Very few individuals, families, governments, and organizations are planning adequately to meet their economic goals. A global problem is growing, and it will result in much lower standards of living in places around the world for those who do not make changes today. Some of the statistics that illustrate this problem include that Covid has caused many governments to spend well beyond what they planned. In 2022, for example, the U.S. government will spend over $1.5 trillion U.S. dollars more than it brings in in revenue. The total the U.S. government owes to public and private lenders will rise from over $21 trillion in 2020 to over $33 trillion by 2028. Internationally, the sum of all government debts will exceed $63 trillion U.S. dollars. Thus, governments and their underlying economies will face pressures to change their expenditures and the ways they collect or make money.
On an individual level, one study revealed that 75 percent of employees globally believe they are not on course to meet their needs in retirement. Additional studies show that individuals will face future economic difficulties due to changing demographics, labor market changes, the impact of pandemics and environmental crises, changes in financial markets and returns, and changes in government policy. This course will address many of these issues.
This course introduces you to concepts and tools to help you make informed financial decisions using concepts mostly from economics (and a few from finance). We explore questions such as: What does it mean to be a knowledgeable, globally-minded person? How do individuals, businesses, and governments allocate resources, and how should you prepare for financial security later in life? How do government policies and national budgets affect wealth and income? What economic tools do you need to understand to ensure a secure financial future? Examining these questions will allow you to understand the environment in which resource decisions are made. It will also prepare you for financial success in understanding the global economy, your country’s economy, businesses, or organizations for which you may work, and in your personal life.
You will engage with the instructor and one another in problem-solving, case study analysis, and project work using library resources, data, presentations, writing, and other methods to analyze and predict course topics and economic and financial trends.
Throughout this course, you will learn:
• Key concepts in economic reasoning and use them in financial decision-making at the individual, firm, and national levels.
• Basic concepts in personal finance by examining the “money” side (e.g., income, wealth, savings, and compounding); and the expenditure side (e.g., necessities, insurance, debt, taxes, and identity theft).
• Basic concepts in investing, including return on investment, risk and risk tolerance, time horizon, and other characteristics of the investing environment for an individual, and apply this to an analysis of the student’s financial goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon.
• How firms operating in competitive and imperfectly competitive environments make production quantity and pricing decisions to maximize profits, and the basics of stock markets and evaluating company performance.
• A circular flow macroeconomic model for gross domestic product and evaluate how financial decisions made by various actors in the macroeconomy affect a nation’s and the global economy.
The course does not require any prior training in economics, but does require some basic training in mathematics, particularly in understanding graphs.
Online sections of Pre-College courses are offered in one of the following modalities: Asynchronous, Mostly asynchronous, or Blended. Please review full information regarding the experience here.