CORPFIN 7019NA - Advanced Funds Management (M)

Ngee Ann Academy - Trimester 2 - 2016

This course is an in-depth study of the funds management theory and practice. Participants will first develop a strong theoretical knowledge of asset pricing, market efficiency and funds management. Students will then be exposed to the managed funds industry and be required to apply their theoretical knowledge to understand the process of developing, managing and evaluating these assets. In addition, students will practically develop an Investment Policy Statement (or a Statement of Advice) for an investor, forecast characteristics of various asset classes in an economy, and be able to create an investment vehicle to satisfy investors' needs. The students will also learn various strategies to manage funds, issues that impact performance, and issues in benchmarking and performance evaluation. Equities, Fixed Income Securities, Commodities, Real Estate, Alternate Funds, Emerging, Developing and Developed markets will be examined in the context of portfolio construction.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code CORPFIN 7019NA
    Course Advanced Funds Management (M)
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Business School
    Term Trimester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s Ngee Ann Academy
    Units 3
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Corequisites CORPFIN 7039NA & CORPFIN 7040NA
    Assumed Knowledge CORPFIN 7039NA & CORPFIN 7040NA
    Assessment Exam/assignments/tests/tutorial work as prescribed at first lecture
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Ik Hwa

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Please refer to Ngee Ann-Adelaide Education Centre Schedule.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    The main objective of this course is to have a deep understanding of the Theory and Practice of Portfolio construction and its implementation. This course is designed to cover the topic "Portfolio Management and Wealth Planning" of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK).

    This course draws upon participant’s knowledge of Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), and Valuation models for Equities and Fixed Income Securities gained from Equity Valuation (M) and Fixed Income Securities (M) (or equivalent courses). Course participants will also call upon their skills in statistics and Ordinary Least Square (OLS) regression analyses gained in Quantitative Methods (M) (or an equivalent course).

    Course participants will refresh their knowledge ofthe Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) and the Markowitz Efficient Frontier to establish the necessary theoretical foundations for this course. Students will then learn how to profile an investor's investment needs and objectives, as well as their investment constraints. The course will then guide the student cohort to construct portfolios appropriate for institutional (and retail) investors by investing in Core asset classes (Equities and Fixed Income securities) in the international capital markets and Alternative investments (Real Estate, Private Equity and Venture Capital funds, Hedge funds and Commodities). The last part of the
    course deals with operational issues that revolve around managing portfolios that include trading costs and performance measurements as well as the ethical and regulatory framework for the investment industry.

    Graduates from this course are motivated to enter the Funds Management and the Financial Advisory industry both in Australia and overseas. At the very least, this course will help in making wise financial investment decisions for specific purposes such as retirement planning. Students graduating from this course should also consider acquiring the Chartered Financial Analyst qualification.

    On successful completion of this course, students are expected to be able to:

    1. Understand the framework of the Modern Portfolio Theory and the Mean-Variance Framework.

    2. Formulate expectation of performance of Core asset classes based on their characteristics and their linkages with the economic and business cycles.

    3. Understand the characteristics of Alternative Investments, and their relationship with Core asset classes, in a portfolio context.

    4. Understand Active and Passive investment strategies, and their associated benefits and costs.

    5. Evaluate any existing (or proposed) investment using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies.

    6. Create investment vehicles for specific client needs that are consistent with ethical and regulatory framework of the Delegated Funds Management Industry.

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Investments by Bodie, Kane and Marcus, 9th or 10th Edition, published by McGraw-Hill.

    Other readings from academic, semi-professional and professional sources are provided in the reader.
    Recommended Resources
    Students are encouraged to stay abreast of global financial issues, especially in the Australian context. Australian Financial Review, certain finance commentary on ABC, industry magazines such as Money Manager should be referred to on a regular basis. The internet resources are also abundantly populated with all aspects of this course, and should be used as well.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The approach in this course is to first establish the theoretical foundations and then build upon them to understand the real-world issues. This will be done through lectures, test, assignment, and tutorials. Most of the tutorials will be applied in nature and will reflect the real world constructs.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The University expects full-time students (i.e. those taking 12 units per semester) to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. This means that you are expected to commit approximately 9 hours for a three-unit course or 13 hours for a four-unit course, of private study outside of your regular classes. Students in this course are expected to attend all lectures.
    Learning Activities Summary

    Intensive 1

    Topic  Chapters

    Chapter 1 BKM
    Chapter 4 BKM

    Chapter 6 BKM
    Chapter 7 BKM
    Chapter 11 BKM                       
    Fundamental concepts
    - Funds
    - Portfolio
    - Mean Variance Efficient Frontier
    - Fund Strategies (Active vs. Passive)

    Journal Articles and Book Chapter Readings:
    - The Investment Environment
    - Mutual Funds and other Investment Companies
    - “Asset Allocation” by William F. Sharpe

    Review of Previous Material:
    - Risk Aversion and Capital Allocation to Risky Assets
    - Optimal Risky Portfolio
    - The Efficient Market Hypothesis
    Chapter 4 BKM Chapter 24 BKM
    - Overview of the Financial Market
    - Basic Performance Evaluation

    Journal Articles and Book Chapter Readings:
    - Mutual Funds and other Investment Companies
    - Portfolio Performance Evaluation

    Chapter 28 BKM

    Chapter 8 BKM Chapter 9 BKM
    Chapter 13 BKM                               
    Investment Policy Statement (IPS) and the Asset Allocation Decision

    Journal Articles and Book Chapter Readings:
    - Investment Policy and the Framework of the CFA Institute
    - Maginn, J. L., D. L. Tuttle, D. W. McLeavey, and J. E. Pinto, “The Portfolio Management Process and the Investment Policy Statement”.

    Review of Previous Material:
    - Index Models
    - The Capital Asset Pricing Model
    - Empirical Evidence on Security Returns
    4 Chapter 10 BKM

    Chapter 27 BKM
    Active Equity Portfolio Management Strategies

    Journal Articles and Book Chapter Readings:
    - Arbitrage Pricing Theory and Multifactor Models of Risk and Return
    - The Theory of Active Portfolio Management

    - Jon A. Christopherson and C. Nola Williams, 1997, “Equity Style: What It Is and Why It Matters”, Ch.1, the Handbook of Equity Style Management, 2nd Edition.
    5 Chapter 16 BKM Bonds Portfolio Management Strategies

    Journal Articles and Book Chapter Readings:
    - Managing Bond Portfolios
    6 Chapter 25 BKM Real Estate, International Investments, and Emerging Markets

    Journal Articles and Book Chapter Readings:
    - International Diversification

    Intensive 2

    7 Chapter 7 BKM
    Chapter 8 BKM

    Passive Equity Portfolio Management Strategies

    Journal Articles and Book Chapter Readings:
    - Optimal Risky Portfolios
    - Index Models

    - Hsu, J.C., and C. Campollo, “An Examination of Fundamental Indexation”.
    - George U. Sauter, 1998, “Medium and Small Capitalization Indexing”, Ch.3, pp. 44-49, Selected Topics in Equity Portfolio Management.
    - John S. Loftus, 1998, “Enhanced Equity Indexing”, Ch.4, Selected Topics in Equity Portfolio Management.
    8 Issues in Portfolio Management Strategies

    Journal Articles and Book Chapter Readings:
    - Perold, A. and W. Sharpe, 1998, “Dynamic Strategies for Asset Allocation”, Financial Analyst Journal (AIMR, Jan/Feb 1998).
    - Wayne H. Wagner and Mark Edwards, 1998, “Implementing Investment Strategies: The Art and Science of Investing”, Ch. 17, Handbook of Portfolio Management.
    - Frino, A. and D. R. Gallagher, 2000, “The Problem of being Passive”, JASSA, Issue 2, winter, pp.28-32.
    - Gallagher, D.R. , 2000, “Do Active Funds Deliver?”, JASSA, Issue 1, autumn, pp.2-5.
    - Sinclair, N., 1999, “Index or Active?”, JASSA, Issue 1, autumn, pp.2-8.
    9 Chapter 26 BKM Book Chapter Readings:
    - Hedge Funds

    Journal Articles Readings: TBA
    10 Chapter 12 BKM Behavioural Finance

    Journal Articles and Book Chapter Readings:
    - Behavioural Finance and Technical Analysis

    - M. Statman, “Behavioural Finance: Past Battles and Future Engagements”.
    11 Chapter 24 BKM Performance Evaluation – Theory, Evidence and Issues

    Journal Articles and Book Chapter Readings:
    - Evaluation of Portfolio Performance
    - William F. Sharpe, Asset Allocation: Management Style and Performance Measurement
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    The assignment will be completed individually. The assignment requires the students to formulate an investment plan for an individual/entity using passive index funds and/or active mutual funds. Expectations regarding asset classes need to be conducted and the use of the Solver (a macro in Excel) and regression analysis will be required. No redemptions will be allowed from previous semesters.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Statutory obligations in Singapore are such that attendance in person is a compulsory condition of passing a course. Our specific requirements are that students must attend at least 80% of class sessions to be graded for that course. For these purposes each intensive weekend is defined as comprising 5 sessions with 1 on Friday evening and 2 on each of Saturday and Sunday.

    Each course in total comprises 10 sessions; Students must attend a minimum of 8 sessions to be eligible to be given a grade for the course. Students failing to meet these requirements will be automatically graded 0% Fail (F) on their transcripts.

    Students have to score at least 50% in the overall assessment to pass this course.
    Assessment Detail
    The assessment components are as follows:

    • (20%) Individual Assignment: Handed out at the end of first intensive. The report is due prior to the commencement of second intensive.

    • (25%) Test: Beginning of 2nd Intensive (based on all content covered in Intensive 1)

    • (55%) Final Exam; 3 hours exam as per examination schedule. The final examination will be closed book (i.e. allows no reference material during the examination) and will cover all topics.
    Details of the assignment submission will be provided at a later date on MyUni.

    Presentation of Assignments
    • Please must retain a copy of all assignments submitted.
    • Please email ( an ‘Assignment Cover Sheet’. Your email will assume you have signed the cover sheet which includes acknowledgement of the University’s policy on plagiarism.

    Assignment Guidelines including Referencing Details
    A copy of the Postgraduate Programs: Communication Skills Guide will have been given to you at the beginning of your program. This guide will assist you structure your assignments. A copy of the guide can also be downloaded from: 

    This publication also provides guidelines on a range of other important communication skills including writing essays and management reports, making oral presentations etc.
    In preparing any written piece of assessment for your postgraduate studies it is important to draw on the relevant ‘literature’ to support critical analysis. Also essential is to reference the literature used. Correct referencing is important because it identifies the source of the ideas and arguments that you present, and sometimes the source of the actual words you use, and helps to avoid the problem of plagiarism. (Further information on plagiarism is provided later in this course outline.)
    The Harvard system is widely used in the Business School. Guidelines for the use of this style of referencing can be found in the Communication Skills Guide.

    Further assistance with referencing is available from the Faculty’s Learning Support Advisors. The contact details are provided on page 6 of the Communication Skills Guide.

    Late Assignment Submission
    Students are expected to submit their work by the due date to maintain a fair and equitable system. Extensions will generally only be given for medical or other serious reasons, and all application for extensions must be submitted to the Student HUB before the due date. Each request will be assessed on its merits. A late assignment (without prior arrangement) will be penalised by a 1% (of the total course) mark reduction for each working day that it is late.

    Return of Assignments
    It is our aim to mark and provide feedback on the assignments to students within two (2) teaching weeks of the due date. Feedback will be provided by way of a rubric and marks for each aspect of the rubric will be provided through GradeCenter on MyUni.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

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