In this Specialization, you will understand how investment strategies are designed to reach financial goals in a global context. You will learn the theory that underlies strong investment decisions, as well as practical, real-world skills that you can apply when discussing investment proposals with your advisor, managing your personal assets or your client’s investment portfolio. You will start by developing a global understanding of financial markets and what impacts rational and irrational behaviors have in finance at the micro and macro levels. You will then learn how to adequately build and manage a portfolio with a long-term view while gaining an appreciation for novel research advances in finance and related areas as well as future trends that are shaping the investment management industry. In the final Capstone Project, you will create a sensible 5-year investment plan that accounts for an investor’s goals and constraints in a dynamic economic landscape. Key speakers from UBS, our corporate partner, will contribute to this specialization by providing you with practical insights they have gathered through years of experience working for the world’s largest wealth manager.
Understanding Financial Markets
In this course, you will learn what the main financial markets and their characteristics are as well as how they are linked to the economy. Our very diversified team of experts will start by teaching you how the price of stocks and bonds are computed and why they move while you will become increasingly aware of the notion of risk and why it matters when measuring an investment's performance. The focus will then move to less popular markets such as gold, emerging markets, real estate, hedge funds and private markets. These will be analyzed with an emphasis on their particular risks and return opportunities as well as how they can help in building efficient portfolios. Finally, the policies of central banks and their impact on financial markets will be presented to you along with the link between the economy and the price of financial assets. All along these different steps, experts from UBS, our corporate partner, will show you how the concepts you just acquired are effectively applied in a leading global bank. This focus on practicality means you will not only understand what is going on in global financial markets but also start to figure out how you can use them to achieve financial goals, be it a client's or your own.
Meeting Investors' Goals
In this course, you will dive into the concepts of rationality and irrationality and understand how they impact our investment decisions and what the consequences can be at the market level. You will first explore the different biases that we, as humans, are subjected to when facing investment decisions and how they may impact the outcomes of these decisions. Moreover, you will see how emotions and ethical concerns such as honesty and trust influence market participants. When they are considered as a group rather than individually, you will discover how rationality and irrationality can drive asset prices to and away from their fair value. Finally, you will be presented with different portfolio construction methodologies and investment styles that make up the landscape of today's portfolio management industry. At key points throughout the course, you will benefit from the practical knowledge of experts from our corporate partner, UBS, in how to build and manage clients' portfolios.
Portfolio and Risk Management
In this course, you will gain an understanding of the theory underlying optimal portfolio construction, the different ways portfolios are actually built in practice and how to measure and manage the risk of such portfolios. You will start by studying how imperfect correlation between assets leads to diversified and optimal portfolios as well as the consequences in terms of asset pricing. Then, you will learn how to shape an investor's profile and build an adequate portfolio by combining strategic and tactical asset allocations. Finally, you will have a more in-depth look at risk: its different facets and the appropriate tools and techniques to measure it, manage it and hedge it. Key speakers from UBS, our corporate partner, will regularly add a practical perspective on these different topics as you progress through the course.
Securing Investment Returns in the Long Run
In this course, you will learn about the famous dichotomy between active and passive investing, how to appropriately measure and analyze investment performance and what the future trends in the investment management industry are. You will first learn about absolute and relative performance, risk-adjusted returns and how to decompose investment performance. The focus will then shift to the two main categories of investment vehicles, active and passive funds, and what they entail in terms of expected performance. Finally, you will explore the worlds of sustainable finance, neurofinance and fintech, three areas of research that will shape the future of the investment management industry. You will also benefit from the insights of experts from UBS, our corporate partner, on the practical implementation of the various concepts we will develop in this course.
Planning your Client's Wealth over a 5-year Horizon
In this Capstone project, you will have to choose between three different characters (each with a unique set of financial constraints and objectives) and design an appropriate wealth plan for them over the next 5 years. You will have to use the knowledge you gained in each of the four preceding courses to reach that objective. Indeed, you will need to know which assets to consider and how to manage them depending on changes in the economic outlook (Course 1), how to evaluate and deal with your character's emotional biases in order to suggest them a wealth strategy they will be able to follow (Course 2), how to build an optimal portfolio and manage its risk once the strategy has been designed (Course 3) and how to adequately measure the performance of your plan while taking advantage of investment vehicles and future trends in the investment management industry to further your character's goals (Course 4). This Capstone project was designed in collaboration with UBS, our corporate partner, who benefits from years of experience in guiding clients with their wealth planning.