General Learning Goals:
Upon successful completion of this course, students should:
1) Demonstrate problem solving and decision making abilities through the critical analysis,
evaluation, and interpretation of business information.
2) Demonstrate a competency in speaking and writing for common business scenarios.
3) Know how to use team building and collaboration to achieve group objectives.
4) Be able to utilize available technology for common business applications.
Course Specific Learning Goals:
Upon successful completion of this course, students should have developed the understanding of:
1) The importance of an investment policy statement.
2) Single and multi-factor asset pricing models.
3) Common stock valuation and analysis.
4) Portfolio performance evaluation.
Grading and Evaluation
Course Grading: Midterm Exam 30%
Investment Policy Statement 10%
Analyst Report 30%
Portfolio performance and report 20%
90-100 (Excellent) A
80-90 (Good) B
70-80 (Satisfactory) C
60-70 (Passing) D
Below 60 (Failing) F
All grades are firm and non-negotiable. There is no rounding in grades. To maintain the fairness
to the entire class, the same grading criteria will be applied to every student, and no personal
reason will be considered for grading purposes. No grade will be disclosed by email, by phone,
There will be one midterm exam during this semester in the assigned classroom (see the end of
this syllabus for the exam date). The exam will include questions on any covered material, e.g.,
lecture notes, classroom discussions, and reading assignments. Each student will need a
calculator and ScanTron for the exam. The use of cell phones is not allowed during the exam.
The exam must be taken as scheduled. There is no make-up exam in this course and students
missing the exam without a valid excuse will receive an exam grade of zero for the exam. A
valid excuse is defined as an authorized absence (see Midwestern State University
Undergraduate Catalog (2010-2012) p. 77-78 for the definition) or an unforeseeable, proved, and
documented event that requires the student’s presence in a place other than the classroom during
the class period, and such event is deemed acceptable by the instructor. In the case of an excused
absence, the document justifying the absence must be turned to the instructor within one week
from the absence, and the weight assigned for the missed exam will be redistributed to the other
A student's grade on class participation depends on three factors: 1) Attendance, 2) Performance
on raising and answering questions in class, and 3) Grades on random assignments. There is no
guarantee that a student attending every class will automatically receive the full credit on class
Team-Based Grade Components:
Students are required to form teams of 3 members in this course for preparing the investment
policy statements, analyst reports, and portfolio performance reports.
If the class size at the second week of class (for the class size to stabilize) is not a multiple of 3,
then at most N = Remainder of (class size/3) teams can have 4 members. The composition of a
team cannot be changed once the term is formed, and each team is at its own risk that its
members may later withdraw or be dropped from this class during the semester. The team
formation is due on September 8 (Wednesday). Each team should send the instructor an email
on or before the due date with a list of team members for the official record. Students who are
not in a team by the due date will form teams of 1 member, and those students will face a grade
penalty on failing to meet the team formation deadline. Individual teams will be evaluated on the
same basis regardless of team size, and students in the same team will receive the same grade on
the team-based grade components regardless of their responsibilities within the team. The
formation of team is on a first come, first served basis.
Each team is required to construct an equity portfolio through Stock-Trak over the course of this
semester, with no less than 20 domestic stocks accounting for 90% or more of the portfolio value
on the market close of November 19 (Friday). The performance of this portfolio from inception
to the market close of November 19 (Friday) is subject to an evaluation and contributes to the
team-based grades under Portfolio Performance and Report.
“Stock-Trak is the the web’s most realistic and the most comprehensive stock market simulation
for college business students worldwide. … Students gain first-hand, real world knowledge of
how the markets work, how to place orders, practice theories and strategies learned in class,
and compete with their classmates. … Each year over 1,100 professors and their 60,000+
students use StockTrak.com in their finance, business, economics, and/or accounting classes. In
the U.S., over 80% of the top Business Schools use StockTrak, …”
Class name/code: “MWSU-FINC4833-Fall2010”
Service level: Silver
Maximum number of trades: 200
Trading start/end dates: 8/30/2010 to 11/19/2010
There is a cost of $26.95 per account that each team needs to pay individually during the account
registration. Each team should establish only one account in the name of one of the team
members. All members in a team, however, should share the cost of establishing the account.
Initial cash balance: $1,000,000
Allowable investments: U.S. equity
Minimum stock price for buying: $1.00
Minimum stock price for shorting: $5.00
Position limit: Each security no more than 10% of portfolio value
Investment Policy Statement:
Each team is required to prepare an investment policy statement for a moderately aggressive
equity fund that aims to achieve superior portfolio performance through capital gains. The
statement is due on September 27 (Monday), at the beginning of class.
Each team is required to prepare an analyst report for a stock included in its investment portfolio,
and present the report to the entire class on the scheduled date. Each team should submit its
analyst report to the instructor on the last day scheduled for analyst report presentation, i.e.,
November 22 (Monday), at the beginning of class.
The submitted report is in general subject to the following format requirements:
1) Margin: 1 inch
2) Font size: 12
3) Font: Times New Roman
4) Line spacing: Double
5) Page limits: Minimum 15 pages and maximum 25 pages (excluding cover page)
Portfolio Performance and Report:
Each team is required to prepare a performance evaluation report for its investment portfolio
from inception to the market close of November 19 (Friday), and present the report to the entire
class on the scheduled date. Each team should submit its performance report to the instructor on
the last day scheduled for performance report presentation, i.e., December 1 (Wednesday), at
the beginning of class.
The submitted report is in general subject to the same format requirements as the analyst report.
Class attendance, Midwestern State University Undergraduate Catalog (2010-2012), p. 78
Students are expected to attend all meetings of the classes in which they are enrolled. Although
in general students are graded on intellectual effort and performance rather than attendance,
absences may lower the student’s grade where class attendance and class participation are
deemed essential by the faculty member. In those classes where attendance is considered as part
of the grade, the instructor should so inform students of the specifics in writing at the beginning
of the semester in a syllabus or separate attendance policy statement. An instructor who has an
attendance policy must keep records on a daily basis. The instructor must give the student a
verbal or written warning prior to being dropped from the class. An instructor’s records will
stand as evidence of absences. A student with excessive absences may be dropped from a course
by the instructor. Any individual faculty member or college has the authority to establish an
attendance policy, providing the policy is in accordance with the General University Policies.
For the record keeping purpose, each class period a roll sheet will be passed through the class
and students need to make sure that they sign on the roll sheet. Signing any other student’s name
on the roll sheet is considered as a disruptive conduct in this course.
Instructor Drop, Midwestern State University Undergraduate Catalog (2010-2012), p. 73
An instructor may drop a student any time during the semester for excessive absences, for
consistently failing to meet class assignments, for an indifferent attitude, or for disruptive
conduct. The instructor must give the student a verbal or written warning prior to being dropped
from the class. An instructor’s drop of a student takes precedence over the student-initiated
course drop of a later date. The instructor will assign a grade of either WF or F through the 8th
week of a long semester, the 6th week of a 10 week summer term, or the 11th class day of a 4 or
5 week summer term consisting of 20 days. After these periods the grade will be an F. The date
the instructor drop form is received in the Office of the Registrar is the official drop date.
Students who miss more than one third of the class periods without valid excuses will be
dropped from this course. A valid excuse is defined as an authorized absence (see Midwestern
State University Undergraduate Catalog (2010-2012) p. 77-78 for the definition) or an
unforeseeable, proved, and documented event that requires the student’s presence in a place
other than the classroom during the class period, and such event is deemed acceptable by the
instructor. In the case of an excused absence, the document justifying the absence must be
turned to the instructor within one week from the absence.
Students who fail to meet class assignments, show indifferent attitudes, or reveal disruptive
conducts will be given warnings each time such instance occurs. Students with more than two
warnings will be dropped from this course.
Other Course Policies
1) Please bring a calculator to class.
2) It is obviously in a student’s best interests to attend class regularly.
3) Students are expected to read the class material before and after the scheduled classes.
4) Announcements not made in class will be posted online through WebCT. Students have the
responsibility to check the postings and class material regularly.
5) Video, audio, and image recording other than taking hand-written or typed notes in the
classroom is not allowed without the prior consent of the instructor. Redistribution of course
material prepared by the instructor in any form outside this class is not allowed.
Students shall follow the “Student Honor Creed” on p. 19 of the Midwestern State University
Undergraduate Catalog (2010-2012). A student who commits academic dishonesty is subject to
conduct sanctions (Please refer to the Midwestern State University Student Handbook for the
definition of Academic Dishonesty, Conduct Sanctions, and Academic Misconduct Procedures).
Americans with Disabilities Act
This course follows the university policies and guidelines suggested by the Disability Support
Services Office for qualified students. Students are referred to p. 21 of the Midwestern State
University Undergraduate Catalog (2010-2012) for details.
Syllabus Change Policy
This syllabus is a guide for this course and is subject to change with advanced notice.