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Online classes

Effective: Late Spring 8-Week, 2017/2018

FINC 354: Investments

Course Description

An introductory investment course designed to teach students how to make personal investing decisions for their own investment portfolio with special consideration given to the management of employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Prerequisite: ACCT 281

Proctored Exams: None



Syllabus Contents

Textbooks

Required

  • Mayo, Herbert B. Investments: An Introduction. 11th ed. South-Western Publishing Co., 2014.
    • ISBN-978-1-133-93599-5

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.


Course Overview

This course provides an opportunity to study investments and how they affect business, individuals, and the government on a daily basis. Your studies will acquaint you with the development of investment reasoning, the basics of investments, and generally provide you with an awareness of investments. By the end of the course you should have the basics for making investment decisions and individual security selections. While this course can help you with the basics of investing, you will want to consult with experienced, licensed professionals before investing with real money.



Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.


Course Objectives

  • To understand the investment process with respect to stocks and bonds and how the securities markets work.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

  • Identify key sources of risk and how they may affect potential investment vehicles.
  • Explain the methods and benefits of international diversification averages and indexes.
  • Describe the investment process and investment theories.
  • Explain the concept of return and the forces that affect it.
  • Explain the basic characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages of investing in bonds and common stock.

Grading

Grading Scale
Grade Points Percent
A 900-1000 90-100%
B 800-899 80-89%
C 700-799 70-79%
D 600-699 60-69%
F 0-599 0-59%
Grade Weights
Assignment Category Points Percent
Weekly Quizzes 400 40%
Discussion 200 20%
Homework Assignments 400 40%
Total 1000 100%


Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 25 Wednesday/Sunday
Homework Assignment 50 Sunday
Quiz 50
Week 2
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 25 Wednesday/Sunday
Homework Assignment 50 Sunday
Quiz 50
Week 3
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 25 Wednesday/Sunday
Homework Assignment 50 Sunday
Quiz 50
Week 4
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 25 Wednesday/Sunday
Homework Assignment 50 Sunday
Quiz 50
Week 5
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 25 Wednesday/Sunday
Homework Assignment 50 Sunday
Quiz 50
Week 6
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 25 Wednesday/Sunday
Homework Assignment 50 Sunday
Quiz 50
Week 7
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 25 Wednesday/Sunday
Homework Assignment 50 Sunday
Quiz 50
Week 8
Assignment Points Due
Discussion 25 Wednesday/Saturday
Homework Assignment 50 Saturday
Quiz 50
Total Points 1000

Assignment Overview

Discussion

There will be weekly discussion topics. Your response to the topic should be completed by Wednesday and comments to classmates should be completed by Sunday of each assigned week (Saturday of week 8). All discussion should be posted to the Discussions area of the course. In addition to the assigned weekly topics, students should utilize topics in the Discussions area to share their thoughts and questions about the course work.

Discussions are an essential part of online learning. Discussions are also part of overall assessment. I expect you to actively participate in class discussions every week. In order to get full credit for discussions you must post 3 good quality posts every week. Your first post should be posted by Wednesday; your other 2 posts should be submitted by Sunday (Saturday of week 8). Posts such as "I agree…" or "Good post..…" will not get any credit. Your posts should add value to overall discussions. Further, keep in mind the net etiquette while responding to others' posts. Be polite to others, even if you disagree with them.


Homework Assignments

There will be a homework assignment every week, using end of the chapter problems. You are required to solve the problems and turn in the assignments in MS WORD or EXCEL format through the Dropbox. I will grade the assignments and return it with my feedback within 72 hours. It is recommended that you do the homework assignment before taking the quiz for the week.

Quizzes

There will be 8 quizzes, one per week. Each quiz is worth 50 points. The quiz is over the chapters assigned for the week. You need to read the assigned chapters and complete homework assignment in order to prepare for the quizzes. All the quizzes are graded immediately by the system. The quizzes are usually from 10 to 20 questions. Quizzes should be completed by midnight Sunday of the week assigned, except for week 8 when the quiz is due on Saturday. You will have two hours to complete each quiz. They should be completed in the Quizzes area of the course.


Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.

Week 1: Introduction to Security Markets
Readings
Chapters 1-3.
Discussion

Introductions: Please introduce yourself with a brief biography and a bit of information about where you're headed in life.

Discussion 1: Please do some online research about the Efficient Frontier and respond to the questions in the weekly discussion: What is the Efficient Frontier? How is it used? Who would use it?

Homework Assignment

Chapter 2: problems 1, 3, 7, 8.

Chapter 3: problems 1, 3, 8, 16, 20, 23.

Quiz
Please go to the Quizzes area of the course and take the quiz over Chapters 1-3.
Week 2: Investment Risk and Returns
Readings
Chapters 4-5.
Discussion
Discussion 2: Do some research about stocks and mutual fund performance measurements. Explain some of the different stocks and mutual fund performance measurements. How are they used? Who would use them? If you own a mutual fund, you might check your fund against some of these performance measurements.
Homework Assignment

Chapter 4: problems 1, 2, 4, 7.

Chapter 5: problems 2, 3, 5, 6.

Quiz
Please go to the Quizzes area of the course and take the quiz over Chapters 4-5.
Week 3: Common Stock Valuations and Performance
Readings
Chapters 9-10.
Discussion
Discussion 3: Common Stock Valuations. What are some of the tools used to determine stock valuations? Are these tools keeping up with today's new companies? Did they truly reflect the values of the dot.com boom companies? Are a company's common stocks today reflective of its true values?
Homework Assignment

Chapter 9: problems 2, 4, 7.

Chapter 10: problems 4, 11, 13, 17.

Quiz
Please go to the Quizzes area of the course and take the quiz over Chapters 9-10.
Week 4: Macroeconomic Environment and Technical Analysis
Readings
Chapters 8, 11 and 12.
Discussion
Discussion 4: Capital Market Line. What is the capital market line? Who uses it? Would you use it? Who discovered it?  How does the capital market line relate to the security market line?
Homework Assignment
Chapter 8: problems 2, 3, 5, 6, 8.
Quiz
Please go to the Quizzes area of the course and take the quiz over Chapters  8, 11 and 12
Week 5: Valuation and Analysis of Fixed Income Investments
Readings
Chapters 13-14.
Discussion
Discussion 5: Bond Valuation. Why are bonds considered as less risky investments than as stocks? Discuss duration and portfolio immunization.
Homework Assignment
Chapter 14:  problems 1, 3, 5, 9, 15, 20, 25.
Quiz
Please go to the Quizzes area of the course and take the quiz over Chapters 13-14.
Week 6: Government Securities
Readings
Chapters 15-16.
Discussion
Discussion 6: Government Securities. What is the difference among T-Bonds, T-Notes, T-Bills and Municipal bonds? What is a yield curve?
Homework Assignment

Chapter 15: problems 1, 3, 6, 10.

Chapter 16: problems 3, 4, 7.

Quiz
Please go to the Quizzes area of the course and take the quiz over Chapters 15-16.
Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.
Week 7: Derivatives
Readings
Chapters 17-19.
Discussion
Discussion 7: Derivatives. What is a derivative? What are they used for? Who uses them? Do you use them? Have you used them?
Homework Assignment

Chapter 17: problems 2,4,6,9.

Chapter 18: problems 1,12,16.

Quiz
Please go to the Quizzes area of the course and take the quiz over Chapters 17-18.
Week 8: Mutual Funds and Investing in Foreign Securities
Readings
Chapters 6-7.
Discussion
Discussion 8: Mutual Funds. You have learned a lot about finance and investing over the last few weeks. What type of funds would you purchase right now if you won $1 million? History has also told us that buying internationally will lower your risk and improve your return over the long run. Where you would put money internationally and how?
Homework Assignment

Chapter 6: problems 2, 4, 5.

Chapter 7: problems 1, 2.

Quiz
Please go to the Quizzes area of the course and take the quiz over Chapters 6-7.


Course Policies

Student Conduct

All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.

Plagiarism

Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.

Non-Discrimination

There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

No late assignments will be accepted without instructor approval. This applies to all assignments. If assignments are not completed by the due date and you don’t have permission from the instructor for an extension, you will get a zero for that assignment.

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.


Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.


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