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Personal Finance Courses at Stanford

Featured Winter Course 18-19

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 2020)

Lecturer Kelly Takahashi

Lecturer Erika Topete


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 2019)

Lecturer Adam Nash


ECON 111: Money and Banking

The primary course goal is for students to master the logic, intuition and operation of a financial system - money, financial markets (money and capital markets, debt and equity markets, derivatives markets), and financial institutions and intermediaries (the Central Bank, depository institutions, credit unions, pension funds, insurance companies, venture capital firms, investment banks, mutual funds, etc.). In other words, how money/capital change hands between agents over time, directly and through institutions. Material will be both quantitative and qualitative, yet always highly analytical with a focus on active learning - there will be an approximately equal emphasis on solving mathematical finance problems (e.g. bond or option pricing) and on policy analysis (e.g. monetary policy and financial regulation.) Students will not be rewarded for memorizing and regurgitating facts, but rather for demonstrating the ability to reason with difficult problems and situations with which they might not previously be familiar. Prerequisite: Econ 50, 52 (Autumn 2019, Summer 2020)

Professor Anat Admati


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

Lecturer Alex Gould