Personal Financial Planning Major

The Personal Financial Planning major prepares students for a career in personal financial planning and personal financial consulting. The Personal Financial Planning program at CMU is a registered program with the Board of Certified Financial Planners┬«.  

The mission of the Personal Financial Planning major is to prepare graduates for employment in the personal financial services sector, emphasizing innovative, high quality and comprehensive personal financial planning.

The student learning objectives are:

1. Professional Conduct and Regulation: Students will identify the regulatory authorities that impact elements of the financial planning process. (Examples include regulation of accountancy, legal practice, real estate law, insurance regulation, etc.). Students will differentiate between investment knowledge that is proper to use in the evaluation of securities and insider information. Students will demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of investment advisor regulation and financial planning aspects of the ERISA. Students will explain the relevant licensing, reporting and compliance issues that may affect the business model used by a financial planning firm. Students will describe the Practice Standards employed during each step of the financial planning process. Students will integrate the Practice Standards in developing and communicating a financial plan for a client.    

2. General Principles of Financial Planning: Students will identify and evaluate the assumptions used in analyzing retirement needs including: age at retirement, cash inflows and outflows in various stages of retirement, goal priority and importance, longevity, rate of investment return, market volatility, and effects of inflation. Students will recognize the potential sources of income during retirement including social security, employer plan benefits, personal savings and investments, individual retirement plans and employment income. Students will calculate an appropriate savings plan to meet funding needs and communicate the importance of having a well-funded retirement plan. Students will recommend a plan for maximizing the probability of achieving the client's goals and mitigating longevity risk. Students will use statistical and probability techniques in calculating retirement funding and income distribution plans. Students will explain various patterns of work-to-retirement transitions and phased retirement  

3. Education planning: Students will calculate the funds needed to meet the education goals of a client. Students will recommend the appropriate use of funding sources including loans, scholarships, grants, and fellowships in funding education. Students will compare, contrast and recommend appropriate education savings vehicles given tax implications, risk tolerance, investment alternatives, and funds needed.  

4. Risk Management and Insurance Planning: Students will explain the risk management process. Students will provide examples of the four primary risk management techniques available to clients. Students will describe how insurers use risk pooling to pay for losses incurred by policyholders. Students will explain the factors that affect policyholder premiums and recommend appropriate methods for reducing household insurance costs.  

5. Investment Planning: Students will select suitable investments for both funding and retirement distribution purposes, considering the time horizon and risk tolerance of plan owners and beneficiaries. Students will construct well diversified, tax-efficient portfolios that minimize retirement income risk. Students will explain the use of life insurance products in retirement plan portfolios.Students will explain the fiduciary responsibilities of retirement plan management.  

6. Retirement Savings and Income Planning: Students will identify and describe the components of estate planning documents, such as wills and trusts that are used to facilitate the transfer of one's assets. Students will explain the roles of the parties used in estate planning including executor, trustee, power of attorney, beneficiary(ies), heirs, and guardians. Students will recommend appropriate estate planning tools to meet a client's goals and objectives.  

7. Estate Planning: Students will identify and describe the components of estate planning documents, such as wills and trusts that are used to facilitate the transfer of one's assets. Students will explain the roles of the parties used in estate planning including executor, trustee, power of attorney, beneficiary(ies), heirs, and guardians. Students will recommend appropriate estate planning tools to meet a client's goals and objectives.

Program Requirements

To view the most accurate requirements of the degree you wish to pursue, please go to https://bulletins.cmich.edu and select the year of the bulletin that applies to you, and "on campus" (unless you are taking distance learning classes, in which case you would select "off campus"). Then simply select the department and specific major and minor you are pursuing.

For additional information, or for a personal walkthrough of major and minor requirements and please contact:

Business Student Services
(989) 774-3124
Grawn Hall
150 E Bellows
1st Floor, Room 105