Note from Paul: The following are some comments from students who completed the course Fall Quarter 2013. I am delighted by the responses and look forward not only to supporting the course in the future but tracking these students to see how they apply this knowledge in the years ahead.

“The biggest takeaway that I got from this class was to use time to my advantage. I don’t need to make a 15% return year after year on my investment, but if I can manage to start early and stick with it, I should be fine.”

“This is the first time I have taken a class like this in college or ever experienced anything having to do with investing and saving my money. I would just like to say thank you very much for allowing for all of to have this opportunity to learn this material and it has definitely helped me start planning for my future. The course was very well taught and I think all college students should take a class like this so that they too can learn how to become financially independent eventually.”

“I have come away from your course more excited about investing than ever before. I have become much more proficient with the concepts behind investing for retirement in our modern economy. The importance of diversity in not just stocks but mutual funds and other savings programs was a key concept.”

“I would like to thank you personally as a future Western alumni for offering this class to my peers and me. Even though I think this sort of thing is incredibly interesting, empowering, and also quite fun, many of my fellow students know absolutely NOTHING in terms of investing for their retirement. I think it is absurd we put so much time and money into training ourselves to get employed to make money, but don’t know the first thing to do with that money! For future generations, including my own, I think an emphasis on saving would serve our country greatly in the fast-changing global economic landscape.”

“Mr.Merriman, thank you for this class and and thank you the book. It will have a place on my bookshelf, as well as my children’s.”

“I learned about the benefits of index funds, which I had not considered, and about rebalancing my portfolio as time elapses. I learned about the time value of money in the beginning of the course and how to adjust for inflation. I learned about retirement accounts and their differences, such as 401k’s, 403b’s and IRAs. I learned about how people react to changes in the market by reading “Your Money and Your Brain” on my own. I now feel more confident to manage my own assets and specific investment allocations.”

“This course taught me many new things about personal investing, but what it did best, at least for me, was just simplify things. Previous to this class, I had some knowledge about some of the material that would end up being covered in the class (such as mutual funds), however, there were certain aspects of personal investing that overwhelmed me, like the different assets within stocks. This class helped me understand, making it seem much easier, and making me feel much more confident and relaxed about making decisions about my personal investment choices in the future.”

“I am a senior here at Western and an Economics major. I found this class provided a large amount of “real life” applicable skills through the mastery of its curriculum. Had I not taken this class I would not have a clue where to begin when trying to invest for myself in the future. I think that because I am an economics major, the general public may assume that I know how to invest intelligently. But had I not taken this class, they would have been wrong.”

“I would first just like to say a huge thank you! It was very generous of you to provide this class for us students, to learn about investing, but more importantly how to be financially fit for our future.”

“After taking this class, I have become more confident in investing. I learned Index Funds are the safest and most reliable option when looking for steady growth in the long run. As a young investor, I will probably put my money heavily in stocks and equities for the most growth. This class has taught me to stick to a plan, set goals, and reallocate my investments accordingly to meet these goals.”

” I got a better understanding of how to invest after taking this course. I will be able to manage my own investments now.”

“I really enjoyed taking Fin216, I feel it was very valuable and I learned a lot I can apply to the real world. I still feel a little confused on how best to manage my money, but not nearly as much as I was before. What I took away from the class was that you don’t already have to be a millionaire to have a lot of money, and that by being frugal and saving can get you where you want to be financially. I also learned a lot about investing that I wouldn’t have known otherwise, since I don’t know anyone who knows anything about investing.  I think this is a very useful class and feel it should be a pre-requisite for college students of all disciplines because managing money is a skill that can help everyone.”

These comments were all music to my ears but the last one was one of the best: “Although it was Dr. LaBorde’s first time teaching this course, she did a great job!”   A great teacher, an important subject and interested students, what a combination!