Course Description

Concepts and Principles of Financial Planning is the fist component of the Financial Planning Associate - Paraplanner Certificate Program
Learn about financial planning fundamentals, concepts and terminology over the course of seven modules:

  1. Fundamental Concepts and Principles of Financial Planning (1 session)
  2. Time Value of Money (TVM) and the Financial Calculator (1 session)
  3. Investment Strategies and Planning (2 sessions)
  4. Tax Planning (2 sessions)
  5. Retirement Planning (1 session)
  6. Estate Planning (1 session)
  7. Fundamentals of Insurance (1 session)

Course Outline

Fundamental Concepts and Principles of Financial Planning (1 session)

  • Overview of what financial planning is (and what it isn’t) and types of financial planners
  • The financial planning industry ecosystem
  • Definitions and terminology of the most important concepts in financial planning and economics
  • Financial statement review and analysis
  • Cash flow and debt management

Time Value of Money (TVM) and the Financial Calculator (1 session)

  • Understand money flows and the time value of money (TVM) concept
  • Calculator functions and keystrokes
  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • Practice solving different types of problems

Investment Strategies and Planning (2 sessions)

  • Overview of the investment planning ecosystem and dependencies
  • Understanding asset classes and their implications
  • How financial planners determine and measure client objectives and risk tolerance
  • How to conduct research for investments
  • Introduce Morningstar® software and practice using its tools 
  • Types of investments and their individual implications
  • Principles and types of portfolio construction

Tax Planning (2 sessions)

  • Terminology and important concepts in tax planning
  • Understand the components and important items on a tax return
  • Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) and taxable income
  • Deductions and credits
  • Best practices in record keeping
  • Common tax planning strategies used by financial planners

Retirement Planning (1 session)

  • Types of retirement plans and common strategies for clients
  • Personal and employee-sponsored retirement plans
  • Understand how Financial Planners use IRAs to distribute income
  • Fundamentals of Social Security and Medicare

Estate Planning (1 session)

  • Review components of wills, trusts, and property ownership
  • How to review and research a client’s assets and liabilities
  • Become familiar with the most important estate-planning documents
  • Estate taxes and transfers
  • Strategies for charitable gifts

Fundamentals of Insurance (1 session)

  • Concepts and principles of insurance and risk
  • Types of insurance and how they fit into a financial plan
  • Important considerations for life insurance
  • Understand life insurance replacement implications




Applies Towards the Following Certificates



Financial Paraplanner Application
  • Please click "Apply Now" to begin your application. You will be required to log in or create an account if you do not already have one.
  • If you need any further assistance, contact the SMU PRO office at 214-768-2273.

Enroll Now - Select a Section

Section Title
Concepts and Principles of Financial Planning
Section Schedule
Date and Time TBA
Delivery Options
Live in Classroom  
Course Fee(s)
Registration Fee non-credit $995.00
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