Syllabus for INV-711

INVESTMENTS


COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course discusses investment setting, asset allocation, global investments, functioning of securities markets, portfolio management, asset pricing model, and models of risk and return. It analyzes financial statements, company, industry, and macroeconomic valuation of stocks and bonds. It also examines derivative securities and contracts such as forward, futures, and options.  It further provides a conceptual base for investment managers, individual investors, and corporate financial managers.  

COURSE OBJECTIVES

After completing this course, you will be able to:

 

  1. CO1 Analyze investment environment, asset allocation, and investment decision in both domestic and the international markets.  
  2. CO2 Assess the securities markets including the market indexes, their organization, and functioning.
  3. CO3 Evaluate various asset pricing models and efficient capital markets for investment decision making not only in individual securities but also for portfolio management analysis.  
  4. CO4 Conduct a complete risk assessment using the arbitrage pricing theory and multifactor models and analyze financial statements for investment decision making purposes.
  5. CO5 Analyze the impact of macroeconomic and microeconomic variables on the securities markets and examine the value of different securities by applying various valuation models.
  6. CO6 Analyze investment decisions based on company and industry assessments including firm competitiveness and industry trends.  
  7. CO7 Assess the derivative markets and their use for investing and hedging the risk of individual or portfolio securities.
  8. CO8 Evaluate various alternative assets and the role of professional money managers and financial advisory firms for investment decision making.

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. Reilly, F., & Brown, K. (2012). Investment analysis and portfolio management (10th ed.). Mason, OH: South-Western/ Cengage Learning.

ISBN-13: 978-0538482387

COURSE STRUCTURE

Investments is a three-credit online course, consisting of four (4) modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and assignments. Module titles are listed below.

  1. Module 1: Introduction to Investment Environment and Operations of Securities Markets
  2. Module 2: Investment Theory Developments and Analysis of Financial Statements

  1. Module 3: Security Valuation, Analysis, and Management of Common Stocks
  2. Module 4: Analysis of Derivative Securities and Asset Management

ASSESSMENT METHODS

For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in eight (8) graded discussion forums, two (2) synchronous events, and to complete four (4) written assignments. You are also required to complete a midterm project and a final project.

Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

This course requires you to participate in eight (8) graded discussion forums. There are also two ungraded but required forums in Module 1. In addition, there are two discussion forums for synchronous events. Click to view Online Discussion Grading Rubric.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete four (4) written assignments. Each written assignment includes selected questions and problems from the end of chapters that may require you do some calculations and/or evaluate different options in making investment decisions.

Synchronous Events

You are required to participate in two synchronous events during Week 3 and 6 of the semester. You will dial into a teleconference number (provided by your mentor) at a set time. Your mentor will work with the class to propose a time that works best and accommodates the majority. Both synchronous events will focus on the interim report of the final project. See the Module 2 and Module 4 areas of the course web site for further details.

Midterm Project

You are required to submit a midterm research project in the form of a paper in which you assume the role of a hedge fund manager or investment manager investing for your clients' funds in stocks based on profit sharing.  You are required to research the stock market and choose two stocks to invest in and write a 4-6 page research report on your investment decision.  

See the Midterm Project area of the course web site for further details.

Final Project

You are required at the end of the course to submit a final project in the form of a paper in which you assume the role of an investment manager investing for your clients’ funds in two foreign currencies based on profit sharing. You are required to research the foreign currencies as soon as possible after initial consultations with your mentor regarding what directions to pursue.

You will produce your final project in four different stages as part of your course work:

Stage 1

By the end of Module 1 you will inform your mentor which foreign currencies you are thinking of researching.  Your mentor will help you with feedback regarding your choices and how to proceed with your research.

Stage 2

During Module 2 you will organize the information you have gathered into an interim report that you will share with your classmates and mentor during a synchronous event.  Your mentor will coordinate arrangements for sharing your report and taking part in the discussion.

Stage 3

After participating in the Module 2 synchronous discussion forum and reflecting on any suggestions, advice, observations, etc., made by your classmates and mentor, you will decide on which foreign currencies you would like to invest (choose two hard currencies).  You will update your interim report to include this choice and a brief explanation regarding why you have selected these particular foreign currencies.  You will submit the updated interim report to your mentor for grading at the end of Module 3. During Module 3 you will also participate a second synchronous event during which you will have the opportunity to discuss your final project further.

Stage 4

By the end of Module 4 you will complete and submit your final project paper.

See the Final Project area of the course web site for further details.

GRADING AND EVALUATION

Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

  1. Discussion forums (8)—24%
  2. Written assignments (4)—24%
  3. Synchronous Events (2)—8%
  4. Midterm project—20%
  5. Final project—24%
  1. Final project stage 1 assignment (1%)
  2. Final project interim report (3%)
  3. Final project paper (20%)

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.). Students must maintain a B average 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, posting discussions, and scheduling and taking examinations.
  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. 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 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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