SemesterFall Semester, 2019
DepartmentIMBA Program, First Year IMBA Program, Second Year
Course NameInvestments for Personal Finance
Course TypeElective
Course Objective
Course Description
Course Schedule

We will meet 10 times in this semester. There will be five weeks in which there will be a lecture and a case study. The other five weeks will be lectures only. In the class in which we also have a case study, we will spend 100 minutes on case study and 50 minutes on lecture.


  1. (9/2) Get acquainted and introduce the concept of “Balanced and Holistic Investments (BAHI)”: why BAHI? Investment process, personal income statement, personal balance sheet, and personal cash flow statement.


    Technical Note: Present value: A note on personal applications (UV5136)

    If you can read Chinese, it would be fun to readLife理財學」.


    2. (9/9) Return, risk, diversification, index.


    Technical Note: Introduction to portfolio theory (9-185-066)


    3. (9/16) Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM), beta, portfolio evaluation, alpha.


    Technical Note: Measuring investment performance (9-208-110)


    4. (9/23) Mutual funds, index funds and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs).


    Technical Note: Introduction to mutual funds (9-310-117)


    Case study: Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) at Vanguard (A) (9-311-134) & (B) (9-311-135)


    5. (9/30) Financial planning: How BAHI helps determine the suitable investment return FOR you?


    HBR Article: How digital tools and behavioral economics will save retirement? (H041SZ)


    6. (10/7) Financial planning and asset allocation: Suitable asset categories for individual investors.


    HBR Article: The crisis in retirement planning (R14078)


Case study: Rudy Wong: Investment Advisor (910N04)


7. (10/14) Asset allocation: Policy asset allocation, tactical asset allocation strategies, efficient market hypothesis, and dollar cost averaging.


Case studies: Dimensional Fund Advisors, 2002 (9-203-026)


8. (10/21) Security selection and valuation: Valuations of fixed income securities and equity.


Technical Note: Basic ratio analysis and equity valuation (9-185-149)


Case studies: Edward Jones: Implementing the Solutions Approach (9-719-411)


9. (10/28) Trade execution: Timing and stock picking, how inefficient markets affect individual investors? transaction costs.


Technical Note: Risk arbitrage (9-203-001)


Case: Nikkei 225 Reconstitution (9-207-109)


10. (11/4) Catch-up and wrap-up: How investment can really achieve your life goals?


Teaching Methods
Teaching Assistant

To be announced

Textbook & Reference

Cases, articles and technical notes from Harvard Business School Publishing. Students must purchase them from the Perdo Office of the College of Commerce.

If you and read Chinese and are interested in knowing important personal finance concepts, you are encouraged to read my book: Life理財學」周行一著天下文化出版


Urls about Course

Investments for personal finance.pdf