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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Global Financial Markets and Instruments by Rice University

1,373 ratings
268 reviews

About the Course

Get a running start in the high-stakes world of financial investment! This first course is designed to help you become an informed investor by providing you with the essential concepts for long-term success in managing money. You’ll start by learning the role of financial markets and financial assets in a well-functioning economy. From there, you’ll learn about the wide range of financial instruments available in major asset classes, their features and valuations. You’ll explore how financial markets actually operate in the real world, focusing on how and where securities are traded and how various market types differ from one another in practice. You will also learn the basics of algorithmic trading, dark pools, buying on margin and short selling. By the end of the course, learners will be able to: • List and distinguish the different financial instruments available to an investor • Compare global financial markets • Explain the features of equity, debt, and derivative instruments • Define traditional and alternative asset classes • Discuss different trading venues and mechanics of securities trading • Discuss the current trends affecting today’s financial markets This course is designed to be accessible for students of all knowledge levels and gives you the actionable foundation needed to manage money in a post-crisis world. ________________________________________ WEEK 1 Module 1: Introduction & Review of Elementary Finance Tools This module introduces the Investment and Portfolio Management Specialization, which is made up of four courses. This module discusses how the first course, Global Financial Markets and Assets, is organized. It outlines the different stages of the investment management process, which guides the focus of the Specialization. It also reviews basic finance concepts and tools such as time value of money, computing returns, discounting and compounding. Topics covered include: • Familiarize with the organization of the class • Meet the professor and your peers • Explain the investment management process • Review elementary concepts in finance • Compute present value or future value of a single cash flow • Compute present value of future value of a stream of cash flows • Define an annuity or perpetuity • Apply time value of money tools to solve basic mortgage, loan or retirement problems ________________________________________ WEEK 2 Module 2: Financial system & financial assets: fixed income securities In this and the next two modules, we cover the key institutional features of financial markets and instruments. We ask the following questions: Why do financial markets exist? What role do they play? What are financial assets and how are they different than real assets? How does it all come together? Basically, this is where I hope you will get to see the big picture of the entire financial system and how it comes together. Module 2 focuses on fixed income securities. We'll get started with a review of basics of bond valuation. You will learn about short-term money market instruments, U.S. Treasury securities as well as corporate bonds. After module 2, you will be able to describe fixed income securities, be familiar with their institutional features, and identify their cash flows. Finally, you will learn how to value fixed income securities such as Treasury bills, zero-coupon or coupon-bonds and compute yields. Topics covered include: • Explain the roles of financial markets • Distinguish between real and financial assets • Define and explain money market instruments, zero-coupon and coupon- bonds and features • Identify the cash flows associated with fixed-income securities • Define and explain bond market features • List the different types of Treasury securities and explain pricing and quoting conventions • List and define other long-term debt instruments such as corporate bonds, mortgage-backed securities, sovereign debt • Find the value of a zero-coupon or coupon-bonds ________________________________________ WEEK 3 Module 3: Financial system & financial assets: equity securities and derivatives In Module 3, we continue our overview of financial markets and instruments. We next focus on two other major asset classes: equity securities and derivative instruments. You will learn about how equity differs from fixed income securities, the cash flows associated with stock and preferred stock and how to find the value of a share. You will also learn about option strategies. After completing module 3, you will be able to describe all major asset classes, including derivative instruments such as options, forwards and futures. You will be able to explain how these differ from each other and their payoffs. Topics covered include: • Distinguish between equities and fixed income securities • Define and explain the features of equity securities • Identify the cash flows associated with equity securities • Explain dividend discount model • Find the value of a share of common stock or preferred stock • Define and list different types of derivative securities • Explain option payoffs • Distinguish between a forward and futures contract • Explain forward and futures payoffs • Identify traditional and alternative asset classes ________________________________________ WEEK 4 Module 4: Organization of financial markets and securities trading In this module, we discuss how financial markets actually work. We will talk about different trading venues and the mechanics of securities trading. I will emphasize a lot of terminology and the latest trends in securities trading to familiarize you with the institutional workings of financial markets. After this module, you will be able to compare different trading venues, trading mechanisms, and be able to explain different types of orders, including transactions like margin buying and short- selling; you will be familiar with the language and terminology you need in order to become an informed practitioner of investments. Topics covered include • Explain the roles of corporations, households, government, and financial intermediaries in the financial system • Explain price discovery process • Define different type of orders • Distinguish between dealer vs. auction markets; different trading platforms • Explain margin buying and short-selling transactions • Understand the current trading environment such as algorithmic or high frequency trading, dark pools etc....

Top reviews


Jun 18, 2020

Global Financial Markets and Instruments is a MUST. Excellent instruction! I truly appreciate the opportunity to receive this course from such a prestigious University - Rice University.


Jan 15, 2018

Good and succinct introduction to financial markets and instruments. Clear valuation formulas and intuitive explanation of treatment of cash-flows to define future and present values.

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1 - 25 of 266 Reviews for Global Financial Markets and Instruments

By Jonathan M

Mar 25, 2018

Great idea for a specialization and bravo to the professor for capitalizing on her affiliation with a top-tier research university while working there as a visiting professor. Unfortunately the course is riddled with errors in the very first week which is problematic for at least two reasons: 1) it may be reinforcing learning that is factually inaccurate, and 2) it adds unnecessary time and frustration to the process.

I have taken several excellent courses from Coursera that are well-designed, and while most courses can be forgiven for having a few have small errors, this is the first time I have noticed multiple errors--and a few major obvious errors--immediately in one course. After hardly an hour of working with this course I canceled the subscription and am requesting a refund for the first month's payment. I hope the creators of this course clean up the errors and inconsistencies or take the course offline.

By Keenan D

Nov 24, 2017

One week in and the difficulty of the questions for the practice quiz's and tests is very significant compared to what was covered in the videos. The videos are very cut and try with basic examples and often skip over working through the problems. If I didn't have a finance background from University already, this course would be incredibly difficult.

By Ayush B

Sep 21, 2017

no formulae's are explained properly

By Carlo S

Oct 22, 2018

I will fail because, despite submitting my assignment on time, they were not graded by my peers on time. Please notice that I took excellent grade on all quizzes and assignments. The entire peer grading system is a fraud. Professors and Teaching assistants are supposed to grade assignments, not students. I paid a fee and I deserve my assignments to be graded properly and on time. This is a fraud!

By Danny C

Feb 21, 2019

I love the ability to replay parts of the lectures but there is zero support for this program. Also the forum features are very limited so communication and accountability are non existent. I really needed this course too but I can't spend hours and hours trying to figure it all out on my own, too time consuming. I'll have to find another investor course somewhere else.

By Marcel D

May 14, 2018

A very basic course, for beginners, but still not enough detail included to bring a beginner to a competent level on the subject areas covered. I had to watch supplemental videos on YouTube to "flesh out" the topics covered. Examples of this included the concept of liquidity, the course video suggested that the Bid, Ask spread indicated the liquidity of an asset class. Supplemental videos showed that one could not rely simply on the Bid, Ask spread, but also the volume of assets traded to determine how liquid a stock was. Another example was the introduction of intermediate options trading strategies for the first time on a quiz. The options profit and loss diagrams and rationale for their use were not covered in the lecture videos. Some of the optional supplemental materials were not available to me or difficult to access for me as I live outside of the United States. References to YouTube videos would have been easier to access. I ended up using YouTube videos covering the same topics instead of the recommended links.

By Gavesh Y

Sep 23, 2017

Don't take the specialization. Quizzes are incorrect and won't let you progress!

By Deleted A

Dec 19, 2018

Useful course but of poor quality. Content is badly organized (students are often presented with concepts not yet introduced.) The lecturer tends to not give precise definitions of important concepts and sometimes misuses terminology (for example, use "return" to refers to "return on investment" at one place and to "internal rate of return" at another.)

By Prateek U

Jun 29, 2018

Pretty basic. Needed external sources to supplement study. The course has quite short videos and could be a lot more informative.

By Bas v G

Jan 18, 2020

Disappointed. There is a lot of the material for a basic introduction to global financial market and financial instruments is there. HOWEVER:

None of the formulas are derived. The formulas are often not intuitively explained or explained at all, and they are not even provided as a small handout. This forces the student to keep re-watching videos to find the relevant formula, since it's hard to remember because of the lack of intuition. It is fine not to go in depth, but at least provide summary handouts and further references.

Multiple errors. Whether it's sloppiness in the videos, the quizzes, or even better, the solutions for the quizzes.

For an introductory course it barely explains concepts, it mainly just posits them.

By Ah F

Aug 12, 2018

Good course to waste your money on, poorly designed homework, very superficial description of the topics, (especially the 2nd week materials).

By Paulina M L

Jun 15, 2019

The course content is a bit low on examples, making connections and explaining the 'why' - it is very to the point in therms of presenting concepts - but the professor is clear, concise and just the right difficulty.

By David G H

Mar 27, 2019

Really good and exigent course.

The supposed time needed to complete the course is not correct. You will get to "invest" much more, but my advise is that, while hard, it deserves what it takes.

By Fadhel B A

Jan 15, 2018

Good and succinct introduction to financial markets and instruments. Clear valuation formulas and intuitive explanation of treatment of cash-flows to define future and present values.

By Akshay D

May 01, 2020

Excellent course. Well structured and more importantly kept it clear, simple and to the points. Dr. Arzu has done full justice in delivering the course. Appreciate it.

By Jared C

Jun 25, 2020

Good overall course to go over present/future value, rates of return, stocks, bonds, alternative investments, etc. More math than i was expecting. Good course.

By Claudio

Aug 15, 2017

Good review of simple financial material. Not an in-depth review, but a good refresher of modules that you would have seen in your MS Finance or MBA Finance.

By Ritvik S

Apr 10, 2018

Great course to get an introduction to the workings of the financial market. Designed in a way that makes it possible for anyone to comprehend the matter.

By Jason H A

Jul 19, 2018

Short and well elaborated course! Need for further do your own research for maximum benefit!

By Fabrizzio D Q d F

May 29, 2019

I would like to rate 5 stars but the math is a problem, some people has no time to learn math formulas and spend so much time calculating things, maybe some alternatives like excel would fix that issue.

Thank you, for this beaultiful course <3

By Esteban J R

Jul 18, 2018

The teaching staff should pay more attention to discussion forums. They appear to be abandoned.

By Roy M S

Mar 01, 2019

Good for a refresher course for me

By Benjamin D A

May 15, 2019

I think its a good introduction to financial markets but more from an academics perspective. We hardly had any guidance or reference to contemporary real markets. I wanted to learn about investment and I only learn how to calculate basic yields and returns. I turn on Bloomberg TV today and still do not understand any of the numbers and nomenclature they show or make reference to....

In conclusion I think the course is good from an academic standpoint but not for real life interaction with finance markets and news.

By Marta L

Mar 25, 2018

Good basics with not overwhelming details, yet giving an understanding of major mathematical mechanism connected with financial instruments. I was missing a more structured content and path and the mistakes in some excercises/practice quizes or their answers were disturbing - it should not be the case

By Michael T

Apr 23, 2018

Practice quizzes a little difficult relative to the materials and examples presented