EC171 SPRING SEMESTER 2011 SCHEDULE
This is a tentative schedule, subject to adjustment as the term evolves.
The official version is the one posted to http://people.bu.edu/azs/teaching/ec171/
Check often for updates, examples, assignments, etc.
Date Class Number Subject Readings Assignment
Part 1: When will I be wealthy? How to start thinking about your financial life.  
TUE 1/18 1 Course Overview and Administration
What is Financial Health?
FE, chapters 1.1-1.3  
THU 1/20 2 Income, Wealth, and Borrowing
Your Most Valuable Asset
Survey of Consumer Finances
Summary PDF
HW1: Your Human Capital
TUE 1/25 3 Human Capital
THU 1/27 4 Thinking in Present Value
Examples: TVM examples 01-27.xls
FE, ch 4
Excel Tutorial Videos:
Spreadsheet Basics
Editing Data, Formatting
Arithmetic
HW2: Present and
Future Values

due TUE 2/1
TUE 2/1 5 Rates, Inflation and Inflation Protection
Example: free cars for life.xls
Sample quiz questions
FE, ch 4  
THU 2/3   QUIZ 1    
         
Part 2: How Should You Allocate Your Resources Over Time?  
THU 2/3 6 Consumption Smoothing
Example: cons-smooth-no taxes.xls
STTE, ch 1-2
ME, ch2.1, pp37-39
 
TUE 2/8 7 Maximizing Economic Happiness ME, ch2.1, pp41-44  
THU 2/10 8 Calculating Payments
Examples: lottery.xls
Examples: car loan.xls
Examples: credit card.xls
FE, ch 4 HW3: Calculating Payments
due TUE 2/15
TUE 2/15 9 Your Life as a Net Present Value
Examples: NPV-buy-vs-lease.xls
Examples: NPV-lifetime-budget-constraint.xls
FE, ch 4  
THU 2/17   QUIZ 2    
       
Part 3: Economics is here to help you! (some heavy lifting tools)    
THU 2/17 10 Building a Lifecycle Model in Excel Read & try:
BallPark Estimate
Excel Tutorials
HW4: Ballpark Estimate
due THU 2/24
TUE 2/22   BU MONDAY SCHEDULE, NO CLASS    
THU 2/24 11 Dealing With Uncle Sam TFB: What is your marginal tax rate?
Wikipedia: taxation in USA
 
TUE 3/1 12 Smoothing Consumption in a World With Taxes
Example: cons-smooth-with taxes-starter.xls [to get started]
Example: cons-smooth-with taxes-complete.xls [completed version]
   
THU 3/3 13 Economic Security Planner STTE: ch 3, 5, 6, 8 HW5: Financial Plan
due THU 3/10
TUE 3/8 14 Smoothing Consumption under Borowing Constraints  
THU 3/10   QUIZ 3    
THU 3/10 15 Introducing Applied Lifecycle Economics STTE ch 7, 9
Read Debt-Free U
over Spring Break
 
Date Class Number Subject Readings Assignment
TUE 3/15 SPRING BREAK, NO CLASSES Read Debt-Free U
over Spring Break
THU 3/17 SPRING BREAK, NO CLASSES
         
Part 4: Applied Lifecycle Economics: Answering Life's Financial Questions    
TUE 3/22 16 Should You Go To College? STTE, ch 9, 10 HW6: Is College Worth It
THU 3/24 17 How Should You Pay For College? DFU  
TUE 3/29 18 Where Should You Live?
Which Job Should You Take?
STTE, ch 11, 12  
THU 3/31 19 Should You Rent or Buy?
Excel: mortgage PITI calculator
STTE, ch 13, 14
Home Buying Process
HW7: Where to Live?
due TUE 4/5 in class
TUE 4/5 20 Should You Get Married?
(and what about divorce?)
STTE, ch 25, 26, 28 Term Paper Assigned
THU 4/7   QUIZ 4    
       
Part 5: Wealth and Risk Management    
THU 4/7 22 Risk and Risk Management
STTE, ch 32
FE-Ch10-Principles-of-Risk-Mgmt
 
TUE 4/12 23 Risk and Risk Managemen (finish up)
Protecting Your Human Capital
FE-Ch10-Principles-of-Risk-Mgmt  
THU 4/14 21 Saving for Retirement STTE, ch 17, 18, 19 HW8: Valuing Social Security
(due 4/19)
TUE 4/19 24 How Not To Invest In Stocks  
THU 4/21   BU MONDAY SCHEDULE, NO CLASS    
TUE 4/26 25 Stocks for the Long Run
Example: Marketplace's "The Numbers":
20110418 20110420 20110425
STTE, ch 21, 22
Term Paper Due
THU 4/28 26 The Truth About Stocks
STTE ch 31
WFI, ch 7, 8
Myth of Time Diversification
Watch Zvi Bodie's videos.
Term Paper Due
TUE 5/3   QUIZ 5    
       
Part 6: The Rest Of Your Economic Life    
TUE 5/3 27 Your Questions  
THU 5/5 28 Where to Stash Your Cash
Who Should You Ask for Help
Check out: www.vanguard.com, www.treasurydirect.gov  
         
TUE 5/10 EC171 Exam Tue 05/10/11 3:00PM - 5:00PM @ CAS 226