Finance (FNCE) 401

Investments (Revision 7)


Revision 7 is closed for registration, see current revision

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online with eTextbook

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Applied Studies
(Business and Administrative Studies)

Prerequisite: FNCE 370. MATH 260 or equivalent is recommended.

Precluded Course: FNCE 349 (FNCE 401 may not be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for FNCE 349).

Centre: Faculty of Business

FNCE 401 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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**Note: Students registering in grouped study, or grouped study international mode are advised that there may be some differences in the evaluation and course materials information indicated below. To obtain the most up-to-date information, contact the Faculty of Business Student Support Centre at 1-800-468-6531.


This course comprehensively examines the theories, methods, and strategies required for successful investments in financial markets. Major topics include financial instruments, portfolio theory, capital asset pricing model, market efficiency, financial securities analysis, derivative securities, and active portfolio management.


Students who complete this course successfully will

  • gain a comprehensive understanding of the theories, methods, and strategies required for successful investments in financial markets;
  • develop a good command of financial investment principles and methods; and
  • acquire an ability to make sound investment decisions.


Unit 1: Introduction to Investments

  • Lesson 1: The Investment Environment
  • Lesson 2: Financial Markets and Instruments
  • Lesson 3: Trading on Securities Markets

Unit 2: Portfolio Theory

  • Lesson 4: Return and Risk: Analyzing the Historical Record
  • Lesson 5: Risk Aversion and Capital Allocation to Risky Assets
  • Lesson 6: Optimal Risky Portfolios

Unit 3: Equilibrium in Capital Markets

  • Lesson 7: CAPM, Index Models, and Arbitrage Theory
  • Lesson 8: Market Efficiency, Behavioural Finance, Technical Analysis, and Empirical Evidence

Unit 4: Fixed Income Securities

  • Lesson 9: Bond Prices and Yields
  • Lesson 10: The Term Structure of Interest Rates
  • Lesson 11: Managing Bond Portfolios

Unit 5: Equities

  • Lesson 12: Security Analysis
  • Lesson 13: Financial Statement Analysis

Unit 6: Derivative Assets

  • Lesson 14: Options and Other Derivatives
  • Lesson 15: Option Valuation
  • Lesson 16: Futures and Forward Markets

Unit 7: Active Portfolio Management and International Investing

  • Lesson 17: Active Management and Performance Measurement
  • Lesson 18: Managed Funds
  • Lesson 19: International Investing


Your final mark for FNCE 401 will be calculated based on your performance on four assignments and a final examination. To receive credit for FNCE 401, you must achieve 50 percent on the final examination, and a course composite grade of at least D (50 percent). You are strongly encouraged to complete all four assignments—you will receive a zero (0) for any missed assignment. The weighting of each assessment activity is indicated in the chart below.

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 15%
Assignment 2 15%
Assignment 3 15%
Assignment 4 15%
Final Exam 40%
Total 100%

In response to COVID-19 containment directives, temporary online exam(s) are available for this course.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Registration in this course includes an electronic textbook. For more information on electronic textbooks, please refer to our eText Initiative site.

Bodie, Z., Kane, A., Marcus, A. J., Perrakis, S., & Ryan, P. J. (2015). Investments (8th Cdn. ed.). Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson. ISBN 9780071338875

Students can acquire a print version of the textbook on your own if they wish.

Other Resources

All other learning resources will be available online.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the FNCE 401 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least D (50 percent) on the examination.

Paper Exam (3 hours)

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 7, August 9, 2018.

View previous syllabus