FINS5510 Personal Financial Planning and Management - 2020

Term 3
6 Units of Credit
Banking & Finance
This course outline is for the current semester. To view outlines from other years and/or semesters, visit the archives

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

This course considers the differences between real people and agents in standard economic theory in terms of goals, objectives, well-being, financial literacy, decision-making process and biases. These differences motivate a professional financial planning process and the associated regulatory requirements. After describing the taxation system in which people make financial decisions, the course considers financial decisions along the typical lifecycle: savings, homeownership and consumer credit, asset allocation, portfolio construction, retirement planning, and insurance. Professional financial advisors illustrate relevant client engagement and communication skills. The course ends with ethics and professional standards for financial advisers.

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

This course is one of eight-course in the UNSW postgraduate program under application for FASEA Approved Degree for financial advisers to retail clients and focuses on:

• Understanding human behaviour, biases, and other limitations

• The financial planning process and associated communication skills

• Understanding the nature, usage, and regulations of key financial products

• Professional standards and regulations of providing personal financial advice

The financial planning application focus and the emphasis on the provision of professional advice to individuals differentiate this course from other investment and portfolio management courses.

This course involves the application of the financial market, securities valuation and portfolio management knowledge and skills in FINS5512 and FINS5513 in the context of personal wealth management decisions. It does not focus on portfolio or trading strategies per se. Advanced level coverage of valuation, investment and portfolio strategies can be found in other courses offered by the School of Banking and Finance, such as in FINS5541, FINS5542, FINS5544 and FINS5566.

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Title Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Lecturer-in-chargeMrNidal DanounRoom 357, Business School building
By appointment

​Students are welcome to email me on to make an appointment or to book a consultation session.

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

The overall objective of the course is to enable students to acquire the knowledge and skills required to implement the financial planning process personally and professionally. The instructor helps by providing instructions, curating materials and setting assessment tasks. You learn by actively reviewing study materials, making study notes, ask questions, providing feedback, interacting with group members (which also facilitate practice of communication skills essential in profession financial planning), applying the knowledge and skills and reflect on each of these activities. Assessment tasks are designed to support and incentivise these activities. There is a substantial amount of readings in this course because offering financial planning advice involves regulations in different domains. There are timeless elements in finance knowledge, ethical principles and the structure of financial planning, but there are also impermanent regulatory structures, thresholds, tax rates, and other institutional and regulatory parameters. The final solution of a specific financial planning problem depends on the interactions between the timeless elements and the impermanent environment parameters. Financial planning is an emerging field; existing textbooks and reference materials available in the market do not satisfy all the goals of this course. Some materials may appear too broad or at a low level, others may have too dry, too much detail or too deep.

You should be pragmatic going through readings and focus on three questions:

1. What …

 --  Is the reading/chapter/notes/lecture about? b. are the timeless knowledge, relationships and insights? c. are the regulations and parameters relevant for defining, solving the problem and for providing advice?

2. Why …

 --  What financial planning problems that this learning could help us to solve?

3. How …

 --  Can we recognise the issue or problem if we are presented with a situation?

 --  What would be your recommendation when presented with a situation?

Persistent focus on What-Why-How will enable you to maintain clarity through the relatively large volume of information across topics. To achieve a high grade in this course, it is essential that you

1. work consistently (do not cramp in the last minute),

2. have hands-on experience in the step by step application of the financial planning process, and

3. master the distinctions between the timeless and impermanent elements of course materials.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

Learning activities and assessments are designed to support an active learning philosophy.


The instructor produces slides and lectures to set out the main concepts and framework for each topic. These instructions synthesize materials from the textbook and other sources and provide the first attempt to identify the timeless financial planning knowledge and the impermanent environment. You are encouraged to add your refinements and insights via your blog (see Assessments).

Class Contribution Activities

Class contribution activities consist of pre-lecture surveys, participation in tutorial discussion, and self-assessment exercises.

A series of short videos have been designed to motivate and contextualize each topic. You should watch these short videos and complete the associated survey activity BEFORE lectures. Meaningful attempts generate marks.

Discussions and exercises aims at spontaneous application and exploration of concepts being taught.

Self-Assessment exercises provide you with an opportunity to apply the materials in lectures and reading materials. They are designed to increase your confidence and competence in technical and critical skills. Correct answers generate marks.

Group Project: Strategic Advice, Compliance and Quality Checklist

The project will provide an opportunity for you to work together on a financial planning case. You submit three items as a group: Strategic Advice, Compliance Checklist and Quality Checklist. Overall your group submission is one step short of writing out a professional financial plan which would have more formatting and editorial requirements. The emphasis here is teamwork, communication, the economic substance and quality of advice as well as demonstrating awareness of regulatory compliance requirements. The case problem-solving nature of the group assignment will assist with final exam preparation. Each group member is expected to contribute substantially to the project.

5. Course Resources

You will be able to obtain the latest course announcements and course materials via Moodle. Lecture notes will be available for download a day before the lecture in a teaching week.  


Prescribed Resources

• Taylor, S., and R. Juchau, 2018. Financial Planning in Australia latest Ed, LexisNexis Butterworths

Regulatory guides, standards and rulings from the following resources:




Recommended Resources

• Kahneman, D., 2011. Thinking, Fast and Slow. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

• Longstaff S., K. Hunt, C. Tate, 2019. Everyday Ethics for Financial Advisers. The Ethics Centre.


• Hohwy, J., 2013. The Predictive Mind. Oxford University Press.

• Sunstein, C., and R. Thaler, 2008. Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness. Yale University Press.

• Standard of Practice Handbook (10th Edition), CFA Institute

6. Course Evaluation & Development

Feedback is regularly sought from students and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. At the end of this course, you will be asked to complete the myExperience survey, which provides a key source of student evaluative feedback. Your input into this quality enhancement process is extremely valuable in assisting us to meet the needs of our students and provide an effective and enriching learning experience. The results of all surveys are carefully considered and do lead to action towards enhancing educational quality.

​Accreditation demands the incorporation of behavioral finance and client engagement in this course from this term. Feedback suggests there were too much content. Taxation has been simplified and estate planning is removed. There are ten instead of eleven topics.

7. Course Schedule

Note: for more information on the UNSW academic calendar and key dates including study period, exam, supplementary exam and result release, please visit:
Week Activity Topic Assessment/Other
Week 1: 14 SeptemberModule 1

Human Behavior, Financial Planning Process and the Profession

TJ Chp. 1-3 (Ref LHT 0; K 35-38)

  1. 15-20 min BEFORE lecture to watch the videos and complete (assessed) engagement activities
Week 2: 21 SeptemberModule 2

Financial Plan, Advice and Regulations

TJ Chp. 2, 4, 5; ASIC RG175 (Ref LHT 2-3)

  1. 15-20 min BEFORE lecture to watch the videos and complete (assessed) engagement activities
Week 3: 28 SeptemberModule 3

Taxation Basic and Planning

TJ Chp. 13-14

  1. 15-20 min BEFORE lecture to watch the videos and complete (assessed) engagement activities
  2. Submit Group Project Plan (Refer to Moodle for more details)
Week 4: 05 OctoberModule 4

Home Ownership and Consumer Credit

TJ Chp. 6, 10; RBA Financial Stability Review

  1. 15-20 min BEFORE lecture to watch the videos and complete (assessed) engagement activities
  2. Complete Self Assessment Quiz 1 (Modules 1-3) - (Refer to Moodle for more details)
Week 5: 12 OctoberPre-Final Consultation

Asset Allocation

TJ Chp. 7-9 (Ref K 26-34)

15-20 min BEFORE lecture to watch the videos and complete (assessed) engagement activities

PLEASE NOTE: For all course lecture schedules and details for the term, always refer to the Moodle course site for any updates/changes and further details


Mid-Term Assessment

Modules 1-3

Mid-term Assessment (15%)

Week 6: 19 OctoberModule 6


Portfolio Construction and Fund Selection lecture recording

TJ Chp. 7-9, 11 (Ref K 26-34)

  1. 15-20 min BEFORE lecture to watch the videos and complete (assessed) engagement activities
Week 7: 26 OctoberModule 7

Social Security and Retirement Planning

TJ Chp. 18, 17

  1. 15-20 min BEFORE lecture to watch the videos and complete (assessed) engagement activities
  2. Complete Self Assessment Quiz 2 (Modules 4-6) - (Refer to Moodle for more details)
Week 8: 02 NovemberModule 8


TJ Chp. 12, 17

  1. 15-20 min BEFORE lecture to watch the videos and complete (assessed) engagement activities
Week 9: 09 NovemberModule 9

Life and General Insurance

TJ Chp. 15, 16

  1. 15-20 min BEFORE lecture to watch the videos and complete (assessed) engagement activities
Week 10: 16 NovemberModule 10

Ethics and Professional Standards

LHT 1,3-4

  1. 15-20 min BEFORE lecture to watch the videos and complete (assessed) engagement activities
  2. All Group Project Submission Due (Refer to Moodle for more details)
Week 11: 23 NovemberNo Lecture

No Lecture

  1. Complete Self Assessment Quiz 3 (Module 6-10) Due (Refer to Moodle for more details)

8. Policies and Support

Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

Program Learning Outcomes

The Business School places knowledge and capabilities at the core of its curriculum via seven Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs). These PLOs are systematically embedded and developed across the duration of all coursework programs in the Business School.

PLOs embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program. They articulate what you should know and be able to do upon successful completion of your degree.

Upon graduation, you should have a high level of specialised business knowledge and capacity for responsible business thinking, underpinned by ethical professional practice. You should be able to harness, manage and communicate business information effectively and work collaboratively with others. You should be an experienced problem-solver and critical thinker, with a global perspective, cultural competence and the potential for innovative leadership.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as required by the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

PLO 1: Business knowledge

Students will make informed and effective selection and application of knowledge in a discipline or profession, in the contexts of local and global business.

PLO 2: Problem solving

Students will define and address business problems, and propose effective evidence-based solutions, through the application of rigorous analysis and critical thinking.

PLO 3: Business communication

Students will harness, manage and communicate business information effectively using multiple forms of communication across different channels.

PLO 4: Teamwork

Students will interact and collaborate effectively with others to achieve a common business purpose or fulfil a common business project, and reflect critically on the process and the outcomes.

PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Students will develop and be committed to responsible business thinking and approaches, which are underpinned by ethical professional practice and sustainability considerations.

PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

Students will be aware of business systems in the wider world and actively committed to recognise and respect the cultural norms, beliefs and values of others, and will apply this knowledge to interact, communicate and work effectively in diverse environments.

PLO 7: Leadership development

Students will develop the capacity to take initiative, encourage forward thinking and bring about innovation, while effectively influencing others to achieve desired results.

These PLOs relate to undergraduate and postgraduate coursework programs.  Separate PLOs for honours and postgraduate research programs are included under 'Related Documents'.

Business School course outlines provide detailed information for students on how the course learning outcomes, learning activities, and assessment/s contribute to the development of Program Learning Outcomes.



UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence
  • PLO 7: Leadership development

Professionals capable of ethical, self-directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice

Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • PLO 1: Business knowledge
  • PLO 2: Problem solving
  • PLO 3: Business communication
  • PLO 4: Teamwork
  • PLO 5: Responsible business practice
  • PLO 6: Global and cultural competence

While our programs are designed to provide coverage of all PLOs and graduate capabilities, they also provide you with a great deal of choice and flexibility.  The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against the seven PLOs and four graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You can use a portfolio as evidence in employment applications as well as a reference for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.


UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz:


The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at:

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: For information on student conduct see:

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.

Student Responsibilities and Conduct

​Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website.


It is expected that you will spend at least ten to twelve hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of twenty to twenty four hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload


Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.

Student Support and Resources

​The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School EQS Consultation Program
The Consultation Program offers academic writing, literacy and numeracy consultations, study skills, exam preparation for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, individual and group consultations. 
Level 1, Room 1035, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 4508

Communication Resources
The Business School Communication and Academic Support programs provide online modules, communication workshops and additional online resources to assist you in developing your academic writing.

Business School Student Centre
The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
02 9385 3189

UNSW Learning & Careers Hub
The UNSW Learning & Careers Hub provides academic skills and careers support services—including workshops, individual consultations and a range of online resources—for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
02 9385 2060

Student Support Advisors
Student Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
02 9385 4734

International Student Support
The International Student Experience Unit (ISEU) is the first point of contact for international students. ISEU staff are always here to help with personalised advice and information about all aspects of university life and life in Australia.
Advisors can support you with your student visa, health and wellbeing, making friends, accommodation and academic performance.
02 9385 4734

Equitable Learning Services
Equitable Learning Services (formerly Disability Support Services) is a free and confidential service that provides practical support to ensure that your health condition doesn't adversely affect your studies. Register with the service to receive educational adjustments.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 5418

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9385 2650

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
02 9385 1333

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