In this course, you will dive into the concepts of rationality and irrationality and understand how they impact our investment decisions and what the consequences can be at the market level.
You will first explore the different biases that we, as humans, are subjected to when facing investment decisions and how they may impact the outcomes of these decisions. Moreover, you will see how emotions and ethical concerns such as honesty and trust influence market participants. When they are considered as a group rather than individually, you will discover how rationality and irrationality can drive asset prices to and away from their fair value. Finally, you will be presented with different portfolio construction methodologies and investment styles that make up the landscape of today’s portfolio management industry.
At key points throughout the course, you will benefit from the practical knowledge of experts from our corporate partner, UBS, in how to build and manage clients’ portfolios.
General Introduction and Key Concepts
In this introductory week, we will start by illustrating how emotions can hinder sensible investment decisions. You will then have the opportunity to check if you master the concepts of the first course that are important for this second course. Finally, we will lay the ground for next week’s content by looking at rational decision making.
How Individuals Make Financial Decisions
The focus of this second week is on you, the investor: what are the reasons you participate in financial markets? How do you make investment decisions? What can go wrong in your decision process and what are the consequences? What can you do about it? To answer these questions, we will talk about cognitive biases, emotions and moral values and their respective link with investment decisions.
Market Efficiency, Bubbles & Crises
In this third week, we will have a look at investors’ behavior as a group. How does it impact asset prices? How do these prices reflect available information? What does it imply for the profitability of some trading strategies? What can go wrong in this price formation process and how can (and did) it cause financial bubbles and crises? This week also features as special guest: Prof. Jean-Pierre Danthine, former vice-chairman of the Swiss National Bank, who will offer insights into some of these issues.
Portfolio Construction and Investment Styles
In this final week, we will look at two main portfolio construction methodologies: top-down and bottom-up. We will see how they differ but also how they can be combined. In the second lesson, we will review some important investment styles that are commonly used in the portfolio management industry. In this final lesson, you will also be given the opportunity to experiment with different trading strategies and compare your results with fellow learners.