MSFA Assurance of Learning
MSFA Program Goals and Learning Outcomes
Program Goal 1 – Apply quantitative methods and analytic tools from economics, statistics, finance and accounting to value and manage portfolios of financial assets.
- LO 1-1) Analytical Tools – Finance
Employ fundamental quantitative techniques essential in financial analysis and investment management including (i) the time value of money, (ii) the basics of statistics and probability theory, (iii) probability theory applied in the field of investment valuation and financial risk management, and (iv) joint behavior of two or more variables, including correlation and linear regression.
- LO 1-2) Analytical Tools – Economics
Recognize and explain how macroeconomic and microeconomic events impact key components of economic activity, including industry structure, firm profitability, macroeconomic output, prices, interest and exchange rates.
- LO 1-3) Analytical Tools – Accounting
Describe and interpret financial accounting concepts and measurements to (i) use financial statements and footnotes to analyze an investment valuation; ii) analyze a company’s liquidity, profitability, financial stability, solvency, and asset utilization; and iii) analyze the effects of alternative accounting methods and assumptions on firm valuation.
Program Goal 2 – Integrate economics, statistics, and financial concepts to analyze and assess the value of financial assets.
- LO 2-1) Integration - Equity Valuation
Discuss and evaluate the techniques used to analyze the value of equity investments, in securities markets using efficient market theory and the analysis of risk and return in equity portfolios.
- LO 2-2) Integration - Fixed Income Valuation
Analyze fixed income investments using the characteristics of bonds and factors that influence bond yields. Develop strategies for fixed income portfolios.
- LO 2-3) Integration - Derivatives Valuation
Analyze the sources of value in derivative investments, including forwards, futures, options, and swaps, and demonstrate how derivatives are used to manage risk in the investment process.
Program Goal 3 - Describe the standards of ethical behavior in financial markets and financial regulations and evaluate how these standards apply in specific situations.
- LO 3-1) Ethics – Standards
Describe the framework for ethical conduct as set out in the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct and Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®).
- LO 3-2) Ethics – Evaluation
Evaluate and assess how these standards have, or have not been, followed in specific investment situations. Discuss how the CFA ethical standards relate more broadly to ethical values.
- LO 3-3) Ethics - Duties to Investors
Specify and quantify investor objectives, constraints, and preferences and develop an appropriate investment policy statement. Develop strategies for managing portfolios of domestic and foreign debt and equity securities including the use of derivative securities to adjust risk exposure to meet the investor policy goals.