[slide 01]
Hi, my name is Daniel Folkinshteyn, I am a professor of finance at Rowan University, and I welcome you to Quantitative Methods in Finance, one of the first courses in the Master of Finance program.
For this course, it is assumed that you are familiar with at least undergraduate level principles of finance and statistics. This is a relatively fast paced online course, only 8 weeks, and we'll be covering roughly two chapters a week of the CFA Institute's Quantitative Investment Analysis text.
However, much of the material in the first couple of weeks should already be familiar to you. In the first week we'll review time value of money and discounted cash flow valuation, and in the second week the basics of statistics and probability. You can review the rest of the plan for the course by checking out the syllabus!
Now let me mention a few things about the mechanics of the course.
[slide 02]
We will be using spreadsheets for homework problems and assignments. If you are not already familiar with spreadsheet basics, you will be by the time we are done! In this first week I will point you toward some introductory material on the use of spreadsheets.
If you already have spreadsheet software on your computer, such as Microsoft Excel, that will work. If not, there's no need to shell out major bucks for Microsoft Office - you can get free, open source spreadsheet software that works just as well for our purposes.
[slide 03]
I recommend you try LibreOffice, I personally will be using LibreOffice for all the spreadsheet work in this course. You can get it from libreoffice.org, and it is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems, so everyone should be able to get on board.
[slide 04]
Every week there will be one or two problem sets on the material covered, in the form of online quizzes via the Canvas learning management system. You will have 10 attempts to complete each problem set, and each attempt will have different automatically generated starting values.
Unfortunately, Canvas does not support counting a problem as correct if you got it right on an earlier attempt, nor does it allow the export of raw attempt data so that I may mesh your attempts together externally and upload the result. So, you'll have to re-work the problems you got right as well as the problems you got wrong in your subsequent attempts.
[slide 05]
This is another area where using a spreadsheet to solve your problems really shines - once you set it up for a problem solution, all you need to do is to change the input numbers and it'll automatically recalculate the new result for you. In the next couple of videos, I will demonstrate setting up a couple problems in a spreadsheet to give you a better idea of what I mean.
[slide 06]
There will also be some spreadsheet-based assignments asking you to analyze real financial market data using a spreadsheet to answer some questions. There will be four of these throughout the course - more details are available in the syllabus and in the assignment documents.
[slide 07]
Finally, I encourage you to help each other out in figuring out the problems via the weekly discussion boards. The first discussion is the self-introduction, to get you guys talking and building a supportive helpful community. There is a lot of knowledge to gain here, and it is more fun and more effective to do it collaboratively.
[slide 08]
I hope you will enjoy this course and learn a lot. I am here to help you, and you are here to help each other. So, let's go forth and conquer some finance!