FINS3640 Investment Management Modeling - 2018

Subject Code
Study Level
Commencing Term
Semester 1
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
Delivery Mode
On Campus
Banking & Finance

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

​This course covers advanced topics in investments and funds management such as: 1) equity valuation; 2) alternative investment classes such as real estate, private equity, commodities, currencies, and hedge funds; 3) performance measurement and portfolio management.

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

​The course focuses on topics that are a core part of the body of knowledge for the Finance profession and Investments in particular.

One of the main aims of the course is to provide students with training in security analysis. That is methods for security analysts to search for under-valued / over-valued securities relative to some objective criteria.

Another focus of the course is alternative investments. Alternative investments refer both to asset classes other than stocks and equities and to approaches different from the conventional buy and hold passive strategy. Alternative asset classes include real estate, private equity, commodities, and currencies. To the extent these have specific risks and rewards they can offer a potential way for investors to diversify their risk. The same can apply to hedge fund strategies like liquidity provision, volatility scaling and others. This course aims to explain the essential concepts behind these alternative asset classes, with a major focus on alternative hedge fund strategies.

Finally, one essential aim of the course is to assess the performance of active managers and use that information to manage portfolios including both passive benchmarks and actively managed funds. The main empirical challenges of portfolio management are also addressed.

As most courses in finance, this course requires some basic knowledge of mathematics, statistics and accounting.

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Title Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Lecturer-in-chargeDrPedro BarrosoRoom 333B, UNSW Business School building – Ref E12+61 2 9385 5854Thursdays 14:00-15:30 (or by appointment)

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

​We seek to create an interesting, challenging, relevant, and engaging education experience. To help achieve this objective we have a number of teaching aims:

  • Create a climate of engagement, dialogue and ongoing feedback between students and lecturers regarding the content, teaching strategies, learning experiences and outcomes;
  • Cater for a variety of learning preferences and abilities by providing a range of learning activities and teaching methods;
  • Develop independent learning skills and create an environment that provides both structure and guidance as well as encourages students to extend their learning.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

​The (online) lecture

The (online) lectures set out the main conceptual frameworks for each topic. They synthesize materials from various sources. You are advised to start with the (online) lectures to get the main ideas and then read the textbooks and other relevant materials. From a time management perspective, this means you will need to allocate at least 10 hours per week for the online lecture and reading. We bring current research to class. We do this by presenting and discussing recent papers on topics of interest to the course. In the lectures we will also solve exercises to facilitate the interpretation of each topic’s most important insights and develop problem-solving skills. These should also help prepare you for the exams. Please note that the course has no tutorials and the time for solving exercises in the lectures is limited. Successful preparation for the exams builds on actively going through the examples in the slides, solve problems and exercises provided by the lecturer and those in the recommended textbooks for the chapters we cover.

The equity research project

A fundamental part of the course is about stock valuation. So, you will be asked to value a stock. This is the “equity research project.” This should be a real example of an actively traded stock and you should be able to produce a recommendation to buy or sell the stock. You should be able to do this using the methods learned in class (possibly complemented with others you find through your own independent research). The equity research project is a teamwork assignment. You should try from the start to meet your colleagues in the course and find a team of 3-4 members you feel comfortable working with.
Note that for the assignment (and in general) you should make yourself familiar with the School's policy on plagiarism. Assignments showing signs of plagiarism are strongly penalised and can be subject to disciplinary actions. Examples of plagiarism include (but are not limited to):
i) using text from internet sources or other assignments without referencing the source;
ii) using spreadsheets made by other groups or persons unrelated to the course
iii) generally use work done by others as if it were your own.
If you need any assistance in managing your time you will find the UNSW Business School’s Education Development Unit (EDU) a useful resource.

5. Course Resources

​The website for this course is on  Moodle

There is no fixed textbook requirement for this course. However, much of the course relies on materials from three books:

  • Anson, M., Black, K., Chambers, D., Kazemi, H., 2015, CAIA level I: An introduction to core topics in alternative investments, 3rd edition, Wiley and Sons. [CAIA]
  • Bodie, Z., Kane, A., Marcus, A., 2014, Investments, 10th edition, McGraw-Hill Irwin. [BKM]
  • Damodaran, A., 2012, Investment valuation, 3rd edition, Wiley and Sons. [D]

The powerpoint presentations and practice questions will be posted on moodle and those should be the core elements of your study materials. The books are an additional, complementary, reference for your study. Copies of the books are available for purchase at the UNSW Book Store but you may also just borrow the books from the UNSW Library. If your budget is limited the (decreasing) order of importance of the books for this course is D, BKM, CAIA.

Other books that are related to the content of the course are:

  • Brown, K., and Reilly, F., 2012, Investment analysis and portfolio management, 10th edition, South-Western Cengage Learning.
  • Damodaran, A., 2006, Damodaran on valuation, 2nd edition, Wiley and Sons.
  • Pedersen, L. , 2015, Efficiently inefficient: How smart money invests and market prices are determined. Princeton University Press. [P]

The course puts a major emphasis on relevant, recent research in financial markets. The exams can include questions on the papers presented in class. You should be able to refer its main findings and discuss how they fit in the global picture of the course contents. Below is a list of relevant papers that we will present and discuss (note this list is not exhaustive, other papers can be presented and discussed as well):

  • Asness, C., Krail, R., and Liew, J., 2001, Do hedge funds hedge?, Journal of Portfolio Management, 28(1), 6-19.
  • Asness, C., Frazzini, A., Israel, R., & Moskowitz, T. (2014). Fact, Fiction, and Momentum Investing. The Journal of Portfolio Management Portfolio Management, 75-92.
  • Asness, C., Frazzini, A., Israel, R., & Moskowitz, T. (2015). Fact, Fiction, and Value Investing. The Journal of Portfolio Management Portfolio Management, 34-52.
  • Asness, C., Frazzini, A., and Pedersen, L., 2014, Quality-minus-junk, working paper.
  • Barroso, P., and Santa-Clara, P., 2012, Beyond the carry trade: optimal currency portfolios, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, forthcoming.
  • Barroso, Pedro, Lest we forget: Using Out-Of-Sample Errors in Portfolio Optimization (June 13, 2017). Available at SSRN: or
  • Brandt, M., Santa-Clara, P., Valkanov, R., 2009, Parametric portfolio policies: Exploiting characteristics in the cross section of equity returns, Review of Financial Studies, 22, 3411-3447.
  • DeMiguel, V., Garlappi, L., Uppal, R., 2009, Optimal versus Naive Diversification: How Inefficient Is the 1/N Portfolio Strategy?, Review of Financial Studies, 22(5), 1915-1953.
  • Edelen, R., Ince, O., Kadlec, G. (2016). Institutional Investors and Stock Return Anomalies. Forthcoming in the Journal of Financial Economic
  • Frazzini, A., Kabiller, D., Pedersen, L., 2013, Buffett’s alpha, working paper.
  • Malkiel, B., and Saha, A., 2005, Hedge funds: risk and return, Financial Analysts Journal, 61(6), 80-88.

Popular / classical / non-technical books related to the course content (not strictly required but always good reading material):

  • Bernstein, P., 1996, Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk, Wiley and Sons.
  • Cuningham, L., 2014, The Essays of Warren Buffet, 4th edition, Wiley and Sons.
  • Graham, B., and Dodd, D., 2009, Security Analysis, 6th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill (first published in 1934).
  • Lewis, M., 2010, Liar’s poker, W.W. Norton (first published in 1989).
  • Lowenstein, R., 2001, When Genius Failed: the rise and fall of long term capital management, Fourth Estate.
  • Malkiel, B., 2015, A random walk down Wall Street, 15th edition, W.W. Norton (first published in 1973).
  • Taleb, N., 2007, The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, New York: Random House.

6. Course Evaluation & Development

Each session feedback is sought from students and other stakeholders about the courses offered in the School and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. UNSW’s Courses and Teaching Evaluation and Improvement (CATEI) (FINS5541 Advance Investments and Funds Management 11 Process) is one of the ways in which student evaluative feedback is gathered. Significant changes to courses and programs within the School are communicated to subsequent cohorts of students. Please access the CATEI forms via myUNSW.

In addition to the end of term CATEI process, you are encouraged to contact Dr. Pedro Barroso at during the term in relation to your experience in the courses and suggestions of potential changes that could further enhance the course.

7. Course Schedule

Week 1: 26 Feb

Introduction to valuation


References: D2-3, D9-10

Week 2: 05 Mar

The dividend discount model


References: D11-13

Week 3: 12 Mar

FCFE and relative valuation


References: D14, D17-18

Week 4: 19 Mar



Mid session exam (room and date TBA).

Week 5: 26 Mar

FCFE and relative valuation (cont.)


References: D14, D17-18

Mid Semester Break: 02 Apr



No classes.

Week 6: 09 Apr

Private Equity


D24, CAIA 22-24.

Week 7: 16 Apr

Real estate


References: D26, CAIA 10, 14-15

Equity research report due in April 22.

Week 8: 23 Apr

Commodities and currencies


References: CAIA 11-12, P11.

Week 9: 30 Apr

Portfolio performance evaluation


References: BKM24

Week 10: 07 May

Hedge funds


References: BKM26, P1 and introduction.

Week 11: 14 May

Active portfolio management and advanced topics in portfolio management


References: BKM27, Brandt et al. (2009), DeMiguel et al. (2009), Barroso and Santa-Clara (2012)

Week 12: 21 May

Catch-up week and review for the exam

Week 13: 28 May

8. Policies

Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

Program Learning Goals and Outcomes

The Business School Program Learning Goals reflect what we want all students to BE or HAVE by the time they successfully complete their degree, regardless of their individual majors or specialisations. For example, we want all our graduates to HAVE a high level of business knowledge and a sound awareness of ethical, social, cultural and environmental implications of business. As well, we want all our graduates to BE effective problem-solvers, communicators and team participants.

You can demonstrate your achievement of these goals by the specific outcomes you achieve by the end of your degree (i.e. Program Learning Outcomes—henceforth PLOs). These PLOs articulate what you need to know and be able to do as a result of engaging in learning. They embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are identified, mapped, taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as outlined in the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is therefore important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the course components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Undergraduate
  • Postgraduate Coursework
Knowledge You should be able to identify and apply disciplinary knowledge to business situations in a local and global environment.
Critical thinking and problem solving You should be able to identify and research issues in business situations, analyse the issues, and propose appropriate and well-justified solutions.
Written communication You should be able to prepare written documents that are clear, concise and coherent, using appropriate style and presentation for the intended audience, purpose and context.
Oral communication You should be able to prepare and deliver oral presentations that are clear, focussed, well-structured, and delivered in a professional manner.
Teamwork You should be able to participate collaboratively and responsibly in teams, and reflect on your own teamwork, and on the team’s processes and ability to achieve outcomes.
Ethical, social and environmental responsibility
  1. You should be able to identify and assess ethical, environmental and/or sustainability considerations in business decision-making and practice.
  2. You should be able to identify social and cultural implications of business.
Workplace skills (Co-op programs only) You should be able to conduct yourself in a professional manner in the work environment, communicate effectively in diverse workplace situations and be able to apply discipline knowledge and understanding to real business problems with initiative and self-direction.
Related PLO Documents View the Undergraduate Honours PLOs (pdf)
Knowledge You should be able to identify and apply current knowledge of disciplinary or interdisciplinary theory and professional practice to business in local and global environments.
Critical thinking and problem solving You should be able to identify, research and analyse complex issues and problems in business and/or management, and propose appropriate and well-justified solutions.
Written communication You should be able to produce written documents that communicate complex disciplinary ideas and information effectively for the intended audience and purpose.
Oral communication You should be able to produce oral presentations that communicate complex disciplinary ideas and information effectively for the intended audience and purpose.
Teamwork You should be able to participate collaboratively and responsibly in teams, and reflect on your own teamwork, and on the team’s processes and ability to achieve outcomes.
Ethical, social and environmental responsibility
  1. You should be able to identify and assess ethical, environmental and/or sustainability considerations in business decision-making and practice.
  2. You should be able to identify social and cultural implications of business.
Related PLO Documents View the Master of Philosophy PLOs (pdf)
View the Doctor of Philosophy PLOs (pdf)

UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Knowledge
  • Oral communication
  • Research capability
  • Teamwork
  • Workplace skills
  • Written communication
Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Knowledge
  • Oral communication
  • Workplace skills
  • Written communication
Professionals capable of ethical, self- directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • Ethical, social and environmental responsibility
  • Workplace skills
Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • Ethical, social and environmental responsibility
  • Oral communication
  • Written communication

The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against these PLOs and graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You could use these records for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.


UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz:


The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at:

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: For information on student conduct see:

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.

Student Responsibilities and Conduct

Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website


It is expected that you will spend at least nine to ten hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of eighteen to twenty hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload


Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.

Special Consideration

You must submit all assignments and attend all examinations scheduled for your course. You can apply for special consideration when illness or other circumstances beyond your control, interfere with your performance in a specific assessment task or tasks. Special Consideration is primarily intended to provide you with an extra opportunity to demonstrate the level of performance of which you are capable.

General information on special consideration for undergraduate and postgraduate courses can be found in the Assessment Implementation Procedure and the Current Students page.

Please note the following:

  1. Applications will not be accepted by teaching staff. The lecturer-in-charge will be automatically notified when you lodge an online application for special consideration
  2. Decisions and recommendations are only made by lecturers-in-charge (or by the Faculty Panel in the case of final exam special considerations), not by tutors
  3. Applying for special consideration does not automatically mean that you will be granted a supplementary exam or other concession
  4. Special consideration requests do not allow lecturers-in-charge to award students additional marks

Business School Protocol on requests for Special Consideration

The lecturer-in-charge will need to be satisfied on each of the following before supporting a request for special consideration:

  1. Does the medical certificate contain all relevant information? For a medical certificate to be accepted, the degree of illness and its impact on the student must be stated by the medical practitioner (severe, moderate, mild). A certificate without this will not be valid. Students should also note that only medical certificates issued after physically visiting a registered medical practitioner will be accepted. Medical certificates submitted for Special Consideration should always be requested from a registered medical practitioner that you have seen at a medical practice. Certificates obtained online or via social media may be fraudulent and if relied upon could result in a breach of the UNSW Student Code.
  2. Has the student performed satisfactorily in the other assessment items? To understand what Satisfactory Performance means in this course, please refer to the 'Formal Requirements' section in Part A of your Course Outline

Special Consideration and the Final Exam in undergraduate and postgraduate courses

Applications for special consideration in relation to the final exam are considered by a Business School Faculty panel to which lecturers-in-charge provide their recommendations for each request. If the Faculty panel grants a special consideration request, this will entitle the student to sit a supplementary examination. No other form of consideration will be granted. The following procedures will apply:

  1. Supplementary exams will be scheduled centrally and will be held approximately two weeks after the formal examination period.

    Supplementary exams for Semester 1, 2018 will be held during the period 14 - 21 July, 2018. Students wishing to sit a supplementary exam will need to be available during this period.

    The date for all Business School supplementary exams for Summer Term 2017/2018 is Wednesday, 21 February, 2018. If a student lodges a special consideration for the final exam, they are stating they will be available on this date. Supplementary exams will not be held at any other time.

  2. Where a student is granted a supplementary examination as a result of a request for special consideration, the student’s original exam (if completed) will be ignored and only the mark achieved in the supplementary examination will count towards the final grade. Absence from a supplementary exam without prior notification does not entitle the student to have the original exam paper marked, and may result in a zero mark for the final exam.

The Supplementary Exam Protocol for Business School students is available at:

For special consideration for assessments other than the final exam refer to the ‘Assessment Section’ in your course outline.

Protocol for Viewing Final Exam Scripts

The UNSW Business School has set a protocol under which students may view their final exam script. Please check the protocol here.

Given individual schools within the Faculty may set up a local process for viewing final exam scripts, it is important that you check with your School whether they have any additional information on this process. Please note that this information might also be included in your course outline.

Student Support and Resources

The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School EQS Consultation Program
The Consultation Program offers academic writing, literacy and numeracy consultations, study skills, exam preparation for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, individual and group consultations.
Level 1, Room 1035, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 4508

Business School Student Centre
The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
02 9385 3189

UNSW Learning Centre
The UNSW Learning Centre provides academic skills support services, including workshops and resources, for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
02 9385 2060

Educational Support Service
Educational Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process. Check their website to request an appointment or to register in the Academic Success Program.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
02 9385 4734

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9385 2650

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
02 9385 1333

Disability Support Services
UNSW Disability Support Services provides assistance to students who are trying to manage the demands of university as well as a health condition, learning disability or who have personal circumstances that are having an impact on their studies. Disability Advisers can arrange to put in place services and educational adjustments to make things more manageable so that students are able to complete their course requirements. To receive educational adjustments for disability support, students must first register with Disability Services.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 5418