Introductory Applied Finance

FIN10 Introductory Applied Finance

Autumn 2021

  • Topics

    1.     Introduction to financial modelling in Excel 

    2.     Event studies

    3.     Portfolio optimisation

    4.     Performance evaluation and style analysis

    5.     Value at Risk

    6.     Option pricing

  • Learning outcome

    Introductory Applied Finance is a semi-intensive course that equips students with the knowledge and tools to implement financial models using Excel. The course covers a range of topics in finance, including both standard material and more advanced topics, with the emphasis on practical application. Lectures on each topic are followed by in-depth practical classes, in which students work through real world problems using Excel. The course also introduces students to the use of VBA in financial modelling.

    On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

    Module Specific Knowledge:

    1. understand the principles of financial modelling and the characteristics of financial data

    2. download financial data from the internet for a range of securities, including stocks, bonds, derivatives and currencies

    3. undertake a range of financial and statistical calculations in Excel

    4. use matrix functions in Excel and estimate the variance-covariance matrix of returns

    5. use Excel's solver function and derive the optimal passively managed portfolio of securities, with and without investment constraints

    6. use Excel's regression analysis tool, linear estimation function and regression functions, and undertake a style analysis of a portfolio

    7. conduct an event study in Excel

    8. understand the principles of VBA and write a simple VBA function to find the fair price of an option


    Discipline Specific Skills:

    9. understand the relationship between risk and return

    10. understand the principles of passive portfolio management

    11. understand the principles of option pricing

    12. use the event study methodology to test hypotheses about market efficiency

    13. understand the principles of duration, convexity and immunisation


    General Competences:

    14. develop their writing skills

    15. work in groups

    16. download and manipulate complex data

    17. solve applied problems using Excel and VBA

    18. plan and undertake independent research projects

  • Teaching

    Lectures and group-based computer classes

    The course is taught semi-intensively.

  • Recommended prerequisites

    Students are expected to have completed one or more courses in finance theory at the undergraduate level.

  • Credit reduction due to overlap

    Overlap with VOA024

  • Requirements for course approval

    For course approval, each student is required to submit a short report (of no more than one side of single spaced A4) for each of the practical sessions. This report should summarise the motivation, method used and results obtained, and offer a critical assessment of the limitations of the practical exercise. The deadline for each individual report is 24 hours after the practical class.

    If NHH operates normally, the lectures and practicals will take place face-to-face. However, if current restrictions on groups of people persist, then the course will take place entirely online. In this case, in addition to lecture and practical notes and other files (such as Excel) there will be videos of me discussing the material in some detail.

  • Assessment

     Written group-based project. The project in this course must be answered in English.

  • Grading Scale

    Grading scale A - F

  • Computer tools

    The course will introduce students to VBA.

    During the practicals, computers are essential. Please note that Apple Macs have encountered quite a few problems with some functions in Excel such as Solver.

  • Literature

    Benninga, S., 2008, Financial Modeling MIT Press, third or more recent edition,  2008.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Spring. Offered Spring 2021.

Course responsible

Adjunct Professor Evarist Stoja, Department of Finance, NHH; Professor of Finance, University of Bristol.