Wharton Business and Financial Modeling Capstone

4.6
207 ratings
30 reviews

Course 5 of 5 in the Business and Financial Modeling Specialization

In this Capstone you will recommend a business strategy based on a data model you’ve constructed. Using a data set designed by Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS), you will implement quantitative models in spreadsheets to identify the best opportunities for success and minimizing risk. Using your newly acquired decision-making skills, you will structure a decision and present this course of action in a professional quality PowerPoint presentation which includes both data and data analysis from your quantitative models. Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) is the leading data research platform and business intelligence tool for over 30,000 corporate, academic, government and nonprofit clients in 33 countries. WRDS provides the user with one location to access over 200 terabytes of data across multiple disciplines including Accounting, Banking, Economics, ESG, Finance, Insurance, Marketing, and Statistics.
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100% online course

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Clock

Approx. 13 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 hours/week
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English

Subtitles: English
Globe

100% online course

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Clock

Approx. 13 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 hours/week
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Getting Started

Welcome! This opening module was designed to give you an overview of the Business and Financial Modeling Capstone, in which you will be working with historical financial data to calculate individual returns and summary statistics on those returns. The project has multiple steps, which are outlined below in the "Project Prompt", and culminates in a recommendation for portfolio allocation that you will prepare a presentation on. You will draw on elements from all courses to complete this project, and you can use your final presentation as a work sample to improve your current job or even find a new one. Before moving on, complete the "Project Scope Quiz." The work you do this week enables you to understand the steps needed to successfully complete your final project....
Reading
3 readings, 1 quiz
Reading3 readings
Project Description - Read me first!10m
Project Prompt10m
Historical Stock Data10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Project Scope Quiz10m

2

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Steps 1 and 2: Yahoo Finance

In this module, which correlates to Steps 1 and 2 in the Project Prompt, you'll be working with a historical data set to calculate performance data and to provide summary statistics on that data. These calculations will allow you to practice using Spreadsheets for financial calculations, and provides the foundational skills and numbers for the next steps of the project. First, you'll use the set to calculate daily returns on a set of securities. You'll then use your Spreadsheet skills to calculate summary statistics. You'll be given the opportunity to test your knowledge with a sample return to see if your calculations are correct. And you may want to refresh your recollection of the content from the Specialization with the lectures included here. The work you complete this week allows you to form the basis for comparing stock performance, which you will use in creating the investment portfolio for your final project as well as the comparison to the performance of a single stock....
Reading
6 videos (Total 101 min), 4 readings, 2 quizzes
Video6 videos
How Models are Used in Practice (Fundamentals of Quantitative Modeling)10m
Mathematical Functions (Fundamentals of Quantitative Modeling)20m
Navigating a Spreadsheet and Crafting Formulas (Introduction to Spreadsheets)19m
How To Build an Optimization Model: Hudson Readers Ad Campaign (Modeling Risk and Realities)13m
Data and Visualization: Graphical Representation (Modeling Risk and Realities)22m
Reading4 readings
More on Close Price versus Adjusted Close Price10m
More on the Sharpe Ratio10m
Sample Returns Spreadsheet (AAPL)10m
PDFs of Refresher Video Slides10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Daily Returns Quiz20m
Summary Statistics Quiz20m

3

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Step 3: Creating an optimal risky portfolio on the efficient frontier

In this module, you'll go beyond calculating simple returns to tackle the more advanced task of finding the minimum variance and "optimal risk portfolio" weights for a portfolio of selected securities (note, the "optimal risky portfolio" is also known as an "optimal portfolio" or "tangent portfolio"). You'll follow the tasks in Step 3 in the Project Prompt and use the resources below to calculate the portfolio weights for two securities that results in the portfolio with the minimum variance; then, you'll calculate the "optimal risky portfolio" on the efficient frontier for these same two securities, then for all 10 stocks in the pool. You'll be quizzed on your calculations and other insights that emerge from this exercise. The work you complete this week gives you practice in creating an optimal risky portfolio, which is a key component of your final project. Note: There are a number of resources available on the internet providing step-by-step instructions on how to use Excel to create an "optimal risky portfolio" on the efficient frontier given a certain set of available assets. We encourage you to attempt to use the skills you gained during the Specialization to work through these steps independently; you are, however, permitted to utilize third-party resources if you find it necessary. We've included some lectures from the underlying Specialization courses concerning Solver, optimization, and other relevant topics. ...
Reading
7 videos (Total 116 min), 5 readings, 1 quiz
Video7 videos
Present and Future Value (Fundamentals of Quantitative Modeling)15m
Optimization (Fundamentals of Quantitative Modeling)13m
Linear Programming (incl. Solver) (Introduction to Spreadsheets)9m
Optimizing with Solver, and Alternative Data Inputs (Modeling Risk and Realities)26m
Adding Risk: Managing Investments at Epsilon Delta Capital (Modeling Risk and Realities)18m
Using Scenarios for Optimizing Under High Uncertainty, Sensitivity Analysis and Efficient Frontier (Modeling Risk and Realities)15m
Reading5 readings
Videos Explaining the Efficient Frontier and Optimal Risky Portfolio10m
More on Portfolio Variance10m
More on the Efficient Frontier10m
More on Short Selling10m
PDFs of Refresher Video Slides10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
The Minimum Variance and Optimal Risky Portfolio20m

4

Section
Clock
1 hour to complete

Step 4: Optional exercise using CAPM tables

The Capital Asset Pricing Model, or CAPM, is another tool used by investors to weigh the risks and rewards of potential investments. In this optional module covering Step 4 in the Project Prompt, you can use CAPM as a vehicle to further strengthen your financial modeling skills, including using regression concepts. You may revisit the Specialization lectures below touching on regression. To test whether you've grasped the concepts in the CAPM model, this module includes a short quiz. This assessment is formative, meaning your score will not count towards your final grade. The work you do this week may inform how you build the mixed asset portfolio of your final project, but it is not necessary to complete the final project....
Reading
3 videos (Total 30 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
Video3 videos
Use of Regression Models (Fundamentals of Quantitative Modeling)15m
Correlation and Regression (Introduction to Spreadsheets)7m
Reading3 readings
Video on the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM)10m
More on the Capital Asset Pricing Model10m
PDFs of Refresher Video Slides10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Capital Asset Pricing Model10m

5

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Step 5: Creating Your Asset Allocation & Final Presentation

In this final module you are asked to move beyond a stock-only portfolio to one utilizing more diversified assets and to prepare a short presentation summarizing your findings. As explained in Step 5 of the Project Prompt, you have $5 million to invest in the Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund (ticker: VBTLX) and Vanguard 500 Index (ticker: VFIAX) investment vehicles. There are two assessments in this module. First, you'll complete a short quiz on the characteristics of your optimal risky portfolio. Then, in the peer review component of this Capstone, you are tasked with preparing a short presentation that (i) explores how your portfolio of mixed asset class of funds compares to a single security (AAPL) and (ii) uses that comparison to discuss the importance of portfolio diversification....
Reading
1 reading, 2 quizzes
Reading1 readings
VBTLX and VFIAX Monthly Returns10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Working with a Diversified Portfolio10m
4.6
Direction Signs

25%

started a new career after completing these courses
Briefcase

83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course
Money

25%

got a pay increase or promotion

Top Reviews

By AVNov 2nd 2017

Good course that helps understand different considerations to take into account when creating models. Well laid out Capstone project to help understand portfolio diversification and Optimal Portfolio.

By RTSep 26th 2016

Really a great set of courses to understand and apply models to many different scenarios. I was able to use the skills I learned right away in my profession. Would definitely recommend.

Instructors

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Richard Lambert

Professor of Accounting
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Don Huesman

Managing Director, Wharton Online
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Richard Waterman

Professor of Statistics

About University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania (commonly referred to as Penn) is a private university, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. A member of the Ivy League, Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, and considers itself to be the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies. ...

Frequently Asked Questions

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