Module ASB-3215:
Portfolio Management

Module Facts

Run by Bangor Business School

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Prof Owain ap Gwilym

Overall aims and purpose

To provide an advanced level of understanding of investment approaches and their theoretical and empirical underpinnings.

Course content

Common investment philosophies and approaches to investment risk; The strategies of investment funds, e.g. mutual funds, pension funds, hedge funds and sovereign wealth funds; Strategic and tactical asset allocation; Links between market efficiency and active/passive portfolio management; Benchmarking, performance measurement and attribution; Testing for excess returns: theory, methodologies and findings; The implementation of trading strategies e.g. high frequency trading and algorithmic trading.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

D- to D+ (40-49%): No major omissions or inaccuracies in the deployment of information/skills. Some grasp of theoretical/conceptual/practical elements. Integration of theory/practice/information present intermittently in pursuit of the assessed work's objectives.

good

B- to B+ (60-69%): Very good performance Most of the relevant information accurately deployed. Good grasp of theoretical/conceptual/practical elements. Good integration of theory/practice/information in pursuit of the assessed work's objectives. Evidence of the use of creative and reflective skills.

excellent

A- to A+ (70%+): Outstanding Performance. The relevant information accurately deployed. Excellent grasp of theoretical/conceptual/practice elements. Good integration of theory/practice/information in pursuit of the assessed work's objectives. Strong evidence of the use of creative and reflective skills.

C- to C+

C- to C+ (50-59%): Much of the relevant information and skills mostly accurately deployed. Adequate grasp of theoretical/conceptual/practical elements. Fair integration of theory/practice/information in the pursuit of the assessed work's objectives. Some evidence of the use of creative and reflective skills.

Learning outcomes

  1. Explain key concepts relating to investment strategies and asset allocation.

  2. Critically analyse theoretical and empirical perspectives relating to market efficiency, active and passive portfolio management.

  3. Apply appropriate techniques to measure and interpret the performance and the risk associated with investment strategies.

  4. Critically evaluate common investment philosophies including value investing, growth investing, and small-cap investing, and the related empirical evidence.

  5. Articulate the theoretical rationale proposed in the academic literature for the apparent excess returns arising from some investment strategies.

  6. Critically analyse investment strategies relating to mutual funds, pension funds, hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds and algorithmic trading.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Written assignment, including essay Coursework of 1000 words

An analysis of real-world data, involving a written submission. This will include screenshots or similar representations of Excel-based data analysis (including formulae). Submission of associated Excel file(s).

50
EXAM Exam S2

Answer two questions. All workings must be shown for quantitative answers.

50

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture

Traditional lectures plus worksheet questions which students prepare in advance. Some classes involve worked illustrations in Excel.

20
Private study

Students will engage in directed reading. Some of this will be associated with assessments. Other aspects will involve preparation for weekly classes, especially worksheets that will be discussed in class.

80

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • skills in recording and summarising transactions and other economic events; preparation of financial statements; analysis of the operations of business (for example, decision analysis, performance measurement and management control); financial analysis and projections (for example, analysis of financial ratios, discounted cash flow analysis, budgeting, financial risks)
  • knowledge of theories and empirical evidence concerning financial management, risk and the operation of capital markets (in cases of degrees with significant finance content).
  • Analysis, deduction and induction. Economic reasoning is highly deductive, and logical analysis is applied to assumption-based models. However, inductive reasoning is also important. The development of such analytical skills enhances students' problem-solving and decision-making ability.
  • Quantification and design. Data, and their effective organisation, presentation and analysis, are important in economics. The typical student will have some familiarity with the principal sources of economic information and data relevant to industry, commerce, society and government, and have had practice in organising it and presenting it informatively. This skill is important at all stages in the decision-making process.
  • An appreciation of the nature of the contexts in which finance can be seen as operating, including knowledge of the institutional framework necessary for understanding the role, operation and function of markets and financial institutions (e.g. the economic, legal, regulatory and tax environment, both national and international; the firm; the capital markets and the public sector).
  • A knowledge of the major theoretical tools and theories of finance, and their relevance and application to theoretical and practical problems (e.g. concept of arbitrage and examples of its use; financial mathematics and capital budgeting criteria; informational efficiency; optimal risk sharing; portfolio theory; asset pricing models and the valuation of securities; cost of capital; derivative pricing; risk management; information asymmetry; principal agency relationships; signalling; Fisher separation and capital budgeting criteria; behavioural finance; term structure and the movement of interest rates; determination of exchange rates and financial intermediation).
  • An ability to interpret financial data including that arising in the context of the firm or household from accounting statements and data generated in financial markets. The interpretation may involve analysis using statistical and financial functions and procedures such as are routinely available in spreadsheets (eg Microsoft Excel) and statistical packages. It may assume the skills necessary to manipulate financial data and carry out statistical and econometric tests (e.g. estimation and interpretation of asset pricing models; financial modelling and projections; event studies and residuals analysis; elements of time series analysis, such as serial correlation mean reversion, and stochastic volatility).
  • An understanding of the relationship between financial theory and empirical testing, and application of this knowledge to the appraisal of the empirical evidence in at least one major theoretical area. The appraisal should involve some recognition of the limitation and evolution of empirical tests and theory (eg the efficient markets hypothesis; anomalies; pricing of derivatives and other securities; bond portfolio management; exchange rates; raising capital and capital structure).
  • An understanding of the factors influencing the investment behaviour and opportunities of private individuals (bonds, equities, and derivatives; risk aversion; risk/return trade-offs; portfolio management and performance measurement; pensions and long term savings; the tax treatment of savings and investments; international diversification; forex risk; objectives of and constraints on institutional investors and advisors).
  • An understanding of financial service activity in the economy, and an appreciation of how finance theory and evidence can be employed to interpret these services (for example, information asymmetry, adverse selection and moral hazard could be employed to analyse the fundamental nature of services, such as insurance, pensions, bank lending and consumer credit, and also explore fundamental problems arising in such financial service provision. Efficient market hypothesis could be used to explore evidence for fund manager performance and the effectiveness of equity and bond saving services).
  • Problem solving and critical analysis: analysing facts and circumstances to determine the cause of a problem and identifying and selecting appropriate solutions.
  • Research: the ability to analyse and evaluate a range of business data, sources of information and appropriate methodologies, which includes the need for strong digital literacy, and to use that research for evidence-based decision-making.
  • Numeracy: the use of quantitative skills to manipulate data, evaluate, estimate and model business problems, functions and phenomena.

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: