FIN08015 2016 Investments Fixed Income & Alternative Investments

General Details

Full Title
Investments Fixed Income & Alternative Investments
Transcript Title
Fixed Income & Alt Investment
N/A %
Subject Area
FIN - Finance
BUS - Business
08 - NFQ Level 8
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2016 - Full Academic Year 2016-17
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Fergal Keane
Programme Membership
SG_BBUSI_H08 202100 Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Business L8 (Ab-initio) SG_BFINA_H08 202100 Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Business in Finance and Investment SG_BFINV_K08 202100 Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Business in Finance and Investment Stream(Add-on)

This module explores investment strategies in both the fixed income and alternative investment sectors.  Students will learn about bond pricing and investment strategies and also how derivative instruments can be used for hedging risk, or speculative purposes.  This module builds on learning from "Investments - Portfolio Analysis" and it will be assumed that the student is familiar with concepts and theories covered in that module

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Calculate bond prices, yields and duration


Differentiate between various derivative instruments and demonstrate how they can be used to hedge against risk


Contrast the hedge fund and mutual funds industries; in particular explaining how derivative instruments facilitate a different approach to risk management


Explore investment management strategies for fixed income security portfolios


Model and implement trading positions using derivative instruments

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Learners will be presented with a mix of thory, real world examples and practical assignments

Learners will be presented with a balance of theories, hands-on exercises and case studies to ensure that they have a practical appreciation of bond markets and the alternative investment markets

Module Assessment Strategies

Learners will complete an in-class exam as well as a practical assignment which will reinforce the concepts encountered in this module.

Ongoing informal group discussions and class questions will help ensure that learners aunderstand and can apply the knowledge they are learning

Repeat Assessments

Repeat examination will be scheduled where required. A student who has not passed overall, but who has successfully completed CA can repeat exam only; however a student who has not completed any CA may not have met all learning outcomes sufficiently and so may be required to submit practical work as specified by the lecturer in addition to, or instead of, a repeat exam.

Indicative Syllabus

Fixed Income Securities

  • Understand the characteristics of bonds and of the bond markets
  • Calculate price, yield and duration of bonds
  • Bond Management Styles - Passive v Active


  • Describe the purpose and mechanism of various derivative products
  • Demonstrate the use of derivatives for both speculative purposes and to manage risk
  • Explore the pricing of different derivatives


  • Investment Funds
  • Hedge Funds
  • Alternative Investments

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
40 %
End of Semester / Year Formal Exam
60 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 In class short answer exam Continuous Assessment Closed Book Exam 10 % Week 6 1,2,4
2 Model and Implement a Derivatives Position in a spreadsheet and on virtual trading environment Continuous Assessment Project 25 % Week 9 2,3,5
3 Brief review of derivatives portfolio performance Continuous Assessment Written Report 5 % End of Semester

End of Semester / Year Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Final Exam (2 hour written paper) Final Exam Closed Book Exam 60 % End of Semester 1,2,3,4,5

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Tiered Classroom Lectures or group work (1 hour will need to be in a lab per semester) 3 Weekly 3.00
Independent Learning Not Specified Case studies, research 4 Weekly 4.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2011-08-01 Fundamentals of Investment. by Brian O'Loughlin, Frank O'Brien Gill & MacMillan
ISBN 0717149781 ISBN-13 9780717149780

An updated edition of this introduction to the fundamentals of investment, reviewing the operations of the industry post-financial crisis from a variety of perspectives. * New to this edition: * Reflects the myriad of changes to the investment markets since the financial crash * Several new case studies, including the Eurozone Sovereign Bond Markets and the Irish Banking Sector * New chapter on Alternative Assets. * Introduces investment concepts and issues in a conversational manner, using Irish case studies and examples where appropriate. * Examines key topics relating to investment, including: * Retail Investor's Choices * Portfolio Theory * Real Economy and the Markets * Pension Fund Investment * The Fund Management Industry * Evaluating Investment Performance. WRITTEN FOR: - Students studying for industry qualifications in the banking, insurance and investment sectors - Any university course where investment is a module - Investment practitioners and those working in support functions, such as sales/marketing, administration and IT support within the investment, banking and insurance sectors - Pension trustees - Informed private investors

Recommended Reading
2014-07-06 Fundamentals of Investments: Valuation and Management McGraw Hill Higher Education
ISBN 1259253627 ISBN-13 9781259253621

Fundamentals of Investments focuses on students as investment managers, giving them information to act on by placing theory and research in the proper context. The text offers a balanced, unified treatment of the four main types of financial investments-stocks, bonds, options, and futures. Topics are organized in a way that makes them easy to apply-whether to a portfolio simulation or to real life-and supported with hands-on activities. Then, resources within Connect Plus help students solve financial problems and apply what they've learned. Jordan's managerial perspective and superior pedagogy combine with a complete digital solution to help students achieve higher outcomes in the course.

Recommended Reading
2010-12-07 All About Derivatives Second Edition (All About Series) McGraw-Hill Education
ISBN 0071743510 ISBN-13 9780071743518


All About Derivatives, Second Edition, presents the complex subject of financial derivatives with a clarity and coherence you wont find in other books. Using real-world examples and simple language, it lucidly illustrates what derivatives are and why they are so powerful. This second edition of All About Derivatives provides a rock-solid foundation on:

  • The most common contracts available to you in today's market
  • Key concepts such as cost of carry, settlement, valuation, and payoff
  • Proven methods for establishing fair value
  • How leverage can work for you--and against you
  • The various derivative contracts traded today, including forwards, futures, swaps, and options
  • Pricing methods and mathematics for determining fair value
  • Hedging strategies for managing and reducing different types of risk


Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources



URL Resources


Other Resources

On line journals, business section of reputable newspapers

Other resources to be provided via moodle

Additional Information