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

1,529 ratings
305 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 17, 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 14, 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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276 - 300 of 302 Reviews for Global Financial Markets and Instruments

By Norman O

Dec 9, 2016

Explanations and examples are not so good.

By Michael H

May 19, 2020

Honestly, there is a lot wrong with this course. The professors glass over a host of very important explanations that are needed to understand the basics of the formulas they are trying to teach. A lot of the time they will fill the formula in and just say "so when you solve for that" which leaves a lot of people at a loss for how to actually solve the formula. The tests are poorly worded and put together, many times the questions will say "state your answer as a percentage rate" and when stated as a percentage rate the answer is wrong because "what you submitted is not a number". I am a person with very little financial background looking to expand my financial knowledge and I have struggled to persist with this course because time and time again a basic formula is taught in the lessons and on the test other more complicated formulae are needed to obtain the right answer.

In summary, the tests are poorly worded and often include material more advanced than what is being taught in the lessons themselves, the professors don't seem like they know what they are talking about, merely reading off of an auto-cue telling them what to say. The professors skip a lot of material needed to understand what they are talking about and what is being asked on the exams. In order to complete this course you will need to spend a lot more time utilizing resources from other parts of the internet to gain an understanding about the financial instruments and how to calculate them.

DO NOT SPEND MONEY ON THIS COURSE. I ended up paying for the course only because I have A LOT of time on my hands and did not manage to cancel my subscription before the free trial ended. From such a prestigious university such a Rice it is disappointing to see the amount of half-assed effort gone into this course.

At the end of the day, this course will give you a better understanding of the financial world than you had previously and if you stick with it, it is quite educational. However be prepared to do a lot of figuring sh*t out yourself.

By Seth V

Jan 1, 2017

The course information is very interesting but covers the material too briefly. The topics were covered very quickly and not in very much depth. Quizzes often asked questions in a way that was not covered in the course material and were therefore quite difficult to figure out at times. I'm taking this course series to learn the material, not to be tricked of failed on a quiz. Also as this is a rather math-intensive subject, a more comprehensive review of the algebraic tools and skills required would be helpful. Lastly, there were many mistakes with grammar and spelling in the written portions. I know English isn't everyone's first language, but if we are paying for these educational materials then it doesn't look very professional for there to be glaring errors repeatedly throughout the material. It's not that difficult to have a native speaker proof-read before publishing (I would be happy to do this for you, any job openings?). Just some thoughts.

By Richard v W

May 19, 2020

Possibly the worst course I have done on Coursera.

There are errors in the videos, only some of which have been corrected by stopping the video and adding a voice over. At least one of these errors leads to an incorrect answer in one of the quiz questions.

The quiz questions themselves are often badly written and unclear. Where calculations are required it is clear that intermediate steps have been rounded but if you don't follow the same rounding as the question setter, you'll get a slightly different answer which Coursera will mark as wrong.

And they ask you to round the answer when what is really wanted is truncation.

They've even used the same question in 2 quizzes in Week 3 with different answers because they're rounded (truncated!) differently.

I'm a paying customer (I have a Coursera subscription) and expect better.

2 out of 5 Dr. O!

By Benjamin B

Jan 1, 2017

The material was interesting, but it lacked in sufficient practice resources for the mathematical portions. Also, instructor support / feedback to student questions was lacking. I found this course adequate if it was free, but not worth $79 for the amount of resources I was given to practice what we learned. This is highlighted by the fact that the weekly quizzes didn't show you the solution when you missed a question, so you were left guessing (instructors don't respond to student discussion questions) if the videos didn't address that specific question type.

By Lingfei S

Jun 1, 2018

It is such a disappointment for this one. Maybe it just could not fit my aim.

It teaches more about calculation instead of how to invest. I think maybe the title was wrong, it is more in finance calculation instead of investment itself, or how to become a smart investor.

And the worst part, is even for the basic calculation part, there are errors..... Finance is such an elaborate job. I could not make the balance sheet balanced if I got one little mistake during the calculation or recording process.

Basically and logically, I lost my trust for this course.

By Dmitry O

Jan 18, 2021

very inconsistent with ease at the end and difficult beginning of the course. lots of wasted time for formulas which never been used in real life and manual calculation. not university course for sure by knowledge. cheap: all articles by Dr O asking for subscription, not good. If its part of the course add it for free, tons of information in inet which is free.


By efi l

May 15, 2020

In my opinion, the course material can only be used as a quidance for further reading from sources and text books which you have to find because it is not an in depth course of the subject . A text book accompaning the material would be extremely helpful or even detailed handouts.

By Leonard S

Dec 21, 2020

outdated content based on 2015. professor makes calculation mistakes in videos. very difficult to follow the limited material and how it relates to the questions. video quiz questions are raised before the relevant content is presented

By Alex P

May 17, 2020

While course provides a good general direction, lecture videos are full of mistakes, handout material is useless and you have to complete the missing material by searching through other online resources

By Michael B

May 27, 2020

So many equations left with "you can solve that" or not fully explained. Most of the teaching was done like a classroom that you dread with writing on the chalk board and so many miscalculations.

By Nathan T

Jul 11, 2017

Brief highlight of topics, with no proper demonstration of formulae derivation. Examples are often brief and the practice questions are often much harder than the actual examples given.

By Boyi Y

May 10, 2020

Quite a few types in lectures and quiz solutions. The typos discredit the lecturer in a sense even though she is actually very knowledgable.

By Fabián V

Jul 23, 2020

Aprendí mucho pero no es los suficientemente claro, no están bien hechas las traducciones, y los paper están todos en ingles, mal ahí

By Jean

Jan 15, 2017

Some calc and formulas are not clear otherwise the course allowed to have a general overview on financial instruments and trades

By Lou V

May 23, 2020

Repeated math errors, some corrected, some not. Terrible instruction.

By Himanshu P

Dec 12, 2016

way too many peer reviewed assignments.

By Sahan G

Jan 16, 2021

Insufficient examples or analogies

By Ethan D

Jul 10, 2017

I didn't enjoy the lectures

By Ka C S C

Jan 14, 2021

This course is horrible. I was expecting to acquire some finance basic skills before starting my first finance course in uni, but this has done little for me. I'm okay with the fact that no one is answering learners' questions on the discussion forum because there could be no obligation for Rice University to do so, but the content itself is absolute disappointment.

Despite her spectacular skills on writing in mirror, the lecturer jumps around concepts too quickly and I often have to find certain information on google, as these are not being covered in videos but will appear on quizzes, which is really frustrating and annoying. She probably thought she had explained the concepts well by using synonyms. For example, the slides say this is a conventional way, and she'll say 'so it's typical, it is what it is, right?'. Most of the time, she doesn't tell us what par values, market values and face values are. I get that this could be quite elementary, but as a student who haven't learnt anything about Finance, this course has done nothing -- Googling is probably more efficient and helpful than this cramped content. Hence the 1 star.

By Kelsea V

Jul 5, 2020

The professor makes constant errors during her presentations. One or two is okay, but I completed the first module and she made an error in almost every video. It’s not very conducive to learning. Also, she often said “you can figure out the calculation...” and wouldn’t provide the answer for us to check if we were right.

By Karim I

Jan 6, 2021

Sadly the instructor is very hard to understand. Her speech is not clear and she jumps around too fast without explaining how she reached solutions ,conclusions etc.

Very possible that this too advanced for my level of knowledge.

By Roman S

Sep 1, 2020

Lectures do not cover the formulas that are needed for calculations or are doing a very poor job with it. No references to where to find the stuff which is unclear. The course is quite frustrating at times!

By Моисей Б

Sep 4, 2020

The topics and concepts are touched just on the surface, assignments often have confusing questions and/or incorrect answers

By Johnny R

Dec 9, 2020

A week in and there have already been several mistakes in the lectures. Very uninspiring.