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

  1. Berk, J., & DeMarzo, P. (2011). Corporate finance, the Core (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Learning Solution.

ISBN-13: 978-0-13-215368-3

COURSE STRUCTURE

Financial Management is a three-credit online course, consisting of six (6) modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

  1. Module 1: Introduction to Financial Management and Time Value of Money
    Course objectives covered in this module: 1, 2, 3
  2. Module 2: Techniques for Investment Decision and Security Analysis
    Course objectives covered in this module: 3, 4, 5
  3. Module 3: Risk and Return Analysis for Investment Opportunities
    Course objectives covered in this module: 5, 6, 7
  4. Module 4: Capital Structure for Raising Capital in a Corporate Setting
    Course objectives covered in this module: 7, 8
  5. Module 5: Integration of Risk, Return, and Capital Structure Choice under the Market Imperfections
    Course objective covered in this module: 9

  1. Module 6: Final Project - Stock Recommendation
    Course objectives covered in this module: 1-9

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 (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 (5) 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 (3) 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:

  1. Online discussions (5)15%
  2. Written assignments (3)20%
  3. Final Project Interim Report/Discussion—30%
  4. Synchronous Discussion Forums (2)—10%
  5. Final project25%

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:

  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.
  2. Take 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 and posting discussions.
  2. 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. Submitting the work of another person or work previously used without informing the mentor
  6. 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 the 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 the 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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