Syllabus for FIN-321

SECURITY ANALYSIS AND PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT


COURSE DESCRIPTION

Security Analysis and Portfolio Management presents an overview of investments with a focus on asset types, financial instruments, security markets, and mutual funds. The course provides a foundation for students entering the fields of investment analysis or portfolio management. Security Analysis and Portfolio Management examines portfolio theory, debt and equity securities, and derivative markets. The course provides information on sound investment management practices, emphasizing the impact of globalization, taxes, and inflation on investments. It also provides guidance in evaluating the performance of an investment portfolio.

Advisory: This is an upper-level course. It is advisable to have completed FIN-301 (Principles of Finance); either MAT-119 (Quantitative Business Analysis) or MAT-128 (Precalculus for Business); and STA-201 (Principles of Statistics) with grades of C or better in order to succeed in this course. Students are responsible for making sure that they have the necessary knowledge.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Discuss financial assets, financial markets, and the role of financial intermediaries and investment bankers.
  2. Explain equity and debt markets as well as stock and bond market indexes.
  3. Examine the mechanics of various securities markets, mutual funds and investment companies, and the roles investment bankers and brokers.
  4. Calculate expected rate of return from risky and risk-free investment portfolios.
  5. Explain and analyze portfolio theory, including measures of risk.
  6. Discuss bond characteristics and compute bond prices and yields.
  7. Explain equity valuation models.
  8. Discuss options and futures markets, and analyze futures trading and market strategies.
  9. Examine investment management practices, emphasizing risk-adjusted rate of return, international investing, and diversification.
  10. Identify hedge fund investment strategies and discuss difficulties in performance evaluation.
  11. Analyze lifetime savings plans, accounting for taxes and inflation.
  12. Explain how to integrate various investors’ objectives in the investment process.

COURSE MATERIALS

You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

  1. Bodie, Z, Kane, A. and Marcus, A.J. (2010). Essentials of Investments, 8th ed.  New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

ISBN-13: 978-0-07-7339180

COURSE STRUCTURE

Security Analysis and Portfolio Management is a three-credit online course, consisting of eight (8) modules. Modules include an overview, topics, objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

  1. Module 1: Background and Investment Issues, Asset Clauses, and Financial Instruments

  1. Module 2: Securities Markets, Mutual Funds, and other Investment Companies

  1. Module 3: Portfolio Theory

  1. Module 4: Debt Securities and Security Analysis

  1. Module 5: Derivative Markets

  1. Module 6: Portfolio Performance and International Investing

  1. Module 7: Hedge Funds, Taxes, and Inflation

  1. Module 8: Investors and the Investment Process

 

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, take a proctored online midterm exam, and complete a final paper. See below for more details.

Consult the course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

You are required to participate in eight (8) graded discussion forums as well as an ungraded "Introductions" forum. The online discussions are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Web site is the online discussion forum rubric used to aid in the grading of all online discussions.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete four (4) written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

 

Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Web site is the written assignment rubric used to aid in the grading of all written assignments.

Midterm Exam

You are required to take a proctored midterm examination. See the Calendar for the official dates for your midterm exam week.

The midterm is a closed-book, proctored online exam. The exam is two hours long and covers material in Modules 1 through 4. It consists of forty (40) multiple-choice questions, ten (10) of which will involve computation. For this reason you will be allowed to use a non-programmable calculator as well as one to two sheets of paper on which you have photocopied or transcribed solely the "Useful Formulas" from the inside back cover of your textbook. These are the only items that you may have with you for use during the exam. If you have questions about the format and/or content of the examination, please contact your mentor at least a week in advance of the scheduled test.

For the midterm, you are required to use the College's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures.

Online exams are administered through the course Web site. Consult the course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.

 

 

Online exams are administered through the course Web site.  

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during an exam. Cheating means:

  1. Looking up any answer or part of an answer in an unauthorized textbook or on the Internet, or using any other source to find an answer.
  2. Copying and pasting or, in any way copying responses or parts of responses from any other source into your exams. This includes but is not limited to copying and pasting from other documents or spreadsheets, whether written by yourself or anyone else.
  3. Plagiarizing answers.
  4. Asking anyone else to assist you by whatever means available while you take an exam.
  5. Copying any part of an exam to share with other students.
  6. Telling your mentor that you need another attempt at an exam because your connection to the Internet was interrupted when that is not true.

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in an exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.

Final Paper

There is no final examination in this course. You are required to write a paper of between 2,500 and 3,000 words (with a typical font and spacing, this will be approximately 10 to 12 pages), and this paper will be worth 20 percent of your grade. You may begin work on this paper at any time during the course, but you must submit it by the last day of the semester.

The final paper will allow you to communicate your knowledge of investment management.

A full description of the paper is provided within the course. Located within the Evaluation Rubrics section of the course Web site is the final paper rubric used to aid in the grading of the final paper.

GRADING AND EVALUATION

Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Online discussions (8)—10 percent
  2. Written assignments (8)—40 percent
  3. Midterm exam (proctored online, modules 1–4)—30 percent
  4. Final paper—20 percent

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:

A

=

93–100

C+

=

78–79

A–

=

90–92

C

=

73–77

B+

=

88–89

C–

=

70–72

B

=

83–87

D

=

60–69

B–

=

80–82

F

=

Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a nonarea of study course), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

  1. Read carefully the entire Syllabus, making sure that all aspects of the course are clear to you and that you have all the materials required for the course.

  1. Take the time to read the entire Online Student Handbook. The Handbook answers many questions about how to proceed through the course and how to get the most from your educational experience at Thomas Edison State College.

  1. Arrange to take your examination by following the instructions in this Syllabus and the Online Student Handbook.

  1. Familiarize yourself with the learning management systems environment—how to navigate it and what the various course areas contain. If you know what to expect as you navigate the course, you can better pace yourself and complete the work on time.

  1. If you are not familiar with Web-based learning be sure to review the processes for posting responses online and submitting assignments before class begins.

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

  1. To stay on track throughout the course, begin each week by consulting the course Calendar. The Calendar provides an overview of the course and indicates due dates for submitting assignments, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.

  1. Check Announcements regularly for new course information.

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty takes the following forms:

  1. Cheating
  2. Plagiarizing (including copying and pasting from the Internet without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources)
  3. Fabricating information or citations
  4. Facilitating acts of dishonesty by others
  5. Unauthorized access to examinations or the use of unauthorized materials during exam administration
  6. Submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the mentor
  7. Tampering with the academic work of other students

Academic dishonesty will result in disciplinary action and possible dismissal from the College. Students who submit papers that are found to be plagiarized will receive an F on the plagiarized assignment, may receive a grade of F for the course, and may face dismissal from the College.

A student who is charged with academic dishonesty will be given oral or written notice of the charge. If a mentor or College official believes the infraction is serious enough to warrant referral of the case to the academic dean, or if the mentor awards a final grade of F in the course because of the infraction, the student and the mentor will be afforded formal due process.

If a student is found cheating or using unauthorized materials on an examination, he or she will automatically receive a grade of F on that examination. Students who believe they have been falsely accused of academic dishonesty should seek redress through informal discussions with the mentor, through the office of the dean, or through an executive officer of Thomas Edison State College.

Plagiarism

Using someone else's work as your own is plagiarism. Although it may seem like simple dishonesty, plagiarism is against the law. Thomas Edison State College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing will be severely penalized. If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism.  (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > "Citing Sources.")

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else's. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

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