We will see how one basic idea, price equals expected discounted payoff, unites everything - models that describe stocks, bonds, options, real investments, discrete time, continuous time, asset pricing, portfolio theory, and so forth.
This second part follows Asset Pricing, Part I. However, students somewhat familiar with the material in that class will be able to take this class independently.
We start by seeing classic factor pricing models in action, first by studying the Fama French three factor model and then by studying the question whether portfolio managers have skill or not. We’ll look in depth at the time-series predictability of returns, “bubbles,” and volatility. We will study the equity premium and the link between asset pricing and macroeconomics. We’ll extend the theory to cover options, then bonds, and study the facts about the term structure of interest rates. The course closes with portfolio theory, how should investors structure their investment portfolios.
The math in real, academic, finance is not actually that hard. Understanding how to use the equations, and see what they really mean about the world... that's hard, and that's what I hope will be uniquely rewarding about this class.