Dr. P.V. Viswanath



Economics/Finance on the Web
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Frequently Asked Questions, Fall 2008

FIN 320: Advanced Financial Analysis


Q. What will the format of the Midterm be?
A. Here is the format of the midterm:

  • One question from Chap. 5 of Palepu, Bernard et al. This will be based on the analysis of Navistar's financial analysis (which we did in class, at which time I told you that one exam question would be based on this; see relevant article at http://webpage.pace.edu/pviswanath/articles/aeg4e43/finstat/navistar.html).
  • One question on Present Value using intra-period compounding (this is what we did about ten days ago; essentially, you will need to know how to compute present value, etc and apply the formulas -- all of which you have in the textbook, but in addition, you will need to know how to use APR and effective periodic return. See, for example, Q.2 on the FIN 320 Fall 2000 Midterm 1)
  • One question based on an article on Managerial Objectives/ Corporate Governance
  • One question on computation of cashflow (this is what we've talked about several times)
  • One question on expected return and variance computation (this is what we did on Wednesday, Oct. 8)

Q. What is the format of the final exam?

The final will have the following structure:

  • Media Article on Capital Structure
  • Mortgage Problem
  • Profiles of firms and requirement to explain capital structure
  • Short questions on capital structure
  • One question on how to compute optimal capital structure
  • Interpreting beta regressions

Q. Are the exams open book or closed book?
Ans. The midterm and the final exams are closed book; however, you can bring in one 8.5x11 sheet, which can contain only formulas. You may write on both sides of the paper.  However, you may not staple several sheets of paper together.  Going through your notes probably cannot make up for the lack of a proper understanding of the material.

Q. What do I have to study for the final exam?
Ans. The material below will, more or less, define what will be included for the final.


Q. Can I do extra work to improve my grade?
Ans. Sorry. I believe that in order to be fair, I have to give every student the same opportunity to do extra work. Obviously, this is not feasible.  However, on occasion I will allow you to resubmit an assignment for grade improvement.

Q. What can I do to check my understanding of the material and to prepare for the exams?

You can do the problems from the end of each chapter. The answers can be found on the Web.

You can also try quizzes from past terms. Frequently, the answers to quiz problems can also be found on my webpages.

You can try to answer the questions at the end of media articles.

You can read current newspaper and magazine articles on relevant topics and make up your own questions and articles.


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