When an investor is faced with a portfolio choice problem, the number of possible assets and the various combinations and proportions in which each can be held can seem overwhelming. In this course, you’ll learn the basic principles underlying optimal portfolio construction, diversification, and risk management. You’ll start by acquiring the tools to characterize an investor’s risk and return trade-off. You will next analyze how a portfolio choice problem can be structured and learn how to solve for and implement the optimal portfolio solution. Finally, you will learn about the main pricing models for equilibrium asset prices.

Offered By

## About this Course

### Learner Career Outcomes

## 50%

## 50%

#### Shareable Certificate

#### 100% online

#### Course 2 of 5 in the

#### Flexible deadlines

#### Approx. 21 hours to complete

#### English

### Skills you will gain

### Learner Career Outcomes

## 50%

## 50%

#### Shareable Certificate

#### 100% online

#### Course 2 of 5 in the

#### Flexible deadlines

#### Approx. 21 hours to complete

#### English

### Offered by

#### Rice University

Rice University is consistently ranked among the top 20 universities in the U.S. and the top 100 in the world. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy.

## Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

**5 hours to complete**

## Module 1- Introduction & Risk and Return

This module introduces the second course in the Investment and Portfolio Management Specialization. In this module, we discuss one of the main principles of investing: the risk-return trade-off, the idea that in competitive security markets, higher expected returns come only at a price – the need to bear greater risk. We develop statistical measures of risk and expected return and review the historical record on risk-return patterns across various asset classes.

**5 hours to complete**

**10 videos**

**11 readings**

**3 practice exercises**

**6 hours to complete**

## Module 2: Portfolio construction and diversification

In this module, we build on the tools from the previous module to develop measure of portfolio risk and return. We define and distinguish between the different sources of risk and discuss the concept of diversification: how and why putting risky assets together in a portfolio eliminates risk that yields a portfolio with less risk than its components. Finally, we review the quantitative tools that help us identify the ‘best’ portfolios with the least risk for a given level of expected return by considering a numerical example using international equity data.

**6 hours to complete**

**16 videos**

**12 readings**

**4 practice exercises**

**2 hours to complete**

## Module 3: Mean-variance preferences

In this module, we describe how investors make choices. Specifically, we look at how utility functions are used to express preferences. We review measures to describe investors’ attitude towards risk. Finally, we discuss how we can summarize investors’ preferences using a specific utility function: mean-variance preferences.

**2 hours to complete**

**7 videos**

**7 readings**

**3 practice exercises**

**5 hours to complete**

## Module 4: Optimal capital allocation and portfolio choice

In this module, you will learn about mean-variance optimization: how to make optimal capital allocation and portfolio choice decisions when investors have mean-variance preferences. This was one of the ground-breaking ideas in finance. We will formally set up the investor’s portfolio choice problem and learn step-by-step how to solve for the optimal allocation and risky portfolio choice given a set of risky securities. You will also have an opportunity to apply these techniques to a numerical example. This module is slightly more technical than the others. Stick with it… you will not regret it!

**5 hours to complete**

**10 videos**

**12 readings**

**2 practice exercises**

## About the Investment and Portfolio Management Specialization

## Frequently Asked Questions

When will I have access to the lectures and assignments?

Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

What will I get if I subscribe to this Specialization?

When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. Your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

What is the refund policy?

If you subscribed, you get a 7-day free trial during which you can cancel at no penalty. After that, we don’t give refunds, but you can cancel your subscription at any time. See our full refund policy.

Is financial aid available?

Yes, Coursera provides financial aid to learners who cannot afford the fee. Apply for it by clicking on the Financial Aid link beneath the "Enroll" button on the left. You'll be prompted to complete an application and will be notified if you are approved. You'll need to complete this step for each course in the Specialization, including the Capstone Project. Learn more.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.