JCU Logo


COURSE NAME: "Finance"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Spring 2021

EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MW 8:30 AM 9:45 AM
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisites: FIN 201, FIN 202, EC 202, MA 208
OFFICE HOURS: 8:00-8:30 before class by appointment

This course examines both the theoretical and applied foundations required to make decisions in financial management. The main areas covered include an  overview of the financial system and the efficiency of capital markets, evaluation of financial performance, time value of money, analysis of risk and return, basic portfolio theory, valuation of stocks and bonds, capital budgeting, international financial management, capital structure management, and the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct.
This course covers topics in finance: financial statement analysis, the operations of financial markets and their efficiency, international financial transactions, time value of money, diversification and analysis of risk, valuation of financial assets (stocks and bonds), capital budgeting, capital structure, and an introduction to derivatives. Emphasis is given to both theory and application with particular attention paid to using spreadsheets for building simple financial models, working with a case study, and the writing of brief reports.

Please note that the course is a 300-level course in finance with a prerequisite of one year of accounting (financial and managerial), and a semester each of statistics and macroeconomics which includes college algebra - it is not an "introductory" class.  Students should be prepared to review some of this material as part of the course.  

The course materials are posted on Moodle, our leaning management system, available at http://moodle.johncabot.edu/ .

If you have technical problems at any stage of this process, get in touch with [email protected].


Understand the measurement of cash flow and its central role in financial analysis.

Learn how to evaluate firms' decision with simple financial models.

Learn time value of money concepts and their application to financial problems.

Learn how to value bonds and make investment decisions analyzing interest rate risk, yield curves, and reinvestment options.

Understand how to value stocks using the dividend growth models and methods of comparables.

Undertake a captial budeting case to learn capital budgeting concepts – NPV, IRR, MIRR, WACC - and learn to apply risk analysis to capital budgeting decisions using a financial model.

Review capital market history, understand the risk-return relationship (the CAPM) and the efficient markets hypothesis.

Learn the basics of portfolio theory and the risk-return tradeoff.

Learn about international finance to include interest rate parity, purchasing power parity, and international capital budgeting risks.

Learn about the basics of hedging to include forwards, futures, and options.

Understand the importance of ethical issues in finance and develop an awareness of the CFA Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct.

Develop stronger analytical skills that allow for the evaluation of financial decisions that include understanding their role of the overall economic environment.
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Corporate FinanceRoss, Westerfield, and JordanMc Graw Hill978-0077861759 Corporate Finance, Ross, Westerfield, and Jordan, McGraw Hill. Any edition by the same authors will do.

Exam 1Problem-solving, short answers.20%
Exam 2Problem-solving, short answers20%
Exam 3Case study on international capital budgeting: 3 to 4 page financial report plus in-class exam.20%
Final ExamComprehensive problem-solving exam.35%
External Funding Needed AssignmentGuideline provided in class. This assignment includes a short inclass quiz.5%

AWork of this quality directly addresses the question or problem raised and provides a coherent argument displaying an extensive knowledge of relevant information or content. This type of work demonstrates the ability to critically evaluate concepts and theory and has an element of novelty and originality. There is clear evidence of a significant amount of reading beyond that required for the course. 94 to 100 A; 90 to 93 A-
BThis is highly competent level of performance and directly addresses the question or problem raised.There is a demonstration of some ability to critically evaluatetheory and concepts and relate them to practice. Discussions reflect the student’s own arguments and are not simply a repetition of standard lecture andreference material. The work does not suffer from any major errors or omissions and provides evidence of reading beyond the required assignments. 87 to 89 B+; 84 to 86 B; 80 to 83 B-
CThis is an acceptable level of performance and provides answers that are clear but limited, reflecting the information offered in the lectures and reference readings. 75 to 79 C+; 70 to 74 C; 65-69 C-
DThis level of performances demonstrates that the student lacks a coherent grasp of the material.Important information is omitted and irrelevant points included.In effect, the student has barely done enough to persuade the instructor that s/he should not fail. 60 to 65 D+; 55 to 59 D; 50 to 54 D-
FThis work fails to show any knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the question. Most of the material in the answer is irrelevant. Below 50.


Attendance at lectures and participation in class discussion is strongly encouraged. The final exam is comprehensive so students will have the option of dropping the lowest grades of  Exams 1, 2, or both and shifting the weights to the comprehensive final exam.

Students who miss a midterm exam (with a formal excuse from the Dean's Office) will shift the weight to the final exam; you will be given the midterm to take on your own time under exam conditions and I will informally assess it should you wish so that you can check on the progress of your studies.  No make-up exams will be given unless approved by the Dean's Office: see the University's policies for missed exams and refer to the Associate Dean.

Students must bring (and use) a basic calculator to class that includes the exponential function. During class no electronic devices are allowed unless there is a specific project we are working on which will be indicated by the instructor.   Cell phones and other electronic devices may not be used during an exam.  No eating in class.    Remote students will be asked to turn their videos on at the beginning of class so we can say hello!



As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.


This syllabus (including Exam Dates) may be subject to changes.  

Week 1: January 18, 20
Chapter 1: Introduction to Corporate Finance
Chapter 2: Financial Statements and Cash Flows 

Week 2: January 25, 27
Chapter 3: Financial Statement Analysis and Financial Models & Begin Project 1
Chapter 4: Discounted Cash Flow Valuation

Week 3:  February 1, 3
Chapter 4: (cont.)

Week 4: February 8, 10, 12
Project 1 due Monday, February 8: short quiz on the project and Chapter 3 at the beginning of class.
Chapter 4: (cont.)
Chapter 8: Interest Rates and Bond Valuations (include the brief discussion long-term debt basics in Chapter 15: pp. 476-481)

Week 5: February 15, 17
Chapter 8: (cont.) 

Week 6: February 22, 24
Monday Exam 1: Chapters 2, 4, 8
Chapter 10: Risk and Return: Lessons from Market History
Chapter 11: Return and Risk: The Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) (leave out sections 11.7 and 11.8)

Week 7: March 1, 3
Chapter 11: (cont).

Spring break

Week 8:  March 15, 17
Chapter 9: Stock Valuation
Chapter 14: Efficient Capital Markets and Behavioral Challenges

Week 9: March 22, 24
Monday, Exam 2: Chapters 9, 10, 11.
Begin Capital Budgeting Case.
Chapter 5: Net Present Value and Other Investment Rules
Chapter 6: Making Capital Investment Decisions

Week 10: March 29, 31
Continue Capital Budgeting Case
Chapter 13: Risk, Cost of Capital and Valuation (sections 13.8, 13.9)
Chapter 7: Risk Analysis, Real Options, and Capital Budgeting

Week 11: April 7
Wednesday, Exam 3: Capital Budgeting Case and the basics of capital investment (Chapter 5)

Week 12: April 12, 14
Chapter 31: International Corporate Finance

Week 13: April 19, 21
Chapter 25: Derivatives and Hedging Risks. The Basics

Week 14: April 26, 28
Course review

Final Exam Period: May 3 to 7
Final exam comprehensive:    Chapters 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 31
See University schedule for day and time.