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Columbia University

Optimization Methods in Asset Management

Columbia University via Coursera


This course focuses on applications of optimization methods in portfolio construction and risk management. The first module discusses portfolio construction via Mean-Variance Analysis and Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) in an arbitrage-free setting. Next, it demonstrates the application of the security market line and sharpe optimal portfolio in the exercises. The second module involves the difficulties in implementing Mean-Variance techniques in a real-world setting and the potential methods to deal with it. We will introduce Value at Risk (VaR) and Conditional Value at Risk (CVaR) as risk measurements, and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), which play an important role in trading and asset management. Typical statistical biases, pitfalls, and their underlying reasons are also discussed, in order to achieve better results when completing  real statistical estimation. The final module looks directly at real-world transaction costs modeling. It includes the basic market micro-structures including order book, bid-ask spread, measurement of liquidity, and their effects on transaction costs. Then we enrich Mean-Variance portfolio strategies by considering transaction costs.

Taught by

Martin Haugh and Garud Iyengar


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