Financial Markets and Trading Simulation:Syllabus

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The School of Business promotes a learning community characterized by student engagement, a faculty dedicated to excellence, and continuous improvement in teaching, scholarship and service. By developing leading-edge programs which nurture and advance intellectual inquiry, critical thinking abilities, social skills, and ethical reasoning, the School of Business prepares individuals to be business leaders in an increasingly complex and changing global environment.

Course Information

Course Number: Fina 4102.01 () Course Title: Financial Markets and Trading Simulations Term and Year: Spring 2011 Professor: Dr. Juliet D’Souza Office: C 2241 Professor’s Contacts: 678-407-5763 Prerequisites: Fina 3000 Meeting Time: Mondays 6:00 to 8:30 p.m

Required/Recommended Text: “An Introduction to Financial Markets and Institutions” by Burton, Nesiba and Lombra, published by Thomson / South-Western. This book is recommended not required. Registration with the StockTrak Investment simulation game ( This is required. A business/financial calculator.

Course Competencies

Required: This course requires basic knowledge of computers, email, on-line Research, Word, Excel, Power Point and Blackboard.

Student Policy Statement

Students are expected to abide by all policies in the catalog of Georgia Gwinnett College and the School of Business as well as all policies posted on the official web site of Georgia Gwinnett College and the School of Business.

Attendance Policy

The classroom experience is a vital component of the college learning experience. Interaction with instructors and with other students is a necessary component of the learning process. Students are expected to attend regularly and promptly all class meetings and academic appointments. Students who are absent from classes bear the responsibility of notifying their instructors and keeping up with class assignments in conjunction with instructor provisions in the course syllabus.  Hence should you miss the class for whatever reason, please do not ask questions or send me emails such as “what was discussed in the class”. It is the student’s responsibility to have some contact number of your colleague for such questions. An individual instructor bears the decision as to whether a student’s absence is excused or unexcused and whether work will be permitted to be made up; the decision of the instructor in this case is final. Students who are absent because of participation in college-approved activities (such as field trips and extracurricular events) will be permitted to make up the work missed during their college-approved absences, provided that the student discussed with and obtained approval from the instructor to make up the work missed prior to the student's going on the field trip.    

A student whose class schedule would otherwise prevent him or her from voting will be permitted an excused absence for the interval reasonably required for voting.

Course Description

Study the role of Federal Reserve on money supply, interest rates and the U.S. economy. Also study how various financial markets (money market, stock market, bond market and mortgage market) works and the pricing of securities traded in each of these markets. In addition, this course will include topics on the role of financial intermediaries (depository and non-depository financial institutions).The operations and functions of money and capital markets.

Course Learning Outcomes

L.O.1 Students will use an investment simulation game to understand the dynamics of financial markets. There will be two presentations L.O.2 Understanding the role of Federal Reserve, the structure of interest rates, financial markets (to include money, stock, bond and mortgage markets) L.O.3 Understanding the valuation of security prices L.O.4 Understanding the Commercial banking structure, regulation and performance L.O.5 Students will use Word and Excel to prepare reports. Exams: Exams will be based on lectures, and assigned readings. No cellular phones allowed. All cellular phones should be off. Should a student answer any calls, their exams will be taken away and given a zero in the exam. Students may leave the exam room only after turning in the exam. Students will not be allowed to return and take the exam. Exam should be completed within the time allowed.

Make-up Policy

No make-up exam. Instead, students missing an exam, for what ever reason, will take the 4th comprehensive exam. Students missing an exam will get a zero for that particular missed exam.

Exam Grade Distribution

Item Percentage
Exam 1: Ch 11 & 22 25%
Exam 2: Ch 3,4,6,9 25%
Exam 3: Ch 10,12,15 20%
Stock Trak Game 30%
  • Optional Comprehensive Exam for those who missed exam only.

90-100% A 80-89% B 70-79% C 60-69% D < 60% F

Important notes

All students must have a GGC Email Account. Students must access their emails regularly. I will correspond with students using their GGC email address only. No emails will be sent to or replied to, using any personal account. Please note this procedure will be very strictly followed. All other emails will generally, automatically, go to my junk box. All emails should contain, “Your name - Fina 4102 class” and a brief subject matter on the subject line. Don’t forget to write your name at the end of the message Please keep your cell phones off during the class and the exam. No laptops allowed in the class.

Academic calendar for Spring 2011

Academic Advisement/Registration Begins October 25, 2010 Deadline to Apply for Admission for Spring 2011 November 15, 2010 Deadline to Submit Documents for Admission for Spring 2011 November 22, 2010 Deadline for having all Financial Aid paperwork completed for Spring 2011 November 29, 2010 Deadline for Spring 2011 Tuition Payments and Housing January 3 Registration Drop/Add is Not Available January 3-4 Drop/Add Begins January 5 Late Payment Fee Begins January 5 Classes Begin January 6 Drop/Add Ends January 20 Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday NO CLASSES January 17 Deadline for Petitions for In-state Residency January 21 Applications for Spring 2011 Graduation Due January 21 Mid-Term Grades Due March 1 Mid-term - Last Day to Withdraw with a "W" March 9 Spring Break – NO CLASSES March 14-20 Academic Advisement /Registration Begins for Summer 2011 and Fall 2011 March 21 Deadline to Apply for Summer 2011 April 1 Deadline to Submit Documents for Admission for Summer 2011 April 8 Last Day of Classes Before Final Exams May 4 Final Examinations May 5 – 10 Grades Due by 10:30 a.m. May 13 Commencement TBD

Other Information

Please observe good classroom etiquette: cell phones and pagers off; computers off and closed unless being used in a classroom assignment. Please feel free to seek individual assistance from the professor. Assistance from the professor is highly encouraged in a timely manner. Also, before you seek individual assistance, I like to see your work on the matter you seek assistance. This helps me to understand what is it that you have difficult with. You have to work first, do your problems and then seek individual assistance. Any individual assistance because of absence in the class will not be encouraged.


Individuals with disabilities who need to request accommodations should inform the instructor at the close of the first class meeting and contact the Associate Vice-President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students.

Academic Honesty

Students in the School of Business are expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic honesty and are expected to encourage others to do the same. Further, students are expected to take responsible action when there is reason to suspect dishonesty on the part of others. While it is not possible to list all acts of academic dishonesty, examples include cheating, plagiarism, collusion, misrepresentation, and falsification. Students should refer to the Georgia Gwinnett College School of Business Catalog for more details.

Course Changes

The course syllabus provides a general plan for this course. The professor reserves the right to make changes to the syllabus, including changes to assignments, projects, case studies, examinations, etc., in order to accommodate the needs of the class as a whole and fulfill the goals of the course.

StockTrak Game

Account number will be assigned to each student. Students need to go to web page at and print out the registration materials/trading rules.  Following the “Read Rules” link in the left hand column of the home page directs them to the same link. After having printed out the trading rules, students should register their assigned account number at the “Open Account” link on the home page.  On this page the students will be asked for their STOCK-TRAK account number, and they will select their passwords and provide their name and payment information. Objective of the game is to learn how the capital markets works, become familiar with the researching information of the securities chosen, know what variables affect the capital markets and get comfortable trading in the capital markets. While maximizing returns is the objective for all, it is more important to learn the capital markets. Therefore, while healthy competition is good, there will be no grades for ranking of the game. Your game should include varied kinds of stocks and transaction. Your portfolio should include unknown companies as well. In your presentation, you will present the summary of your game, the returns of the game and present in detail information about at least 6, three of your best companies and three of your worst companies (minimum 3 of these companies should be unknown companies). The idea is to prevent students presenting similar or same stock.

You will buy 10 securities for buy and hold transactions.  Which means you will buy 1 each of the 10 securities (in the first week of your transactions) and not sell them over the whole 12 week trading period.  Please identify some large unknown companies.  Start your research of these companies today. 

Date for the 1st week of trading will be Feb 7th. At least 20 transactions in stocks (domestic and international markets). 10 of these securities will be towards the buy-and-hold strategy (1 each of the 10 securities). If game is not started in the first week, 2 points of your total class grade (not just project grade) will be deducted for each week delay in starting the game. Week starts on Monday and ends on Sunday. 2nd through 11th week after starting the game: Minimum 12 transactions each week. Keep a log of your stock, as to why you bought or why you sold them. Some week because of market information, you will trade more than 12 transaction. However, you have to do a minimum of 12 transactions. To avoid deduction of 2 points, for some market information reason, you decide not to buy or sell, you will send me an email explaining why? Also your transaction should be new transactions, you cannot keep buying and selling the same security. At the most, I will allow you to buy the same security twice, but after a minimum of 4 week interval. Make a note of your portfolio value and log of the Dow Jones Index or S&P 500 index for the same date. This report has to be turned in at the end of the semester. Note: At the end of game (end of 12th week of starting the game). All accounts will be closed and all account details may be deleted from the stock-trak website. It is important you store all your data on weekly manner. No excuses at the end of the game will be accepted. There will be one formal presentation of the complete game for the Stock Trak Game:

  • Formal Presentation April 25th and May 2nd – 10 points
  • Informal Surprise Presentation – 5 points - Professor will request student to present their game at point in time in the class
  • Weekly Transactions – 10 points

Written Report due May 4th – 5 points

  • If at that point it is found that student do not have required number of transactions, or students are not fully participating in the game, as it is intended, 2.0 points will be deducted for each week of incomplete transaction. The net deduction for incomplete transaction is not limited to 10 points. In other words, more than 10 points can be deducted which will affect your overall stocktrak game.

Presentation and Report Writing for the Stock Trak Game: Presentation and the written report should include a graph of the % return comparison of your portfolio value to either D&J Index, S&P 500 or Nasdaq index. Example – on Feb 7th your portfolio value will be $1,000,000. Now, assume on Feb 14th your portfolio value will be $1,010,000 and on Feb 21st your portfolio value will be $1,005,000. Your % return calculation for week 1 will {(1,010,000-1,000,000)/1,000,000); % return for week 2 will be {(1,005,000-1,000,000)/1,000,000). You will do the same for all the week and for one of the indices stated above. a graph of the % return (similar to above) comparison your overall portfolio value to thee buy and hold portfolio to either D&J Index, S&P 500 or Nasdaq index. a graph of the % return (similar to above) to show three of your best securities compared to D&J or S&P or Nasdaq. Two of these securities should be unknown or less known companies. a graph of the % return (similar to above) to show three of your worst securities compared to D&J or S&P or Nasdaq. Two of these securities should be unknown or less known companes. In addition, report your findings of your portfolio in your presentation as follows: your objectives of the game Name of companies you chose for buy-and-hold strategies and explain why? Show their total 12 week return. Mention the research used to identify these companies for buy and hold strategies. Not more than 3 slides to show all these companies. Please identify some unknown large companies for buy and hold. Research done on a regular base that helped you make the buy, sell or hold decisions. Which securities in your portfolio did the best and why? (minimum 3 companies) Which securities in your portfolio did the worst and why? (minimum 3 companies) Which securities in your opinion are worthwhile for long term investment strategies and why? (minimum 3 companies – not necessarily best performers) Which of the securities you believe are worthwhile for short term investment and why? What did you learn from this game? Which research website, talk show or other information helped you in your game? you will state how do you plan to use this knowledge in your investments. If you were to invest your own money, would your strategies be same or different. If the strategies are different, then how would the strategies be different from the portfolio game you just played. If you had to invest your own money, which securities would you invest in. Submit a soft copy of the log of the portfolio: stating why the securities or commodities were purchased or sold.

Example of LOG

Name of Stock Purchased or Sold Purchased or Sold Date Purchase / Selling Price Number of shares purchased or sold % gain or loss Why purchased of sold IBM Purchased 01/29/08 $50.00 1000 New CEO announcement IBM Purchased 03/31/08 $56.00 1000 Stock in upward trend continuously IBM Sold 01/25/08 $65.00 500 50% IBM computer recalled

Example of Weekly Portfolio Value Week Starting Portfolio Value Change in Portfolio Value DJIA index Weekly Change DJIA S&P 500 Index Change in S&P 500 Why Market change Why Portfolio Changed 9/12 1,000,000 10500 1100 9/19 1,250,000 25% 10700 1.9% 1200 10% Interest rate decreased Bought Oil Futures and Price of Oil went up.

Your Professor

Dr. Juliet D’Souza Doctorate in Finance with a minor in Economics, 1994 - 1998 University of Georgia, Athens, GA

CPA, 1992 Georgia State Board of Accountancy Passed all parts of CPA exams in the very first attempt (Not licenced).

Master of Business Administration in Finance, 1990 - 1991 Mercer University, Atlanta, GA

Master of Commerce, 1985 - 1987 University of Bombay, Bombay, India

Bachelor of Commerce, 1981 – 1984 University of Bombay, Bombay, India

Work Experience prior to GGC: 7 years in academics (Mercer University for 2 years and Clayton State University for 5 years) and 8 years in industry (Orson Electronics, India).

Work Experience at GGC: Since August 2007.

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