Dr. P.V. Viswanath
 Home Bio Courses Research Economics/Finance on the Web Student Interest

FIN 652: Investment Analysis

Q. What do I have to study for the Midterm and what will it look like?
A. The midterm will cover Chapters 1-7 and will have three or four parts.

1. There will be quantitative questions on some or all of the following topics:
1. Determining margin requirements on margin purchases (Chapter 3)
2. Determining margin requirements on short sales (Chap. 3)
3. Computing rates of return on mutual funds (Chap. 4)
4. Probability distributions (Chap. 5)
5. Computing the optimal amount to be invested in the risky portfolio and in the risk-free asset (Chap 6)
6. Computing the optimal portfolio with two risky assets (Chap 7)
2. There will be short answer questions based on the material in the chapters. (See questions under Important Terms and Concepts)
3. There will be an article from the media (WSJ, NY Times, Economist etc.) and questions on the text of the article.

Q. What will the final exam cover?
Ans. The midterm will be on the material from Chaps 9-15.

This is the format of the exam.

• One question based on a media article, which is either about asset pricing, efficient markets or bond markets.
• One question modeled after the end-of-chapter questions in Chapter 15, which is about computing forward rates and interpreting term structures.  This question is based on what was taught in the last class.
• One question on Muhammad Yunus’s social stock market.
• A couple of questions, some conceptual and some computational from Chapter 14, based on the end-of-chapter questions.
• Some short-answer questions from Chapters 9, 10, 11, 12 and 14; these are all from the list of questions on the class website (http://webpage.pace.edu/pviswanath/class/652/notes/terms.html).

All questions do not have the same weight.

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. I am very strict about this. 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. If you have anything proscribed on your sheet, I will take away the sheet altogether and I may penalize you, as well.

Q. Can I use a calculator during the exams?
Ans: Yes, you may use a calculator during the exams. However, for every problem, you will have to write out the formula that you are using both in symbolic form, as well as with the numbers filled in. If you have done this, you don't have to show your computations. You can simply copy your numerical answer from your calculator. However, if you have not provided the formula in the answer, you may receive no points at all!

The use of computers, PDAs, graphing calculators, phone calculators or other instruments that can communicate and/or are able to store alphanumeric information is strictly prohibited during exams (it is your responsibility to verify whether your calculator is allowed, otherwise you will end up in an exam without a calculator).

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?
Ans.  Here are some of the things you can do:

• To prepare for the Quantitative problems part of the exam, you can do the quantitative problems from the end of each chapter, as well as from the Additional Questions on Blackboard plus the problems on Connect.
• For the media article part of the exam, you can read current newspaper and magazine articles on relevant topics and make up your own questions and articles. The Discussion Group on Blackboard will also be useful, as will the occasional discussions in class based on media articles. You should try to answer the questions at the end of media articles that are posted online.
• You should read the chapter and try to answer the questions posed on the web under Important Terms and Concepts.
• You can make an appointment to talk to me.

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. You should also look at the end-of-chapter problems. And of course you should know the content of each chapter, including the material on the slides.