Dr. P.V. Viswanath



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Frequently Asked Questions

FIN 647: Advanced Financial Analysis



Q. What can you tell us about the quizzes?
Ans.  The quiz on Present Value will include two problems; both problems will be based on problems found at the end of chapters 3 and 5.

Q. What will the format of the Midterm be and from what chapters will it be?
A. Here is the format of the midterm:

  • Media Article
  • Definitions from Chapters 2-7
  • Short questions from Chapters 2-7 similar to the practice ones, but not limited to those.
  • Problems similar to end-of-chapter problems from
    • Present Value (Chapters 3/5)
    • Leveraged/Unleveraged betas (Chapter 7)
    • Bottom up betas (Chapter 7)
    • CAPM expected return/beta problems (Chapter 7)


Q. Give us a sample quiz.
A. Here is a sample short quiz:

1. Answer any two of the three questions below:

  1. Are poison pills generally good or bad for stockholders? (See page 20 for answer.)

  2. What is the Matching Principle in GAAP with respect to revenue recognition?  Explain how the use of the matching principle would make it more difficult for financial analysts to use accounting income as a measure of cashflows. (See page 90 for answer.)

  3. Give an example of diversifiable risk.  

2. Use no more than two sentences to define the following terms:

  1. market portfolio

  2. beta

  3. market efficiency

  4. operating lease

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.

Chapter 16: Everything.  (For an intro to bonds, you can get either a powerpoint presentation or a straightforward text,  Valuing Bonds.)

Chapter 17: The section, entitled, "Financing Choices and a Firm's Life Cycle," pages 509-518.  Understanding the ideas behind figure 17.1 on page 512.

Chapter 18: Entire chapter.  You may want to look at the slides to get a better understanding of the material.

Chapter 19: Read chapter, and look at problems at the end of the chapter.

There will be a media article based question, dealing with firm risk or capital structure;
there will be definitions from chapters 16-19, at least one problem involving capital structure, and probably some short concept questions.

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.

Q. What do I have to study from each chapter?
Ans. In each chapter, you should know the definitions and the meanings of key terms, and be able to put them into context.

Updated August 27, 2003.


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