In this interdisciplinary course we explore the forces that shape the financial system and how individuals and society can benefit most from this system without being unnecessarily harmed and endangered. Topics include the basic principles of investment, the role and "dark side" of debt, corporations and their governance, banks and other financial institutions, why effective financial regulations are essential yet often fail, and political and ethical issues in finance. The approach will be rigorous and analytical but not overly technical mathematically. Prerequisite: Econ 1. (Autumn 2020)

Professor Anat Admati