Investments & Derivatives – BUSI 538

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 09/05/2023

Course Description

This course explores the framework from which a company makes investment decisions, provides a foundation for the study of derivative products, and how companies may effectively use investments and derivatives to make wise financial decisions.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.


Students earning a graduate degree specializing in finance should understand the fundamentals of investments and options. This course introduces students to the elements of investments, portfolio theory, debt and equity instruments, and derivative markets essential for the investing.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (2)

The student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. The original thread needs to be 500-750 words for the initial post, include at least 2 references, include biblical scripture integrations, and demonstrate course-related knowledge from the text.

In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ main discussion threads. Each reply thread needs to be 450-600 words, include 2 references, and one biblical integration.

The first discussion main post (thread) will be due at the end of week-3, with reply posts due at the end of week-4.

Discussion:  Parable of the Talents:

Review the “Parable of the Talents” in Matthew 25: 14-30. Discuss (1.) money market instruments, (2.) fixed-income/bond instruments, (3.) equity investments, (4.) mutual funds, and (5.) derivative/option investments relative to the scripture. (6.) How does risk mitigation/avoidance and risk tolerance relate to return strategies/expectations for each of the five types of investments?

The second discussion main post will be due at the end of week-5, with reply posts due at the end of week-6.

Discussion: Investing, Budgeting, and Wealth Management.

With the exclusion of Matthew 25: 14-30, please choose 4 scriptures that relate to the topic of investing, budgeting, and wealth management. Integrate the scriptures with the material from the text and from online resources to demonstrate how the Bible is vital to the principles of investments and/or your own investment strategies for retirement. Please make sure that the student's own original analysis of each scripture is provided.

Connect Plus Homework & Quizzes (16 Homeworks & 16 Quizzes)

The student will be assigned homework and quizzes to complete per chapter in Connect Plus.

In order to gain access to Connect Plus, the student may either purchase the textbook listed in the Syllabus with the access code or purchase the access code separately via the bookstore or the Connect website. The instructor will provide the student with the URL needed for registering during the week before the course begins, along with specific instructions for registering.

Investment Project Assignment

IMP & IPS Project:

Please discuss and analyze your own investment management process (IMP) and develop your own investment policy statement (IPS) with regard to wealth creation and retirement planning. Discuss investment objectives and constraints in the development of your IPS.  Comprehensively integrate the topics learned throughout the course. 

You should provided slide speaker's notes with each slide in the PPT to describe how the material applies to your own retirement plans.

Please make sure to write a paragraph description as slide notes commenting on your thoughts relative to each of the bullet points provided on the three tables to be examined. 

Just providing a word or an incomplete sentence relative to the bullet point will not be eligible to earn full credit.  You will earn a significantly lower grade if the PPT slides do "not" have written speaker's notes included in the analysis.  Again, just retyping the material in the tables is highly insufficient, and your grade will reflect any lack of analysis and application.

The PowerPoint and the video presentation should cover the material points in tables 22.1, 22.2, and 22.3 on page 690 in the text in Chapter 22.  Each point should be focused on the construction of your own strategies for retirement/estate-planning portfolio endeavors.  Please review the CFA Institute's Investment Management Process (Figure 22.1) on page 689 at the beginning of the chapter 22 material.

Table 22.1 addresses the “Components of the Investment Management Process”, to include the topics of planning, execution of the portfolio construction and revisions, and the feedback process.  10 to 14 slides at a minimum should be dedicated to this table’s material.

Table 22.2 addresses the “Components of the Investment Policy Statement (IPS)”.  Note that the nine points should be addressed in your presentation.  Remember that you are the client.  This is an applied future prescriptive exercise assignment. 9 to 10 PPT slides should be dedicated to this table’s material.

Table 22.3 addresses the “Determination of Portfolio Policies”, to include the objectives and the constraints.  7 to 10 PPT slide­­s should be dedicated to this table’s material.

There should be a "minimum" of 26-34 slides in total addressed in the presentation and analysis of the tables.


Please provided a Kaltura Video and present a PowerPoint presentation with a minimum of 26-34 slides. The presentation does not have to be in a current APA format, and you may utilize the first person since you are commenting on your analysis of the creation of your own IPS. A presentation of a 15-minute minimum (with a limit of 20 minutes) is required in Kaltura.  No points will be deducted if your video runs over the 20-minute ceiling by a few minutes, so make sure to speak freely in presenting your investment strategies.

You may choose to talk through the power-points in your Kaltura video with the webcam or without the webcam during the presentation.  You will have this choice as you set up the Kaltura video.  Please make sure that the power-point thoroughly addresses each of the points in tables 22.1, 22.2, and 22.3.

Please make sure to review the Kaltura files provided in the module 7 tab.

Thank you for your continued efforts in the course.