Personal Development Plan

There are many reasons why people seek out financial literacy. Whether the goal is to start or expand a business, grow one’s money, reach their financial goals, or even save for retirement, competency in how to handle one’s finances is instrumental in attaining them. The goal of financial literacy is to achieve independence. Investment is one of the core areas of a financial education. Knowledge of different investment and debt instruments, and how these affect one’s finances is crucial to understanding the importance of wealth creation. Investment is important component on the path towards meeting my objectives. 

Learning about investment is of interest to me because of both personal and professional reasons. On a personal level, knowledge of how financial systems work, and more precisely how to invest, will make it possible for me to reach my financial goals. My life is arranged around a number of goals. I plan on settling into married life and getting a family. For that to happen, I need to save to buy a house, finance my children’s education, and possibly build a nest egg for when I retire. Each of these goals forms a basis for my future investment decisions. As a result of the importance of each of these, it is necessary to base my choices on how I invest my money on the goals. Learning to set investment goals and working towards them makes it possible to keep track of where I am financially and how to improve my financial status. Taking this course is important not just because it puts me in a position to know my investment goals, but also because it allows me to calculate my risk tolerance. With knowledge of the level of risk of loss that I am able and willing to tolerate, I will be in a better position to meet my investment goals

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On a professional basis, knowledge on investment will enhance my ability to aid people with investment decisions. One of my firm’s primary responsibilities is to advice clients on how to structure their investment portfolios. My firm’s clients expect us to ply them with financial information, advice on investment, and give recommendations on how to grow their wealth. While I have a managerial role, my core responsibilities require knowledge of investment. When handling the investments of these individuals and organizations, there is need for diversity. In any financial market, there is always the chance of an event that might result in the loss of at least part of the investment. Diversity ensures that an investment portfolio is spread across different areas so that in case of an event, each area reacts differently, lessening the risks (Rennison & Pedersen, 2012). More than that, different areas can perform differently, creating potential for some investments in a portfolio performing optimally and giving greater returns. While diversity does not eliminate the chances for a loss, it maximizes the return on an investment by spreading the risk. For this reason, it is an important component of attaining long-term financial goals while minimizing risk.

The Investment course complements what I already know and serves to ensure I am in a better position to give advice. So far, I have learned about Finance as the study of how people acquire and use money. Knowledge of Finance entails having the right tools to ensure that a business makes optimum use of resources in its operations so that it can remain sustainable (Staub-Bisang, 2012). At the same time, I have learned about Accounting, which is a function of how to use money and the value to be had from using it. Finance and Accounting are complementary in the sense that wherever in the money cycle a person or a firm is – whether in the stage involving the pursuit of money or the one involving its use – a company’s investment and debt is managed appropriately (Weil, Schipper, & Francis, 2013). Completing the course will furnish me with a good idea of the different financial instruments that my clients can use to expand their wealth. Moreover, I will be in a position to advice a client on which investment – stocks, bonds, commodities, cash equivalents, or forex – is the best for them to invest their cash in. My goal is thus to find ways to seamlessly combine lessons from this course with others in past courses so that I can become a better advisor. 

Investment will complement Finance and Accounting to ensure that I can carry out greater analysis and examine investment decisions in greater detail before recommending them to clients. However, that is not the only benefit to be had from taking the course. A key reason for taking the course since it fulfills another of my goals is that it will help me to become a better leader. Last week’s discussion on the buildup and aftermath to the 2008 global recession made it clear that failures in leadership played a huge role in instigating the crisis. As an example, people in positions of responsibility failed to report integrity violations that contributed to the onset of the financial crisis. Arel, Beaudoin, & Cianci (2012) indicate that whenever there are decisions involving uncertainty – as investment decisions tend to do, two elements of corporate governance are of extreme importance. The strength of ethical executive leadership and the Internal Audit Function (IAF) make it easier to wade through the uncertainty while within the margin of safety. A curious paradox is that it was also leaders who were charged with the responsibility of bringing the world from the brink. As Jackson & Parry (2011) note, “Human creativity has an important role to play in disaster situations…How we respond to the events can be guided by astute and aesthetically-attuned leaders.” Some shortcomings in leadership contributed to the crisis, just as some feats of incredible leadership were required to get the financial markets out.  

Progress in the course will also mean making progress in my education. The overarching aim of taking the class is to progress my education and get my MBA. For that to happen, it is necessary for me to get through the course successfully. Fortunately, I am on track to get my MBA on time. I anticipate that I will be done with the coursework for the program sometime next year before going on to research. In all, I hope to be done with the entire enterprise in the next two years. As important as my education is, I realize that the course serves an even greater role in clearing the way for my other goals. The goals that I have set cannot happen in a haphazard fashion. Instead, each one has to fit into place as intended. The goal that needs to happen first is getting an education. While toiling towards understanding the topic of Investing, I am sure to gain information that will advance both my profession and career.

No path lacks obstacles. In the same vein, I expect that I will meet some challenges on the road towards meeting my goals. To realize the goals, I will have to contend against issues like how to marshal enough resources to see me through the course and the steps I will take to pass my classes. One potential issue that I think might pose something of a problem to me relates to the steps that I need to tale to manage my time efficiently. Time management can prove to be an impediment because there are a lot of different demands to my time and resources. My plan on how to meet the goal is to ensure that I create a schedule, work towards it and allocate enough time for rest. In my experience, these are the two things that I have a problem with the most. To improve my chances of meeting the goals, I thus have to ensure that I allot enough time to learn the activity. The nature of obstacles means that obstacles have to be met and the road cleared before one can attain the objectives. It is just as important to ensure that one can find support to help me towards my objectives. Luckily for me, I can access support from my instructors and my peers. The ability to interact with other members of the class means that I will always have a quarter to turn to in case of a problem. 

In conclusion, investment is one of the core areas of a financial education. The knowledge of different investment and debt instruments, along with the other investment related information that I will gather will serve as a lesson on the importance of wealth creation. More importantly, it will aid me in meeting some of my objectives. Having knowledge of investment will complement my knowledge of Finance and Accounting. Having greater knowledge will help advance not just my education, but also personal and professional life. On a personal level, knowledge of investment will make it so that I can make better financial and investment decisions with regard to my personal finances. Similarly, having knowledge of how to invest will also prove to be beneficial while I discharge my role of advising clients intent on increasing their wealth.

References

Arel, B., Beaudoin, C. A., & Cianci, A. M. (2012). The impact of ethical leadership, the internal audit function, and moral intensity on a financial reporting decision. Journal of Business Ethics, 109(3), 351-366.

Jackson, B., & Parry, K. (2011). A very short fairly interesting and reasonably cheap book about studying leadership. Sage.

Rennison, G., & Pedersen, N. (2012). The volatility risk premium. PIMCO, September.

Staub-Bisang, M. (2012). Sustainable Investing for Institutional Investors: Risks, Regulations and Strategies. John Wiley & Sons.Weil, R. L., Schipper, K., & Francis, J. (2013). Financial accounting: an introduction to concepts, methods and uses. Cengage Learning

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