GRA 6534 Investments

GRA 6534 Investments

Course code: 
GRA 6534
Department: 
Finance
Credits: 
6
Course coordinator: 
Giovanni Pagliardi
Course name in Norwegian: 
Investments
Product category: 
Master
Portfolio: 
MSc in Finance
Semester: 
2021 Autumn
Active status: 
Active
Level of study: 
Master
Teaching language: 
English
Course type: 
One semester
Introduction

In this course you will be introduced to major issues currently of concern to all investors. It will give you the skills to conduct a sophisticated assessment of debates on current issues covered by both the popular (especially digital) media as well as more specialized finance journals. The course will familiarize students with the financial markets and will provide an introduction to the theory and practices of investments for both individual investors as well as for funds. The course will emphasize the international dimension of the investment process and will introduce sustainable short-term and long-term investment strategies.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

Provide students with an understanding of the structure of the global financial system, the role of finance for economic development, and how the money flows. Understand the importance of financial market efficiency, and learn the concepts of allocative and informational efficiency. 

Internalize the principles of investments in bonds and stocks, and a profound understanding of the risk - expected return tradeoff and its implications for asset pricing. Emphasis will be given to understanding recent developments in the financial markets described in the digital financial press.

Learning outcomes - Skills

Among the skills students will acquire:

  • Constructing the term structure of interest rates.
  • Conducting portfolio immunization.
  • Constructing optimal portfolios.
  • Evaluating, quantitatively and qualitatively, the performance of mutual funds and hedge funds.
  • Understanding the ethical issues that arise when making investment decisions, with a special focus on green bonds, hedging climate-change risks, and ESG factors.
General Competence
  • Critical reflection and thinking, together with developing deep insights regarding the dynamics of the financial markets.
  • Ability to compare the historical performance of financial markets with their current dynamics and future prospects, in a rapidly-changing global economic situation.
  • Understanding of the major issues that portfolio managers encounter.

Course content

The course will be organized as follows:

  • • Asset classes: markets, pricing and historical record
    • Equity markets and historical record
    • Fixed Income Securities: pricing, markets and historical record
    • Alternative investments: real estate, commodities, venture, etc
  • • Fixed Income
    • Bond pricing
    • The term structure of interest rates
    • Bond portfolio management
  • • Equity valuation
    • The price-to-earnings ratio
    • Macroeconomic and industry analysis
  • • The portfolio management process
    • Mean-Variance theory and the CAPM
    • Efficient markets and portfolio management
    • Active portfolio management strategies
    • Optimal portfolio rebalancing
    • Factor models
  • • Measuring portfolio performance
  • • Hedge funds, mutual funds and exchange traded funds
Teaching and learning activities
  • Presentations of the theories and their applications.
  • Class discussions, including discussions of the research frontier in various topics.
  • Pre-recorded videos that further develop the topics discussed in class.
  • Digital drop-in sessions to support the students' active learning process throughout the semester.
  • Discussions of current events in the markets described in the financial press (for example, The Wall Street Journal) and how they relate to the material covered in class.
  • Real world examples of investment strategies.
  • Two computer assignments to be done in groups of four to five students. The assignments will be a major tool in learning, as they will involve real world applications, and will include Excel modeling of portfolio choice. After doing the assignments the students will be able to construct the term structure of interest rates, to construct optimal portfolios, and more.
  • A set of periodic and non-graded homework assignments, with the help of which the students can practice by solving exercises, and further develop their skills during the semester.
  • To reinforce the learning process, the course includes the Bloomberg Market Concepts, a learning activity that allows students to integrate the knowledge acquired in class with state-of-the-art Bloomberg data and analytics.
  • As a pre-requisite for the course, students are expected to possess basic knowledge of Microsoft Excel.
Software tools
Software defined under the section "Teaching and learning activities".
Additional information

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class.

This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded by using points on a scale from 0-100. The components will be weighted together according to the information in the course description in order to calculate the final letter grade for the examination code (course). Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam elements will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the point system and the cut-off points with reference to the letter grades when the course starts.

At resit, all exam components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course.

Honour Code

Academic honesty and trust are important to all of us as individuals, and represent values that are encouraged and promoted by the honour code system. This is a most significant university tradition. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the ideals of the honour code system, to which the faculty are also deeply committed.

Any violation of the honour code will be dealt with in accordance with BI’s procedures for cheating. These issues are a serious matter to everyone associated with the programs at BI and are at the heart of the honour code and academic integrity. If you have any questions about your responsibilities under the honour code, please ask.

Qualifications

All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have spesific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Covid-19 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there may be deviations in teaching and learning activities as well as exams, compared with what is described in this course description.

Teaching 

Information about what is taught on campus and other digital forms will be presented with the lecture plan before the start of the course each semester.

Required prerequisite knowledge

Basic knowledge of Microsoft Excel.

Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationSupport materialsGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA65343
Grading scale:
Point scale
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
20No 1 Month(s)Group ( 4 - 5)Two computer assignments where the weight of each is 10%.
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA65343
Grading scale:
Point scale
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
75Yes3 Hour(s)
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
Individual Written examination under supervision.
Exam category:
Submission
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
GRA 65343
Grading scale:
Point scale
Grading rules:
Internal examiner
Resit:
All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
5No1 Semester(s)Individual Bloomberg assignment, which weights 5%.
Exams:
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:20
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Group (4-5)
Support materials:
Duration: 1 Month(s)
Comment:Two computer assignments where the weight of each is 10%.
Exam code:GRA65343
Grading scale:Point scale
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:75
Invigilation:Yes
Grouping (size):Individual
Support materials:
  • BI-approved exam calculator
  • Simple calculator
  • Bilingual dictionary
Duration:3 Hour(s)
Comment:Written examination under supervision.
Exam code:GRA65343
Grading scale:Point scale
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Weight:5
Invigilation:No
Grouping (size):Individual
Support materials:
Duration:1 Semester(s)
Comment:Bloomberg assignment, which weights 5%.
Exam code: GRA 65343
Grading scale:Point scale
Resit:All components must, as a main rule, be retaken during next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Continuous assessment
Grading scale: 
ECTS
Total weight: 
100
Sum workload: 
0

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.