Curriculum Guideline

Supplemental Topics for CFA Program

Effective Date:
Course Code
FINC 4390
Supplemental Topics for CFA Program
Commerce & Business Administration
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture: 3 Hrs. Seminar: 1 Hr. Total: 4 Hrs.
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

Lectures and seminar discussion

Course Description
This course will cover the topics and body of knowledge that are specifically required under the current Charted Financial Analyst program curriculums. Key area of subjects will include, but not limited to: code of ethics and standards of professional conduct for investment professionals; global investment performance standards; investment analysis; fixed income; alternative investments; and risk management. The course will also prepare students for writing the CFA Level I exam.
Course Content

1.   Introduction to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct for investment professionals
2.   Guidance for Standards of Professional Conduct I to VII
3.   Application and practice of Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct
4.   Global Investment Performance Standards
5.   Financial reporting systems and monitoring
6.   Elliott Wave Theory and Fibonacci numbers
7.   Inter-market analysis on technical analysis and asset allocation
8.   Optimal portfolio under Roy’s safety-first criterion
9.   Volatility of yield spreads and return impact of spread changes
10. Corporate governance of public listed companies
11. Special considerations on evaluating high-yield, sovereign and municipal debt issuers and issues
12. Alternative investments
13. Risk management of alternative investments
14. Preparation for CFA Level I exam

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course, the successful student should be able to:

1.  describe the components of the Code of Ethics (the "Code") and Standards of Professional Conduct (the "Standards")  for investment professionals;
2.  explain the ethical responsibilities required by the Code and Standards, including the sub-sections of each standard;
3.  demonstrate the application of the Code and Standards under different scenarios;
4.  distinguish between conduct that conforms to the Code and Standards and conduct that violates the Code and standards;
5.  recommend practices and procedures designed to prevent violations of the Code and Standards;
6.  explain the scope and key features of the Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS) and the fundamentals of compliance;
7.  describe major sections of the GIPS standards; explain how the GIPS standards are implemented for performance reporting;
8.  explain the key principles of Elliott Wave Theory and the importance of Fibonacci numbers;
9.  describe inter-market analysis relating to technical analysis and asset allocation;
10. select an optimal portfolio using Roy's safety-first criterion;
11. describe implications for financial analysis of different financial reporting systems and the importance of monitoring developments in financial reporting standards;
12. describe factors that influence the level and volatility of yield spreads, calculate the return impact of spread changes;
13. explain special considerations when evaluating the credit of high yield, sovereign and municipal debt issuers and issues;
14. describe issues in valuing and calculating returns on private equity, hedge funds, real estate and commodities; and
15. describe risk management of alternative investments.

Means of Assessment

Midterm exam                               30%
Cases and Exercises                      15-25%
Class Assignments                         10-15%

Participation                                  0-10%
Final Exam                                    35%
Total                                            100%

Note: students who do not achieve a grade of at least 50% on the combined exam components will fail the course.

Textbook Materials

Standards of Practice Handbook, Latest Edition, CFA Institution

Global Investment Performance Standards Handbook,  Latest Edition, CFA Institution

Financial calculator as approved by the department.

Supplementary material and handouts from the instructor


FINC 3350 or FINC 3390 or equivalent with a grade of “C” or better





Which Prerequisite