Full course description

In this Certificate, you learn the basic tenets of finance.

  • Taught by Mick Swartz, PhD.
  • Learn about different types of debt and equity, average risk and return on those tradable financial assets
  • Master the concepts of the time value of money, cost of capital and yield curve.
  • Study various styles of investing and factors that affect investment selection such as economic cycle, risk tolerance and anticipated return.
Certificate-Overview
Fundamentals of Finance

Fundamentals of Finance

  • Taught by Mick Swartz, PhD.
  • Learn about different types of debt and equity, average risk and return on those tradable financial assets
  • Master the concepts of the time value of money, cost of capital and yield curve.
  • Study various styles of investing and factors that affect investment selection such as economic cycle, risk tolerance and anticipated return.
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The Study of the Science of Money Management

Finance is the study of the science of money management. Achievement of short-term or long-term business goals would be virtually impossible without sound administration and control of a firm’s financial resources. This course introduces students to the basics of finance through the lens of securities, bond and stock markets. Students will learn about different types of debt and equity, average risk and return on those tradable financial assets as well as concepts of the time value of money, cost of capital and yield curve. Additionally, they will be exposed to various styles of investing and factors that affect investment selection such as economic cycle, risk tolerance and anticipated return.

This Certificate has three Units so you can easily fit the learning into your personal schedule.

Download Syllabus

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Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 3

Securities

Securities: In Unit One students are introduced to different kinds of securities. Securities represent both ownership and investment tools issued by a government or company to raise money and include cash, near cash, commodities, treasury bills, short term bonds, preferred stock, warrants and real estate. Risks and returns associated with different securities within the context of inflation and the economic cycles are examined to guide investment decisions.

When students successfully complete this Unit, they will have the ability to:

  • Compare and contrast the benefits and risks of multiple securities.
  • Evaluate the potential impact of inflation and the economic cycle on different types of securities.
  • Analyze financial statements and calculate risk and return for investment.


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Time Value of Money

Time Value of Money: In Unit Two students learn about the present and future value of different cash flows and the yield curve - the impact of interest rates across time. Students also learn how to apply Capital Structure theories to decisions regarding debt and equity costs.

When students successfully complete this Unit, they will have the ability to:

  • Use the Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC) to determine the viability of an investment decision.
  • Use the net present value rule to determine optimal investing strategies.
  • Evaluate leverage and risk using the Miller and Modigliani and other theories of Capital Structure.

Stock Market

Stock Market: In Unit Three students study mutual funds, different sectors in the stock market, the impact of varying investment styles (index, value, growth and blended), and the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) along with other risk factors.

When students successfully complete this Unit, they will have the ability to:

  • Determine the investment criteria and diversification of mutual funds.
  • Compare and contrast potential risks and returns for investors across four investment styles (index, value, growth and blended).
  • Determine which type of investing best meets their business or personal needs (value, index or growth).
  • Evaluate the impact of other factors on returns including firm size, market to book ratios, momentum, time periods and Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM).


Who should enroll:  This Certificate is ideal for individuals who want to increase their skills and value to their future organizations, including those planning a career in:

  • Business Ownership
  • Business Leadership
  • Finance
  • Investing
  • Financial Products
  • General Management

Professor

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LEE “MICK” SWARTZ, PHD, MA, BS

Dr. Mick Swartz is a financial economist whose research has been published in the Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance and Financial Review. His work has been listed among the top 150 business papers in the world. Professor Swartz has consulted with the U.S. Senate on derivatives legislation, appeared on CNN and NBC, and appeared before state legislators concerning executive compensation and merger legislation. He has taught in many countries including the Ukraine, United Kingdom, Canada, Poland and Germany. Prior to joining USC, Professor Swartz taught at Purdue University.

 

University of Southern California

Marshall School of Business

*2nd Private University in US | 10th Worldwide*

Based in the bustling center of glamorous Los Angeles, the University of Southern California (USC) has been ranked among the Top 10 Dream Colleges in America and is the oldest private research institution in the state, serving 43,000 students—a quarter from around the globe. The university is also Los Angeles’ largest private-sector employer and a $5 billion annual contributor to the region’s economy.

Ranked among the top 50 universities in the world by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities and 23rd in America by the 2016 U.S. News & World Report, USC is one of the globe’s most impactful institutions, shaping the future of multiple industries. A hub for innovation, pioneering research and extraordinary talent, USC counts among its faculty and alumni Nobel Laureates, Rhodes Scholars, MacArthur Fellows, Fulbright Fellows, and winners of the Turing Award, Academy Awards and Emmy Awards as well as recipients of National Medals of Arts, Humanities, Science and Technology and Innovation. Over the years, USC’s student athletes have also won 287 Olympic medals, more than any other university in America, and uniquely, its marching band has earned two platinum records.Through its world-class education, groundbreaking research, and 375,000 global alumni from film moguls such as Clint Eastwood and George Lucas to the first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong, USC is contributing to international excellence and investing in the most powerful human bedrock – its students and scholars – to continue shaping the world of tomorrow.


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Course Rules

Question Policy
How is the Short Course Certificate designed? Each Certificate Course is specialized content from a top university and contains three Units. Each Unit has an end of Unit quiz which must be passed prior to moving forward. At the end of all three Units, you must pass a Certificate final exam in order to earn the Short Course Certificate.
How is the Short Course Certificate Unit graded? The Units are pass/fail in nature and the student must achieve at least 80% to pass. Students will need to pass the end of Certificate exam to complete and receive the Certificate.
How many times can I take an end of Unit quiz in the Short Course Certificate? The Unit quiz may be taken an unlimited number of times.
How many times can I take the Short Course end of Certificate exam? Students have two attempts to pass the end of Certificate final exam. Students who do not achieve the required minimum score of 80% by the second attempt will not pass the Course and will not receive a Certificate.
How long do I have to complete the Short Course Certificate Unit? You will have 90 days to finish the Short Course Certificate.
What if I signed up for the wrong Certificate? (What is the refund policy?) Your satisfaction is our goal. If for any reason you are not satisfied, you will have 3 days from purchase by which to request a refund for the Short Course Certificate. However, please note that if you have accessed more than one lesson/module/topic's worth of content, no refund will be given. For assistance, please email help@paragonedu.com.
What if I have a technical or policy question? Please email help@paragonedu.com.