Syllabus for FIN-710

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT


COURSE DESCRIPTION

Financial Management reviews the basic concepts and tools of finance for the purpose of decision making. Topics analyzed include investment decisions, capital budgeting, cost of capital, working capital management, valuation of securities, interest rates, corporate liabilities, and risk and return. The course addresses the formation of capital structure, the optimal capital structure, and its choice on the value of the firm.

COURSE TOPICS

  1. The role of financial managers
  2. Criteria for investing in bond market and stock market
  3. Investment decisions
  4. Financial analysis
  5. Stock analysis
  6. Risk and return analysis
  7. Capital structure and capital structure decisions

COURSE OBJECTIVES

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Analyze financial statements such as balance sheet, cash flows, and income statement in a  corporate setting.
  2. Review the time value of money and arbitrage for financial decision making.
  3. Determine the opportunity cost of capital and apply the investment decision rules for selecting the best projects.
  4. Use fundamentals of capital budgeting to determine the free cash flows and evaluate debt securities.
  5. Analyze equity securities, capital markets, and the capital asset pricing model for finding optimal portfolio.
  6. Estimate equity cost of capital and weighted average cost of capital for finding the best investment opportunities.
  7. Evaluate investors' behavior, capital market efficiency, and capital structure.
  8. Analyze the impact of financial distress, managerial incentives, debt and taxes, and dividend policy on shareholders' wealth maximization.
  9. Integrate understanding of risk, return, and capital structure for valuation purpose under the market imperfections.

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

ISBN-13: 978-0132153683

COURSE STRUCTURE

Financial Management is a three-credit online course, consisting of six modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums (two of which will take place synchronously), complete three written assignments, and complete a final project after producing  an interim report on your work.  See below for details.

Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

Financial Management requires you to participate in five graded discussion forums, collectively worth 18 percent of your grade for the course.

Communication among fellow students and with the mentor is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a posted question (discussion thread) and subsequent comments on classmates' responses. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement. You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation. Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful.

Deadlines for posting discussion threads on the class Discussion Board are given in the course Calendar.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete three written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

Final Project: Stock Recommendation

You are required at the end of the semester to submit a final project in the form stock recommendation.  For the purposes of this project you will assume the role of a hedge fund manager or investment manager and after researching publicly traded companies make a specific investment recommendation to your clients.  

Your final project will be produced incrementally during the semester and will include the production of an interim report detailing your progress that you will share with your classmates and mentor during synchronous discussion forums that will take place during modules 3 and 4.

 

For specific details about your final project, see:  Module 6: Final Project.  For due dates associated with its production, consult the Course Calendar.

GRADING AND EVALUATION

Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

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

B–

=

80–82

A–

=

90–92

C+

=

78–79

B+

=

88–89

C

=

73–77

B

=

83–87

F

=

Below 73

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or higher on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., assignments, discussion postings, projects, etc.). Graduate students must maintain a B average overall to remain in good academic standing.

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

First Steps to Success

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

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY

Thomas Edison State College is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The College expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

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.

All members of the College community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at www.tesc.edu.

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 can take the following forms:

Plagiarism

Thomas Edison State College is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

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, or without identifying it as a direct quote, 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.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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