2019-2020 Catalogue

Financial Planning (FP)

FP 590 Internship in Financial Planning Practice     (1 credit)

A one-credit field-based educational experience for Financial Planning students with the opportunity to (1) observe professional practices in financial planning, (2) apply hands-on financial planning knowledge learned in classes, (3) develop professional skills, (4) test aptitude and personal preferences for various career directions, and (5) establish a basis for future professional employment. This internship option is available to Bentley Financial Planning graduate students. Students must work a minimum of 15 hours per week for a minimum of ten weeks at an organization and position suitable for the individual student's field learning experience and complete specific requirements during their Internship. A student is limited to doing one such one-credit internship before degree completion.

FP 600 Professional Financial Planning Practice     (3 credits)

Pre-Req: None

This course addresses complex issues involved in financial planning for individuals. Students learn financial planning strategies, research techniques, and methods of analysis. Topics include ethical responsibilities, economic considerations, risk management, quantitative methods, cash-flow analysis and investment strategies. The course covers risk management and insurance-related conceptsand practices, as well as the tools and techniques necessary to minimize dissipation that results from unforeseen circumstances, retirement and death. Students use the college's specialized information technology resources, such as the Trading Room and the Accounting Center for Electronic Learning and Business Measurement. The course emphasizes teamwork and collaboration, along with critical thinking and analysis. Written and oral presentations are important parts of the course.

Note: Recommended to be taken as one of the first courses in the MSFP program.

FP 601 Investments and Capital Accumulation     (3 credits)

Pre-Req: None

This course explores tools and techniques central to personal investment planning. Students concentrate on developing the skills that guide financial planners in developing and monitoring client investment plans. The course covers the investment decision process and its underlying concepts; financial markets; and the characteristics, analysis, valuation, taxation, and trading of various domestic and offshore investment alternatives. It introduces portfolio management and performance measures. In conducting relevant research and analysis, students use specialized information technology resources such as the university's Trading Room as well as public domain databases.

FP 610 Benefits, Compensation and Retirement     (3 credits)

Pre-Req: None

This course considers the current state of compensation, benefits and retirement planning. To gain a comprehensive understanding of these evolving topics, students examine the key types of benefits, compensation and retirement programs, including a complete survey of the rules that govern the principal areas of each program and the history of each. The course addresses the impact of these programs on both the employer and the employee. It explores which compensation and benefits plans are best, depending on an individual's financial position. The course covers the basic rules of the Internal Revenue Code, ERISA, and the effects of other areas such as securities, family and bankruptcy law.

FP 620 Trusts, Gifts and Estates     (3 credits)

Pre-Req: None

This course focuses on the planning, administration and taxation of trusts, gifts and estates. It covers the principles of trusts, including simple and complex trusts; irrevocable and charitable trusts; life insurance, annuities, and powers of appointment; gifting strategies and techniques; probate avoidance; wills and other legal vehicles of estate planning; tax minimization and asset protection; lifetime gifting; marital deduction planning; charitable gifting planning; the use of life insurance in estate planning; planning for generation-skipping transfers; advising elderly clients; post-mortem planning; and the responsibilities of executors, administrators and trustees.

FP 630 Financial Planning Process/Cases     (3 credits)

Pre-req: FP 600, FP 601, FP 610, FP 620, & TX 601. Pre or Co-req: FP 710 Not open to students who have completed FP 730.

This course examines analytical and methodological issues in the preparation and presentation of financial plans to individual clients and client families. Students are expected to utilize knowledge and skills obtained in prerequisite and other courses, as well as from any work experiences, in the analysis, preparation and presentation of a comprehensive personal financial case and other mini-case studies. Substantive topic areas utilized in plan development will include cash flow, income tax, insurance, investment and estate planning, as well as quantitative skills and techniques.

Note: Students who intend to practice as Certified Financial Planners (CFP) must take this course to sit for the CFP exam

FP 700 Investment Vehicles     (3 credits)

Pre-Req: None

This course explores a variety of investment vehicles, including exchange-traded funds, exchange funds, variable annuities, variable life insurance, unit investment trusts and separately managed accounts. It builds on knowledge developed in FP 601. The course emphasizes mutual funds, including open-end versus closed-end, index versus actively managed, load versus no-load, socially responsible and international. The course highlights the use of rating services to screen funds. It focuses on matching vehicles with client goals, risk management, portfolio realignment and tax efficiency. Students construct portfolios for hypothetical clients.

FP 701 Portfolio Management     (3 credits)

This course addresses the management of a client's assets, building on the knowledge base developed in FP 601. Topics include determining long-term "target" percentages, determining asset categories for the client portfolio, specifying allocation ranges, and selecting assets for each category. The course examines the optimal asset allocation mix, which is one of the most critical aspects of investing. It provides the tools and techniques necessary to ensure diversification. The course covers management of client expectations, portfolio design, strategy implementation and report preparation. The course emphasizes tax considerations, sensitivity analysis and portfolio simulations. Students use technology for making optimal portfolio decisions.

FP 703 Marriage, Separation and Divorce     (3 credits)


This course covers marriage history and background, ante-nuptial agreements, and successive marriages. It explores the special concerns of support obligations, the battered wife problem, and criminal remedies. Topics include the legal disabilities of minors as well as the care, education and supervision of children. The course examines financial planning cases to improve understanding of marriage breakdown, division of property, alimony and child support. It places special emphasis on the federal tax aspects of separation and divorce.

FP 704 Financial Planning for Non-Traditional Families     (3 credits)


This course examines why some of the basic rules and assumptions for financial planning do not apply to non-traditional families, and develops alternative financial planning solutions. Topics include employee benefits, retirement and elder planning, income tax planning, asset ownership, and gift and estate planning. Students analyze a variety of non-traditional family scenarios.

FP 705 Elder-Planning Techniques     (3 credits)


This course encompasses legal and financial planning for the aging or incapacitated client. It examines elder-law issues, challenges and planning strategies. It discusses Social Security disability, supplemental security income, railroad retirement programs and veterans' benefits. The course analyzes insurance and other means for funding long-term care either in a nursing home or at home. It explores Medicaid requirements and strategies for resource planning, as well as the tax implications of Medicaid planning. The course discusses use of durable powers of attorney, guardianship and healthcare proxies. The course also examines relevant federal and state laws, such as the age discrimination in Employment Act and the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987.

FP 706 Psychology in Financial Planning     (3 credits)

Pre-Req: None

This course is designed to assist students in understanding issues related to the psychology of money and wealth to enhance their client interaction and management skills during the process of personal financial planning. It provides an understanding of the money beliefs and skills possessed by clients requesting financial planning or wealth advising; clarifies the nature of different subgroups of clients based on class, gender, age, wealth history in the family, and medical and psychological characteristics; provides an overview of behavioral finance; teaches communication skills in the advising relationship; explains characteristics of the professional mental health field; and explains how to access mental health, philanthropic and other resources to assist clients' relationship with their personal wealth.

FP 710 Insurance and Wealth Preservation Planning Techniques     (3 credits)

Pre-Req: None

This course offers a comprehensive understanding of insurance, including risks to be insured, levels of insurance, best products available, and key policy provisions. Covers types of insurance that include workers' compensation, life, health, disability, personal liability professional liability, and long-term care. The course emphasizes protection and preservation of client assets, with additional focus on annuities, tax planning with life insurance, irrevocable life insurance trusts, estate liquidity and life insurance as an employee benefit. The course integrates case studies to bridge the gap between technical knowledge and a variety of real-world client situations.

FP 755 Special Topics Seminar in Financial Planning     (3 credits)

This course explores, in depth, financial planning issues and topics identified based on student and faculty interests. I provides an opportunity for students who have specific projects in mind. Students conduct research and write original papers of publishable quality, and make an oral presentation of the research findings to fellow seminar participants at the end of the semester.

FP 781 Internship in Financial Planning Practice     (3 credits)

This course enables students to enhance their development and direction by integrating prior classroom study with the real-world experience of professional employment. Each student is required to prepare a research paper addressing a contemporary financial planning issue and a paper assessing the work experience, under the supervision of a faculty advisor.

FP 795 Dir Study in Financial Plan.     (3 credits)

A Directed Study is designed for highly qualified students who, under the direction of a member of the sponsoring academic department, engage in an agreed-upon in-depth independent examination, investigation or analysis of a specialized topic.