Principles of Finance (22 Days)

This blog post is part of a series where I chronicle my advancement through WGU’s Bachelor of Science, Business – Information Technology Management degree. It includes detailed reports on my study methods and strategies as well as occasional tips and tricks. To see all entries in this series, click the “WGU” link under “Categories” on the left sidebar (bottom of the page if viewing on mobile)

I really appreciate WGU, and I have found my time in these courses to be very enlightening and edifying. However, I must say that how this course is put together represents a unique and unprecedented challenge. What I mean to say, is that “this course is bad”. I cannot give you a day-by-day recounting of what I did, and it wouldn’t be helpful even if I did. I wasted a lot of time on the wrong things.

Here’s my advice:

  • Buy the Texas Instruments BA II Plus, and learn how to use it
    • I did this searching YouTube for terms like: “TI BA II Plus Bond valuation”, “TI BA II Plus Net Present Value”, etc.
  • Read the whole book
    • Look for, and test yourself (I recommend using flashcards) on the principles and how different concepts relate to each other
      • If you don’t understand something, YouTube it. The book is often confusing and unclear, and getting another perspective is always helpful
    • Complete all of the in-text assessments. If you get something wrong, go back and figure out why you got it wrong (this may require a web search as the text fails to cover everything that it tests you on) and then rework the problem until you get it right
  • Make and study flashcards for every single formula
    • Some formulas are provided in the PA and OA, but there’s not a lot of context. For example, there’s a heading that says “Ratios” and then you get about 10 lines of “IN/TA”, “S/D”, etc. If you don’t know what the variables represent, or which formula belongs to which ratio, it’s totally useless
      • When you take the PA, you can take note of which formulas are provided in a way that’s actually helpful and forgo memorizing those ones

If you want to check out my Anki flashcard deck for this course, you can download them here. If you need help importing the deck, check out my guide here.

Other thoughts:

  • Don’t rely on anything you find online about the prioritization of one competency over the other (including this blog), because it changes from time to time, and working off of out-dated information can really waste your time. I’m talking from experience (it’s my own fault, I know).
  • Be sure to study and understand: Bonds, Stocks, Firm Valuation, Financial Statement Analysis, Cash Flow Analysis. There are probably others, but those are the ones that are foremost in my memory
  • I failed my first PA, so if you’re struggling…I know your pain
  • Hang in there, don’t quit and don’t get down on yourself. It’s a tough course, but you’re not going to quit school over one tough course. As Dan Benjamin often says: “The only way out is through.”

Push through and don’t give up!

2 thoughts on “Principles of Finance (22 Days)”

    • Hi Dee,

      No problem! I’m glad you liked it. Yeah, this course is pretty tough – hopefully some of the advice in this post is helpful. If you have any more questions once you get into it, let me know!



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