c  o  u  r  s  e  s

Courses

Here are the courses I am taking and have taken from my Applied Finance degree at the Macquarie University. If you're interested to know if I have covered a certain field of finance already, please search through the page's contents.

As you'll notice, my courses are a mix of technical finance courses as well as "soft" courses that help round out a student and his/her capabilities.

Year 2007

  • Applied Portfolio Management
    This unit provides students with the analytical skills and techniques required to effectively manage diversified portfolios of securities. The first section of the unit prepares students for asset allocation management and performance assessment of diversified portfolios. Section two reviews theoretical and practical issues relating to the management of portfolios containing options, futures and other derivatives. Material presented has relevance for students interested in careers as security analysts, portfolio managers and corporate treasurers.
  • Security Pricing and Hedging
    This unit explores the principles, theory and techniques of asset pricing. The first half of the unit focuses on portfolio analysis and multifactor models applicable to problems in investment analysis and asset allocation. The second half of the unit focuses on pricing techniques driven by arbitrage arguments. Arbitrage or relative pricing arguments underpin powerful, robust methods for pricing derivative securities.

Year 2006

  • International Finance
    The aim of this unit is to analyse the structure, functions and operations of the international financial system and to evaluate its impact on the Australian economy. Topics will include: international capital flows and balance of payments; analysis of foreign exchange markets, arbitrage and speculation; discussion of purchasing power parity and real exchange rates; currency and commodity swaps; corporate management of exchange rate risk exposure in spot and forward markets; currency futures and options, euro dollar markets; models of exchange rate determination; exchange rate forecasting techniques; international trade finance; international taxation and foreign and direct portfolio investments; and international capital budgeting.
  • Money and Finance
    This unit deals with the economics of modern financial markets, both theory and applied, especially with reference to the workings of the Australian financial system. Topics include: sectoral flow-of-funds accounts; techniques of selling and pricing securities; theories of interest rates; term and risk structure of interest rates; rates of return on capital; forward and futures markets; derivatives; rational expectations; efficient markets; arbitrage and speculation; financial forecasting; principles of financial model building.
  • Economics of Financial Institutions
    This unit provides an overview of the Australian financial system and examines, in depth, the various aspects of commercial bank management. Topics covered include objectives and performance, risks and their controls, cost functions and economies of scale and scope, asset and liability management, off-balance sheet banking, forecasting and financial planning, merchant banking, central banking, capital adequacy and regulation.
  • Issues in Applied Finance
    Lectures in this unit are presented by leading practitioners from the finance industry and by experienced faculty members. The unit looks at a range of applied issues and the aim is to gain an understanding of how theory and practice mesh in the real world of financial markets. Topics covered include: commercial property investment, bond and currency trading strategy, managing market risk, use of stochastic techniques, mergers and acquisitions, funds management, rating agency methods, credit risk modelling, global portfolio management, and ethics in financial markets.
  • Financial Econometrics
    Finance professionals use econometric techniques in portfolio management, risk management and securities analysis. This unit is intended to provide students with the tools necessary for financial applications.

    Topics covered include: tests of the Random Walk Hypothesis, event analysis, the Capital Asset Pricing Model and the Arbitrage Pricing Theory, the term structure of interest rates, dynamic models of economic equilibrium, and nonlinear financial models such as ARCH. Statistical techniques are developed within the context of a particular financial application. Recent empirical evidence is also discussed.
  • Econometric Principles
    This unit is highly recommended to students majoring in economics, econometrics, marketing, applied finance and business administration.

    Covers the use of quantitative methods in economics, accounting, marketing and finance. Specification, estimation and testing of linear models are studied. Statistical techniques are developed within the context of particular applications drawn from economics, market research and finance. The econometric software package Shazam is used extensively for data analysis.
  • Financial Management (Corporate Finance)
    This introductory unit in corporate finance focuses on the financing and investing decisions made by the finance manager of an organisation. While the emphasis is on the theory of the firm, students are also given exposure to current issues affecting corporate finance in Australia. Satisfactory completion of the unit will equip students with a grasp of the following principals of financial economics: the relation between risk and expected return, the time value of money and valuation of securities via discounted cash flows. The unit also provides an introductory coverage of derivative securities and no arbitrage valuation.
     

Year 2005

  • This unit builds on the IS-LM model by incorporating expectations into goods and financial markets, by introducing openness and by integrating the labour market. The aggregate supply and demand framework is used to examine the short and long run effects of monetary and fiscal policy. Other topics include the classical model, growth and business cycles, and inflation and unemployment. This unit should enable students to evaluate the recurrent debates on macro-economic policy and analyse real world problems.
  • This unit provides an opportunity for students to develop knowledge, understanding and usage of the financial techniques introduced in ACST101 by refining the techniques and by applying them to a wider range of financial instruments found in modern financial markets. It will also broaden knowledge of the background to the issue and trading of the various financial instruments and to the operation of the financial markets.
  • Topics covered include: estimation and hypothesis testing; simple and multiple regression; forecasting; the interpretation and evaluation of regression models, including an elementary discussion of non-linear modelling, heteroscedasticity, auto-correlation, multicollinearity and specification error; the use of categorical or qualitative data in regression models; structural change in economic relationships; and seasonal effects in time series models.

    Emphasis is placed throughout the unit on the application of econometric techniques and the interpretation of estimated results rather than formal theoretical proofs and derivations. The emphasis on application rather than theory means that ECON141 is a learn-by-doing unit. Estimated results are obtained using an econometric computer program. Attention is then focused on the interpretation and evaluation of the estimated results. Numerous illustrative examples and applications drawn from economics, marketing and finance are discussed in the lecture and tutorial program.
  • This is an introductory unit in the principles of macroeconomics. Topics covered include: the economic problem, methodology in economics, the goods market (national income accounts, the income-expenditure model, consumption, investment, multipliers), the money market, interactions between the goods and money markets, the external sector (balance of payments, exchange rate determination), the financial sector (aspects of finance, money creation), government policy (fiscal and monetary policies), and inflation and unemployment (types and theories of inflation and unemployment).
  • This unit explores the proposition that marketing is based on an understanding of consumer value. The unit looks at the evolution of marketing thought from a production orientation to its current state. The unit covers gathering information on consumer needs and the marketing environment. It then looks at the tools the marketer uses to satisfy those needs -- the marketing mix. Lectures include the latest developments in marketing theory, illustrated with examples of best marketing practice from Australia and major economies overseas.
  • The systems analysis and design component uses the traditional Structured Systems Analysis and Design Method (SSADM), and acts as a design precursor to the database section of the unit. Different methodologies for database design and implementation are covered. These include the flat-file, hierarchical, network and relational approaches. Fundamental data modeling tools, techniques and query languages such as Structured Query Language (SQL) are introduced. The importance of an ethical approach to the collection, use and storage of data and the construction of systems is emphasised.

    The unit concentrates upon building a firm foundation in information representation, organisation and storage with particular emphasis upon the application of database systems.
  • A course based on the study of recent Chinese films (since the mid-1980s - the 'fifth generation' of Chinese film directors) with the literary works on which the film scripts were based. The unit will be taught in English. No knowledge of Chinese language is required.

Year 2004

  • This is an introductory level unit in microeconomics. The unit is concerned with explaining how economic agents respond to incentives, and how prices by transmitting information facilitate decision making. Topics covered include: consumer choice and demand analysis; the firm and its production and costs; market structures from perfect competition to monopoly; factor markets; income distribution, poverty and discrimination; welfare economics; and market failure and microeconomic reform.
  • This unit provides a broad introduction to statistical concepts and data analysis techniques. The unit is basically concerned with the development of an understanding of statistical practice and is illustrated by a study of those techniques most commonly used in the sciences, social sciences and humanities.

    Topics covered in STAT170 include data collection methods, data quality, data summarisation and statistical models like the normal distribution followed by sampling distributions and statistical inferences about means, proportions and quartiles. Also studied are methods of analysis relating to comparisons, counted data and relationships, including regression and correlation.
  • The unit covers the theory and practice of the double entry bookkeeping system, the trial balance, adjusting entries, the worksheet and the preparation of financial reports. Students are also introduced to the basics of cash flow and financial statement analysis. Coursework includes weekly assignments as well as a full manual practice set of the complete accounting process. The objective of the practice set is to expose students to the practical aspects of the accounting process, and how this process leads to the end product - the financial reports. There is also an assessable component on generic skills in accounting.
  • This unit aims to assist students to:
    (a) understand the basic concepts of mathematics of finance (present value and accumulated value) and their application to both single payments and annuities;

    (b) apply these basic mathematical concepts in valuing a range of financial instruments including savings and investment accounts, promissory notes, mortgage loans, personal loans, bonds and debentures, etc.; and

    (c) know the functions of the Australian financial system, and the financial institutions (banks, insurance companies, finance companies, credit unions, etc.), financial instruments (bills, bonds, debentures, shares, etc.) and financial markets which form part of it.

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