Purpose of the Project
The project aims to provide you with a hands-on opportunity to think about investments and analyze financial markets. Specifically, you will need to examine financial markets as you wish and propose an investment strategy. The strategy could be as straightforward as picking a particular security to trade (i.e., in the style of sell-side equity research) or as complicated as actively managing portfolios (i.e., in the style of buy-side quants). You are required to explain the rationale of your proposed strategy using qualitative and quantitative analyses. Besides the course material, you can use toolkits not taught in this class (e.g., financial statement analyses, machine learning) as you wish. You may also take advantage of a simulated trading platform to develop better sense about financial investments. If you decide to use such platforms extensively to implement certain trading strategies, you could analyze your performance in your report and provide trading details as supporting documents. Below are some common simulated trading platforms (free to sign up) for your information:
Please note that simulated trading practice is NOT required for the project — just explore the platforms according to your own interest.
- A clearly defined investment strategy. For example, you can recommend to investors aparticular stock to buy, with suggested timing, reasonable price range, and investment Another example is a factor-based portfolio strategy, for which you need to list in detail the steps to construct and perhaps rebalance the portfolio from time to time. In other words, upon reading your report, an investor should be able to implement your strategy in financial markets with no confusion.
- An extensively-elaborated explanation of the rationale behind the investment strategy.You need to provide qualitative and quantitative analyses that make your proposed strategy convincing. If you recommend one particular stock, you probably want to do a valuation exercise with well-specified assumptions, together with analyses of the firm’s business and product markets. Alternatively, if you propose a portfolio investment strategy, back-testing with historical return data is necessary; you will likely need qualitative arguments to strengthen your pitch as well.
The report is expected to be written in the style of business documents, which means you are encouraged to use plain English and be concise. The evaluation of the report will be based on BOTH its content AND writing. There is no constraint on the length, but typically 3-5 pages (normal font size, double-spaced) of text with additional supporting figures and/or tables should be sufficient. If you choose to write a long report, please provide an executive summary at the beginning.
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