1781 Course I - Principles of Capital Markets
Zhou Ren, M.Sc., Assist.Prof. Dr. Felix Fattinger
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/16/21 to 09/19/21
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Thursday 10/14/21 02:45 PM - 05:00 PM Online-Einheit
Wednesday 10/20/21 10:00 AM - 12:15 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 10/21/21 02:45 PM - 05:00 PM Online-Einheit
Wednesday 10/27/21 10:00 AM - 12:15 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 10/28/21 02:45 PM - 05:00 PM Online-Einheit
Wednesday 11/03/21 10:00 AM - 12:15 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 11/04/21 02:45 PM - 05:00 PM Online-Einheit
Wednesday 11/10/21 10:00 AM - 12:15 PM Online-Einheit
Thursday 11/11/21 02:45 PM - 05:00 PM Online-Einheit
Wednesday 11/17/21 10:00 AM - 12:15 PM Online-Einheit
Wednesday 11/24/21 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM Online-Einheit

Unit 1

o What is Finance about?

o Why is Finance relevant?

o What are the main problems we want to solve?

o Discounting/Present Value/Net Present Value overview


Unit 2

o Utility and risk preferences

o Statistical Properties (Expectation, Variance, Covariance, Correlation), Diversification for portfolios


Unit 3

o Mean-Standard Deviation relationship (for 2-Asset-Portfolio and N-Asset-Portfolio)

o Efficient Frontier with and without risk-free asset

o Tangency Portfolio


Unit 4

o Capital Asset Pricing Model

o Beta Estimation

o Empirical Analysis of Efficient Portfolios and the CAPM


Unit 5

o Factor Models

o Decomposition of Risk (systematic – unsystematic risk)

o Estimating Weights of Factor Portfolios

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, students will be able to

· understand the relationship of risk and return for financial assets.

· calculate the risk and return of financial assets and portfolios.

· utilize diversification for optimal investment choices.

· identify optimal portfolio weights of a set of risky financial assets.

· comprehend the assumptions and shortcomings of the Capital Asset Pricing Model.

· decompose the risk of a financial asset to firm-specific and common factors.

· compute a measure for market-related risk of individual financial assets and portfolios.

Attendance requirements

Participation is compulsory in the interactive part. There are grade related performance assessments in each interactive unit. There is absolutely no way to get these points if you are not present for the entire unit.

Teaching/learning method(s)

The course is composed of two parts, a lecture part (5 units) and an interactive part (5 units). The lecture part is organized in only one big class for all students of the specialization. The interactive part is organized in small groups (max. 30 students). The five lecture units take place once a week. The five interactive units also take place once a week, but start one week after the first lecture unit.

The teaching approach of the lecture part is class room teaching type. In the interactive part a mix of methods is applied that includes presentations by the lecturer, class discussions, student presentations of numerical examples (“mini-cases”), real-life case studies and a final exam.

Based on the introduction to the underlying concepts in the lecture part, students will have to prepare small numerical problems ("mini-cases") for the interactive part. E.g.: The concepts of the first lecture unit are applied and deepened in the first interactive unit, and so on. The mini-cases are presented by students and solutions are discussed with the lecturer. In addition, more involved case studies are discussed to provide more insight into industry applications.


The components for the grades are weighted as follows:

  • 40% lecture part (final exam)
  • 60% interactive part

The courses are held in distance mode, which means that all lecture units (lecture parts and interactive parts) take place online. The final exam will also be online.

Interactive part: Students have to prepare mini-cases for the weekly sessions and have to indicate (“check”) the mini-cases they can solve and are ready to present before each session. The solutions of the mini-cases must be uploaded to Learn before each interactive unit. Each example will be presented by a randomly selected student who checked this example. Students need to check at least 70% of all mini-cases to pass the course. The presentation of mini-cases will be evaluated. In order to pass the course, students need to be able to correctly solve the mini-cases they present. The grading of the interactive part will be based solely on the percentage of checked mini-cases if all presentations (if any) are correct. A negative assessment of a student's presentation reduces the number of mini-cases checked by 20% (the basis being 100% of all mini-cases). The same applies if a student indicates mini-cases he/she did not solve. For example: If a student checks 80% of the mini-cases and fails one presentation, the percentage of checked mini-cases will be reduced to 60% and will result in a fail. Students with two negative assessments fail the course. If a student cannot present a mini-case due to technical problems (on his/her side), the grading is the same as for a negative assessment.

Grading: Formally, the evaluation is based on the total number of credits earned (>50% of credits needed to pass). The total number of credits C will be computed by C = 0.4*Clecture + 0.6*Cinteractive. Clecture denotes the percentage of credits earned at the final exam of the lecture part. Cinteractive denotes the percentage of credits earned for the interactive part. The interactive part can only be successfully completed if at least 70% of all mini-cases have been checked by the student in advance AND at maximum only one of all presentations (if any) has been incorrect (see explanation above).

The following grading scheme is applied:

Percentage Grade
[87.5%;100%]: 1 1
[75%;87.5%): 2 2
[62.5%;75%): 3 3
[50%;62.5%): 4 4
<50%: 5 5


square bracket [ ] = percentage is still included in the quantity
round bracket ( ) = percentage is no longer included in the quantity

Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists

Students need to be admitted to the specialization Finance: Markets, Institutions & Instruments to register for the course.

1 Author: Hillier, Grinblatt, Titman

Financial Markets and Corporate Strategy

Publisher: McGraw Hill
Edition: 2nd European Edition
Content relevant for class examination: Yes
Recommendation: Strongly recommended (but no absolute necessity for purchase)
Type: Book
Recommended previous knowledge and skills

basic knowledge of Excel or R, basics in Statistics

Availability of lecturer(s)

Last edited: 2021-09-01