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  1. To understand why setting goals is an important first step in financial planning
  2. To appreciate that trends in the financial environment—inflation, taxes, and economic cycles—affect financial success and enhance the need for planning
  3. To see why life-cycle financial planning is important and to understand the nature of a planning approach
  4. To understand what is meant by marginal analysis and opportunity costs and to know how these concepts are used in financial decision making
  5. To appreciate that financial success builds on a strong foundation and follows a building-block approach through time
  6. To meet the Steeles, a family we will follow throughout the text

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